NCO has Soldiering In His Blood
Sgt. Olanda Thompson, 8th Special Troops Battalion human resources specialist, prepares the daily personnel status report at the 8th STB Operations Center at Camp Zama, Japan. Thompson is based at Fort Shafter, Hawaii and is supporting the 8th Theater Sustainment Command forward command post during a command post exercise.

<b>Sergeant Olanda Thompson</b>
<b>Age:</b> 25
<b>Current Position:</b> Human Resources Specialist
<b>Current Unit:</b> 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th Theater Sustainment Command (TSC)
<b>Component:</b> Active Army
<b>Current Location:</b> Fort Shafter, Hawaii
<b>Hometown:</b> Fayetteville, North Carolina
<b>Years of Service:</b> 6 years

CAMP ZAMA, JAPAN - Waking up at the crack of dawn and doing physical training isn't a part of every kid's childhood. Olanda Thompson saw his father doing PT every morning and it must have rubbed off - Thompson is now following in his father's footsteps as an Army noncommissioned officer.

"My father retired as a sergeant first class after 23 years in the Army," Thompson said. "He started out as a tanker, and then finished up as a logistics NCO. His service played a big part in my decision to join the Army."

Sgt. Olanda Thompson was born at the "Home of the Airborne", Fort Bragg, NC, so Soldiering is in his blood. As in most military families, discipline played a major role in Thompson's upbringing.

"We moved around a lot...Fort Bragg, Redstone Arsenal, Fort McClellan, and Germany," he said. "I learned a lot about discipline from my mother and father and it made me into the man I am today."

Thompson joined the Army in January of 2003 as a Human Resources Specialist, serving with the 2nd Infantry Division at Camp Stanley, South Korea, U.S. Army, Garrison Fort Lewis, and at his current assignment with the 8th Theater Sustainment Command, Fort Shafter, Hawaii. He's currently deployed with the 8th TSC forward command post, handling personnel and life support issues for the command, and is one of 9 advance party Soldiers who worked long hours preparing for the influx of troops to Camp Zama.

His leadership philosophy is simple.

"I just expect my Soldiers to do the best they can, not sham too much, and do their work to standard," Thompson said.

Spc. Sham Dhonde, an 8th STB Soldier whom Thompson supervises regularly, had nothing but praise for him.

"He's a good leader, he always listens to what I have to say and gives me positive encouragement," Dhonde explained.

2009 is the "Year of the NCO" and Thompson says it presents an opportunity for NCOs across the Army to showcase their proficiency.

"It's time for us as NCOs to step up and show everyone why we are known as the backbone of the Army," Thompson added.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16