Professional Development
Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Mellinger of Army Materiel Command speaks March 5 in Heiser Hall.

Chances are that the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan know as much about U.S. Soldier capabilities as the young Soldiers that enlist. "Learn your craft. You need to stay ahead of them," Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Mellinger of the Army Materiel Command said.

Mellinger addressed a roomful of Soldiers on March 5 at Heiser Hall during his visit to Redstone Arsenal.

In this session titled "NCO Professional Development: Technology and the Warfighter," he shared personal experiences during his career and hard lessons learned during war. He wanted to let Soldiers know that each of them is an essential part of the Army and that each makes a difference in the nation's defense. He wanted them to know what it means to be a Soldier.

"Most of you signed up after 9/11," Mellinger said. No matter what line of work they joined for, Soldiers are an integral part of the Army and the Defense Department, he added.

"Even the Marines can't stay too long in the beach without getting something from the Army," he said. "There is no shortage of work for you out there."

Showing a video clip of insurgents firing faulty weapons that backfired on them, Mellinger said the United States has the best equipped army in the world.

"I've got 85 Ph.D.s working for me at RDECOM (Research Development and Engineering Command)," he said.

A video clip of one of Mellinger's personal experiences in theater revealed mistakes made by Soldiers in his unit during an improvised explosive device attack. Although no one was hurt, novice Soldiers panicked during their first IED experience and did not follow their training. Mellinger replayed the video and asked the Soldiers to identify the mistakes made in the video.

"The number one killer of Soldiers today is IEDs," he said.

The Army Materiel Command makes equipment to help Soldiers survive, but the Soldiers should use standard operating procedures. "Follow your SOPs," Mellinger said.

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