3-10 GSAB meets retention goal just six months into deployment
April 6, 2009
In the month of March, just six months into the Army's fiscal year, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade has reached its retention goal.
"It started in Kuwait when we reenlisted 52 Soldiers in 18 days while at Camp Buerhing," said Staff Sgt. John Barchella, 3-10 GSAB retention noncommissioned officer. "That's never been done at any Battalion or Brigade under 10th Mountain Division."
And they have not looked back.
Since then, they have reenlisted 108 Soldiers this fiscal year. It puts 3-10 GSAB retention at 100 percent of their goal with six months still to go. With the economy taking a nosedive, the Army seems to be a popular option.
"We would be fools not to believe the declining civilian market doesn't play a factor," said Lt. Col. Joseph Orecchio, 3-10 GSAB commander. "That's an added benefit the Army retention program has right now. But I believe we were able to meet our mission early because we have created an environment in our Battalion that Soldiers want to be a part of. It's an environment that is embraced by our company commanders, first sergeants and our retention NCO."
Barchella is the one responsible for running the 3-10 GSAB retention program. His corporate outlook on the Army may be the reason his program is so successful.
"The Army is run like a business," explained Barchella. "Our Battalion command team has created a work environment that makes Soldiers want to stay, not only in the Battalion, but in the Army."
As a matter of fact, over three quarters of those Soldiers Barchella reenlisted have done so to either to stay at Fort Drum or stay in 10th Combat Aviation Brigade. Like any business, it is a matter of location, location, location.
"Why wouldn't you want to stay in the Army at Fort Drum'" Barchella asked. "The area has some of the best schools for our kids. Childcare on post is excellent. Cost of living in the surrounding area is good. Watertown is growing and providing even more opportunities for our spouses and children. Even Fort Drum itself is growing. All of these things are contributing factors; we have a great family climate on and off post."
Orecchio stressed that they are not trying to
trick or coerce Soldiers into reenlisting.
"The Soldiers know we are not trying to hog-tie them to the Army," he explained. "We care about them and we try to convey the benefits of reenlistment. The Soldiers then come to their own conclusion, and we support them in that. I don't think they are staying just because of the money. The Soldiers of today have the knowledge and resources to be successful in any market, so they have to be convinced that the Army is a good place to stay. I think we do an outstanding job at doing just that - telling Soldiers what the Army has to offer and creating an environment that makes and keeps them happy."