Sibling rivalry persuades NCO to enlist
June 25, 2009
- Interim command sergeant major for the Army National Guard
FORT BELVOIR, Va - Several factors influenced Command Sgt. Maj. Victor Angry's decision to join the military. It was sibling rivalry that led him to enlist in the Army.
"I joined the Army in 1987, I was 19," said Angry.
Both of his brothers were in the Air Force.
"My oldest brother actually influenced me to join the military, specifically the Army," Angry said. "Little brother wanted to follow big brother. As we walked toward the Air Force recruiter, the Army recruiter told me I could actually outrank my brother. Sibling rivalry won, so I joined the Army. I actually did outrank him."
A close friend of the family also influenced his decision to enlist.
"Truth be told, she was just like a stepmom to me. She told me I was supposed to see the world. It was something I had considered before. I joined to get out of a small town in Florida," Angry said.
When Angry enlisted, he thought he was just taking a job for four years, not knowing it would become a career.
"I was the guy who joined and said I would only stay in four years," Angry said. "I got married in those four years. I then decided to do another four. It was about the 10-year mark leadership kicked in and I got to help others with their careers. It was great. Helping other people really changed things."
As soon as Angry enlisted, he was able to see the world.
"My first duty station was in Germany," Angry said. "I was a flight operations guy for medical company. I would get the call, send the crew out in a Black Hawk, and bring it back during medical evacuations. After Germany, I moved to the Virginia area, then to Korea, and back stateside. I also ended up in Hawaii. One thing about fixed-wing aviation is it takes you to more Air Force bases than Army bases because of use of runways."
In 1996, he transferred from the active component to assist in the stand-up of the Operational Support Airlift Command. After his OSAC assignment, he was transferred to Scott Air Force Base, Ill., in 1997 to assist in the stand-up of the Joint Operational Support Airlift Command.
"I helped to build, manage and maintain the program," Angry said. "I got to set up joint operations. I'm an original plank holder. I loved it. The joint world is a very unique, and I highly recommend anyone who hasn't, to do it."
In 2003, Angry returned to the Operational Support Airlift Agency, Fort Belvoir, as the Headquarters and Headquarters Company first sergeant. It was in this position that he was selected for promotion.
"I am currently the Operational Support Airlift Command command sergeant major, which is a battalion-level, aviation fixed-wing organization. We do all the DoD fixed-wing support for basically anybody with an ID card, including dependants. We're based right here at Belvoir on Davidson Army Airfield.
A week ago, Angry began wearing two hats.
"I've been named as the interim command sergeant major for the Army National Guard. I find myself quite busy, wearing two hats. I am all over the place right now, but, it's fun," Angry said. During Angry's career, of all the NCOs who have influenced his leadership style, one, in particular, stands out.
"Retired First Sergeant John Tilly used to be my SFC," Angry said. "In leaders, you see bad, and you see good. You want to follow the good. Tilly is the one I have been emulating in my career. From him, I follow the model you should treat people with dignity and respect. He was a living example of it, even if it was tough love at times."
Angry has his own advice for Soldiers who want to be successful and effective leaders.
"Soldiers need to take both aspects of good leadership and bad leadership," Angry said. "You can't say you want good leadership without seeing what bad leadership is. Not everybody has really perfected being a leader. You can learn just as much from good as bad. The key is learning from it."
Angry reminds Soldiers that, as leaders, their most important responsibility is taking care of Soldiers.
"Soldiers are the most important responsibility to an NCO," said Angry. "You can't forget we are all Soldiers. At one point, I was an E-4. If I thought at some point someone didn't take care of me, I need to remember and learn from that to take care of those E-4s now."
To Angry, a successful leader isn't one who gets a good review from his supervisor, but receives positive feedback from the Soldiers he or she takes care of.
"In this business, leaders are designed to take care of the troops, Angry said. "If you went out and talked to Soldiers in my command and if they say I'm taking care of them, and successfully following through on what I say; if they say that's the leader I'm looking for, then a leader is doing a good job. If you can't put out an honest assessment of yourself, you're not an effective leader."
Angry is also a strong advocate for personal fitness and a regimented runner.
"I'm the running man," said Angry." I'm on my 12th marathon. I'm trying to run in all 50 states. I'll run with any Soldier crazy enough to run with me. Most of them only do it once."
Angry is also studies history and cultural communication.
Angry also enjoys studying history and cultural communication.
"I like American history," Angry said. "If you don't know where you come from, you're doomed to repeat it. I study American history and military history. I'm also big into people. In conversations, you need to know the people who you are dealing with culturally and historically. Those things are important. I watch conversations go bad because people aren't hearing what they are saying. It's a cultural difference most of the time. I love to research all of that. I have a master's in human resources, but I'm into mediation, its critical."
Both of Angry's brothers have recently retired, but the Army will be keeping him busy wearing two hats.