NCOs need to practice what they preach
July 15, 2009
CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ-EAST, Iraq - Sgt. 1st Class Jenny Anne Bright believes noncommissioned officers have to practice what they preach.
"Soldiers look up to NCOs because NCOs hold themselves and their Soldiers to the highest standards," said Bright, shower laundry and clothing repair NCO-in-charge, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade. "NCOs lead by example, take pride in the corps and are proud to be the backbone of the Army."
Bright said she practices what she preaches. The former drill sergeant and current Sergeant Audie Murphy Club member holds herself and those around her to high standards.
"An NCO is a trainer, mentor and a coach," said Bright. "They take care of Soldiers, not by giving days off, but by teaching their Soldiers everything they need to accomplish their mission, to survive in combat and help them become successful in the Army."
Bright, a native of Virginia Beach, Va., even takes her stripes home with her. She encouraged her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Terence Bright, responsible officer at the Q-West
bulk fuel farm, 574th Quartermaster Co., to attend the SAMC board. She studied with him over the phone and internet, and he became a SAMC member at the 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) SAMC board May 21.
"Jenny Anne is an outstanding NCO who always strives to improve daily as a leader," Terence said. "She continues to encourage me to become a better NCO and leader; constantly learning and always teaching, mentoring, and training Soldiers to strive for excellence."
Bright, met her husband, Terence while they were both drill sergeants at Ft. Lee, Va., in 2005. They married during their rest and recuperation leave during their current deployment, in Virginia Beach, Va., June 6.
"We were both assigned to the 262nd Quartermaster Battalion," Bright said. "Afterwards, we both received orders to Germany. It just happened to be Grafenwoehr."
Being a drill sergeant shaped her career, Bright said.
"Being a drill sergeant was the best job I have held so far in the Army," Bright said. "It was very challenging, but in the end it was a rewarding experience. It was a greatest job because I was able to train so many Soldiers with different MOS's to prepare them for the operational Army. This job enhanced my ability to lead. It sharpened my skills as an NCO."
The versatile NCO has many additional duties in Iraq.
She writes stories and takes pictures that are used in military and civilian publications, she has also served as the company equal opportunity leader and she serves as one of three small arms marksmanship masters for the company.
Bright, who entered the military in 1997 is on her second deployment. She said the thing she will remember most about her service in the Army is the opportunity to touch lives.
"When I look back at my career, what I will remember most about being an NCO is that it is great to be an NCO," said Bright. "Throughout the years you look back and think of all the Soldiers you have trained and made an impact on. Training Soldiers is the best job to have. Being an NCO enables me to teach a Soldier everything from marching, conducting personal hygiene, digging a fox hole and disassembling weapons to leading other Soldiers."
The avid runner hopes to someday attain the rank of sergeant major in the Quartermaster Corps, and become an elementary teacher after retirement.
Bright had some tips for new NCOs.
"My advice to a new NCO is to take charge and fulfill the responsibilities that come with the rank," said Bright. "Soldiers look up to you for direction, purpose and motivation. Soldiers are always looking at you even when you think they are not looking."
She said doing the right thing is its own reward.
"Always train to standard to prepare them for combat," Bright said. "The NCO rank is a powerful rank, use it to teach, coach and mentor Soldiers. Take care of Soldiers to the best of your abilities and they will take care of you in return without question