Spotlight NCO: U.S. Army Alaska small group leader puts stamp on WLC students
August 14, 2009
- Year of the NCO spotlight
- SGLs leading Warrior Leader Course
- Grooming tomorrow's leaders
Staff Sgt. Matthew D. Hendrix
Current Position: Small Group Leader
Current Unit: Sgt. 1st Class Christopher R. Brevard Noncommissioned Officer Academy
Current Location: Fort Richardson, AK
Hometown: Fort Myers, Fla.
Years of Service: 13
Family: Wife, Samantha; and daughter Mary, 8.
Staff Sgt. Matthew D. Hendrix is a small group leader (SGL) at the Sgt. 1st Class Christopher R. Brevard Noncommissioned Officer Academy, where he helps groom tomorrow's leaders as part of the cadre of instructors who lead the Warrior Leader Course (WLC). He thinks the top factors that make him stand out as an NCO are his dedication to the Army and the drive for the success of his mission.
For Hendrix that translates to his equal dedication to the Soldiers under his direction and their success.
"It means that I have the responsibility to provide the best leadership and training to Soldiers that I possibly can," he said.
Hendrix guides newly promoted sergeants through lessons conducted in various environments using classroom instruction with practical application, followed by hands-on, performance-oriented training conducted in a field training environment, culminating with an extensive situa-tional training exercise.
Another of his responsibilities as a SGL is assigning students to leadership positions where they will lead a section or squad and evaluating them in their leadership abilities and how they use their troop leading procedures and other skills they learned in the course.
It's a job that calls on leaders to not only to be able to challenge their students but also mentor them. In that regard, Hendrix has been stellar, said Sgt. 1st Class David T. Bradley, the acade-my's chief of training.
"The NCO Academy has a very high caliber of instructors," Bradley said. "Staff Sgt. Hendrix was chosen over all of them as the Instructor of the Cycle for WLC Class 04-09."
That honor capped an already good year for Hendrix who was selected for promotion to Ser-geant 1st Class by the latest senior NCO board in February 2009.
"It means that I have had the best Soldiers and NCOs supporting me throughout my career which in turn made me successful as a leader," said Hendrix, who gained valuable experience from his deployments to Afghanistan in 2003 and subsequently Iraq in 2005 and 2008.
Bradley said Hendrix typifies the ultimate professional NCO. "He takes his job as an NCO very seriously," Bradley said. "His attention to detail is beyond reproach. He takes pride in his job, his Soldiers, and being an NCO."
Hendrix gives credit to one of his early mentors, the first sergeant of his first unit out of ad-vanced individual training, for providing an example of good leadership to follow when Hendrix was a fresh-faced private.
"In my brand-new private mind, he embodied everything I wanted to be in the Army, and I have always strived to emulate him," Hendrix said.
Today he said he strives for continual growth as a leader, a person, a husband and father. He sees himself as a strict but fair NCO who sets and enforces standards.
Hendrix said the key is "never being content with where I am, always striving to improve.
"I joined in 1996 because I had no direction in my life. It was the best decision I ever made."