Huachuca Army intelligence leaders visit Soldiers in Korea
January 14, 2010
"If you have been here [in Korea] for two years, you need to take your expertise to another level, [go] back out to the force and to a unit that is supporting the current fight," stated Command Sgt. Maj. Gerardus Wykoff, the command sergeant major of the Military Intelligence Corps and Fort Huachuca during his visit to Korea Dec. 8 - 11.
Wykoff addressed several hundred Soldiers from the 501st MI Brigade, United States Army Garrison, Yongsan, South Korea during part of his tour.
Wykoff and Chief Warrant Officer 5 Paul O'Meara, chief warrant officer of the Military Intelligence Corps, visited Camps Hovey and Casey, Tongduchon, Korea and Humphrey, near Pyeongtaek, Korea.
He also visited the 502nd and 527th Detachments, 501st MI Brigade to update Soldiers on the future of the MI Corps rebalance initiative.
The rebalance initiative will provide a holistic, comprehensive Army MI Force Strategy that optimizes intelligence support to Army full-spectrum operations.
The visitors also were there to relay the top priorities of Maj. Gen. John Custer, commander of the United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca.
"There are things we need to improve on Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance synchronization and Analytical Thinking," said the command sergeant major.
Later, Wykoff quizzed the Soldiers to ensure they understood their roles as sensors. "Every Soldier is a sensor; we must be mindful of our surroundings and understand the culture in which we are operating," he said.
"With the onset of social media, there are places such as Intelligence Knowledge Network, MI Space and the Intelligence Center's Facebook page which are all good venues for two-way communication with the broader MI community," he added.
Wykoff explained Soldiers will remain in the rank they hold [when the change takes place] for a longer period of time versus the current shorter period, furthering their knowledge base, leadership skills and providing continuity for their unit.
Wykoff concluded with the Year of the NCO initiatives, and praised the Soldiers, by noting, "You are the greatest asset to our nation because of your leadership and service."
He challenged each Soldier to strive for excellence in both their professional career development and in their personal goals.
O'Meara then spoke about the strength of MI warrant officers. "Today, we are 1,743 MI strong [all components] out of the 37,000 total MI Army community.
We are the technical experts and we must remain relevant. Therefore, we are proposing the creation of a new Military Occupational Specialty 350V or ISR
Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Synchronization Technician)," said O'Meara.
"The 350V MOS will align us with the priorities Maj. Gen. Custer has set forward and will greatly enhance our ability to support the commanders on the battlefield."
While approximately 89 percent of MI active-component warrant officers have been deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan, this new training will be vital for the communication efforts across the MI community," O'Meara said.
"We need to grow more warrant officers. The Army warrant officer is a self-aware and adaptive technical expert, combat leader, trainer, and advisor. The source for appointing warrant officers comes from our current outstanding MI NCOs," he continued.
Command Sgt. Maj. John Plaster, command sergeant major for the 501st MI Brigade said, "the MI Corps' visit to Korea provided Soldiers the opportunity to receive the latest information directly from the decision makers.
It provided an outstanding opportunity to interact with the leaders of the corps. It was an experience they will remember for the remainder of their careers."