ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - The Defense Department's top NCO visited Rock Island Arsenal June 6, and was hosted by the U.S. Army Sustainment Command.
Army Command Sgt. Major William J. Gainey spent time at the ASC Distribution Management Center and observing operations at the Arsenal's Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center during the visit.
Gainey is the senior enlisted advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Peter Pace.
After observing production operations at the JMTC, Gainey addressed a crowd of enlisted Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines at an informal luncheon.
"What I've learned from Iraq is you can have a battle buddy standing next to you one minute and the next minute, he's dead," Gainey said to the group. "Don't let anyone tell you what you can and can't do in your life. If you've got a dream, go out there and make it happen. Life is too short to wait around."
Gainey went on to describe how he thinks individuals can evaluate behavior to determine whether or not to move forward. It is a five-question process that asks:

1. Is it going to hurt anyone else'
2. Is it going to hurt you'
3. Is it illegal'
4. Is it immoral'
5. Will it bring disgrace to your family or your service'

"If you can answer no to those five questions, then go for it and go for it with gusto," Gainey said. "This is applicable to almost any decision you need to make in the military or your personal life."

Gainey also had insight for ASC's deployed servicemembers and civilians. "Look at what makes any unit in any of the areas of responsibility function... it's logistics," he said. "And on today's battlefield, there is no combat arms and combat service support. We're all warfighters. That goes for civilians, too. Civilians are just warriors who happen to wear civilian clothes."

Gainey said his visit to the Arsenal, one of the Army's smallest posts, was eye-opening. "To be perfectly honest with you, I don't think I've said 'Wow!' so many times in one day in many, many years," he said. "To come here and see all the hard work being done by so many people. They are making stuff like GPKs over there, gunner protection kits! I've seen what those things can save a guy from. It really, really reinforces what I have been saying all along: 'Never question the importance of a small place with a global mission."

Page last updated Thu June 14th, 2007 at 10:49