When you look up "progress" in the dictionary it is defi ned as: moving or going forward,
proceeding onward, or advancing (from Latin progressus, "an advance"), and may refer to:
Movement, as toward a goal; advance.
As members of Multi-National Battle Group - East that is exactly what all of us have been
doing in a multitude of ways since our arrival in Kosovo. Everyone in the Battle Group plays
a vital part in this process. Whether a maneuver Soldier, Liaison Monitoring Team member,
logistician, administrative specialist, part of the Unit Ministry Team, or a member of the battle
staff, everyone has a role in the progress that has been made in Kosovo. Without every Soldier
doing their job in support of the operation we would not have been able to empower
the citizens of Kosovo so that they can move forward.
The recycling program is an example of how through education and working with the municipality
leadership, the people in Kosovo can make a diff erence in various locations where
they live. Our civil aff airs Soldiers took the time to work through the process with the municipality
leaders, giving them tools and knowledge on how to generate income from items that normally are scattered across the Kosovo environment.
The deputy commander, civil military aff airs and civil aff airs Soldiers worked together through the State Department to educate local Kosovo government leaders on the processes that they can use on their own to obtain funding and assistance to fix schools, hospitals, receive fi re trucks and repair infrastructure within their towns and villages. Now instead of turning to KFOR every time they need something, local government offi cials know there are other processes out there to help them and they are empowered to use them. This all takes time and with time results are achieved.
The LMT teams are working with various citizens in numerous municipalities on process to establish youth programs, to engage the youth, educate them and keep them focused on things other than trouble, violence and vandalism. They are educating Kosovo leaders on the diff erent organizations and opportunities available to them from non-government organizations and international organizations that provide funding and support for youth programs. I sat in on a meeting with Staff Sgt. Andrew Gilbertson and a Kosovo Red Cross employee who is trying to start a band and choir with the youth in Kacanik. He wants to educate them in music so they can conduct community events to raise money for future youth programs. The coordinator is doing all the work; the LMT's are just the oversight to ensure the application is completed properly.
The Soldiers of MNBG-E are also making progress in their own lives and careers. We recently completed the third class of the Warrior Leadership Course and graduated 161 Soldiers. Soldiers continue to take advantage of the civilian education opportunities on Camp Bondsteel, which will assist them in advancing their civilian careers and opportunities.
We are preparing to re-deploy Soldiers from the Battle Group in May, this is also a sign that our mission in Kosovo is progressing in a positive direction and the people in Kosovo have been empowered to function on their own and not to rely solely on KFOR. Our job as Soldiers is to work ourselves out of a job, and that is exactly what we are doing and continue to do, throughout Kosovo.
Command Sgt. Maj. Jack W. Cripe Jr.
Command Sergeant Major
Multi-National Battle Group - East, KFOR 12

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16