Soldiers graduate Warrior Leader Course
April 9, 2010
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - Fort Drum community members gathered March 31 to honor graduates of the Warrior Leader Course, which teaches troops the skills required to lead, train, fight and accomplish the mission as noncommissioned officers.
Guest speaker for the ceremony was Sgt. Maj. James L. Devine, Division Surgeon's Office chief medical NCO.
Devine began the ceremony by talking about the graduates completing three steps and starting on a fourth step in their military careers.
"You have just completed your third step toward becoming an NCO. Your first step was to enlist in the greatest Army of the world. Your second step was being recommended for promotion by your leadership," Devine said. "Your fourth step will be the greatest challenge many of you will probably ever face. This step is your acceptance of the awesome responsibility you incur when you become an NCO.
"The outstanding cadre of this school can give you the best training in the world and assist you in developing the many skills required to be a NCO. However, this training and the skills do not make you an NCO. It only means you met certain prerequisites."
During the ceremony, Devine spoke about what is expected of the graduates as leaders.
"Some say that leadership is the most important combat multiplier. I agree, but without Soldiers, there is no need for leadership. This is why I say that Soldiers are our most important combat multiplier, along with leadership," Devine said. "You must lead them from the front, setting the example, and never, I stress this, never ask them to do anything you have not already done or will not do yourself.
"Follow this simple principle and your Soldiers will go anywhere and accomplish any mission or task that you give them. It builds confidence and respect in you from your Soldiers to see you enduring their hardships along with them and to see that you are not afraid to get dirty."
He discussed how two of the basic leadership requirements of an NCO are to be responsible and accountable for Soldiers and their care.
"You are responsible for what they do (and) what they fail to do, good or bad. You can't be the type of NCO that when they succeed, you take the credit, and when they fail, to blame it on them," Devine continued. "If they fail, accept it and take it personal. Remember if they failed, you, the leader, probably failed to provide that purpose, direction and motivation. You have to be accountable for their training, always to standard."
Finally, Devine applauded the graduates and tasked them to accept the next challenge as they continue to progress in their careers.
"You have shown that you are motivated and are willing to go that extra mile to ensure success. I applaud you for that, and I join with your superiors, peers, friends and Family Members in saying 'job well done,'" Devine said. "You are now embarking on the best, most challenging and rewarding phase of your military career - that of a leader. Accept this challenge being handed to you, and carry it into the future - the proud tradition of becoming a NCO."
After concluding his remarks, Devine helped to recognize the graduates.
Sgt. Evan E. Elosh, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 4th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, was named Distinguished Honor Graduate for earning the highest academic average.
The John D. Magrath Leadership Award went to Spc. Brandon D. Woodson, F Company, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade.
Sgt. Kyle C. Ashton, A Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd BCT, received the Iron Soldier Award for earning the highest physical training score.
The Commandant's Inspection winner was Sgt. Timothy J. Shays, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd BCT.
Instructor of the cycle was Staff Sgt. Ryan M. Witt.
The following Soldiers were named to the Commandant's List: Staff Sgt. Allan D. Martens, A Company, 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd BCT; Sgt. Michael W. Alderson, A Company, 3rd BSTB, 3rd BCT; Sgt. Terrance R. Bargerstock, A Company, 3rd BSTB, 3rd BCT; Sgt. Jeffery J. Bennett, G Company, 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd BCT; Sgt. Roger A. Clark, HHT, 3-71 Cavalry, 3rd BCT; Sgt. Kenneth C. Dertz, B Battery, 4-25 FA, 3rd BCT; Sgt. Charles E. Donnelly, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd BCT; Sgt. Allen K. Hicks, HHT, 3-71 Cavalry, 3rd BCT; Sgt. Robert W. Huffman, C Troop, 3-71 Cavalry, 3rd BCT; Sgt. Nicholas Kloberdanz, HHB, 4-25 FA, 3rd BCT; Sgt. Michael R. Matasick, HHC, 3rd BCT; Sgt. Jason B. Petty, B Battery, 4-25 FA, 3rd BCT; Sgt. Channon W. Sherman, C Company, 1-32 Infantry, 3rd BCT; Sgt. Brittnee L. Supko, E Company, 1-32 Infantry, 3rd BCT; Spc. David M. Devine, F Company, 3rd GSAB, 10th CAB; and Spc. Richard K. Sisco, 59th Chemical Company, 10th Sustainment Brigade.
Other WLC graduates are as follows: Staff Sgt. David P. Nowaczyk, Sgt. Chad L. Adair, Sgt. Raymond S. Amezado, Sgt. Djifa Aziaka, Sgt. Jeancarmel Balthazar, Sgt. Leon Brooks, Sgt. Derek J. Brookshire, Sgt. Thomas M. Burke, Sgt. Jeremy S. Byrd, Sgt. Joe E. Cheatham, Sgt. Aaron J. Church, Sgt. Jonathan A. Clements, Sgt. Gregory W. Costas, Sgt. Anthony R. Crosswhite, Sgt. Jon M. Curtis, Sgt. Jasen N. Denney, Sgt. Edgardo Diaz-Vazquez, Sgt. Robert A. Domenici, Sgt. Kevin J. Edwards and Sgt. Clifton Finister.
Also, Sgt. Matthew C. Gallagher, Sgt. Berndt J. Gecowetts, Sgt. Jose A. George, Sgt. Robert E. George, Sgt. Harry A. Griffith, Sgt. Aaron C. Hale, Sgt. Gregory R. Hancock, Sgt. Gregory D. Henderson, Sgt. Daniel A. Hernandez, Sgt. Luis J. Herandez, Sgt. Michael Howard, Sgt. Steven A. Hubbard, Sgt. James R. Kakish, Sgt. Kellen B. Kapelis, Sgt. Anthony W. King, Sgt. Ryan J. King and Sgt. Guy E. Luerssen.
Also, Sgt. Christian D. Maul, Sgt. Stephen M. McClure, Sgt. Jason R. McDonald, Sgt. Matthew L. Mediatore, Sgt. Fernando E. Mesa, Sgt. Anton L. Nelson, Sgt. Casey O. Rivens, Sgt. Jeremiah A. Robertson, Sgt. Christopher J. Seus, Sgt. Antonio L. Simmons, Sgt. Taylor C. Smith, Sgt. Hans-Andersen A. Tan, Sgt. Ivan D. Troche, Sgt. David J. Vila and Sgt. David R. Zediker.
Also, Spc. Jonathan M. Basler, Spc. Joshua N. Bragg, Spc. Adam J. Chisom, Spc. Andrew M. Coghlan, Spc. Saidah E. Cowan, Spc. Virgilo Flores, Spc. Josue N. Gomez, Spc. Joseph A. Green, Spc. Coty L. Hampton, Spc. Andrea E. Kung, Spc. Paul W. Kunz, Spc. Dawayne A. Olmstead, Spc. Nathan D. Olson, Spc. Benjamin T. Rutter, Spc. Charles A. Seewer, Spc. Fulgencio A. Solar, Spc. Justin E. Speed, Spc. Zachary M. Thomas, Spc. Derek J. Thompson and Spc. Rachel L. Wright.