Soldiers further careers in Haiti
While waiting their turn during a promotion board held in Haiti, Soldiers from JTF-Haiti stand by, getting one last review in, while waiting to be called into the tent. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Cody Barber/11th PAD)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti- Soldiers nervously wait in anticipation and flip through pages of notes. Days of studying have come down to a final 15 minute session of questions and answers.

It's the first time a promotion board was held in Haiti. It is important for Soldiers in a deployed environment to get the same opportunities to attend a board as Soldiers in garrison and a chance to select the best individuals for promotion.

Staff Sgt. Jason Tafoya, 209th Military Police Company, 519th MP battalion, Ft. Polk, La, is a sponsor for one of his soldiers going to the board.

"As a sponsor it's always good to see your soldiers get promoted," said Tafoya. "It's a good chance for them to further their career in Haiti."

The board panel consisted of Command Sgt. Maj. Luis Gonzales, Special Troops Battalion, Army South; 1st Sgt. Jeannette Schartner, Headquarters Service Company, Special Troops Battalion; and 1st Sgt. Malcom Peeples, 209th Military Police Company, 519th MP battalion.

The board was an opportunity for Soldiers to show off their hard work and dedication while deployed to assist in Operation Unified Response.

"It just shows me that they are multi-tasking and universal," said Schartner. "No matter where they are, they can take care of themselves."

This promotion board varies from other promotion boards. Soldiers throughout Joint Task Force-Haiti came to stand before the board at LSA Dragon. The Soldiers were from multiple units stationed at five different installations. Ft. Hood, Texas; Ft. Sill, Ok; Ft. Polk, La; Ft. Gordon, Georgia and Ft. Sam Houston, Texas.

Sgt. Scott Woods, 209th Military Police Company, 519th MP battalion, attended this promotion board in Haiti.

"I think it was a better experience than doing it back at Ft. Polk," said Woods.

Spc. Jennifer Warren, medic, Headquaters Service Company, U.S. Army South, scored 150 points out of possible 150 on her promotion board.

"I felt confident and ready," said Warren. "I know my job and I know it's time for me to get promoted."

As the day came to an end and each Soldier went through the board, every one of them was motivated, said Schartner. "Overall the soldiers were outstanding. They were hard charging and ready to go."

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