CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -- Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth Preston climbed atop the trailer of a heavy equipment transporter to address hundreds of Third Army Soldiers who gathered as the sun set at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Sept. 29.

"We, as a fighting force, need to be 100 percent in all phases of preparedness," said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Preston. "There are Soldiers mobilized in war zones, but there's also Soldiers mobilized back home helping on the gulf coast, helping with border patrol and helping with the floods in Missouri," he said stressing the importance of preparedness at all times.

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Preston encouraged Third Army Soldiers to go online and take the Global Assessment Tool training which will help enhance preparedness.

According to Sgt. Maj. of the Army Preston, the training will allow Soldiers to become stronger by assessing their spiritual, emotional, physical, social and family preparedness.

The Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program, a type of Soldier fitness tracker linked to the Global Assessment Tool, develops and institutes a holistic fitness program for Soldiers, families, and Department of the Army Civilians in order to enhance performance and build resilience.

Though he spent multiple hours addressing crowds of Soldiers, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Preston's main objective was to meet face-to-face with individual Third Army Soldiers.

The Army's top noncommissioned officer pinned new ranks on three Soldiers during a promotion ceremony with Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment. Sgt. Maj. of the Army Preston then had individual conversations with more than 50 Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment. The 13th sergeant major of the Army asked questions ranging from missions to family life and personal goals.

After meeting with both individual and groups of Soldiers, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Preston fielded questions from those in attendance.

According to one Third Army Soldier, this was a welcomed opportunity.

"It was a great experience for me to talk directly to "the man,'" said Spc. Anthony Wilson, an infantryman with Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment and a native of Orlando, Fla. "How many times in my career will I get a chance to do that'"

After each session, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Preston left the Third Army Troops with praise for the job they are doing in Kuwait with a lead role in the Responsible Drawdown in Iraq and its support of the increase of Troops and resources for Afghanistan.

"[Third Army Soldiers] have been the backbone of the operations, with all the services they have provided the Warfighter," said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Preston. "Third Army has been magnificent and the work is transparent to the American public."

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