Rakkasans eclipse retention goal in record time
KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army 1st Lt. Lasherdo Harris, brigade personnel assistant officer, from Houston, Texas, reenlists Spc. Brittany Burns from Memphis, Tenn., Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Nov. 10. Burns is just one of the 404 Soldiers who reenlisted, helping the Rakkasan retention team surpass its goal for fiscal year 2011 in only 50 days. (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Chris McKenna, Task Force Rakkasan Public Affairs)

KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Just a month and a half into the new fiscal year, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, has reached its retention goals, shattering records in the process.

Within 50 days, Task Force Rakkasan exceeded its fiscal year 2011 retention goal of 362 Soldiers.

"We were able to complete this goal due to the outstanding career counselors, leaders and Soldiers of the Rakkasans," said U.S. Army Master Sgt. Ron Yancey of Batesville, Miss., 3rd BCT senior career counselor. "All levels of command got involved with the Soldiers and helped them get the options they desired."

Each of the brigade's subordinate battalions closed out their retention goals, making 3rd BCT the fastest brigade to ever reach its retention goals division-wide.

"As the brigade's senior-enlisted advisor, it makes me feel good to see a large number of Soldiers determined to stay with the Rakkasans and to stay in the military," said U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Greg Patton of Vincennes, Ind., 3rd BCT command sergeant major.

So far this fiscal year, 404 Soldiers in the brigade have reenlisted. With every subordinate-level chain of command getting involved in the retention process, the brigade eclipsed its goal quicker than any other time in Rakkasan history.

"The Rakkasan career counselor team got out and talked to all Soldiers and encouraged the whole chain of command to get involved with the Soldiers, their career and choice to stay part of the team," Yancey said.

There are varying reasons for Soldiers to reenlist, but Patton said the brigade has gone out of its way to ensure every deserving Soldier gets what he or she desires.

At a mass ceremony Oct. 10, 236 Rakkasan reenlistees took the oath of reenlistment at Forward Operating Base Salerno. U.S. Army Pfc. Eric Anzur of Biloxi, Miss., was one of them.

"I wanted to reenlist because the Army is my life," said Anzur, a paralegal assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd BCT. "It takes care of me and my family and provides the securities that civilian life could not."

Although the brigade's goals have been met, the 3rd BCT career counselors are still working hard to retain as many quality Soldiers as possible.

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