Stall to leave legacy of leadership
December 8, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- He planned to retire after serving in the Army for 20 years and one day, but at the end of this week, Post Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Stall will assume another command sergeant major position with the 4th Infantry Division in Fort Carson, Co.
Stall will relinquish command during a 3 p.m. ceremony today at Post Headquarters.
The career Soldier will continue adding to his 28 years of service and take many lessons learned from Fort Jackson to Carson.
"I plan on reminding them to uphold the standards in their units because here, that's what the Soldiers are used to seeing," Stall said. "There are some misconceptions between the operational side and the training side. I'm going to let them know that if they haven't served here then they need to come see how the mission is getting done here."
Stall aided in mission accomplishment at Jackson by changing the look of leadership within the enlisted ranks.
"This is an equal opportunity game. When you look at any formation across Fort Jackson, that's what the Army looks like. It's diverse, and I wanted the leadership to look the same," Stall said. "Leading in this environment is not solely for males or infantrymen. When it came to NCOs, I put the right ones in place. This is a huge issue for me, so I just did it."
There were times, Stall said, when he could not get things done on his own, which served as a growing experience.
"I've learned a lot about patience here. I came from a place where when you said it, people jumped to do it (in 2nd Infantry Division, Korea)," Stall said. "But, we work with a blended military and civilian force at Jackson, so things didn't always happen as fast as I wanted them to. I've learned to just be patient with some things, and I won't forget that."
Staff Sgt. John McNeely, who has been Stall's administrative assistant since the fast-moving days of Korea, said he has learned volumes from the senior NCO throughout the years.
"He's a great reason to come to work every morning," McNeely said. "Sergeant major took me under his wing and helped me become more confident when in charge. He's shown me how to be what right looks like at all times. He taught me about upholding the standards because you've got to have the basics down before you can move on to bigger and better things."
McNeely said he also learned about the dynamic qualities of leadership from Stall.
"His leadership style is so interesting to see in action. He can be nice and patient with the Soldiers in training because they are new to it all," he said. "When he deals with NCOs, he's much more strict and harsh because he thinks they should know better. So he leads in different ways with people and reaches out to everyone. There's no one on this post that he hasn't touched in some way, just really unforgettable."
Stall's wife, Cheryl, said she will remember the friendships they have formed at Fort Jackson.
"We've had great commanders during our time here and formed strong relationships," Cheryl said. "I've had amazing battle buddies, who I will miss."
Cheryl said she had a heart for the drill sergeant spouses and sought to improve family resources.
"It's been exciting to see the Family Resource Center take shape, and now we also have the FLRC (Family Life and Resiliency Center)," she said.
"I just encourage all spouses to volunteer and get out there to help each other. When you help out someone else in need, it takes the focus off the hard times that you might be going through because this is a tough duty station."
That strong sense of community and dedication are part of what makes Fort Jackson a unique place to serve, the command sergeant major said.
"I'll miss the energy of it all. At least 98 percent of the people here are about the business of doing the right thing every single day," he said. "This is a very special place."