JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. (Dec. 4, 2013) -- Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler III, and his wife, Jeanne, visited with service members, Department of Defense civilians and families on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Tuesday.
During his visit, Chandler held an interactive discussion about Army policies, professionalism, and character, and answered a few questions at Conmy Hall. He also addressed major issues facing the Army today like suicide, hazing, and sexual assault.
"The first line in the Creed of the Non-Commissioned Officer says 'No one is more professional than I,'" said Chandler. "It is one of the most important lines and we need to live up to it."
He explained that if Soldiers would help one another and keep each other accountable, many of these challenges the Army faces now could be avoided.
Chandler spoke to the crowd about policies that affect all Soldiers; he even talked about individual goals and progression as the Army continues to downsize.
With the ongoing, Army-wide drawdown, promotions are an important topic on Soldiers' minds, but they can still distinguish themselves in many ways, said Chandler. Gaining a civilian education or going to drill sergeant school or being a recruiter are all ways to take that next step, said Chandler.
At the end of the discussion period, Chandler took time to recognize 12 Soldiers and three DOD civilians for exceptional duty.
One of the Soldiers, Spc. Cameron Southhall, an illustrator with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, said the discussion was short but very impactful.
"Everything he said was right on target," said Southhall. "I am glad to serve my country when I know that our leaders have our best interests in mind."
Southhall added how approachable and eager Chandler was to share his knowledge.
"He has been in the Army longer than I've been alive," said Southhall. "His experience is really priceless."
Chandler stayed after for photos before making a trip to the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.
"Seeing these men and women make me proud," said Chandler. "They are the future of this Army."
VIDEO: Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler addresses suicide prevention
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III
Army.mil: Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program
STAND-TO! Sexual Harassment/Assault Prevention
Army.mil: Creed of the Non-Commissioned Officer
1-800-273-TALK (8255) - National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III on Twitter
The 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) on Facebook