By Sgt. David CoxApril 18, 2014
NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (April 16, 2014) -- Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler III, the U.S. Army's top enlisted leader, visited enlisted troops stationed at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, April 25, 2014.
Enlisted Soldiers with various units of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team and 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), sat in for a town hall meeting with Chandler and had the opportunity to ask a variety of questions pertaining to issues and changes surrounding the Army and also to ask advice for having a successful military career.
"I had seen him once before when I was stationed at Fort Irwin in California, but I never got to ask question or have the interaction I had today." said U.S. Army Sgt. Cara Duda, training room noncommissioned officer with Company A, 526th Brigade Support Battalion, "Even though it was a huge town hall meeting, he was more one-on-one with each individual and I respect that."
Chandler's advice to question asked was that in order to have a successful career in the Army, Soldiers have to separate themselves from their peers and to stand out like a "shiny penny."
To be the shiny penny is the same exact mindset as I have right now in the Army. That mindset lets me know I can be where he is," said U.S. Army Spc. Joshua Stanley, a radio systems operator/maintainer with Company C, 526th BSB. "I just want to keep the things in my life and career in control I will be the shiniest penny on the pile
Stanley said that along the support of his family, Chandler's words inspired him to make the most of his military career.
Chandler also touched on topics that however serious are important to morale and welfare of the Army.
"What really hit me was the sexual assault and sexual prevention," said Duda. "We are brothers and sisters, and we need to work together. If we work together I think we can actually fix it."
Chandler also answered some questions in regard to the changes to Army Regulation 670-1. Chandler said that although he didn't think tattoos have any effect on leadership, the army has a certain set of standards that its Soldiers must maintain.