By Sgt. 1st Class Mark BellSeptember 9, 2014
NASHVILLE -- "It's my job to take care of Soldiers and give them the right information to succeed in today's Army Reserve."
It was a simple plan for the Fort Meade, Maryland-based 200th Military Police Command's senior enlisted Soldier during an impromptu discussion during the 290th MP Brigade's battle assembly weekend Sept. 5.
Command Sgt. Maj. Abbe Mulholland spent time with enlisted Soldiers and officers and talked about a variety of issues from promotions to military education. She said it was important to include junior officers in the discussions because together they are a command team.
"We have to ensure information is shared across our entire formations," she said. "It starts here in this room. Platoon leaders and platoon sergeants must be on the same sheet and speak with one voice. Without that combined voice, the Army doesn't work very well."
Mulholland said it was important to have discussions with the youngest Army Reserve Soldiers.
"This room is filled with the future of the Army Reserve," she said before she walked into the large drill hall. "I want them to walk away with a better understanding of why we serve and their role in the success of this brigade and our command."
As Mulholland stepped into the room, both officers and enlisted Soldiers snapped to attention. Within minutes, Mulholland was the focal point for those in the room.
"First, I want to thank you for what you done and will do in our Army Reserve and the 200th," she said. "Each one of you have an important role within this brigade, and I know at times, things can be difficult or discouraging."
Mulholland recently took the helm as the acting command sergeant major for the command of more than 14,000 Soldiers who live in 44 states. The 200th MPCOM is the largest Department of Defense law enforcement organization with four MP brigades located in New York, Tennessee, Michigan and California and several CID battalions.
"We are a unique organization that is the tip of the spear for the Army Reserve," she said. "We answer the call to duty because we are professionals who execute our missions without hesitation and with pride and honor as a member of the Army Reserve."
She told Soldiers they should always be supporting the mission and said, "We need Soldiers to step up and be leaders and understand why we exist as an Army Reserve."
Mulholland said promotions are more than just the next rank and more pay. She emphasized that a promotion doesn't come easy as a Soldier transitions to senior noncommissioned officers.
"I need to you say to yourself, 'I'm ready to take on that next leadership challenge that's in supporting my institution.'" She said. "We need Soldiers who will make a difference in the lives of their subordinates, peers and their leaders. We need to grow as an Army Reserve and leave it better than when we arrived."
One of Mulholland's most memorable leaders is Maj. Gen. Phillip Churn, commanding general of the 200th MPCOM.
"I've served with him before, and he really understands the important role of the NCO," she said. "I am excited to step up and be his command sergeant major, even if this is only temporary. He's a leader who listens to NCOs and learns from NCOs. I couldn't ask for anything more as the senior enlisted Soldier in this command."
As Mulholland and Churn traveled the country meeting with Soldiers, she said she always enjoyed taking time to meet with Soldiers and listen.
"We, as senior leaders, need to master that art of listening and understanding our Soldiers," she said. "I am always learning from Soldiers on how to be a better leader. Our young troops would surprise you if you just give them a chance. The Army Reserve is an organization filled with spectacular people who are doing amazing things in their communities while serving their nation in uniform."