FORT HOOD, Texas - The noncommissioned officers of the 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), started the morning of Nov. 21 off right - with a four-mile run.

"[Physical Training] is what gets us started in the morning," said Command Sgt. Maj. Nathaniel Bartee Sr., the brigade's senior noncommissioned officer. "PT is what gets us through the day."

He explained that often times, without doing physical training, or PT, Soldiers tend to feel lethargic throughout the rest of the day.

According to Bartee, the run was meant to build esprit de corps and encourage team building within the brigade.

He also told the gathered NCOs that a good three, four or even five mile run is what their Soldiers should be getting in order to get a good workout.

Bartee took the opportunity to talk to the leaders about taking care of Soldiers and refining the leadership skills of junior leaders in the formation.

"We are charged to give them the knowledge they are missing over at the [Noncommissioned Officer Education System] school," Bartee said. "NCOES does great things for our Soldiers, but it cannot do it all."

He explained it is the job of the senior NCOs to lead, train and mentor the junior leaders in order to take care of Soldiers.

"As leaders, the day that you stop dealing with your Soldiers' issues, or your Soldiers' problems, is the day you stop leading," Bartee said.

Later, Bartee met with privates through sergeants at the Kieschnick Physical Fitness Center to discuss his leadership philosophy and give them an opportunity to voice their issues during a new monthly program called "Let's Talk."

"What is it I can do to make this brigade better'" Bartee said was the theme of this month's forum.

He explained to the Soldiers although they might not like some of the answers he gives them, he will always give them the truth.

Soldiers brought up a number of issues, from personal pay issues that weren't being taken care of promptly to requesting stoves for the barracks.

Bartee said he wants to make Let's Talk a monthly event, where Soldiers have the opportunity to voice their concerns and take an active role in the organization.

"Don't feel that your opinion doesn't matter," Bartee said to the Soldiers. "To me it does."