FORT CARSON, Colo.- "The global war on terror shifted our thought process as leaders," said Command Sgt. Maj. Richard L. Ayala Jr., 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. "We've lost some of the art of taking care of Soldiers."
Noncommissioned officers (NCO) of the 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div., filled the Fort Carson Special Events Center to capacity during the first Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development (NCOPD) session hosted by Ayala, May 8.
"The intent of this NCO professional development session was to provide skills to develop junior NCOs to take care of our Soldiers at home the way we take care of them in combat," said Ayala, who assumed responsibility of the brigade on March 4, 2015.
During the NCOPD, the crowd attentively took notes and asked questions as Army programs and services like Army Community Services, Inspector General, Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention, Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, quartermaster and housing gave presentations.
Ayala also took the opportunity to introduce himself to the leaders of the brigade with personal accounts from his career.
"I want to take this time with you to share my leadership philosophy and why I do what I do," said Ayala, whose Army career spans 28 years. "You hear it straight from my mouth, see my face and basically understand me."
Recently promoted sergeants and leaders with years of experience under their belt left the NCOPD with a notebook full of resources and an understanding of their new command sergeant major.
"My impression is that he's very knowledgeable and really cares about all of the Soldiers," said Staff Sgt. Arturo Martinez, indirect fire infantryman, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div.
Martinez added that he plans to focus even more on the welfare of his Soldiers.
"On top of the inspections that I already do as a leader, I'm going to let my Soldiers know what programs are out there and give them any information and guidance that they or their family need," said Martinez.
Sgt. Timothy Tasker, infantryman, Company A, 1st Bn., 38th Inf. Reg., 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div., said it was his first NCOPD since his promotion to sergeant in March.
"This helped me to better understand what I can do for my Soldiers when they need something, when they're in trouble or they need a quick lesson on something I can refer them," said Tasker.