By Sachel HarrisSeptember 14, 2016
Every once in a while, we hear something that impacts us in such a way, that our lives are changed forever. It can be a song, a quote or in this case, advice from an unlikely, but well-respected source.
Originally from New York, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Elbert Scott joined the Army when he was 18 years old. With 23 years of service under his belt, the chief warrant officer 2 said he was ready for a new chapter.
"I submitted my retirement packet last year with the mindset of starting a new career in Child Care with my wife, Deanna," he said.
But all that changed when he had an unforgettable conversation with U.S. Army Alaska's Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Bryan Owens.
"I spoke with Gen. Owens numerous times on my career path about my future endeavors, in which he gave me great advice and encouragement," the chief warrant officer said. "The one thing that really stood out was he told that whether I stayed in the military or retired to pursue my vision, I would be successful and that I will know in my heart if I have completed the things that I have set for myself when the time comes to make certain decisions."
Scott said he meditated on those words for a long time before deciding to extend his assignment for another three years.
"I know there are still some things that I would like to see get accomplished in the Food service operation here on JBER," he said.
Those things include continuing to advance the USARAK culinary arts program and starting an apprentice program with the Glacier Brewhouse here in Anchorage. With his leadership, the culinary team has won numerous awards and have been recognized by I CORP, USARPAC, JBLM, and Fort Lee for their outstanding services.
"Not often do Soldiers get the opportunity to seek advice from their senior leaders, let alone a General Officer of his caliber," Scott said. "He helped me see things from another perspective and I definitely thank him for his support."
As for his wife, Scott said her support was an important part of him making this decision as well.
"She was definitely on board with me staying in," he said. "It was actually her who advised me to stay if I was afforded the opportunity."
Overall, Scott said because he's not finished with his Army career just yet, he has some advice for younger Soldiers.
"If you have an opportunity to receive guidance from your leadership, take it," he said. "Even if it's not 1-on-1, when they speak, listen. They're not just an image. They are people."