RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (June 8, 2017)-- During the past year, Master Sgt. Charles Hall got to know just about everyone working on Eskan Village, and just about everyone knew him.
On June 11, Hall will depart his job as the CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear) non-commissioned officer (NCO) for the Office of the Program Manager, Saudi Arabia National Guard, or OPM-SANG.
Hall, who has 26 years of service, arrived in country as an advisor to work with the SANG on "the way ahead" for CBRNE issues. Hall worked one-on-one with his Saudi counterpart, a Ministry National Guard CBRNE officer, and together they devised a plan of action for CBRNE that built the foundation for the program's future.
"I took this assignment to broaden my horizons with working with Foreign Nationals", Hall explained. "I was lucky to have the chance to interact with my Saudi counterpart, I felt honored to have the opportunity," he added.
Hall was also asked to be the training NCO and operations NCO for OPM-SANG where he managed all of the individual training for both military and civilian personnel assigned there.
"I was the one who made sure that training was completed by not only our military personnel, but the civilian and foreign national personnel that are assigned to OPM-SANG too, that's over 300 people," Hall explained.
Working with just about all OPM-SANG personnel is how Hall was able to get to know the entire workforce.
With all that Hall had going on, he still wanted to do one more thing. He saw a need for a scheduled fitness class for the men and women living on Eskan Village that is in-line with the Army's emphasis on resiliency and wellness.
"I'm a fitness person--that's my happy zone." Hall said. "We started a 5:30 a.m. class six days a week of P90X, added Insanity, and now T25. I just encourage people to keep going and just do what you can do for you."
"Master Sgt. Hall provided an opportunity for me to not only get fit, but, even better, to meet people that lived and worked on Eskan," Mary Wirtz, a new employee to OPM-SANG, said. "Plus he just made me feel part of the OPM-SANG team right from the beginning."
"Master Sgt. Hall was my right-hand man, he will be sorely missed," said OPM-SANG Sgt. Major Marc Stevenson. "He got things done right the first time with little or no guidance--his shoes will be hard to fill."
When asked what advice he would give to someone who receives an assignment to OPM-SANG, Hall says, "Be flexible, be patient."
"You are going into a different environment in Saudi…you really need to understand their culture, but once you do, working at OPM-SANG can be a great experience."
One thing that Hall won't miss about his time in Saudi Arabia is the heat.
"I will not miss the hot days; they can drain me at the end of the day," he said.
Hall's next assignment will be with U.S. Army North at Joint Base Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.
"My first time in Texas…lots of good opportunities for me," Hall said with a smile on his face. "Life is too short to not be happy."