By Sgt. Liane HatchJanuary 16, 2018
The 10th Mountain Division (LI) Sustainment Brigade was pleased to host Brig. Gen. Chris Mohan and Command Sgt. Maj. Bernard Smalls Sr., of the 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, during the team's single-day trip to Fort Drum on Thursday, Jan. 11.
"We're so thrilled to have you here and to show you how we're supporting the climb here in the North Country," said Col. Shawn Schuldt, 10th Mountain Division (LI) Sustainment Brigade commander. "We know it's only our real friends who come and visit us in January."
Mohan and Smalls travelled to Fort Drum from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where they have command and responsibility for the 3rd ESC, which mentors other ESCs and sustainment brigades in garrison, helping Army sustainers and logisticians sharpen their skill sets and maintain readiness.
"It's great to have this opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business," said Schuldt.
Despite unseasonably warm temperatures the day of their visit, Mohan and Smalls strapped on snowshoes during PT with sustainment brigade leaders - a North Country rite of passage. From there, they also toured the 543rd Composite Supply Company's supply support activity, where W01 Nelson Dawson, accountable officer, walked them through the SSA's receiving and distribution processes, providing the team with first-hand experience and gaining feedback on what's going well and what needs work.
"During these visits it's great to share things in the process with your seniors, and hopefully they can help affect change," said Dawson.
"Whenever we get someone here who has influence, the intent it to show both best practices and areas where we might be coming up short, so we can see if there's a way to implement any changes," he said.
During lunch, Mohan met with sustainment brigade and combat sustainment support battalion leadership at the Commons, where he made himself available to answer questions at a higher level, and provided an opportunity for the leaders to chat.
Following lunch, the team also checked out Fort Drum's Mountain University, which provides classes in sustainment and logistics away from the distractions of motorpools, and got a feel for the way Fort Drum Soldiers learn about important sustainment functions.
Finally, Mohan concluded the visit by conducting leader professional development with senior sustainers from across the division at the Mountain Training Center. Mohan shared words of wisdom and advice from a 28-year career in Army sustainment with the leaders, eventually breaking off between officers and non-commissioned officers and allowing for questions and answers. Mohan emphasized readiness, urging sustainers to avoid complacency.
"If you're a leader, you have a responsibility to be ready and to get your Soldiers ready. You're responsible for the good, but you're really responsible for the bad. You're responsible for knowing your Soldiers, and for taking care of them. All of us are responsible, so we have to ask ourselves: Am I doing everything possible to make sure my Soldiers and I are ready to go?"
Ultimately, Mohan spoke well of his visit to Drum, thanking the sustainment brigade and support battalion Soldiers for the experience.
"Everybody at the Pentagon always talks about how things are going to work, how they should work," he said, "But It's a stark reminder when you get here and actually see the processes happening in front of you."
Mohan said he and Smalls gained a lot from their trip to Fort Drum, and plan to use the things they saw and the discussions they had to help contribute to Army readiness.
"It's an honor to be here," Mohan said, "But I'll be honest with you -- I always feel like I get the most out of these visits. I'm eager to go back home and draw from the things we saw here today."