FORT KNOX, Ky. -- Noncommissioned officers (NCO) of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command (TSC) held a three-day symposium at the General George Patton Museum to allow for an open-forum of professional informative discussion, Aug. 28-30.This is the second time the 1st TSC has "taken a knee" to reflect on where they are as an organization and where they fit into the overarching Army structure.Command Sgt. Major Jason Willett, senior enlisted advisor for the 1st TSC, creator of the symposium, listed three major keywords as the focal points for this event: Lead, Learn and Inspire.
Willett said one thing he wanted Soldiers to take away from the event is to see 1st Theater Sustainment Command's progression since making the transition from Fort Bragg a year ago."I think it's very important to take the time to see where we came from and to know the units' history," Willett said.Willett said he also wanted Soldiers to reflect on leadership. He shared some of his own leadership philosophy by paraphrasing a quote by former President John F. Kennedy. "Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other."Willet followed up by saying, "I work for every Soldier. I am here to learn from them."Willett said he thinks in order to be a successful leader, one needs to do, "less transmitting and more receiving."Willett said he knows the 1st TSC Soldiers have a wide range of experience, from the newly noncommissioned sergeant to the senior sergeant major. He wants to build future leaders."I want to be able to inspire others," Willett said. "Inspiration is so underrated in today's Army."Willett has one long-term goal he hopes will come to fruition."We have over 100 NCO's here today," Willett said. "My hope is if 20 to 30 of these Soldiers in this room stay in the Army and become a sergeant major, they give back and do a symposium of their own. Then we have achieved a success."Sgt. Justin Jones, plans and operations for the G-1, talked about how the symposium has given him insight on the mentality of other noncommissioned Soldiers such as himself."No matter what level you're on, you're constantly learning," Jones said. "You learn from peers, seniors or even subordinates, listening and communicating."Jones said he feels the symposium allows him to process mentally how he looks at his junior Soldiers, and how he can bring them up to a level of achievement greater than where they currently are."I want to empower my subordinates," Jones said. "I need to get them to think on the level that I want them to become. I do that by communicating my intent."The symposium began with a ceremony during which the unit inducted seven of its newest noncommissioned officers into the corps. Sgt. Maj. Edward Bell, deputy chief of staff, G-4, was the keynote speaker of the event. He is the former command Sgt. Maj. of the 1st TSC when the unit was located at Fort Bragg, N.C. Bell emphasized in his speech the noncommission officer is the strength of the Army."You are the one they call the backbone," Bell said. "You are the one they call the lifeblood of the organization. All around the world, you are admired, respected, and depended upon to be the difference in our success or failure."Following with the theme of leadership, Bell said, "To lead means to be present, to be engaged, to be loyal and to be committed to your Soldiers."The unit plans to do another symposium next year.