One of the highest-ranking senior enlisted advisors in the Army visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Jan. 9-10, 2019. Command Sergeant Major of U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM), Michael A. Grinston, who was the previous First Corps CSM, paid a visit to his old base to speak to Soldiers on the ground and host a professional development forum.
"One of my most important roles as the FORSCOM command sergeant major is to be the voice of the Soldiers," Grinston said. "The only way I can do that is by talking to the enlisted Soldiers and knowing what they do and the problems they face on a daily basis."
Grinston said his goal is to gain feedback from enlisted Soldiers and to see more initiative from Non-commisioned Officers.
"When I was command sergeant major of First Corps I would always say, 'take back our Army,'" Grinston said, one of the highest-ranking sergeants major in the Army. "I want to try and get the NCOs to take a little bit more action. I want regulations to enhance our NCOs' actions and for them to make the corrections they deem fit and not be afraid to step up."
Grinston held a town hall meeting with senior NCOs to discuss questions and concerns about where the force is heading in the future. During the interactive town hall he demonstrated the importance of teaching basic Soldiering tasks at the lowest unit level.
"My goal is to make sure our NCOs feel comfortable that the leadership of the Army will support them in what they do," Grinston said. "I want these leaders to look at every situation as an opportunity to better our Army."
Grinston visited with various units across JBLM to include 55th Engineering Brigade (BDE), 864th Military Police (MP) Battalion, 42nd MP BDE, and 7th Infantry Division. He visited Soldiers of all ranks and shared his collective knowledge and experience of holding every rank in the Army over the past 31 years.
He focused on the enlisted Soldiers by conducting physical training with 7th ID and participating in Defense Chemical Response Force Training with 555th Engineering BDE. During the DCRF training Grinston challenged himself on the Pursak climbing rope. It is a piece of equipment used to rescue people stuck in high locations. He described how tough climbing the Pursak climbing rope was, but how beneficial it must be to the unit's specific mission of rescue operations.
He gave high praise to First Corps, saying, "I've been to a lot of different duty locations and JBLM is one of my favorite duty locations in the Continental U.S.," Grinston said. "This is a great location to be stationed, especially if you have a family."
During his visit, Grinston demonstrated the importance of setting the standard at all levels of the Army by presenting a FORSCOM award to a JBLM unit. 504th Military Police Battalion's Headquarters and Headquarters detachment won the Eagle award for best small Military Police company/detachment.
"I am honored that we were recognized as the best small MP detachment in FORSCOM," said Cpt. Raquel Felder, Commander of HHD, 504th MP Bn. "We couldn't have done this without the efforts and expertise of our Soldiers. They demonstrate on a daily basis what it means to be constant professionals and the importance of forming a cohesive unit."
Felder's echo of Grinston's messages demonstrate how the Army and its leaders must be of one accord to move the force in the right direction, ensuring every decision is in the best interest of the Army and enhancing the Soldiers' abilities to meet the total Soldier concept.