Sgt. 1st Class Nakia Way

Age: 33
Current Unit: Joint Multinational Readiness Center
Current Position: Platoon Observer/Controller, JMRC Vampire Team
Component: Active Army
Current Location: Hohenfels, Germany
Hometown: Andrews, Texas
Years of Service: 15

"I will do it" is his catch phrase; as a matter of fact Sgt. 1st Class Nakia Way often looks for those positions that take him out of his comfort zone. He believes it gives him a chance to learn more and excel. For him no job is too difficult.

As a Platoon Observer/Controller (O/C) for the Vampire team, the team that trains soldiers on Fire Support and Maneuver's at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) in Hohenfels, Germany, Way trains USAREUR units, and Multinational Forces for Peace Support Missions and Counter-Insurgency Operations.

He improves combat readiness by teaching technical and tactical operations, and doctrine.

"As an O/C we all play a key role in mentoring Soldiers, which saves lives once the unit deploys," Way said. "Also, I get an opportunity to work with foreign nations. I get a chance to learn the Troop Training Procedures (TTPs) of other Countries, and in turn teach them some of the U.S. Army's TTPs."

Command Sgt. Major Michael Grinston, Senior Enlisted Fire Support NCO for Way's team describes Way as an NCO that consistently takes initiative in everything he does.

"When the team has a difficult task to perform, he is often the one to stand up and say "I will do it," said Grinston."

Way's initiative extends into the community as well. He has volunteered more than 300 hours of his off-duty time to coach a men's softball team, and coordinate and organize food drives for the Parsburg, Germany Children's Orphanage.

"We are the Back Bone of the Army and Soldiers look at NCOs for guidance."To be an effective and good NCO, you should be the example for all to follow. You should be the most dependable, loyal, dedicated, and trained Soldier. Great NCOs make things happen when no one else can, said Way. "They force high standards of excellence. They go the extra mile to ensure all Soldiers are taken care of. They know their Soldiers and families, and always take an interest in them."

The old adage, "lead by example" is true, said Way.

"NCOs should strive to be the best at all levels, not only at his or her job, but also in his or her personal life. Always pursue the tough jobs and higher education," said Way. "Be the example for all others to follow. Remember the reason you became an NCO, and live the NCO Creed."

Finally, Way leaves all NCOs with one piece of advice, "Take care of Soldiers and they will take care of you."