SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, HAWAII -- The words "As a leader, be willing to set the example" ring through the F Quad on Schofield Barracks which is also the home of the Raider Squadron, where one of their Soldiers is receiving a prestigious community award from the NAACP.
Those words were spoken by Staff Sgt. Jeffery Sailes, the headquarters platoon sergeant, Comanche Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at a ceremony where he was awarded the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Meritorious Community Service Award from the Honolulu-Hawaii chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Oct. 30, 2019 at the Bronco Memorial, F Quad, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
The award is usually presented at Outstanding Military Leadership Award Banquet, but Sailes was unable to attend due to a training exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Ft. Polk, La.
"I put other people first because I am a firm believer that as a leader, we are here to serve," Sailes said.
The nomination process was vigorous. He was nominated by the leaders in his organization and those leaders, his peers and the Soldiers he leads currently as well at previous military assignments all felt he deserved this award.
"Staff Sgt. Sailes humility, leadership and commitment to selfless service know no bounds," said Col. John Lubas, the commander of the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. "He is a stauch advocate for equal opportunity, recognizing excellence within the formation, promoting diversity awareness and fosters a climate of trust, teamwork, and accountability where all Soldiers challenge each other to make the organization greater than the sum of its parts."
Outside of his daily duties such as training his Soldiers to complete the grueling U.S. Army Air Assault School, or teaching his Soldiers skills to earn the prestigious Expert Infantryman's Badge, he also volunteers as a youth soccer, track, softball and football coach and still finds time to go with his family to feed the homeless and be a good neighbor in his community.
"To me, I feel like giving them a role model," Sailes said. "I want to show the youth that its better to give than to receive; that's the old saying. Giving your time, your patience, and your all to them and they see that -- well, I didn't get that growing up and to give it to the youth, it makes me feel fulfilled.
"He always puts family first, and his Soldiers first," Jemiia Sailes said of her husband. "He's just a people person, for some odd reason people are drawn to him. He puts us first and goes above and beyond."
Ida Bell Wells-Barnett (July 16, 1862 -- March 25, 1931) was an African-American investigative journalist, educator, and an early leader in the civil rights movement, according to her biography. She was one of the founders of the NAACP She arguably became the most famous black woman in America, during a life that was centered on combating prejudice and violence, who fought for equality for African Americans, especially women.