By Ms. Danielle O'Donnell (TRADOC)January 7, 2020
Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy A. Guden, of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, met with the students from the Sergeants Major Course Class 70, Dec. 19.
Guden spoke to the students on the importance of the Expert Soldier Badge and the Army lifestyle.
"It is not just a badge," he said. "It is more than that. It is about identifying excellence and being ready."
The ESB assists Army leadership in identifying Soldiers who step out beyond their Career Management Fields while also creating noncommissioned officers who are subject matter experts.
"As we are going through the processes, we are creating NCOs that become subject matter experts," he said. "Going through tasks that apply directly to the squad level, warrior tasks, and battle drills like training events, that is where the rubber meets the road."
The ESB brings forth all the positive elements of an organization.
"This is my squad," he said. "TIMS is about pride and ownership. It is about building a positive sound structure of an organization and not allowing negativity to gain a foothold."
Guden challenged the students after they graduate and move to their next assignments to remember the importance of the squad level leader.
"Understand the importance of 'This is My Squad,'" he said. "Truly, the squad is important. The ESB brings out the goodness in all this."
He let the students know 95 Soldiers prepared for and competed in the ESB at Fort Eustis from all over the Army; only three received the badge.
"Every single Soldier who failed the ESB can stand confidently," he said. "They can tell you what they need to work on, they are going to get help from their leaders and also train their Soldiers to prepare them for the ESB process."
He added, "they are eager to get after it and get some more of it."
Guden then spoke to the importance of molding, mentoring, and guiding the Soldiers who arrive after their Advanced Individual Training.
"The Soldierization process, keeps the grit going," he said. "Rigor needs to be instilled into everything."
Commanders at the battalion and brigade level can use the ESB as a tool to plan their training needs for individual and small team training tasks.
Guden repeated it is not about the badge, "it's about excellence, it's about readiness, individual training," he said. "It is also about NCOs training and becoming SMEs in their field."
During his brief Guden discussed the process behind the Army Combat Fitness Test.
"This is a culture change," he said.
The ACFT is not just another Army test; nested within the Holistic, Health, and Fitness System (H2F), the ACFT is comprehensive and integrated.
"It is about a lifestyle, and we don't have that understanding that we committed to a lifestyle when we volunteered," he said. "We all need to grasp this idea and propel it forward and ensure our Soldiers understand this."
"Lead by example when it comes to the ACFT," he said. "You have to pass it. The idea behind the ACFT is it makes tougher Soldiers and provides the rigors we see in combat, and it gets after TIMS, It is not about us, this is about the future force."
Guden closed his brief by congratulating the students on being at the academy and letting them know what to expect after graduation.
"It is not about you; it's about what you are going to do for the Army," he said.