FORT HOOD, Texas – In the Army, cadre are entrusted to help Soldiers make it through their selected school, course or training opportunity. Cadre are an important part of any training experience, which is why only the best-of-the-best are used at the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command’s newest People First initiative.
“Our cadre were hand selected by their commanders as personnel that live the Army Values, are consummate professionals, display unwavering military bearing and have the discipline to uphold standards,” Green Co. first sergeant, 1st Sgt. Richard Gaines II.
Staff Sgt. Kinney McRae II is the platoon sergeant for the company’s 3rd platoon and has a sense of pride after being hand selected for the position.
“There's an unexplainable sense of fulfillment that I have in knowing that not only am I affecting positive change, but I'm also empowering future 13th ESC Soldiers to be positive agents of change as well.”
The cadre of the 13th ESC’s Green Co. Guardians are charged with helping create a shift in the culture, and it’s a duty they are all passionate about.
“We are all 100% committed to the initiative because it is our shared responsibility to restore the trust that has been eroded, foster an environment free of corrosive behaviors and genuinely reshape the positive atmosphere in the Army by putting people first,” Gaines explained.
Given the importance of the company, each cadre member has a shared understanding of their mission and the company’s intent.
“My mission is for all incoming Soldiers to leave the Green Co. with a solid foundation of what the expectations are in the 13th ESC and to have unit pride,” said the platoon sergeant for 2nd platoon, Sgt. 1st Class Marquise Phillips.
Phillips has been in the Army for 18 years and understands the impact the Green Co. will have on Soldiers moving forward.
“This will benefit Soldiers down the line because they have seen positivity, ambition, team cohesion and pride right from the start,” Phillips said. “Which they can now carry over into their new organizations.”
As the cadre continue to show Soldiers what right is and not what it looks like, they realize they are the entrusted gatekeepers to upholding the standard.
“We are 'guarding the gate’ by filtering what is allowed through,” Gaines said. “The cadre are the agents to foster the change in the atmosphere, starting at 13th ESC and hopefully reaching every installation throughout the Army.”
With each new company cycle, the cadre continue to raise the bar of excellence higher.
“The cadre have been doing a phenomenal job,” Gaines said. The cohesion between this unit is uncanny. Senior leaders sharing ideas while soliciting feedback from the junior leaders and Soldiers has produced two-week cycles of meaningful, purpose filled, events that have garnered high praise from candidate’s week in and week out.”
McRae has also seen the positive influence the company and cadre have on incoming Soldiers, and is inspired to continue the company’s efforts.
“I would like to thank my leadership for allowing me to do what I love to do most – lead Soldiers,” McRae said. “I promise I will continue to provide purpose, direction and motivation to all my candidates. Guard the gate!!”