Sergeant Major of the Army Visits V Corps
U.S. Army Story by Pvt. Gabriella Sullivan
FORT KNOX, Ky. -- Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston visited V Corps during a trip to Fort Knox, Kentucky, Aug. 17.
Grinston’s visit included a meeting with V Corps’ command team, Lt. Gen. John Kolasheski and Command Sgt. Maj. Billy Webb to discuss the future of V Corps, current operations and the integration of the National Guard. The SMA also held a roundtable with the V Corps staff sergeants major.
During the roundtable, Grinston discussed topics such as the Army’s combat fitness test, but his main topic was focused on building cohesive teams and how the senior noncommissioned officers in attendance play an integral role in that process.
“Building teams isn't just about knowing your squad or team members' roles, but it's also about getting to know them on a more personal level,” said Grinston. “We need to build cohesive teams that are highly trained, disciplined and fit. When we do that, everything else can fall into place. When there is a cohesive team, we can easily adapt to any conflict.”
Grinston described the way to build relationships with Soldiers is not only to ask them about themselves, but to also pay close attention and pick up on subtle hints about who they are.
“It’s a lot of hard work… You have to be mindful… You have to constantly foster that culture and those relationships to build a cohesive squad,” said Grinston. “You have to build a team that can really fight and win on the battlefield.”
Grinston also discussed with the sergeants major the ACFT and its effectiveness.
“The ACFT tests combat readiness in our Soldiers,” said Grinston. He further added that the ACFT “ is designed to test how Soldiers would perform in combat situations...so it really shows us how effective in combat they would be.”
After the discussion, the floor was open to the staff sergeants major for questions and comments, an opportunity that V Corps sergeants major truly appreciated.
“Having a visit with the sergeant major of the Army in a small group setting with fellow sergeants major was beneficial,” said Sgt. Maj. Lorena Delain, the V Corps equal opportunity sergeant major. “We were able to have those candid conversations and truly not have to be reserved in our thought process. We could actually speak out on not only what we’re feeling, but our thought processes as well.”
Sworn in on Aug. 9, 2019, Grinston, a native of Jasper, Alabama, is the 16th Sergeant Major of the Army and the highest ranking enlisted member in the U.S. Army. The SMA’s most important mission is providing direct communication between the Soldier and Army leadership.