The 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Fort Hood, Texas, has implemented an initiative that is leading the way in how the unit receives its Soldiers in an effort to ensure they are better prepared to support the mission.
Green Company is an initiative started by 13th ESC, and is a three-week program, for Soldiers in the ranks of E1-O5 that receives, integrates, trains and provides Soldiers the opportunity to meet with the unit leadership before they enter the formation.
“We receive the Soldiers after they complete processing through the Fort Hood reception battalion,” said Capt. Stephen Bracken, Green Company commander. “The name Green Company derives from the fact the Soldiers are new or ‘green’ when first arriving to 13th ESC, and that they are green and ready to go when they leave the company.”
Another benefit of the Green Company is the fact that it provides Soldiers with time to get settled at Fort Hood.
“We want to make sure they are finished house hunting, their pay is settled, family settled, and make sure they are aware of the services provided at Fort Hood,” said Bracken. “It’s important when they leave the Green Company they understand the climate and culture of the organization and they are ready to work as a member of our team and our family.
Each week has a different objective in preparation for the Soldiers entering their new unit.
Week 1 is designated for orientation, baselining, and human resources. According to Bracken, it’s a fairly individual-focused week. During this time Solders are conducting physical training to get acclimated to the climate, taking care of administrative tasks, and being introduced to the Army Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) Program which is designed to improve physical training and increase Soldiers’ strength and wellness.
Week 2 is designated for assessments and team building. Bracken said the assessments are informal and during this time they focus a lot on introspection and training from the behavioral health team and chaplain. Also, a block of instruction is provided that covers personality traits, and healthy and effective communication styles and techniques to help Soldiers understand themselves and how to work better together.
“During week 2, personnel go through the Leader Reaction Course which includes both elevated and water obstacles,” said Bracken. “This is keeping with the standard that everyone should be able to do the same baseline skills. We see a huge amount of teamwork, and that’s where people have told us rank doesn’t matter; it’s about working together and accomplishing the mission.”
Week 3 is dedicated to technical certifications, most importantly driver’s training, as it is a big part of the unit’s mission.
“Our Soldiers support the logistical needs of III Corps and provide lift and transportation assets for its subordinate units,” said Bracken. “We identified that there was a capability and training gap in those processes, so now we ensure that all of our Soldiers receive the same baseline training to operate certain vehicles before leaving Green Company.”
At the conclusion of the third week, the company conducts a team building ruck march where the Soldiers have to recall the knowledge they’ve acquired through scenario-based questions. At the completion of the ruck march, a patch ceremony is held where the unit insignia is placed on the Soldier’s shoulders.
According to Bracken, the Green Company has seen positive metrics as a result of this initiative. In the 2nd Quarter of fiscal year 2022, Green Company graduates only accounted for 14% of uniform code of military justice offenses in the ESC while making up 24% of the unit.
Bracken mentioned that during unit runs and other events Soldiers who have been through the program come up to him, the cadre, their former squad leaders and platoon sergeants and express their gratitude for Green Company. He also went on to state that some of the Soldiers request to be assigned as cadre of the company so they can influence others the way they were during their time with the program.
“We have seen an increase in pride and comradery in the unit and amongst the Soldiers since the program has started,” said Bracken. “It’s great to receive positive feedback from the Soldiers and to be able to get them started on the right track when arriving here.”