HAWTHORNE ARMY DEPOT, Nev. (Aug. 12, 2009) - Golden Cargo 2009 presents an opportunity to put education, experience, and training to the test. For one battalion here, the exercise gives junior, enlisted Soldiers the chance to serve in a leadership capacity- an opportunity they welcomed with open arms.

The 718th Transportation Battalion S1, human resource department and the S3, or training operations department, were two dedicated Soldiers who were consistently one of the first to show up for work and the very last to leave. They were Staff Sgt. Daniel Moore and Sgt. Suzanne Best working within the S3 and Spc. Krystal Schumm, from the S1.

For both Best and Schumm, this is their first time serving in this capacity and having such weight put on their shoulders. Best, a hands-on type of a person, was placed into the operations portions of the convoy missions only recently. Schumm is only 20 years old and was placed as the section leader for the human resource section and is currently responsible of keeping track of over 250 personnel from Sierra Army Depot, Herlong, Calif., to here.

Best says that her workload was much more detailed as an operations noncommissioned officer than she could have imagined.

Both Soldiers agree that their roles here provided a venue to sharpen their skills.

As for Schumm, being a section leader during Golden Cargo has helped strengthen her leadership skills and improve upon her communication skills, she said.
Best says that she has fine-tuned her leadership skills as well. Her workload consists of pre-planning and tracking down the progresses of each training event. At the end of the day, she feels good knowing that she has complete accountability of her section, she said. The best part of the job, however, is reporting to her leaders that the mission has been accomplished successfully.

The hours are long, but in the end, Schumm feels that the experience has helped her to be a better person, a better Soldier, and a more efficient worker.

In her civilian career, Schumm is a team leader for Coopers Farm. At Coopers Farm, she is responsible for about 16 employees. Her workload consists of more than just paperwork; nevertheless, Schumm says that Golden Cargo has helped her confidence to manage a substantial amount of people successfully.

Golden Cargo brought servicemembers together to complete a mission. Although the
jobs varied, Soldiers walked away with new experiences. For Best and Schumm, this was a
chance to serve in leadership position. By the end of the exercise, both of these Soldiers contributed to Golden Cargo's success on a logistical level; a level that is often overlooked.