FORT HOOD, Texas - In conjunction with the Year of the Non-commissioned Officer, the 69th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Brigade is making an effort to highlight its top-notch NCOs throughout the year.
The featured NCO of this week is Staff Sgt. Danny L. Licciardi, Jr., who is the chaplain's assistant for the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery of 69 ADA Bde. Licciardi graduated from the Archbishop Rummel High School in Metairie, La., and attended college at the Southeastern Louisiana University. After deciding that college life was not for him, Licciardi joined the military. Licciardi will reach 10 years of military service, Aug. 3, and he has been in 69 ADA Bde. for about four and one half years, he said.
One of the reasons that Licciardi has stayed in the army and has a successful career was due to the NCOs who helped him develop and grow as a soldier. "I had strong NCOs who led me," Licciardi said. "I used them as mentors, and I watched the ways they taught and trained, and I added my own spin," he added. Young soldiers need to remember to always ask questions, no matter how insignificant the question may seem, Licciardi said. It is always important to get a second opinion and guidance every step of the way, he added. As the brigade chaplain's assistant and an NCO, Licciardi is always ready to give information and guidance in inquiring Soldiers.
Licciardi manages the battalions' unit ministry teams. He also helps to organize retreats, religious services, various counseling events, and concerts, along with preparing briefs for the leadership of the battalions and batteries pertaining to unit morale and soldier issues in the unit, Licciardi said.
The retreats consist of a 2 night 3 day vacation that includes free child care, food, and refreshments for the soldiers and their spouses. Some retreats are for single Soldiers and some are for married soldiers. The next retreat that will be coming up is Aug. 9 - 11 in Salado, Texas, and it will be for married soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 44th ADA Regiment, 69th ADA Brigade. The retreat helps Soldiers and their spouses work on building and enhancing their relationships through activities such as practicing speaking and listening techniques, Licciardi said.
Counseling and training are also big parts of Licciardi's work load. Counseling is offered for topics anywhere from marriage or divorce counseling to financial counseling. There are also a wide variety of training opportunities available to 69th ADA Brigade soldiers including stress management, suicide prevention and building strong, ready families, Licciardi said.
69th ADA Bde. also offers a Contemporary Protestant religious service every Sunday at 11 a.m. at the 73rd Street Chapel on Battalion Avenue.