ASC chief warrant officer takes holistic view of Army readiness

By Greg WilsonMay 31, 2024

ASC chief warrant officer takes holistic view of Army readiness¬
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Robert Nesbeth, Materiel Readiness Division, U.S. Army Sustainment Command Support Operations, confers with a colleague at U.S. Army Sustainment Command headquarters, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois. (Photo by Greg Wilson, ASC Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: Greg Wilson) VIEW ORIGINAL

ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. — Chief Warrant Officer 3 Robert Nesbeth has been in the Army for 22 years, three of those with the U.S. Army Sustainment Command.

He is the senior ordnance officer for the Materiel Readiness Division within the Support Operations Directorate at ASC, which has the critical mission of ensuring that all Soldiers have the equipment and any other resources, whenever and wherever they’re needed.

Nesbeth was a Jamaican citizen by birth but lost his father at a very early age and was adopted by his aunt, who lived in Wilmington, Delaware. He became a U.S. citizen at age 12, and later surrendered his Jamaican citizenship.

With two uncles who served in the armed forces, he was keenly aware of the opportunities a military career could bring in terms of education, travel, and possibilities for personal advancement.

Nesbeth was a staff sergeant with nearly 10 years of enlisted service when he decided to apply to become a warrant officer. Warrant officers are technical specialists, and the idea of becoming an expert in one field appealed to him.

His specialty is armament maintenance. Basically, he knows weapons of every type, big and small, and is trained on what needs to be done to keep them ready for use.

“To me, being a technical expert in the Army and kind of advising commanders, and at the same time teaching and mentoring young, enlisted Soldiers and grooming them to be the next warrant officers are the reasons I switched over,” Nesbeth said.

He has served in various types of Army units from armored brigade combat teams to training brigades with special forces, where his weapons knowledge has served him and the Army well.

“Early on, I was focused on the maintenance,” Nesbeth said. “Then as I started moving up, I started understanding that in order for maintenance to be conducted, there are some logistical aspects of it.”

He said acquiring parts, obtaining the funding to acquire them, working with vendors, then making sure those parts got to the right units on time, showed him that logistics was a big part of the Army’s ability to act when conflict or emergencies erupt.

“So I didn't start getting into the logistics until two years after I was a warrant officer and kind of understanding, you know, the logistical side,” Nesbeth said. That’s when he pursued and attained a bachelor’s degree in logistics, which made him a great fit for ASC.

Nesbeth said his work in ASC has allowed him to impact the Army’s overall ability to react to any situation, not just single units, although his efforts ultimately serve individual Soldiers. He does this either by responding to a unit’s request for repairs, or more proactively by reaching out to units and seeing if they need help with maintenance or repairs. By ensuring tactical equipment is always in working condition, every Soldier can do their job.

“We are impacting a supply of equipment,” said Nesbeth, “and that equipment is impacting a unit. And that unit is impacting Soldiers. So if we’re able to drive the importance of readiness, and have them know that there is leverage of support to increase readiness, that lets each one of these division commanders and corps commanders know that ASC is always looking at ways to help them improve their readiness.”

Being ready for any eventuality is a critical concern for the Army because dangerous situations can crop up anywhere in the world, and often escalate quickly.

Nesbeth guides a team that constantly stays abreast of maintenance and repair issues around the world so that equipment problems can be handled quickly.

One team member is Sgt. 1st Class Emanuel Sarabia. “In my department in the Materiel Readiness Division,” he said, “I manage the 404th Army Field Support Brigade maintenance for 16 Logistics Readiness Centers.”

Logistics Readiness Centers, or LRCs, manage installation supply, maintenance, and transportation, which, depending on the installation, can include food service, ammunition supply, clothing issue facilities, hazardous material, bulk fuel, non-tactical vehicles, rail, and garrison equipment.

“Currently I oversee Class IX (repair parts) work orders and services for their equipment. We review requirements and contracts that are done for those 16 LRCs, to continue their support for their installations.”

Another member of ASC’s SPO is Chief Warrant Officer 4 Amy Faust-Starkenburg, the senior ammunition warrant officer, who lauds the work Nesbeth is doing.

“He is always looking at better ways to improve equipment readiness throughout the Army,” and added, “He is a great mentor to our junior Soldiers at ASC.”

The mentoring is important, because it adds to, and diversifies, the knowledge base throughout the staff, and helps Soldiers learn the skills and gain the expertise necessary to take on higher level tasks with more responsibilities.

Nesbeth said his time at ASC has taught him to look at maintenance and sustaining the force more holistically.

That’s because his work maintaining tactical equipment throughout the Army lets him see the big picture and understand how one unit’s equipment problems could negatively impact operations at a battalion, brigade, or higher level.

“We take care of the Army as a whole,” he said. “We take care of the regular Army, the Army Reserve, the National Guard, and at the same time, we manage the APS (Army Prepositioned Stocks), dedicated for emergencies. From this position, I am seeing readiness and impacting readiness all around.”

Nesbeth said the Army, and ASC, have taught him the importance of priorities.

“I'm doing it for my family, for their protection. I'm doing it for the country, for its protection. And I'm doing this for the Army.”

(Editor’s note: Nesbeth will be promoted to chief warrant office four effective June 1.)