FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, KIRKUK, Iraq - Senior military leaders use battlefield circulation to gain situational awareness, understand the challenges facing their Soldiers, and effectively communicate.

The top enlisted Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and the 12th Iraqi Army Division, Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffery Hof and Command Sgt. Maj. Waleed Ibrahim Ismael, respectively, conducted a battlefield circulation in mid-November.

Command Sergeant Major Waleed used the circulation as an opportunity to visit with his 15th Iraqi Army Brigade and 46th Iraqi Army Brigade sergeants major and their area of operations.

"The biggest reason for this visit is to check on the brigade sergeants major and talk with Soldiers to see how they are doing," Command Sgt. Maj. Waleed said. "I can personally track their training and ensure the sergeants major are doing their jobs."

Command Sergeant Major Waleed said he also likes to visit with Soldiers in order to get face-to-face interaction with them and ensure his mission intent is understood and the Soldiers are adequately prepared to conduct their missions.

"The Soldiers also like it when I come and visit with them," he said. "I also come on my own about once a month and often unannounced."

Command Sergeant Major Waleed said at one point he wore civilian attire and drove his personal vehicle during a surprise visit to the 15th IA Bde. to gauge the response of the Soldiers manning the checkpoints.

"I drove to the checkpoint and asked the Soldiers there if they could assist me with my vehicle," he said. "The Soldiers assisted me in moving my car off the road and allowed me to use their phone to call for assistance, but also inspected my vehicle to ensure I wasn't transporting any unauthorized weapons or dangerous materials."

Command Sergeant Major Waleed said the Soldiers had no idea who he was and their actions proved to him they were well trained and capable of carrying out their duties.

"I called Command Sgt. Maj. Nasser Abed Al Hassen, the15th IA Bde. command sergeant major, and informed him of my surprise inspection and that his Soldiers were intelligent and acted appropriately," he said.

Command Sergeant Major Waleed met with Command Sgt. Maj. Nasser and Command Sgt. Maj. Thiar, of the 46th IA Bde., to discuss training, ensure they had adequate supplies, and ensure Soldiers had the proper uniforms.

"I have the utmost confidence in my sergeants major," Command Sgt. Maj. Waleed said.

For the past nine months, Command Sgt. Maj. Hof has been partnering with Command Sgt. Maj. Waleed and other Iraqi sergeants major of the 12th IA Div. to mentor them, give them an understanding of where they fit in their Army, and assist them in gaining value. Part of that mentorship was to impart the importance of the battlefield circulation and the role of the noncommissioned officer.

"What I wanted to impart to my partners was the personal initiative and dedication to the mission of my NCOs," Command Sgt. Maj. Hof said. "I see that same level of talent in the IA NCOs, and with a little coaching and mentorship, they are quickly making it and changing the face of the Iraqi Army, who we hope to have as strategic partners for a long time."