By Staff Sgt. Michael J. Taylor, 21st TSC Public AffairsMarch 25, 2011
BAUMHOLDER, Germany - The 21st Theater Sustainment Command's senior enlisted advisor held a three-day offsite conference for all the sergeants major of the command at the Rhinelander Club here March 13-15.
Command Sgt. Maj. James E. Spencer's offsite conference was held as a way to get all the senior enlisted leaders together in one place and discuss issues and concerns that affect Soldiers and important changes that will be happening throughout the Army as a whole.
"Forums like this allow our senior enlisted advisor to share his intent, share his way ahead, share his knowledge of what he received from the top level and get buy in from the brigade and battalion levels of what we forsee is the way ahead for noncommissioned officers," said Commad Sgt. Maj. Clifton E. Lewis, the senior enlisted advisor for the 21st Special Troops Battalion.
During the offsite, some of the key topics were Comprehensive Soldier Fitness, Lean Six Sigma, the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, the Profession of Arms Campaign and the Army Learning Concept for 2015.
The sergeants major in attendance received several briefings from the 21st TSC's office of the secretary general staff, the Baumholder range control staff, the 21st TSC's security and intelligence office, the U.S. Army's Combined Arms Training Center and the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.
Also during their time at the conference, the sergeants major had the opportunity to sit down and talk with the commanding general of the 21st TSC, Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion. While engaged in this group discussion, they talked about several topics, but the main topic of conversation was DADT.
They addressed their concerns regarding the repeal of the DADT and how to tackle potential challenges. The general expressed to the sergeants major how grateful she was to have the opportunity to sit done with them to discuss those important issues.
"From this conference I plan to take back insight," said Lewis. "We got insight from our commanding general, insight about DADT, insight on CSF and insight on the way the Army looks now and the way the Army is going to look."
"These topics help us gain insight on several topics that affect or will affect our Army, our units and our leadership," said Command, Sgt. Maj. Ismael Rodriguez, the senior enlisted advisor for the 16th Sustainment Brigade.
Sgt. Maj. Troy Nattress and Sgt. Maj. Timothy Bushee, both from TRADOC, traveled from the U.S. to speak at the conference and receive feedback from the 21st TSC's sergeants major on a number of issues.
Nattress discussed the Profession of Arms Campaign and the Army Learning Concept for 2015. Bushee followed him, discussing the One Army School System initiatives.
This is a great opportunity to talk to the 21st TSC's sergeants major and let them know what's currently going on with TRADOC and some of highpoints and highlights of the campaigns TRADOC is working on, said Nattress.
"We have to have feedback from Soldiers who currently work in their profession to make sure that we're getting our campaigns right," he added.
"By explaining to them what we're doing, it will help them better understand what changes are going to be occurring in the Army so they can inform their Soldiers of what is happening in the Army and what is going to be happening in the future," Nattress said.
Nearly all the sergeant majors who attended agreed that one of the perks of having an offsite like this was the opportunity for them to meet with their peers within the command, some of who are rarely afforded the opportunity to do so on a regular basis.
"A good effect or bi-product of these conferences is the networking and socialization between the senior enlisted leaders of the 21st TSC," said Rodriguez.
What makes this conference more important is that the brigades and battalions can take the information back to the companies and be able to define everything they've learned here these last couple days, said Lewis.
According to Spencer, the conference was an overall success, and many key issues were tackled.