By Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public AffairsOctober 11, 2007
FORWARD OPERATING BASE PROSPERITY, Iraq - Sgt. Myron Jamerson never planned on getting involved in Army retention, but it's a choice that has left him with few regrets.
A food service technician by training, Jamerson decided to try something new when the retention noncommissioned officer slot for 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment became available in February of this year.
"This has been something exciting for me this year," the Memphis, Tenn. native said. "The best part about it to me is helping the Soldiers. It's just all about helping the Soldiers meet their goals in life."
Jamerson has been able to help well over 100 Darkhorse Soldiers, which is part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, work toward meeting their respective goals, and along the way, has helped the squadron lead the brigade in reenlistments.
The troops and company, which make up 4-9 Cav., as well as Jamerson and the rest of the squadron's unit-level retention NCOs were recognized for their work during a streamer and awards ceremony at Forward Operating Base Prosperity Oct. 9.
According to the 4-9 Cav.'s top noncommissioned officer, Command Sgt. Maj. James Daniels, the streamers, which were added to five of the squadron's six unit guideons, indicated that the unit met their retention mission in five different categories.
These categories were reenlistments for Soldiers serving their initial enlistment, those designated as mid-careerist, careerists, and the overall numbers for fiscal years 2007 and 2008.
"Across all five categories, as a squadron, we made mission," the Fort Gaines, Ga. native said. "I think we were the only one in the brigade that completed all five categories."
Jamerson said that it's all about working with a Soldier to meet his or her goals when he or she is considering reenlisting.
"I always make sure that I talk with the Soldiers and to try to get the Soldiers exactly what they want," he said.
The majority of the Soldiers who come in ask about large reenlistment bonuses, Jamerson said, while others are more concerned with choice of duty station, professional schools and civilian educational opportunities.
Although he reiterates the fact that he is there to serve the Soldier, Jamerson admitted that he will caution a Soldier about reenlisting for the wrong reasons.
"I always tell them that it's not about the bonus money. If you're going to do it, do it because it's something in your heart that you really want to do because if you just take the money, then a couple years down the line you might regret it," he said. "If you do it because it's in your heart, then the money just comes along with it."
Jamerson also said that he's seeing a lot of Soldiers who want to stay in the unit, and according to Daniels this is a reflection of all the commanders, first sergeants, NCOs and Soldiers who make up 4-9 Cav.
"It's all about them," he said "Soldiers will only reenlist if they are happy with their experience.'
'We came in, we established standards and teamwork, we went out to NTC and everybody kind of saw that this was an Army family. We take care of Soldiers, and I think the Soldiers love that, and it's a great unit because of that."
Jamerson has one of the key player when it comes to taking care of his unit's Soldiers, and this has not only benefited the Soldiers, but it has led him down a new career path.
"My goal, when we get back, is to try to go to recruiting school," he said. "This job helps them stay in, but I've liked this so much that now I want to help try to bring Soldiers in."