CAMP STONE, Afghanistan, Oct. 23, 2011 -- Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III visited Camp Stone Oct. 18, during a battlefield circulation of the western region of Afghanistan.

During his visit, Chandler had dinner with many of the camp's noncommissioned officers, or NCOs, outlining the future of the Army and answering some of their questions.

"I know some of you are concerned about the drawdown in forces," Chandler said. "The truth is, it is going to happen and only the best and brightest will be allowed to stay in the Army."

He went on to emphasize the importance of standing out and excelling in order to continue on with their Army careers.

"You need to take a look at yourself and those around you who have surpassed you and ask yourself what they are doing right, why they are advancing ahead of you," Chandler said.

Chandler also spoke of the importance of the NCO in molding young Soldiers.

"As NCOs, it is your duty to your Soldiers to show them what right looks like," he said. "You can't expect them to be professional Soldiers if you haven't given them the example to follow and showed them the way."

Chandler concluded his visit by recognizing the hard work and professionalism of several of the Soldiers in attendance and presented each with a Sergeant Major of the Army coin to commemorate the evening.

The sergeant major of the Army is the highest ranking enlisted member of the Army, and is appointed to serve as a spokesman to address the issues of enlisted Soldiers with the Army's senior leaders, including the chief of staff of the Army.