MASUM GHAR, Afghanistan, Oct. 24, 2011 -- Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III, visited troops from 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, stationed at Forward Operating Base Masum Ghar in Afghanistan, Oct. 20.

Chandler took time to discuss various changes coming in the Army that will impact Soldiers everywhere. Chandler talked about changes in uniform standards, deployment length, the military retirement system, and changes in the size of the Army.

"The Army is getting smaller. We are recruiting fewer, higher quality people. We will be retaining fewer, higher quality people. And retention control points will start to get tighter," Chandler said.

Chandler said that uniforms will remain basically the same, with some changes from the field. He also discussed possible changes to Army retirement.

"There are a number of options that are being explored, but it is the goal of senior leadership to protect your benefits. If you have been planning to retire, we want to make sure you will be able to without losing anything."

Chandler took time to recognize some of the Task Force "Arctic Wolves" Soldiers present with his personal coin.

"You are the real heroes," he said. "Less than .67 percent of America is willing to do what you do. You joined after 9/11 knowing that you would come to this place. You're my hero."