CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait (April 4, 2012) -- Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III visited Third Army Soldiers here April 1.
During his visit Chandler briefed more than 1,000 Third Army Soldiers on upcoming changes to the Army's retention policy, the new Army Physical Readiness Test, and future alterations being implemented to the Army Combat Uniform, while receiving essential feedback from troops.
He also visited students and small group leaders at the Warrior Leader Course, Maryland National Guardsmen with the 29th Combat Aviation Brigade, and Fort Hood Soldiers with the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, at Udari Range.
"You are the first line of defense for our country," Chandler said. "The fact people watch what you're doing makes you our country's best, and I trust you all because you wear the uniform of the U.S. Soldier. It's imperative that you consistently do what's right each and every day. Character, commitment, and competence are what we're looking for in all of our Soldiers, especially our noncommissioned officers, as we're the standard bearers."
Lt. Col. Dolph Southerland, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st HBCT, 1st Cav. Div., and Boaz, Ala. native, said Chandler's visit came at a perfect time for his Soldiers.
"The SMA came at a great time as we're in the middle of conducting preliminary Bradley stabilized gunnery with M3A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle Systems crews," Southerland explained. "The Soldiers are excited to see him, especially since he was the command sergeant major of 1/7 Cav. during Operation Iraqi Freedom II. The Soldiers have the chance to show the SMA their abilities, and I'm happy the senior NCO in the Army has come out here to visit and show his support."
While meeting with Soldiers and touring the facilities, Chandler presented more than 100 coins of excellence to troops who have exceeded the standard with their hard work and dedication.
Pfc. Britney Willis, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Cav. Div., from Tacoma, Wash., said she was overjoyed to be awarded a coin by Chandler for winning her company's Soldier of the month board.
"It's truly humbling," said Willis. "Today's experience reminds me of the importance of always trying your hardest to be the best."
Chandler's visit furthered Third Army's initiative to communicate for success by allowing Soldiers, the strength of the nation, to provide essential feedback and voice their insight on how to improve the Army as a whole for years to come.