Belgian 'Grizzly' pins on Sgt. Maj. at U.S Army Europe's Joint Multinational Readiness Center
By Maj. Will Griffin (JMRC Public Affairs)April 5, 2012
HOHENFELS, Germany-- The Joint Multinational Readiness Center's "Grizzly" Observer/Controller- Trainer (O/C-T) team, responsible for armor, cavalry and reconnaissance units training at JMRC, held a special promotion ceremony for Belgian O/C-T, Sgt. Maj. Patrick Decartes, on April 3, 2012.
Sgt. Maj. Decartes has been assigned to JMRC since January as part of a select group of multinational partner Observer/Controllers that work alongside their American counterparts providing evaluation, feedback and mentoring to units training for deployment to Afghanistan, Kosovo or preparing for future contingency operations.
Lt. Col. Clark Lindner, senior O/C-T for the Grizzly team, said Decartes brings a lot to the table with his prior experiences in Afghanistan and the Balkans.
For Sgt. Maj. Decartes, who has worked with U.S. Soldiers before, this has been a particularly rewarding experience in terms of the how the team works together.
"There are a lot of professional guys here. They know their jobs. But there is something else, as well. I'm not 'the Belgian' here, I'm a Grizzly. That's one of the first things Lt. Col. Lindner told me and that's how I really feel now," said Decartes.
Linder said of Sgt. Maj. Decartes and the multinational O/C contingent at JMRC, "What makes us different, what makes us stronger is the fact that we get to work with multinational partners every day. In this case, we've got the best of the Belgian Army. Only five out of 200 NCO's from the [Belgian Army] engineer branch were selected for sergeant major at this time. It's a huge honor and says a lot about the quality of soldiers that other countries are sending to be O/C's here."