HONOLULU, Hawaii -- No matter what level you reach as a noncommissioned officer in the United States Army, you continue to learn and grow, and units and organizations are often tasked with providing that opportunity.

Command Sgt. Maj. Toese Tia, command sergeant major for the 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, did just that by setting time aside for the senior NCOs of the 8th STB to grow, learn and practice the skills that they have learn throughout their career at one of the Army's oldest military reservations, Battery Randolph, part of Fort DeRussy, in Honolulu.

"This is senior level professional development, we're not teaching the A, B, C's," said Tia to the group of senior NCOs. "You already understand the structure of how to lead and take orders."

Fort DeRussy in Honolulu is one of five forts of the same name in the United States. The two in Louisiana, one in Kentucky, and one in Washington, D.C., were all built during the American Civil War. Currently, the former Battery Randolph now houses the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii.

Battery Randolph was constructed in 1911 to defend Honolulu Harbor on Oahu from attack.

The senior NCOs visited this installation's collection containing some World War II armor pieces, an AH-1 Cobra helicopter, and small arms indoors. The exhibits cover the history of US Army warfare in the Pacific hemisphere.

"I think that from being down here and seeing this history, it has reinforced that generations upon generation of NCOs that have been the backbone of our Army and our military," said 1st Sgt. John Manning, first sergeant for the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 8th STB.
Manning went on to say that at some point in time and in years to come, that the current senior level NCOs will be the NCOs on plaques in museums across the nation, that future generations will read about.

The senior NCOs did more than just visit the museum though. They were tasked with breaking down into five groups and give a presentation on three topics: one event, one NCO hero and how he exemplified "Be, know, do," and then something relating to the NCO Corp.

"I learned a whole lot more by just listening to the five presentations, than I would've by visiting the museum myself," said Tia. "You guys have done all of these things throughout your [noncommissioned officer education system], but the key is to keep doing them."

In the end, the seniors received some good training, learned a bit, and also had some fun while doing it.

"We got a chance as senior NCOs to come together, we got a chance to network, we got to draw off of each person's individual talents," said Master Sgt. Mattie Smith-Clayton, plans NCO for the 8th TSC's Support Operations. "It allows the senior NCOs that are used to standing back, to step forward and show the talents that they possess."

Tia followed up by stating that senior level NCOs are the ones that Soldiers and young officers look to for guidance and to show what "right" looks like, so they need to practice and hone those teaching skills.

"We train ourselves," said Tia. "When we put our collective heads together, it's pretty amazing the things we can accomplish. We are noncommissioned officers. We are the trainers of the Army."