FORT HOOD, Texas - The 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team became the first battalion to meet its annual retention mission in the 1st Cavalry Division, April 16.
A day later, 6th Battalion, 9th Armored Reconnaissance Squadron also met its retention mission, making it the second battalion out of the "Grey Wolf" Brigade and 1st Cav to achieve such success.
Sgt. Andrew Banyi, who has been with 3-8 Cav since December 2005, and deployed with the unit to Iraq, reenlisted April 16, helping the battalion take its final step to its retention goal.
Staff Sgt. Bruce Marciszewski, the Steel Dragon Battalion's retention NCO, said he attributes the success to his predecessor and the command climate.
"I kind of fell into a great program," said Marciszewski. "The retention NCO that I replaced definitely set me on the right path.
"In 2-82, we have a great command climate, so my job is easy," he said. "With our command climate and full support from our chain of command, it's not hard to reenlist Soldiers in our unit."
Staff Sgt. Jason Folmar, the career counselor for the unit, also said command climate was a critical factor for reenlistment.
"The command climate, in my experience, is one of the greatest attributes to Soldiers," said Folmar.
Marciszewski said knowing the Soldiers in the unit is also important.
"I've been in 2-82 for eight years now, so all of the Soldiers basically know me, and they know I'm not going to give them a bad deal," he said. "All I have to do is get out there and talk to the Soldiers basically and let them know their options.
"It's not just talking reenlistment; it's getting to know the Soldiers, so that you will actually know what they want and what they need," said Folmar.
"We are basically making the Soldier feel that the Army wants them. They are not just a number, and that's not the way I treat my Soldiers," said Marciszewski.
"Once they reenlist, I don't just forget about them and move on to the next one," he said. "I ask them how they are doing and make sure everything's going alright."
Folmar said he doesn't reenlist for the numbers, but for the Soldiers' needs.
"If you are taking care of Soldiers, then the Soldiers are going to take care of the Army by reenlisting," said Folmar.
"The Army's needs are always very important, but if you are taking care of the Soldier's needs, then you are going to be taking care of the Army's," he said.
"One thing we don't do in 2-82 or in 3rd Brigade or in 1st Cav, is we don't reenlist a Soldier just to reenlist him. When a Soldier leaves the reenlistment table after the ceremony and they have recited the oath, we want them to have a good feeling about the Army," said Folmar.
"We want the Soldiers to be proud of the decision that they made, proud of the decision to continue with the 1st Cav or with the Army in general somewhere other than the 1st Cav.
"By doing that, by taking care of Soldiers, we are fostering good feelings in the Soldiers for the Army and for our country," he said.