KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Feb. 25, 2013) -- Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno visited with leaders and Soldiers deployed to Regional Command (South), Afghanistan, at Forward Operating Base Masum Ghar and at Forward Operating Base Frontenac, Feb. 21.

Odierno's purpose during the visit was to meet with Soldiers and leaders to get updates about how the Army is preparing Soldiers for Afghanistan, in terms of training, equipping and manning. He also received updates on how Army units are partnering with Afghan National Security Forces as they transition to independent operations.

His first stop, at Forward Operating Base, or FOB, Masum Ghar, featured an overview of the land surrounding the base before administering the oath of enlistment to five Soldiers, and awarding various other medals including four Purple Hearts, one Bronze Star with valor device, two Combat Infantry Badges, and two Combat Action Badges.

Following the awards presentation, he spoke directly to Soldiers.

"Purple Hearts tend to go to those who tend to be out front; who tend to be the ones who are constantly out front conducting hard difficult missions and they tend to be the ones who end up getting hurt in some way," said Odierno.

"It's about taking care of each other, it's about taking care of those on your right, on your left, to your front and to your rear," said Odierno. "It's about being there for each other in the toughest of times. It's about learning from each other. It's about being a team to accomplish a mission."

Next, Odierno traveled to FOB Frontenac where he received an operations update from 2-3 Field Artillery before promoting Warrant Officer Shaun Mance to chief warrant officer 2.

He also administered the oath of enlistment to several service members, presented various awards to include two Purple Hearts, two Combat Infantry Badges, two Combat Action Badges, one Combat Medical Badge, and recognized six Soldiers with coins. Following the awards presentation, he had a small group discussion with Soldiers of various ranks and military occupation specialties.

After the discussion, Odierno spent the remainder of his time here having lunch with junior Soldiers.