Noncommissioned officers must learn, adopt and promote the Army’s new Ready and Resilient Campaign for future success in mitigating internal problems like sexual assault, suicide and Traumatic Brain Injury/Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (TBI/PTSD), according to Vice of Staff of the United States Army Gen. John F. Campbell.
“Once again the Army leadership is asking our noncom officers to lead culture change, so we can drive things from the top,” Campbell said during a noncommissioned officers forum at the Association of the United States Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition Monday, Oct. 21. “Our leaders, at all levels, must learn and adopt the Ready and Resilient Campaign. The purpose of this campaign is to establish an enduring cultural change.
“What I’m finding…is that the leaders and soldiers are familiar with many of the programs that are with Ready and Resilient Campaign but they’re not familiar with the actual campaign,” he added. “Leaders must understand it, adopt it, make it their own and tailor it for their units.”
Campbell stated that the most important domain for the Army’s future is self-development, adding that “we must be willing to knowledge our weaknesses and study those areas.”
One of these weaknesses, Campbell said, was the incidence of sexual assault and harassment within the Army.
“We need to treat them like insider threats,” he said. “We cannot tolerate them in our force.”
“Our NCO corps must take ownership of this problem by enforcing the Army values in their units,” explained Campbell, who also emphasized the importance of reinforcing the “three Cs” of character, commitment, and competence.
Another challenge that NCOs must tackle was overcoming the stigma that surrounds seeking treatment for TBI/PTSD.
“TBI and PTSD are part of our profession and they will continue to be, and we must address that and continue to treat it,” Campbell said. “When we have a problem we must be able to seek help.”
Campbell cited Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Ty Carter, who has been outspoken about his struggles with PTSD, as a sterling example of this type of self-aware heroism and leadership.
“If a man of celebrated valor like Staff Sgt. Carter, a hero, can ask for help, then no soldier should fear doing the same,” said Campbell. He also commended the role Carter’s former platoon sergeant, then-Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Hill played in encouraging the Medal of Honor recipient to seek help. “His platoon sergeant set the standard for all NCOs.”
A critical part of the Ready and Resilient Campaign, Campbell explained, are both the embedded behavioral teams as well as the National Intrepid Centers for the treatment of TBI/PTSD – the first being located at Fort Belvoir while the second is still being constructed at Fort Campbell.
“Only the strength of our noncommissioned officer corps will carry us through this transition,” Campbell