Fort Campbell Chapter event: Command climate, job satisfaction

Fort Campbell Chapter event: Command climate, job satisfaction

Monday, November 28, 2016

Greetings from the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), our Army’s and our soldiers’ professional organization.

AUSA’s 119 chapters with their volunteer leaders and members across the country and around the world are our ambassadors, connecting our Association with soldiers and their families, Army leaders in their area, local corporate partners and our communities.

Our 119 chapters serve as the linchpin to bring faces and places together to better support our soldiers and tell the “Army Story.”

Our mission: To serve as a voice for the Army and support for the soldier.

As a 501(C) (3) not for profit educational association, one of our association’s key roles is to provide relevant, needed and wanted educational opportunities for soldiers and their families.

As part of the Veterans Day celebrations, I had the opportunity to visit and spend time with the soldiers, families and community at Fort Campbell, Ken.

The Association of the U.S. Army’s Fort Campbell Chapter sponsored my visit and I used this great opportunity to join with the chapter and showcase AUSA’s educational and mentorship initiatives.

One of the key events I supported was the “Lunch and Learn” event for soldiers assigned to the 3rd Brigade (Rakkasans), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

The chapter members hosted the event at the installation’s education center, and they provided box lunches for the soldiers while we participated in the lunchtime discussions.

There were approximately 40 soldiers in attendance, ranging in rank from private to sergeant first class.

What I found interesting and wanted to share with you were the questions they asked and the discussions we had that reflected what today’s young professional soldiers and NCOs have on their minds.

First, we started with a conversation about why soldiers reenlist and stay in the Army.

Gen. Mark Milley, Army chief of staff, promotes Soldier of the Year Robert Miller to sergeant, left, and SMA Daniel Dailey promotes Best Warrior competition runner-up Trey Castor to sergeant at the AUSA Annual Meeting. (AUSA News photo)

Having served in many types of organizations in the Army over the years, I began with my three critical elements that effect the decision of a soldier to stay in the Army after his or her first enlistment or a reenlistment for a second term.

We discussed command climate as being the key factor for a soldier to stay or leave the Army.

Specifically, we talked about the role of the first-line supervisor and the immediate officers and noncommissioned officers a soldier interacts with on a daily basis.

We also discussed the role of the chain of command upward to the most senior installation commander and the impact they have on command climate.

Ultimately our discussion concluded with an understanding of the climate where soldiers look forward to their time in the unit and their desire to continue to serve.

The second factor we discussed was job satisfaction and its impact on the soldier’s decision to stay in the Army.

All agreed job satisfaction goes beyond an occupational specialty, it also includes the chain of command’s acknowledgement of the soldier’s contributions to the unit and the value of his or her service.

The third factor we discussed in great detail was quality of life and the expectations of soldiers and their families.

Ultimately, quality of life for the individual soldier and the family must be as good, or better, than the quality of life they could provide for themselves back in hometown USA.

The quality-of-life discussion transitioned into the soldier’s observations of tightening budgets in and around the installation.

We had a great conversation about sequestration and why the budget tightening is impacting the Army and our soldiers more than it affects government employees outside of the Department of Defense.

The soldiers who were in the gray area of deciding if the Army was a future career choice or if transition into the civilian sector was their future, asked questions about civilian careers and education credentials.

Collectively, the group discussed education opportunities while in uniform for achieving personal education goals.

These opportunities included a discussion about noncommissioned officer education credentialing and certification.

One of the great ongoing Army initiatives is to credential all educational courses soldiers attend throughout their military service.

The Army’s goal is to give soldiers college credit, training certifications and licenses for the career fields where they have served throughout their career.

Ideally, all soldiers, regardless of their occupational specialty, regardless of their length of service and regardless of rank all leave the Army after their term of service with a form of educational credentials.

For a soldier who served four years or the sergeant major who served 30 years, all would leave with the credentials they gained and earned for their service.

The entire session with all the soldiers was great.

There was no doubt in my mind these soldiers were some of the best our nation has to offer in their age group.

Each of these young professional soldiers was motivated and this lunchtime venue gave them opportunity to broaden their views on their military service and think about their future.

The AUSA Fort Campbell Chapter did a magnificent job coordinating the event with the command, the installation and the education center.

The success of this venue has led to planning for more professional development sessions in the very near future at multiple venues across many organizations.

We can all be very proud of the volunteers who serve selflessly to support our soldiers and their families, provide relevance and support to the Army commands, and tell the soldier’s story throughout our communities and across the nation.

Now more than ever America’s Army needs AUSA, and AUSA needs your membership support.

Membership is the volume knob to ensure your voice is amplified many times over and heard throughout the halls of Congress, from sea to shining sea across this country, and throughout every small town and community in-between.

Keep America’s Army Strong! Take A Stand!

Still Serving, Still Saluting!