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CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait- -Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, attended a promotion board during their deployment to Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Jan. 4. However this was not the standard promotion board most Soldiers attend; this board went back to the basics.
Some of my Soldiers were having problems memorizing information. Some people are just not good at that, but just because they cant memorize every rule and regulation, doesnt mean they arent good Soldiers or leaders, said 1-10 Field Artillerys Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Aaron. We have to find ways to take care of Soldiers. This type of promotion board can help some of those Soldiers get past that stumbling block.
The purpose of this board was to test Soldiers abilities to complete common tasks such as performing first aid, land navigation, radio communications, preventative maintenance, checks and services of a vehicle along with a standard Army promotion board.
Twenty Soldiers assigned to 1-10 FA participated in this months promotion board, which began with each Soldier rotating through the six different common task stations. At each station, Soldiers were given the task they were to perform, the conditions what tools and assets they were provided, and the standard the measures upon which they were graded.
These are the common tasks Soldiers do on a daily basis, but sometimes we dont always do it by the book, said Staff Sgt. Joshua Smith, an intelligence analyst assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, who sponsored his Soldier, Spc. Fisher Isaiah, also an intelligence analyst with HHB. This board made my Soldier and myself look up the regulations and standards to make sure we knew exactly what is expected.
After Soldiers completed the hands-on portion of the board, they appeared in front of Aaron and the battalions first sergeants for a traditional promotion board where each Soldier recited the NCO Creed and answered a series of questions on multiple subjects such as drill and ceremony, leadership and current events.
This was my fourth time going to a promotion board, said Spc. Jose Alicea, a unit supply specialist, assigned to HHB, 1-10 FA. I enjoyed this board much better. With each task I completed my confidence level went up. When I actually got to the board portion, I was so confident and I knew I did well.
My problem before was my language barrier, explained Alicea, whose native language is Spanish. Between trying to translate and answer the questions, it was hard for me. This time I felt more relaxed and was able to focus better.
For a lot of Soldiers it is not easy to just sit there and answer questions, said A Batterys 1st Sgt. Collin Gomillia. This showed them that there is more to being a leader than just answering questions. A leader needs to know not only the rules and regulations, but how to properly execute tasks and the standards the Army has set.
Aaron plans to continue this type of promotion board when his battalion returns from its deployment to Kuwait and hopes it is implemented into the brigade as well as the Big Army. One thing I wanted to do is achieve the total Soldier concept, said Aaron. This board gives us a better picture of these future leaders.
The board was scored 60 percent on the proper execution of the common tasks and 40 percent on the board proceedings. Of the 20 Soldiers who attended the Back to the Basics board, 12 received their promotable status.
Remembering back to when I was a young Soldier, I wanted to be challenged and that is what the Soldiers enjoyed with this board more than anything, said Headquarters and Headquarters Batterys 1st Sgt. Theodore Brock. Soldiers want to be challenged and learn their jobs, and it is our responsibility to do that.