Fort Riley, Kansas



Soldiers demonstrate readiness during general’s recent visit

By Sgt. 1st Class Victor Gardner | 1ST INF. DIV. SUST. BDE. PUBLIC AFFAIRS | January 25, 2018

     Brig. Gen. Douglas McBride, commander the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment, visited the Soldiers of 541st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, Dec. 1 to see the “Pacesetters” meeting their mission and supporting their clients.

      A sustainment unit provides support needed to front-line troops. The equipment, and all forms of sustenance, comes from a warehouse all the way to those troops by way of units like the 541st CSSB. Warrant Officer Shirita Long, 541st CSSB accountable officer, guided McBride through every section as members of her team briefed him.

      McBride said he was thoroughly impressed with the knowledge and processes that are in place.

     Long said she and her Soldiers were confident in their presentation because the group conducted their daily actions the way McBride was briefed.

      “I think it was more confidence,” Long said. “I am confident in my team, my work and myself. I put my all into my team. They are the ones that keep this ship moving. Without them, I would not be here.”

     During his visit, a member of McBride’s command team delivered some news that brought smiles to the faces of the 541st CSSB — for the quarter, their unit was one of two — from a pool of 20 — that met mission expectations.

     Command Sgt. Maj. Cheryl Greene, 13th Expeditionary Sustainment senior non-commissioned officer, highlighted Long’s team, consisting of junior noncommissioned officers and enlisted Soldiers, who made this happen.

     “I’m upfront with my team all the time,” Long said. “I tell them all the time it’s OK to make mistakes because that’s how you learn. I let them know that no one is perfect and we are all here to learn from one another. If I know it, you’ll know it as well.”

      Long also credits her noncommissioned officer in charge, Staff Sgt. Charles York, for the way the Soldiers were able to brief McBride. Greene took time out to recognize York with a coin. She said he was an example of how to lead and develop Soldiers.

      Two Soldiers who briefed McBride were Spc. Tiara Allen and Pfc. Miguel Caraballo. Both Soldiers said they believe York deserved the honor of being coined. Caraballo said the coining of York shows he and his teammates have earned the trust of their NCOIC.

     “My NCOIC receiving a coin from Com­mand Sgt. Maj. Greene meant a lot to me,” Caraballo said. “It shows the knowledge and hard work Staff Sgt. York puts into the SSA (Supply Support Activity) day in and day out. Most importantly, it demonstrates the trust and respect Staff Sgt. York has instilled in us to suc­ceed and become great.”

      The “Big Red One” has a creed called the “BRO Charge” that is said at first formation every morning by units all over Fort Riley. One section states, “My contribution as a teammate matters.”

      After hearing what McBride and Greene had to say about her unit and NCO, Allen said she felt the BRO Charge in action.

      “I felt like I was (a member of a) team be­cause I was selected to brief my section having only been in that section for a short time,” Al­len said. “Also, this is my first time working in a warehouse, and I love my job.”

      It’s not often a private gets to brief a general for their first time briefing someone. Long said her team felt confident enough in Allen that she was selected to do so.

      “This was my very first time talking to a general,” Allen said. “I felt nervous when I saw him walking to the back because he was with so many people. Once the general started talking to me, I felt at ease.”

      Long says her team performed as she expect­ed during McBride’s visit.

      “I feel really proud of my Soldiers,” Long said. “They did a great job.”