The Fort Drum community honored 101 Soldiers who graduated Sept. 8 from the Warrior Leader Course, which teaches noncommissioned officers the military skills to guide troops into battle.
Guest speaker Sgt. Maj. Kinzell Hendricks, 10th Mountain Division (LI) G-1 sergeant major, congratulated the Soldiers and began his speech by telling graduates that Army leaders should perform as well in garrison as they do on the battlefield.
“Down range, looking for the bad guys and kicking in doors – we get an ‘A plus’ in that category,” Hendricks said. “However, when we get back to garrison, and now it is time for us to take care of things that go on in garrison, we don’t do as (well) as we should. That is something that we all need to work on as leaders.
“This means making sure that our Soldiers get to their appropriate appointments, such as medical, dental and things of that nature,” he continued. “Another thing that we need to improve on is going back to the basics – common customs and courtesy. Give the greeting of the day and render the proper hand salute when you pass by an officer.”
Hendricks next told each Soldier to look for good role models, just like he had as a young Soldier in the 1980s. He said the example of his military mentors taught him how to shine his boots, lead his Soldiers and even get through some of the hardest times of his life.
“The thing that will always stay with me,” he said, “is (how) these outstanding Soldiers always made sure they would provide (their troops) … with purpose, direction and motivation.
“By providing purpose, you will always alleviate the question of why we are doing something.
“(Direction) is when you provide a positive way for your Soldiers to (head in),” he continued. “Being a leader is not always a simple task, because sometimes you will have to make the difficult, unpopular decision. If you are a good leader, your Soldiers will understand. They will know that the decisions that you make are not for you, but for the entire team.
“(Motivation) is an intangible that you all possess,” Hendricks continued. “As a leader, you will have to figure out how to motivate each (Soldier). It does not always have to be a loud thunderous voice, or an intimidating stare. It may be a simple conversation with them, stating that their parents, son, daughter, husband, wife or significant other would not want them to give up on the task at hand.”
Hendricks concluded his remarks by seeking to motivate graduates into pursuing high standards for themselves, their Families, their troops and their nation.
“You are our nation’s future,” he said. “Stand fast and upright to the challenge, continue to do great things, and continue to get better each and every day.”
After his speech, Hendricks handed out awards and helped WLC staff in recognizing each graduate.
Sgt. Ryan A. Smith, 22nd Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade, was named Distinguished Honor Graduate for superior academic achievement.
Spc. Kendall Skelly, 7th Engineer Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, received the John D. Magrath Leadership Award.
Spc. Justin A. Peterson, 7th Engineer Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, was named Iron Soldier.
The Commandant's Inspection winner was Spc. Matthew J. Last, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment.
Instructor of the Cycle was presented to Staff Sgt. Shacon D. Robinson Sr.
The following Soldiers performed above course standards and were named to the Commandant's List: Sgt. James D. Bradberry, Sgt. Matthew H. Butler, Sgt. Joseph B. Hicks, Sgt. Monty D. Putnam, Cpl. Matt R. Fenelon, Cpl. Brandon S. Winkler, Spc. Anthony J. Baldwin, Spc. Justin D. Cook, Spc. Christopher P. Lockhart, Spc. Tyler P. Mason, Spc. Daniel N. McNutt, Spc. Joseph J. Newton, Spc. Jason L. Norman, Spc. Charleen M. Wagar and Spc. Jesse J. Zimmerman.
Other WLC graduates were as follows: Sgt. David Augustus, Sgt. Matthew R. Compton, Sgt. Charity Diggs, Sgt. Jeremy L. Giddings, Sgt. Marshal D. Hickman, Sgt. Nathan T. Kennedy, Sgt. Shawn C. Kroeck, Sgt. Jonathan Martinezcancel, Sgt. Octavio N. Mata, Sgt. James E. Peyton, Sgt. Elizabeth D. Schultz, Sgt. John J. Sprague, Sgt. Eunice N. Tahsoh, Sgt. Keith C. Wilson, Cpl. Justin N. Jones and Cpl. Chad N. Noble.
Also, Spc. Christopher E. Adams, Spc. Amber R. Albury, Spc. Joshua D. Blackburn, Spc. William R. Booth, Spc. Ryan R. Bourque, Spc. Kalie N. Bozman, Spc. James T. Bushek, Spc. Aladdin C. Cabradilla, Spc. Daryl J. Carr, Spc. Christopher K. Compton, Spc. Ishaun L. Coombs, Spc. Bassaya J. Coulibaly, Spc. Dion H. Davey, Spc. David K. Dawson, Spc. Herman L. Dickerson, Spc. Aubrie L. Dowden, Spc. Anne M. Francis, Spc. Amir W. Ghaidi, Spc. John J. Gregorczyk, Spc. Eric L. Hargarten, Spc. Stefan J. Hill, Spc. Jared A. Hoffman and Spc. Nathan E. Hulstrand.
Also, Spc. Michael E. Johnson, Spc. Phillip S. Jones, Spc. Nathaniel L. Kingsbury, Spc. Daniel A. Larue, Spc. Bermuez F. Lopez, Spc. Evan J. Lourie, Spc. Dick C. Manni, Spc. Eric J. Martinez, Spc. David Masel, Spc. Anthony J. Masters, Spc. Donald C. Mattison, Spc. Katherine G. Medina, Spc. Harold U. Newkirk, Spc. Jalisa R. Newton, Spc. Tyrone B. Nicholas, Spc. Charity R. Oliver, Spc. Jon M. Paige, Spc. Robert A. Pietila, Spc. Nicholas D. Porter, Spc. Cortland A. Reid, Spc. Brian R. Richard, Spc. Tamerah L. Ross and Spc. Ryan J. Rumminger.
Also, Spc. Keldrick Screws, Spc. Gilbert Silva, Spc. Eric L. Smith, Spc. Kenneth L. Smith, Spc. Roberta M. Smith, Spc. Shawn L. Smith, Spc. Michael J. Snyder, Spc. Sean P. St. George, Spc. Kamien A. Stanford, Spc. Myrna E. Steptoe, Spc. Eric W. Steyert, Spc. Rodricus A. Sturgis, Spc. Dennice D. Tafolla, Spc. Tyler E. Thompson, Spc. Jared M. Tillery, Spc. Juan E. Torres, Spc. Jaime J. Velez, Spc. Tori K. Vick, Spc. Ranfier N. Villar, Spc. Kendra M. Vining, Spc. Clovis D. Walters, Spc. William D. Wheeler, Spc. Bryant T. White and Spc. Nicholas L. Wohlers.