Sgt. 1st Class E. L. Craig
4th Brigade Combat Team Journalist
LAGHMAN, Afghanistan – Early Friday morning, while most Soldiers were working out or still sleeping, a group at Forward Operating Base Gamberi met at the dining facility to pray and learn about conducting oneself with character.
Both Soldiers and civilians attended the event, titled “The Character of a Leader,” a prayer breakfast hosted by the chaplain office of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI).
“Character is the foundational building block for good leadership, because it’s with good positive character that you build trust and gain a positive influence over the people you serve with,” said Chaplain (Maj.) Ned Bartlebaugh, 4th BCT chaplain.
“We’ve been deployed for about three to four months, so we’re in that middle mark,” he added. “We have Christmas coming up, and I felt like we needed to do something different that would take us from the daily grind, but (also) allow us to focus on something that would help us complete our mission.”
After the 101st Jazz Trio welcomed attendees with music and 4th BCT Soldier Spc. Richard Anderson sang two Christian songs, Sgt. Maj. Brian Harmon, 4th BCT operations sergeant major, offered a prayer for the brigade’s Soldiers. Chief Warrant Officer 4 Cecil Hughes followed with a separate prayer for Family Members based at Fort Polk, La., who support the deployed Soldiers.
The brigade’s commander, senior enlisted adviser and battalion command teams also attended the event.
One senior noncommissioned officer in attendance said he thought the event’s topic was fitting, especially since it focused on the individual.
“Character tells you who I am,” said Master Sgt. Ronnie Rooks, 4th BCT food service adviser. “It lets you know what I stand for, what I’m willing to accept, and what I’m willing to do, and it’s something I won’t sacrifice.”
Rooks said that at this point in a deployment, many Soldiers really miss their Families, which can lead to things happening that should not happen.
“So I think it is a message we all needed, to give us that extra push to make it back home,” he said.
Bartlebaugh made it clear
why individual character was important in a collective sense as well.
“Each individual’s character, from private to general, has an impact and reflection on the unit as a whole,” he said. “Everybody that’s here is a leader, and we ought to be leaders of character in our homes, in the workplace (and) the community.”