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Face of Defense: Senior NCO Guides Soldiers, Ensures Readiness

By Army Sgt. Victor Everhart U.S. Army Central Command

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SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C., January 8, 2015 — Army 1st Sgt. Nathaniel A. Campbell is the senior enlisted advisor for Headquarters Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army Central Command.

He is responsible for advising the commander and enhancing the force by ensuring readiness of all soldiers assigned to the command.

Campbell, a Houston native, has been the first sergeant for about 10 months, and he said he believes soldiers are his biggest priority in the upcoming year.

Helping, Mentoring, Guiding Soldiers

“It’s my job and business to help and mentor junior soldiers through tough times, as well as guide them in the direction that is most beneficial to them and their careers,” he added.

Being the first sergeant at U.S. Army Central is much different from being a first sergeant in other Army units. One of the prerequisites for the job is experience as a first sergeant at a lower-echelon command.

“I was a line-unit first sergeant for two-and-a-half years before reporting here,” Campbell said. “In a line unit, everything starts and stops with me. Here, I support USARCENT’s mission of ensuring the soldiers who are accomplishing the mission are deployable.”

Caring for soldiers is a leadership trait that should be integrated in the heart of any military leader, said Campbell , who noted that his background instilled this trait from an early age. As the oldest grandchild in his family, he said, he often had to help take care of his younger family members.

‘I Treat Everyone As If They Were My Own’

“When you care about a soldier, you have to remember they are someone’s son, daughter, mother or father,” he said. “It makes it much easier to do the right thing. I treat everyone as if they were my own, and improvement and progress are things we all want for our loved ones.”

Campbell said that part of his leadership philosophy is his core belief that soldiers should challenge themselves and constantly ask, “How can I make this better?”

“Leave it better than you found it,” he said. “It may not be perfect or squeaky clean, but at the end of the day, if you can leave something better than you found it, then you’ve really accomplished something.”