Reserve Army Lt. Gen. Visits Reserve Component Troops in Baghdad
Special to American Forces Press Service
CAMP LIBERTY, Dec. 26, 2008 Soldiers from the 926th Combat Engineer Brigade took advantage of an opportunity to ask questions and get answers directly from the senior leader in their chain of command at Camp Liberty’s field house Dec. 24, 2008.
Army Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz, chief, Army Reserve and commanding general, U.S. Army Reserve Command, along with Command Sgt. Maj. Leon Caffie, senior enlisted leader, visited and met with the soldiers on Christmas Eve.
Army Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz, chief, Army Reserve and commanding general, U.S. Army Reserve Command, speaks with Multi-National Division-Baghdad soldiers from the 926th Engineer Brigade during a Christmas Eve visit at Camp Liberty’s field house. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Whitney Houston
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
“It’s an honor to be here as the chief of the Reserves, but I am humbled by what you represent as you serve in the military,” Stultz said, as he introduced himself to the crowd of more than one hundred Reserve soldiers.
Stultz shared some insight on his background as an Army reservist and on his civilian career. He told the troops that they are in the most respected profession in the country, and they have his support as well as that of the people back in the United States.
The Army Reserve, he said, has come along way from the one weekend a month, two weeks during the summer of service. “Now its one year, every four or five years – sometimes even more,” said Stultz.
When the war on terror began, the Army Reserves weren’t ready, he said, and there were a lot of holes that needed to be filled so Reserve units could go to battle with a full team. This became his mission – his personal goal – once he assumed his current position, he explained.
“We owe the soldiers more than that,” said Stultz. “We need to be prepared to come in and be able to fulfill our role as a support element to the Regular Army”.
Stultz said his goal during his trip to the Middle East, and Caffie’s as well, is to provide the Reserve warriors with current information about projects they are currently working on in Washington D.C., and how those projects would ultimately impact the soldiers.
It is important, he explained, for soldiers to know what is happening in the Army Reserves, and the best way is to share that information and visit with his soldiers, first hand. This also gives the soldiers an opportunity to ask questions and provide their feedback.
Caffie noted during his talks that accountability for one’s actions, both up and down the chain, is very important. It is a concept he holds in high regard. As such, he added, you have to know when to face issues head on to resolve the potential issues.
It is also vital, Caffie said, that soldiers remain vigilant and finish the fight strong. He aksed his fellow Reserve soldiers to help spread information to those back home on what they do and the benefits of serving the nation as a Reserve soldier.
“You know what type of person you want fighting beside you, and you can be the biggest influence,” Caffie said. “You are what is the most important to the Reserves.”
The 926th Eng. Bde. commander said it was important for the soldiers to see and meet with their leaders.
“Its great that they can come and talk to us about the challenges in the Reserves and how we can better support our active component,” said Brig. Gen Jeffrey Talley. “Most soldiers just appreciate the fact that he (Stultz) has taken his time during the holidays just to see us.”
Following the meeting, the two leaders stayed and met with the soldiers, answered their questions and asked a few of their own to garner their troops' feedback on the issues they feel are important.