Leaders empowered through learning

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Story by SGT Robert Harris on 02/28/2017
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Retired U.S. Army general and former president, Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "The sergeant is the Army", which speaks to the important role junior noncommissioned officers have in shaping the Army by leading, training and developing young Soldiers.

Leaders of 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division empowered their junior NCOs by teaching them how to assess gunnery tables Feb. 21-23 at Fort Stewart, Georgia.

During this "train-the-trainer" class, junior NCOs, corporals, sergeants and staff sergeants, learned new standardized scoring methods, proper crew gunnery procedures, and how to identify and address safety hazards.

"This class gives junior NCOs a knowledge base of vehicle crew gunnery and it teaches them what right looks like," said Sgt. Maj. Cory B. West, operations sergeant major of 6-8 Cav. "It allows them to not only grade other Soldiers, but it also helps them understand what they are going to be graded on as well, so they can do the task to standard."

One NCO attending the class felt more confident and experienced in providing purpose and direction to Soldiers following the instruction.

"I've always been dismounted, so this is showing me another end of the spectrum within my career," said Staff Sgt. Christian Lanman, assistant operations NCO with 6-8 Cav.

Lanman has deployed twice to Iraq, is a former drill sergeant, and has been a team leader and squad leader of light infantry Soldiers, but has little experience with mounted operations.

"I feel more well-rounded instead of one dimensional," Lanman added. "Every experience, such as this class, molds you into what you are."

Next month, 6-8 Cav. is scheduled to conduct mounted gunnery tables four, five and six. The newly trained and empowered junior NCOs will evaluate crew teams, consisting of a driver, a truck commander and a gunner, with their main mounted weapon system and ability to engage stationary and moving targets in offensive and defensive positions.

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