Military News

Monday, August 10, 2015

SMA visits troops in the Last Frontier

by Sgt. 1st Class Joel Gibson
USARAK Public Affairs

8/10/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey visited the Last Frontier July 30 and 31 to give the Soldiers, Army civilians and families of U.S. Army Alaska an opportunity to address their concerns at the highest level, and to see how USARAK conducts some of its training.

First, Dailey visited Fort Wainwright and toured the Northern Warfare Training Center, where Arctic Warriors showed the Army senior enlisted adviser how they train to fight and win in high-altitude and extreme cold weather conditions and types of equipment used.

At both Fort Wainwright and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Dailey hosted town hall meetings in which he told Soldiers, Army civilians and family members of the SMA initiatives and explained their significance.

Dailey then opened the floor to questions, stating the concerns raised were being recorded and he would present them to the Chief of Staff of the Army.
At JBER, one of the immediate concerns was confusion over the Army online conduct policy.

"You can still have fun without hazing, without bullying and without sexually harassing," Dailey said.

Soldiers also raised concerns about Army Physical Fitness Test standards and methods changing, as well as uniform regulations.

Dailey responded by saying there are predictive and combat-focused tests being considered which would be based on a Soldier's military occupational specialty.

Also on the table are uniform updates like black socks with the improved physical fitness uniform, the Eisenhower style jacket with the Army service uniform, and unisex dress and drill sergeant headgear - which are receiving support in online polls.

In response to a question about why medical appointments require a long wait, Dailey said much of the wait comes from people missing appointments and rescheduling them.

"Should we charge Soldiers for missed appointments?" Dailey asked. The question was met with a resounding "hooah."

After the town hall meeting, Dailey met with several USARAK agencies, stopping by the Sergeant First Class Christopher R. Brevard Noncommissioned Officer Academy, and meeting with Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Ferdinand.

One of the major recurring themes in the NCO Academy visit was National Guard units using Regular Army training facilities - and vice versa - in an effort to save money spent on travel costs for Soldiers.

"He came down with extreme interest in the importance of what we're doing with training here," said Staff Sgt. Jason Hernandez, the quality assurance officer of the NCOA. "And not just smoothing over and giving you roundabout words, but a direct plan and a time line of when to expect results or changes."

Staff Sgt. Sean Callahan of USARAK Public Affairs contributed to this story.

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