An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Sept. 13, 2006

No 'diamonds in the rough:' Ohio's largest pinning of new first sergeants

By Sgt. 1st Class Cheryl Carter Recruiting and Retention Battalion

To some, diamonds represent a commitment to a relationship meant to last a lifetime. To others, the word diamond brings to mind a playing field where the competition is tough and winning is everything.

In the Ohio Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion, these two concepts have fused into one, with the diamond – placed between three stripes above and three rockers below – representing the selfless commitment and fierce desire to achieve earned by eight master sergeants who recently were promoted to the rank of first sergeant.

On Aug. 22, Brig. Gen. Matthew Kambic, assistant to the adjutant General for Army, and Sgt. Maj. Michael Belcher, senior sergeant major for the Recruiting and Retention Battalion, pinned the prestigious rank on Master Sgts. Tonya Curry, Columbus; V. Jerry Coleman, Cleveland; Donald Lawrence, Northeast; Douglas Reed, Southeast; Scott Hutt, Canton; Robert Florek, Cincinnati; James Robbins, Dayton; and Jeffrey Collingsworth, Central.

This marks the first time in Recruiting Battalion history that an NCO has held the rank of first sergeant.

“It's great to finally have the diamond to go along with this level of leadership and responsibility,” said 1st Sgt. Jerry Coleman, noncommissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) of the Cleveland recruiting area.

The man responsible for the current structure of the organization, Recruiting and Retention Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Jerry Rees, couldn't agree more.

“Our first sergeants perform the same duties and execute the same responsibilities as any other company,” Rees said. “They are responsible for all training, logistics and personnel actions within the company.  Our largest company, Company E in North Canton, has around 200 soldiers assigned.”

“Becoming a first sergeant in the recruiting command was something I had never even considered when I first became a recruiter,” said 1st Sgt. Scott Hutt, Canton area NCOIC. “It now makes perfect sense to have first sergeants in the Recruiting Command. The RSP/Company structure has given all of the NCOs a chance to get back to leading, soldiering and training.”

The Recruit Sustainment Program (RSP) Hutt refers to has taken on a new face in the last year. It is a pre-basic training program where new enlistees attend their one-weekend-a-month drill, reporting to their recruiters instead of their assigned units, which has been the tradition of the program. It helps integrate troops into their new role as Soldier and prepares them for basic combat training, now known as initial entry training (IET)

First Sgt. Jeffery Collingsworth, Central Recruiting Area NCOIC, thinks the introduction of the first sergeant to the Recruiting Command will especially benefit the RSP program.

“It gives new Soldiers a better understanding of the Army structure,” he said. “The RSP companies now have squad leaders, platoon sergeants and a first sergeant just like any other company in the Army. New soldiers can learn about the chain of command and how it works before they ever leave for IET.”

“It is the last piece of the puzzle to make the command an NCO-driven organization,” added Coleman. “Long term, I think the effect will be that the best (Recruiting Command) NCOs will strive even harder to be the best they can be…looking forward to the day they can run a Recruiting and RSP Company as a first sergeant.”

“The intent of our restructure is to solidify a legacy force dominated by the NCO corps, with the officers in a support role,” Rees explained. “In addition to our sergeants major and first sergeants, we have established 22 Team Leaders that directly supervise the day-to-day activity of four to seven RRNCOs. These 22 “Fire Teams” are the center of gravity for the command. We will win or lose the accessions fight at this level.”

With its revitalized leadership and organizational restructuring, Ohio's Recruiting Command has decided to win.

“These NCOICs and their recruiters have cut overall training pipeline losses nearly in half and have enlisted over 500 more soldiers in Fiscal Year 2006 than FY05,” Rees said. “They exceeded 100 percent of our national end-strength objectives and posted the best recruiting year in the history of the Ohio Army National Guard.

“Their contributions in the areas of accessions, retention and ship rates for new soldiers directly impacted the state's July national ranking of #5 in the nation and #1 among all large states,” he added.

“Congratulations to these newly promoted NCOs,” said Brig. Gen. Matt Kambic, assistant adjutant General for Army. “Great things are expected from them as first sergeants of the RSP companies and as NCOICs of the Recruiting and Retention Battalion. These NCOs exhibit world-class leadership and will serve as excellent role models and examples of the professional NCO for all newly accessed soldiers.”

 

 

Related Articles
Staff Sgt. Skyler Buyce, a loadmaster with the 109th Airlift Wing, conducts post-flight checks in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, on May 13, 2024.
New York’s 109th Airlift Wing Begins 2024 Greenland Missions
By Tech. Sgt. Madison Scaringe, | May 28, 2024
STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.Y. - Four LC-130 “Skibirds” and about 75 Airmen from the New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing began the annual Greenland season supporting the National Science Foundation.The...

Brig. Gen. Todd H. Hubbard, the Virginia National Guard director of the Joint Staff, conducted key leader engagements with senior leaders from the Republic of Tajikistan April 29 to May 3, 2024, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Virginia Guard, Tajikistan Conduct Key Leader Exchange
By Mike Vrabel, | May 28, 2024
DUSHANBE, Tajikistan – Brig. Gen. Todd H. Hubbard, the Virginia National Guard director of the Joint Staff, conducted key leader engagements with senior leaders from the Republic of Tajikistan April 29 to May 3. The...

Virginia, Kentucky and West Virginia National Guard Soldiers participated in a Victory in Europe celebration May 8, 2024, in Hranice, Czech Republic. The units mobilized to the Czech Republic under the command of the Virginia National Guard’s 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
Guard Soldiers, Czech Partners Celebrate Victory in Europe Day
By Staff Sgt. Jeff Clements, | May 28, 2024
HRANICE, Czech Republic - Virginia, Kentucky and West Virginia National Guard Soldiers participated in a Victory in Europe celebration May 8 in the Czech Republic.The units mobilized to the Czech Republic under the command of...