Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan – Many leaders struggle to make a real impact on soldiers’ lives, but Command Sergeant Major Richard Widmark doesn’t have that problem. Widmark, assigned to 325th BSTB at Bagram Air Field, saved a platoon from certain death today after spotting a six-vehicle convoy returning from a security patrol.
He immediately noticed one of the Soldiers was clearing a weapon while wearing neither his protective eye wear or Army Combat Helmet (ACH). Even worse, the Soldier had the “eye-pro” perched on top of his head.
I’ve had some great Command Sergeant Majors. And… some not so great ones.
Back in ’94, our battalion was doing a Bradley gunnery rotation downrange at Ft. Carson. That meant the whole battalion moved to a cantonment area about 15 miles south of main post for a couple of weeks to focus on our training. I was manning the phones and radios in the hut housing our company office when the CSM came in and laid into our First Sergeant. The CSM was very unhappy about some piddly missing paperwork report that the 1SG was supposed to have filed.
The CSM had driven down from main post and was livid. “I shouldn’t have to drive 20 miles down here, First Sergeant, to get you to unfuck your paperwork!”
My First Sergeant* made me proud with his answer. “No, you shouldn’t. You should have to walk across the street from Battalion CP, Sergeant Major!”
End of discussion.
*Our “First Sergeant” was actually a Sergeant First Class, waiting for his promotion to come through to E-8. He was also a Cavalryman, and the former Platoon Sergeant for the Battalion Scout Platoon. As the senior SFC in the battalion, since we were short an E-8 for the role of 1SG, he claimed the job. Good man, for a guy with spurs.