Sergeant Major’s Heroism, Quick Thinking, Saves Entire Platoon From Certain Death | The Duffel Blog

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.

via Sergeant Major’s Heroism, Quick Thinking, Saves Entire Platoon From Certain Death | The Duffel Blog.

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.

10 thoughts on “Sergeant Major’s Heroism, Quick Thinking, Saves Entire Platoon From Certain Death | The Duffel Blog”

    1. I actually don’t get that from anything there … When I read that I had shudders and was picturing a nice mix of several crusty old soldiers I’ve known, and all of them were as non-diverse as you could imagine. (Well, they were diverse in rank – I was seeing a mix of a particular SGM, COL and BGEN there that I used to know.)

  1. I am of the opinion that scouts provide some of the best NCOs I have ever dealt with.

    1. I think that might be because they spend a lot of time outside the immediate supervision of senior NCOs and Officers, and yet are still held to accomplishing the mission.

    2. 1) concur on 19D logic; 2) needs to slow down first. Although I am hoping this weekend stays slow (knock, knock) I have a bag of paperwork to work on …

  2. A long time ago on a post far away – I was a young buck sergeant walking with a fellow squad leader through the motor pool and a jeep (told you – long time ago) roars in with somebody in the front seat and some other individual hanging on for dear life in the back. We caught a glimpse, turned to each other and said, “It’s the GENERAL” – Literally, this jeep was in view for about 2 seconds. We headed to the dispatch shack and told the motor sergeant that THE General was in the area and walked back outside to be met by the Post CSM whose name escapes me as it’s buried as deep as I could get it. We did a “Good morning Sergeant Major” and he started screaming that we hadn’t saluted The General’s jeep and who did we think we were and we hadn’t heard the last of it. He screamed and screamed and screamed and finally told us to get lost. The next day, Captain Glenn Salger, my company commander called me to his office and asked for an explanation. I told him what had happened and he told me to forget about it. Six months later CPT Salger and I were both reassigned to the Bn S3 and he told me the rest of the story – the CSM wanted me and the squad leader given Article 15s and busted. CPT Salger told him to piss up a rope. Never heard anything else about it but two months later I was picked up for a an assignment requiring a YW clearance, which would have never been granted with an Article 15. I never cared much for CSMs after that.

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