I have always wondered who and why influences some of our greatest leaders. I know I have several who pushed me harder and better. I learned a lot about following as well as leading. My biggest influence was a Captain by the name of Brian Chontosh. I have taken many things I liked about his leadership and molded it to fit my own, as well as learned from things I did not like about his leadership. He was my greatest influence for the MECEP.
Edited 8 y ago
Posted 8 y ago
When I was a young PFC, I had a SGT in my Troop. He was not my 1st line or even in the same platoon but, during my long hours as the armorer, I had to stay late he would be there with me. My NCOs would leave and go home but he would remain to help out. I have always tried to remember that. Sadly, he passed away in Mosul, Iraq in 2008; but that memory of him has stuck with me. He was a damn good NCO.
Excellent post sir over the years there have been many leaders that provided me with motivation and great influence. SFC Jeffery Ivey who I served with as a DS motivated me to pursue my MBA, MSG Bill Kanute who kept poking at me telling me I wasn't good enough to be a member of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club but was there every step of the way, CSM Ricky Buchanan that showed me you're never too old to pursue any dream regardless of how difficult, and SGM Kerry Kolhof for lightening the mood with his funny remarks like sometimes you get the turd and sometimes you don't all great men that inspired me to be a better leader.
Great question sir. It is hard to pinpoint that "one" leader that was most influential on my career. I have a few that stepped in at certain times throughout my career. First is CSM(R) Mark Caffey. CSM Caffey was my first Section Sergeant when I was a new Soldier in Germany. He showed me what right looked like and taught me many lessons that I still live by today. Next was CSM Jesse L. Andrews. CSM Andrews was a DS and then 1SG when I was assigned as an instructor at Fort Knox, Ky. He was the consummate professional and always chose the hard right on a daily basis. Then there was CSM Bill Burford. I replaced CSM Burford at Armor Branch at HRC and I served with him again at Schofield Barracks, HI. CSM Burford taught me lasting lessons with regards to resiliency. He looked dark times in the eye and never blinked. He will always be the example of Army Resilient to me. Most previous was CSM Bernardo Serna. CSM Serna was my last BN CSM and my first MI CSM after I reclassed. While we did not always agree on techniques, he showed me that there is always another way to look at things. Always look at everything before you decide on a COA or recommend a COA to your CDR. All were great leaders and I am happy to say that I still keep in touch with each of them today.
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