By Staff Sgt. Joe Armas
1st Cavalry Division
CAMP MARMAL, Afghanistan - Senior enlisted members of the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, welcomed their counterparts from the German armed forces in Regional Command North to a Diamond Club meeting on Thursday.
The Diamond Club, which comprises senior enlisted members from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, meets on a weekly basis at Camp Marmal.
This was the first time senior enlisted advisers from the German armed forces attended.
"The partnership between our two nations here in the regional command is flourishing by the day," said Command Sgt. Maj. Glen Vela, senior enlisted adviser, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade.
The meeting was what Vela called "the next step" to enhance the relationship among the enlisted leadership of the two nations.
Another senior enlisted member, Sgt. Maj. Jason Speede, operations sergeant major, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, attended the event and talked about how events like this have enhanced his relationship with his German counterparts.
"I've been stationed in Germany for 13 years out of my career, and this is the most interaction I've had with German soldiers," Speede said.
"I think it's ironic that here in Afghanistan, the enlisted partnership between our two nations has come full circle," he said.
Vela and the newly minted command sergeant major for German armed forces in Regional Command North, Command Sgt. Maj. Maurizio Grandesso, are already working together, having toured other forward operating bases in the regional command on previous occasions.
Grandesso sees the new relationship as an opportunity that bears mutual benefits for both leaders.
He said that he hopes that as enlisted leaders, they can learn from each other in the coming months and make improvements for the betterment of the enlisted corps within their respective units.
Vela said that although different cultures and languages distinguish the two nations from each other, the similarities between the two nations' militaries are abundant.
"When you look closely, the way our enlisted leadership chain is structured, it's almost identical to that of the Germans," Vela said to the group of enlisted leadership in attendance.
He noted that a first sergeant in the German armed forces plays a very similar role to that of a first sergeant in the United States Army.
The evening's meeting was marked by a plethora of camaraderie, laughter and interaction between the two nations.
"It was a great opportunity for us to come together, get to know one another and share information," Speede said. "Everyone was having a good time."
"It was great that the (brigade) invited us to attend, and we hope to be a part of many more Diamond Club outings," Grandesso said.