During my tour of Fort Hood’s Warrior Transition Brigade earlier this month, one of the things that stuck with me was something the brigade’s top enlisted soldier said.
During a roundtable discussion at the brigade, Command Sgt. Maj. Jeff Moser said no regular Army units have come to the brigade to check on their former soldiers during his year and a half with the brigade.
In other words, when a soldier gets reassigned from his or her regular unit — which can be from anywhere in the Army or Reserves — into the Warrior Transition Brigade, the follow-up response from the soldier’s previous unit has been dismal.
There have been some follow-ups from leadership in the Reserves and National Guard checking on their ill or wounded soldiers in the transitional brigade, Moser said, but he still has yet to see a platoon sergeant, first sergeant or anyone else from a regular Army unit checking up on their former soldier.
Moser said he’s convinced that in almost every case, there would be a benefit to such a visit.
Even though there might be some bad blood between an ill or wounded soldier and his old unit, I’d have to agree with Moser.
It’s really the job of all noncommissioned officers to care for their soldiers, especially those who are having problems. Unfortunately, for many soldiers who get assigned to a warrior transition unit, they had no idea about the process.
Fort Hood Warrior Transition Brigade commander Col. Douglas Woodall said he estimates about 95 percent of incoming soldiers feel they were “kicked to the curb” by their former unit or the process to get to the warrior transition unit was not transparent.
For a regular Army unit focused on readiness, getting rid of a troubled soldier who may be a distraction may seem in the best interest of any combat unit.
But for NCOs to simply brush off their hands when that soldier is gone, is not in the interest of the soldier, especially if that soldier sacrificed a lot for his or her unit.
Moser is right to highlight the fact that visits to healing soldiers from old unit leadership is dismal.
I challenge all leaders who have a soldier in the Fort Hood Warrior Transition Brigade to schedule a visit. They may find that the healing can work both ways.