FORT SHAFTER FLATS, Hawaii –
The 322nd Civil Affairs Brigade, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, held an official change of responsibility ceremony on April 2, at Fort Shafter Flats, Honolulu. The unit says goodbye to Master Sgt. Dana Apo, who served as the unit’s first sergeant and welcomes its new first sergeant, Master Sgt. Marie Dejean.
Apo served the 322nd as their first sergeant proudly from December 2019 to April 2022. During that time she guided her Soldiers not just in their Army career, but in a way that would help them grow in their personal lives as well.
“I tell them to take advantage of as many opportunities for growth as possible,” Apo says. “I encourage them to seek additional MOSs, to let the military pay for courses that enhance their civilian skill sets, to take opportunities to develop their leadership skills, and above all else, to find the balance between what they do for the Army and being there for their families.”
Apo gives credit to the many senior non-commissioned officers (NCO) and commissioned officers she's had the pleasure of working and learning from over the years. Through working with them she has learned to understand their views, why they think the way they do, and how they execute the ideas and plans they set in motion.
“You cannot say enough about listening,” Apo explains. “Listen to what people are saying, how they are saying it and what they are not saying. Pay attention to not only the squeaky wheel but those who silently sit there and do great work. Let others know when you appreciate them.”
From here, Apo was selected for a mobilization with the U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) Security Cooperation Division (SCD) as part of the Oceania Engagement Team (OET). In addition, she hopes to use her recent Gender Focal Group (GFP) training to address Women’s Peace and Security across the Oceania region.
“Here, I am able to support my fellow mobilized Reservists who are mobilized downrange in the Oceania Region,” Apo shared. “If I’m lucky, I’ll get picked up for Sergeant Major and I’ll be able to attend Sergeant Majors Academy (SGM-A) where I can continue to learn and grow.”