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NEWS | Jan. 26, 2016

Brig. Gen. Elwell supports First Sergeant Workshop

By Capt. Fernando Ochoa 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)

SLOAN, Nev. – Brig. Gen. David E. Elwell, 311th Expeditionary Sustainment Command commanding general, traveled to Las Vegas to support Col. Toni Glover, 650th Regional Support Group commanding officer, at the George W. Dunaway Army Reserve Center in Sloan, during a First Sergeant Workshop Jan. 22-24.

The purpose of the First Sergeant Workshop is to develop a professional noncommissioned officer corps that is professional and innovative in mission accomplishment and Soldier welfare.

Elwell addressed the gathering and made it clear his expectations, which included being ready across every formation down to the individual Soldier, train their Soldiers across the full range of military operations and lead by example and grow new Army leaders at all levels.

“Our job starts with physical fitness because when we go down range we need to be physically fit to endure the harsh environments that we serve in,” said Elwell. “Our enemy is brutal and we owe it to our Soldiers to help them train hard and to be tough.”

During this three-day event, the objective was to train and disseminate information about subjects that ranged from understanding the duties, roles and responsibilities of senior noncommissioned officers to knowing career counseling and re-enlistment requirements.    

Twenty-five first sergeants worked together, sharing their experiences and contributed to the flow of ideas, making the workshop productive and successful.

“After more than ten years of war, we are now going from a battlefield to a garrison mentality and this workshop is helping us get back to basics,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Mario Canizales, 650th RSG command sergeant major. “This form was perfect for our senior noncommissioned officers to talk to each other, exchange ideas and network.”

Sgt. 1st Class Karina Zumudio, 314th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion support operations specialist and workshop noncommissioned officer in charge, spent months organizing and planning this workshop in order to improve the lines of communication within the 311th ESC and 79th Sustainment Support Command.

“We wanted to open up dialogue between team members so that there could be a better process of ensuring that our Soldiers meet the standard for readiness,” said Zumudio. “Together we can sharpen our skills and knowledge, and always be ready if called upon.”

By the end of the workshop, all participants also learned the importance of mentoring and counseling programs, medical readiness, processing for schools, maintaining a leader’s book and helping Soldier with promotions.

The 650th RSG is located in Sloan, right outside of Las Vegas, Nevada and falls under the 
311th ESC. The 650th RSG has control of three battalions: 314th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 469th CSSB and the 483rd Transportation Battalion. Its area of operation spans over three states, including California, Nevada and Arizona.   

The 311th ESC’s primary mission is to command the sustainment brigades that provide combat support and combat service support in the areas of supply, maintenance, transportation, field services and the functional brigades or battalions.