Chief helps rebuild Afghan National Army

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Erik Wineland
  • 354th Logistics Readiness Squadron
The sun is rising in Pol-e-Charki, Afghanistan and as chief Air Force advisor to the Afghan National Army’s 201st Corps’ Sergeant Major we have been discussing a strategy for stand¬ing up a commando platoon in preparation for Afghanistan’s first ever joint exercise.

The sunrise this morning marks the beginning of a bright sunny day and a bright future for the fledgling Afghan National Army.

Sgt. Maj. Shamsadiin and I are on a mission to build the non-commissioned officer corps from the bottom up – and the commando platoon marks the first significant challenge for these senior NCOs and the young army.

“The NCO is the backbone of any armed force and ours is no different,” said Sgt. Major Shamsadiin. “If we are to succeed in building our army and preserving freedom in our country, then we must begin with the NCO.”

The Sergeant Major and I have been doing just that.

Together, we have imple¬mented training and mentoring plans for the young enlisted personnel on the camp. We regularly visit the soldiers and work tirelessly to respond to the many problems facing the young army and enlisted corps.

Illiteracy and innumeracy in the ranks are a very real problem. We have implemented beginner’s English courses for the soldiers because much of the best information is written or spoken in English and we want to open that door for them.

“The Chief has paid for the books from his own pocket and for that, I am truly grateful,” says Sergeant Major Shamsa¬diin. “He is a good senior NCO and I am proud to call him my friend.”

As I to return to the United States, Sergeant Major Shamsa¬diin will stay behind to continue building his army.

“The American soldiers have traveled a long way to help us and we are thankful,” said Sergeant Major Shamsadiin.

The friendships I have made here will last forever.

“When Afghanistan be¬comes strong, America will have an ally and I will visit the Chief’s home so his wife can cook us spaghetti,” Sergeant Major Shamsadiin said with a smile. (Courtesy of Pacific Air Forces)