by Sgt. Shameka Edwards
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
About 50 Soldiers identified as being the top 10 percent of their respective rear detachment units were treated to a tour and free lunch at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Feb. 11.
The trip gave the Soldiers a chance to learn about the educational benefits the university has to offer. The tour is one of the rewards for the Soldiers who are the best in their units. Soldiers also receive a three-day pass, Army Achievement Medal and a commander’s coin.
Col. Todd Heussner, rear detachment commander, 4th Inf. Div., said he got the idea to recognize the top 10 percent of Soldiers in the rear detachment units because he was spending a lot of time on Article 15s and counseling statements.
“At the end of the day, the Soldiers who were being punished are just going to get out of the Army,” said Heussner. “Therefore, whatever the Army invested into them is just gone, it is wasted.”
Instead of spending 90 percent of his time on the bottom 10 percent, Heussner said he will focus 90 percent of his time on the top 10 percent.
“Those are the Soldiers who are the future,” said Heussner. “If I invest in them, then whatever I invest starts to pay back. It may not pay me back directly, but it will pay back the Soldiers that they have contact with, the Soldiers that they will lead into the future. They will have an impact on the Army and into its future,” stated Heussner.
It is the commander’s responsibility to identify the top 10 percent of their Soldiers, he said.
“Those Soldiers get access to resources, information and leaders, they have someone helping teach, coach and mentor them to reach their professional goals and objectives,” added Heussner.
Pvt. Derek Bare, 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div., said, “I believe I was chosen for the top 10 percent because I have been trying to do everything the right way.”
Bare, who enlisted in May, said he has been doing what he has been told to do, being at the right place at the right time and giving his all, since he arrived at Fort Carson in September.
“I like being recognized for doing what’s right,” said Bare. “It motivates me to continue to do my best.”
Sgt. Cole Scott, 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., explained that he was glad the program focused on rear detachment Soldiers who were doing positive things.
Cole said that acknowledging Soldiers who were doing the right thing would encourage others to do better.