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Feature Stories

NEWS | July 14, 2017

“Wolf Pack” says goodbye, hello to leaders

By Leticia Hopkins U.S. Army Central

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. – The 4th Battlefield Coordination Detachment, U.S. Army Central honored and welcomed leaders during a ceremony that marked both a change of command and transfer of responsibility at Shaw Air Force Base Tuesday.

During the ceremony in Patton Hall’s Lucky Conference Room, 4th BCD “Wolf Pack,” outgoing Commander Col. Samuel Saine relinquished his command of the detachment to incoming Commander Col. Geoffrey Adams.

Saine said it was a great privilege and opportunity to be able to command the 4th BCD and work with its Soldiers over the last two years.

“The opportunity to be able to work with such a great group of Soldiers, both in the 4th BCD, at USARCENT and AFCENT, with the CJTF (Combined Joint Task Force), and everyone else forward has been a reward that I’ll remember for a lifetime,” added Saine.

Prior to the ceremonial change of command, the 4th BCD’s outgoing Command Sgt. Maj. Miguel Quiros, symbolically transferred his responsibility of the detachment to South Carolina native Sgt. Maj. Robert Clark, 4th BCD senior advisor to the commander.

“Sergeant Major, as I look into the eyeballs of a couple of them, know that they represent the very, very high standards of you and Colonel Saine,” said Lt. Gen. Michael Garrett, commanding general, USARCENT.

Those 4th BCD Soldiers that Garrett said represented such high standards were just a few of about 120 Soldiers around the world who make up the detachment.

“Do not be fooled by the size of this organization,” said Garrett. “Because quite frankly, I was …

“I have become a huge fan of the battlefield coordination detachment and have a healthy respect for what they do for our Army, for our Air Force and for our Navy on a daily basis.”

So what is it that the 4th BCD does that despite not having high numbers, it is a major part of accomplishing the USARCENT mission?

“It’s really the communication between the air component command and the land component command and what the Soldiers do here to make sure we’re as integrated between land power and air power as we possibly can be,” said Adams.

The 4th BCD’s Soldiers serve as liaisons and interpreters concerning the mission and resources provided to support the overall mission, mainly between the Army and Air Force but also between the Army and Navy in some cases.

The detachment’s goal is to make sure the correct messages and goals of each side are clearly conveyed and expressed to other side. This is done to ensure successful communication and increase successful outcomes during land and air operations within U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility.

The 4th BCD was created and activated in 2005. The detachment “stood up” for the first time on Shaw AFB Oct. 16, 2005. The detachment is the Army’s only split-based and continuously deployed BCD, which operates out of Shaw AFB and the Combined Air Operations Center in Al-Udeid Air Base, Qatar, to facilitate and coordinate integration of air and land forces.

“The tighter we can get that integration, the more effective we are as a fighting force,” said Adams.

Tightening the integration, effectively executing mission requirements and being part of this unique detachment are reasons why both Adams and Clark said they’re looking forward to and excited about their leadership positions in the 4th BCD.

“I’m looking forward to continuing the success the unit has had for the past few years and achieving the goals of the ARCENT commander to make sure that we are putting our most efficient foot forward,” said Adams.

Adams added that as with any combat mission, Army leaders pride themselves on having a next-person-up mentality, which means training others to replace them and continue the mission.

So although the change should be transparent for the 4th BCD’s Soldiers, when there is a changeover in leadership, there is often a change in the style or way that missions are accomplished. Each leader brings something to the table in hopes that it will help the organization more effectively achieve its mission.

“We bring different styles or perspectives on how to approach the mission,” said Clark. “And even though there’s one standard for the Army, we bring our own personal standards.”

With that being said, Clark added that even though leaders change out, each one continues time-honored traditions and applies excellence and professionalism in order to achieve the goals of the mission.

“As commanders and senior advisors come and go, we will continue to be a fighting force across the world,” said Clark.

As for 4th BCD Soldiers, both Adams and Clark said their goals are to achieve the mission, but they both also realize the importance of the Soldiers who carry out those missions. Each one has his own style, but they both believe that how they lead is for both the good of the mission and the Soldiers in the detachment.

Adams said his leadership style is more person-oriented. For Soldiers, it means that they can expect him to treat them fairly, have a ready ear for issues and concerns, and bring ideas to the table that he believes will help make the organization more effective.

On the other hand, Clark uses a servant-leader style.

“They don’t work for me; I work for them as the sergeant major,” said Clark. “I tend to get their feedback from the ground up, instead of pushing down from the top.”

Whether it’s that approach to leading his Soldiers or just him as a person, Clark has already garnered Garrett’s support for his new role in the detachment.

“I’m a big first impressions guy, and you’ve made a tremendous first impression,” said Garrett to Clark during his speech at the ceremony. “I wish you all the best in your new job.”

A new job for both Adams and Clark that requires them to not only continue a mission that it is currently operating successfully but also to lead and guide Soldiers who already, according to USARCENT’s commanding general, represent a high standard.

While that may sound like a lot of pressure, Adams and Clark have their own past experiences and the examples set by those in their roles before them to help guide them.

In Garrett’s speech at the ceremony, he indirectly provided the two leaders with some tips while highlighting Saine’s achievements with the 4th BCD.

“Leadership is a very personal endeavor, said Garrett, “and a major component of a well-executed plan is the trust that is built through close relationships ...

“The bottom line is that I trusted that Sam would ensure ground operations were supported with adequate air power, and Sam and his team never let me down—they never let America down.”