By Sgt. Marc Loi
Task Force Spartan
“Give a damn”. That’s the motto of the Fort Stewart, Ga.-based 293rd Military Police Company, deployed here as part of the Afghan Evacuation Mission Support Element. It’s also a characteristic the unit’s newest noncommissioned officers said they want to exemplify as leaders.
After their Jan. 1 promotions, Sgt. Bryan Karp and Sgt. Tavin Bromell, talked about paths they took to joining the corps of noncommissioned officers.
“I spent the first two years making sure I could learn every Soldier skill and master them,” said Karp, of Sarasota, Florida. “I came in ready to lead, but I also wanted to focus on learning how the Army works and how I can be useful.”
Like Karp, Bromell also came from a different path than a traditional Soldier. Bromell began his military service in the National Guard before transferring to the active component.
“I felt like active duty was something I wanted to try. So far, I’ve really enjoyed it,” Bromell said. “It’s definitely instilled a lot of professionalism and bearing in me that I otherwise wouldn’t have had. I am grateful that I came on active duty. “
Although their paths toward becoming NCOs might have been different, Karp and Bromell share similar visions on what it means to lead as well as instill pride in Soldiers.
“The big thing for me is to lead by example. When you see others want to succeed – when they come to you and have that hunger to elevate themselves, that’s when you know you’re doing the right thing as a leader,” Karp said.
For Bromell, leadership begins with being approachable, which can inspire pride and more from Soldiers.
“As a leader, I try to promote a lot of positivity. I want to be a safe person for Soldiers to come and talk to. I also like to show people that they can exceed the limits they think they have. Everybody plays a key role in the military regardless of jobs, I like to make that known to instill pride,” he said.
Although pride may not be measurable in the ways physical fitness or mastery of weaponry are, Karp and Bromell said Soldiers know pride when they see it.
“A big part in being a Soldier is to give a damn,” Bromell said. “It’s a big part of who we are as a unit. I see it in a lot of different ways. From a positive attitude to Soldiers pushing themselves and achieving goals, a big part of pride is seeing Soldiers progress and care.”
Karp added that part of “giving a damn” also means taking ownership of their tasks and responsibilities as leaders.
“You can give a damn by picking up a random piece of trash or by helping a fellow Soldier get through a difficult time,” he said. “They’re very different scenarios in the scheme of life, but they are ways to show you are present and care.”
The Soldiers’ company commander, Capt. Bryan Dykeman, said their attitudes are exactly what the unit’s motto calls on Soldiers to do.
“When our company was alerted to deploy, these NCOs volunteered from adjacent units to be here with us and have demonstrated the servant leadership to give a damn when our nation calls,” Dykeman said. “They have instilled what it means to give a damn on this deployment, and I have no doubt they will continue throughout their Army career.”
U.S. ARMY RESERVE
DEPT. OF DEFENSE
U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND
DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY
BEST WARRIOR COMPETITION