Thursday, January 7, 2010

Who Fights This War--Command Sergeant Major


Today's post is a guest post by the commander's assistant writing about the Task Force Diablo Command Sergeant Major.

By Specialist Andrea Torrano Magee

Command Sgt. Maj. Dell Christine has proudly served in the Army for twenty-nine years. He not only enforces uniform standards in Task Force Diablo, he embodies them. He understands the importance of leading soldiers by setting the example. Once around him for any length of time, one can note he is always sporting a fresh haircut and immaculate uniform. His standards don’t end with just adhering to uniform regulations.

He is a leader who encourages troops to do their best and succeed in whatever they do. He has learned throughout his career that friendship, safety, persistence, and perseverance are what help soldiers be leaders and complete the mission with success. He is not the typical Command Sergeant Major. When one thinks of a Command Sergeant Major, they think rough, gruff, steady, intimidating and tough. Although he does exude all those qualities, he works with soldiers in a different way than most people that attain his rank. When he says he has an open door policy, he means it. He is patient, level headed, and a well rounded leader who has a sincere concern for each and every soldier in his command. His warm and open attitude and personality invite soldiers to talk to him, and they do.

As a result, many soldiers see him more than just the Command Sergeant Major.

He demonstrates many traits that successful leaders possess because he is able to work with so many different personality types. He is stern when he needs to be stern and a great listener when someone needs an ear. Often, he will stop by Lt. Col. Scott Perry’s office and round everyone up for lunch. He recognizes the struggles that we all face on deployment and has said, “You don’t realize it now, but you will miss this place. If you don’t miss the place, you’ll miss the people.” After his deployment to Afghanistan in 2003 he found that he missed eating lunch and dinner with his friends.
“The people that we see day in and day out, share meals and jokes with will work their way into your heart,” he said. “Although we are happy to see our friends and family we left behind, we will end up missing our friends that became our family on the deployment.”

He can be hard to find. He is often traveling across the base, checking in with troops and making sure everyone is okay. He often starts his day at 0400hrs with a 2 mile or more run, then he goes to his office and works well before anyone else shows up. LTC Perry usually works well past midnight, finally falling asleep a few hours prior to CSM Christine waking for the day. Their schedules overlap and it works well for the command.

CSM Christine’s day is usually packed with meetings, taking care of soldier’s issues, advising LTC Perry, and checking on troops. His day normally doesn’t end until well after 1800hrs. He usually eats lunch and dinner with the command staff. He goes to the early service at Chapel every Sunday (0900 hours, not early for him) and has coffee with Capt. Aaron Lippy at God’s Grounds after the service. He believes faith is such an important part of being whole and helps people rise above tough situations. CSM Christine will be starting a new job at Fort Indiantown Gap upon the Task Force’s return to the United States, and if it’s like anything else he’s done, he will be a great success.