Gunner's Seat

by CSM Michael Clemens

The purpose of this Gunner’s Seat is threefold. First, we bid a fond farewell to CSM Miles Wilson, who has served the armor and larger maneuver force as a sterling example of leadership in both peacetime and combat for more than 26 years, and many of us owe our success to the mentorship he has provided throughout his career. He continues this tradition of leadership and service in the Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate of the MCoE, where he will help in the de­velopment of future cavalry and armor systems.

Second is a short introduction of myself. I am CSM Michael Clemens, and my most recent assignment was as the CSM for the 316th Cavalry Brigade at Fort Benning. I have served our Army for almost 24 years in every leadership position that a cavalry scout can hold, including drill sergeant time in the 15th Cavalry and as the 19D branch manager at Human Resources Command. It is certainly both a privilege and an honor to represent our cavalry/armor soldiers. My No. 1 goal is to ensure the continued development of mobile protected precision firepower and the reconnaissance and security strategy for the Army as a whole and to be a champion of the combat arm of decision to the rest of the force.

Lastly, I need to address the need for NCOs to return to your Armor School as instructors. Currently, Fort Benning is almost critically short of qualified instructors. I use the word “qualified” because we have an incredible amount of noncommissioned officers who arrive with many issues that prevent them from instructing. Things like being unable to get or maintain a security clearance, overweight, unable to pass the APFT or with a GT score that is too low to allow them to attend a course here even with a waiver. As we look to shape the future armor force, I am sure we can all agree that it is an imperative that the Soldiers entrusted to teach our lieutenants, Soldiers, reconnaissance and precision gunnery professionals are those who truly represent and model what we want to be as a branch.

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