When I went on mobilization to Fort Lewis, Washington and left my son in the care of my parents, I thought my parental duties would be set aside until I returned home. Unfortunately, the soldiers of 351st Ordnance Company would prove me wrong with their excessive alcohol consumption, commonly term “binge drinking,” and destructive behaviors. I would then spend the next year sharing the responsibility with four other junior noncommission officers in the task of taking care of soldiers. Despite the efforts of myself and the others we were not fully prepared to handle some of the outrageous events and lack of engagement from the leadership that would challenge us during the tour. My abilities as a junior noncommission officer and the understanding of leadership were redefined and I learned exactly what it meant to ensure soldiers have proper guidance, leadership, positive morale, and well-being.
The Ordnance Company of over 200 soldiers was mobilized due to an administrative error when the mission at Fort Lewis only required a platoon size element of 50 soldiers. Right from the start there was a lot of confusion and concern on what exactly the unit would be doing at Fort Lewis and how the excess three fourths of the company would be employed. The unit traveled via commercial air from West Virginia to Seattle, Washington and then shuttled by bus to Fort Lewis where we would spend the next year. When the unit arrived to Fort Lewis the Battalion Commander of the 80th