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August 16, 2005

Say yes.

Word, Sergeant Major. Your lips, senior leaders and the American people's ears!

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Army News Service, Aug. 16, 2005) -- During this time in the history of our Army when recruiting is facing an unprecedented challenge, the need for great Americans to join or remain in the ranks of this team (the Army) is paramount.

However, the call to duty brings with it responsibility, commitment, dedication, and personal courage.

What does it take to be a Solder in today’s Army? I would tell you that it takes saying “Yes” regarding those things that are good, true, and team supporting.

We all said “Yes” when our journey began in uniform, regardless of how long ago that decision was made. That “Yes” was made with our limited perspective on what the future had in store for us.

“I solemnly swear to support and defend the constitution of the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic … so help me God.”

These are very interesting words, especially in the situation in which we find ourselves today.

We say “Yes” when faced with the prospect of promotion, understanding that much more would be required of us. We say “Oooh yes” when our raises hit the bank, thus increasing our buying power.

Yet, are we continuing to say “Yes” during these times of getting down to the business of supporting and representing ourselves well in light of the opening statement?

The call to duty comes in different shapes and sizes, yet, the endstate is common for all concerned.

I believe that duty comes easy when we understand the “Why” and the impact of an action on the big picture.

I believe it’s easy to say “Yes” to the call to duty when Soldiers realize that they are integral members of the team. Therefore, I believe that Soldiers will gravitate in and around duty in direct proportion to the command climate they exist in.

I believe we are doing well in that area here in the Marne Division and Task Force Baghdad

Are there key points of reference in your professional endeavors that require a “Yes” that would move you to the next level?

I don’t normally end in this manner, but consider these ideas to repeated comments from the old “Arsenio Hall Show” – this is something that makes you go “hmmmm.”

(Editor’s note: Command Sgt. Maj. William M. Grant is the Task Force Baghdad and 3rd Infantry Division command sergeant major.)