Friendship leads unit to successful outcome
MOORHEAD - As the leadership of the Army's most utilized command formation, the battalion commander and command sergeant-major are responsible for the development and mission completion of soldiers on the battlefield as well as caring for familie...
MOORHEAD - As the leadership of the Army's most utilized command formation, the battalion commander and command sergeant-major are responsible for the development and mission completion of soldiers on the battlefield as well as caring for families back home.
As the highest ranking officer and enlisted man within the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion - 136th Infantry Regiment, Lt. Col. Chad Sackett and Command Sgt. Maj. Mitch Hellkamp set the example for maintaining a high level of critical two-way communication, technical proficiency and tactical expertise.
The unique combination of officer and noncommissioned officer cooperation offers a wide array of experience and leadership styles beneficial to the ever-changing operations tempo of a unit.
For the Bearcats, one of Minnesota's oldest Army National Guard units, the transitions between community, state and federal missions is made easier by the dedication and competence of their senior leaders.
"Community support is the bedrock of our organization and has been since its inception. We cannot be successful without it," Sackett said.
"We can't get used to the same old thing," said Hellkamp. "We have to be ready, stay fresh, stay on top of new activities and develop our young soldier," he added.
Sackett and Hellkamp began their careers with the Army National Guard during their time at Bemidji State University in the late 1980s. Before that they were classmates at Nevis High School, graduating with the class of 1984. For more than 20 years they have served from the lowest ranks of the 2nd Battalion - 136th Infantry up to the highest, balancing military and civilian careers as they went.
"The Bearcats have a lot of traditions, going all the way back to the Civil War. We are both proud to be able to carry on those traditions throughout our careers and now we get to instill those same honors in our Soldiers," said Hellkamp.
Contributions to the local community include inter-agency cooperation and partnerships allowing military and civilian organizations to work together in various situations. The Bearcats continue to be a part of this development directed by Sackett's background with law enforcement and Hellkamp's enthusiasm for dynamic training.
"It's vital to be able to tactically manage your forces while concurrently integrating partnership agencies," said Sackett.
This friendship which has spanned over 30 years has made their work in the Minnesota National Guard rewarding both personally and professionally.