Sgt. Meredith inventories fuel, bolsters Soldiery
Spc. Jeanita C. Pisachubbe,
1st AD, CAB Public Affairs:
Members of the Corps of Noncommissioned Officers are charged with two basic responsibilities: accomplishment of their mission and the welfare of their Soldiers. This is what Army specialists learn and must be prepared for as they endeavor to earn the rank of sergeant.
As a specialist in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom from 2010 to 2011, Sgt. Joyce Meredith, class III noncommissioned officer in charge assigned to Headquarters Support Company, 127th Aviation Support Battalion, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division, excelled in her mission to order and keep accountability of fuel for her brigade’s aircrafts. While working 10-hour days six days a week left little time for Meredith, she filled it preparing for boards that would lead her to a sergeant’s rank and NCO of the Year.
“In theater, the ASB had her working tracking fuel and making sure fuel was transported around theater,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Donald L. Rose, command sergeant major of Meredith’s unit in Afghanistan, the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, and her current command sergeant major at CAB, 1st AD. “This is a job typically held by somebody much more senior than the rank she held while we were there.”
Meredith was responsible for monitoring fuel levels at all 4th CAB forward operating bases in all regional commands across Afghanistan and directly ordered fuel for the FOBs in RC-North, and several in RC-West.
“Through her efforts and work, she pretty much made sure that in RC-N we had all the fuel we needed to conduct combat operations, which is a testament again to the quality of Soldier and young sergeant that Sgt. Meredith is,” said Rose.
Joining the Army six and a half years ago in hope of seeing the world, the two-time combat veteran is thoroughly enjoying herself.
Meredith will make the Army a career as long as they allow her to progress.
“I think it’s about progressing,” she said, “not necessarily committing to one thing and settling for that; I always want to progress in my life.”
A great step in her progression was going to the board and earning her sergeant’s stripes.
“There was a lot of studying,” she said. “I felt like half my job was to control fuel in Afghanistan and the other half was to study for boards. That’s all I did. I went to eight or nine boards while I was there.”
It all started when she went to the promotion board as a specialist. Her command sergeant major was impressed with her performance and sent her on to the Soldier of the Year board, which she lost.
Meredith said she believes her nerves got the better of her at that board. After that experience she was determined to not lose another one.
“You have to keep going; you can’t just give up,” she said.
After being pinned as a sergeant and going through a battery of boards, Meredith found herself at the final board, which was the brigade board. She went neck-and-neck with a fellow Soldier and came out on top having achieved NCO of the Year.
Upon redeploying, Meredith went on to win the Leadership Award at Warrior Leader’s Course, besting her class of 176.
“I’ve been in three other units, and nobody has given me the opportunities that Lieutenant Colonel Best and Command Sergeant Major Hamm have given me to prove myself,” Meredith said, speaking of her 404th ASB commander and command sergeant major in Afghanistan. “I don’t take that for granted. I want to excel and do the best I can, whether it’s inside the brigade or representing the brigade at WLC.”
Now stateside, Meredith continues to support the brigade in accounting for fuel, as she also embraces her role as an NCO.
“I want to make change,” Meredith said. “I want to help Soldiers.”
One specialist in her company confirms that she is succeeding in that endeavor. Spc. Robert Ferrell, orderly with HSC, 127th ASB, appreciated Meredith’s patience.
“Any questions a junior-enlisted Soldier may have, personal or work related, she’s always there lending a helpful hand or open ear,” said Ferrell.
Meredith said she believes even if an NCO affects one Soldier, they are making a difference.
“If I can get one Soldier to pass a physical training test, then I’ve done my job. That’s what I’ve given back to the Army,” she said. “I’ve given them a more successful Soldier.”
“Sergeant Meredith is what we are looking for in our future leaders,” Rose said. “She is definitely motivated. She is a disciplined Soldier. She likes taking care of Soldiers.”
After an 11-month deployment in Afghanistan and being in charge of ordering and accounting for approximately 2.5 million gallons of fuel, and after numerous board appearances and achievement of NCO of the Year and the Leadership Award at WLC, Meredith came to Fort Bliss with the newly stood-up CAB, ready to continue in her mission as class III NCOIC and a leader to junior-enlisted Soldiers.
“I want to produce something that is better than what I accomplished,” she said. “We should always be giving back and therefore making the Army a better organization.”
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