Senior Enlisted Leader Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Biggs discusses command priorities and the importance of enlisted leadership with noncommissioned officers from the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force serving with Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan. The mentoring session was held following a group run at Resolute Support Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 20.
Story and Photo by Lt. j.g. Charity Edgar
KABUL, Afghanistan (July 21, 2015) — Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) Senior Enlisted Leader Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Biggs organized a group run for noncommissioned officers from the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force at Resolute Support Headquarters July 20.
Maj. Gen. Todd Semonite, CSTC-A commanding general, joined the more than 20 noncommissioned officers for a run around base, complete with cadence. Semonite remained with the group afterwards for a mentoring session led by Biggs, a 27-year Army veteran.
A representative from each military branch explained their core values to the group and what it means for them to be a part of Resolute Support. Biggs provided an overview of CSTC-A priorities and the important role that noncommissioned officers play in achieving the mission. He also stressed the importance of working together as a team.
Gunnery Sgt. Geann Pereira looked forward to assisting Biggs coordinate the event.
"It’s important to bring our noncommissioned officers together in order for us to learn from each other’s unique experiences,” said the 13-year Marine Corps veteran who hails from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. "A team that takes the time to learn about each other, whether it’s on the battlefield or in the various offices throughout Resolute Support Headquarters, is better equipped to face challenges when that time presents itself.”
Promoting camaraderie among the ranks in a joint environment is essential for Biggs.
"Spending time together promotes understanding of what each service component provides as members of the joint team,” he said.
As Command Sgt. Major, the Lebanon, Ohio, native is focused on personnel welfare, unit morale, advising the commanding general and providing an enlisted perspective to all facets of the command.
Biggs stated that serving as the senior enlisted leader at CSTC-A has given him additional responsibilities.
"Normally I would have a senior non-commissioned officer support channel in which to leverage command priorities and emphasis. This is not the case in CSTC-A,” explained Biggs. "I find myself needing to influence general officers and colonels within and beyond my immediate chain of command."
Biggs’ current deployment to Resolute Support Headquarters is his seventh. He has mobilized in support of Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Kosovo, Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and now, Freedom’s Sentinel.
He had advice for the newer noncommissioned officers.
"First deployments normally go by so fast that you find it hard to believe that it is ending. I say that because you have nothing to measure the deployment with in terms of expectation. It is the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh that present bigger challenges since you know the sacrifices you will be making and the time lost with family,” explained Biggs. "All in all, the mobilizations are rewarding as this is the lifestyle each and every one of us has chosen. There is no profession more rewarding than that of service to your nation. You represent something bigger than yourself.”