After careful consideration of all the past and present information available to me, as well as recent observations, I identified 3 top organizational challenges that must be addressed prior to our next combat rotation. First, we must regain our foothold and our reputation within our Division by addressing some of the ethical dilemmas facing the 56th since our last combat rotation. Second, it is imperative that the Brigade (BDE) establishes, refine, and disseminate our battle focused mission essential task list (METL) for the upcoming rotation. Third, with training guidance issued, the BDE will reduce it’s footprint within daily operations providing command and control for the Battalions (BN) as their non-commissioned officers prepare their unit’s for impending BN level evaluation exercises.
Prior to addressing these challenges, we will conduct a BDE formation tomorrow morning addressing the unfortunate and untimely passing of COL Volar. Following the BDE formation, soldiers are to be released for the rest of the afternoon. Furthermore, we will conduct a funeral at the post chapel for all of those who knew COL Volar personally and those who require additional closure in light of his death. This funeral is paramount for the families and unit members affected by his loss, as well as the BDE’s ability to move forward and prepare for combat.
With COL Volar’s death behind us, there are immediate issues to address. There were two major items brought to my attention over the last couple of weeks that are critical to our future success. If the Division cannot trust the 56th to do the right thing and we fail to foster an ethical environment for our soldiers, undoubtedly any progress we make from here to our deployment is at constant risk. First, I want to address the 104 Financial Liability Investigations of Property Losses (FLIPL) pending from Iraq. With these FLIPLs still pending, subordinate units are unable to accurately report both one hundred percent and cyclic...