By Staff Sgt. Mark Nussbaumer
Command Sgt. Maj. Steve Harmon, the new senior enlisted leader of the Kansas Army National Guard, unveiled his command strategies in a new campaign called Citizen Soldier 2023 in support of Brig. Gen. Anthony Mohatt’s, the commanding general of the Kansas army National Guard, lines of efforts, which are sustained readiness, soldier care, shared understanding and partnerships. Harmon became the senior enlisted leader on July 28, 2019.
“As the state command sergeant major, I want to make sure our efforts as noncommissioned officers are supporting those four lines of efforts and supporting the commander’s intent.” Harmon said, “Citizen Soldier 2023 basically focuses on how we are going make Kansas Army National Guard Soldiers a more lethal force, a more ready force and a force that focuses on fellowship, field craft, and fitness.”
Part of this campaign is asking the question, “Are you prepared for the worst day of your life?”
“Do you have the field craft, the fitness, and the fellowship with your Soldiers left, right, up and down to prepare for that day that you hopefully never have,” said Harmon.
This campaign came about by taking a good hard look at the Kansas Army National Guard and what it will take to accomplish the National Defense Strategy. This strategy means the Army will have to refocus on a more austere fight where some resources are not available.
“Are we fit? Can we use our equipment properly?” asked Harmon. “Are we validated and trained in small unit operations? Can we do our basic warrior tasks? We have been so busy with mobilizations focusing on the counterinsurgency fight that we have lost that focus.”
Harmon’s philosophy on noncommissioned officer business is based on an acronym called I.T.I.P.S. or Inform, Train, Inspect, Protect and Sustain.
“Over-inform you Soldiers,” said Harmon. “Just sending an email or a text isn’t the best way to do business. You have to train your Soldiers, if you’re training in the classroom you are probably wrong.
“We are really good about our quarterly and annual inspections. What about the Army Physical fitness Test? Was it uploaded within 48 hours?
“We need to protect what we inspect,” he continued. “And finally sustain, with fewer Soldiers and more missions, we have to learn to sustain what we have and to grow it.”