OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. - When meeting Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick Alston, U.S. Strategic Command's new senior enlisted leader for the first time you'll be greeted with a warm smile, a firm handshake and a highly motivated, no-nonsense attitude.
OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. - Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick Alston makes a speech during a change-of-responsibility ceremony after taking the post as U.S. Strategic Command's new senior enlisted leader Aug. 19.
The former senior enlisted leader for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and USSTRATCOM Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction, Fort Belvoir, Va. , speaks highly of the younger generation of service members while holding high expectations for their success.
"My expectations are to have a motivated enlisted corps at STRATCOM each and every day," Sergeant Major Alston said. "On the flipside, their expectations of me should be that I'm at bat for them 100 percent. It's a two way street, and if we all meet those expectations we can continue making this a great place to work. "
He describes his job as being the eyes and ears for Gen. C. Robert Kehler, USSTRATCOM's commander, and being the voice for the enlisted corps within the command. He said he's charged with enhancing the command's vision and philosophy while ensuring enlisted personnel understand and follow it. He attributes the success he's had throughout his career to the service members he's served as a military leader.
"I think it's important for everyone to know that I'm a team player. I did not rise to this level by myself. I truly know that I'm only here because of junior enlisted Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who have held me up. So in turn I need them to understand each and every day I know where that blessing came from, and I can assure them that I will give back to them every day," he said. "With that said, if you're doing wrong, accept the punishment because sergeant major is going to bring it. But if you're doing good, expect accolades. "
Sergeant Major Alston hasn't let his 30 years of military service hamper his enthusiasm for doing what he loves - mentoring, teaching and training young service members.
"I came into the military because I knew it was the right thing in my heart to do. I love each and every day of it â€¦ I love the fact that parents have charged me to their (enlisted sons and daughters) welfare and their success in the military," he said.
Sergeant Major Alston said he wants to be accessible to everyone, from the lowest to the highest ranking service members because he wants the command to know he's a leader who cares. "I just want everyone to feel that they are valued," he said. "I want the most junior service member to feel like they add value â€¦ What they do is just as important as what the commanding general does because it takes all of us to make this mission a success. "
Biography for Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick Alston