Senior Noncommissioned Officers Discuss Way Ahead During Training Conference

By CSM Benjamin H. Scott, Jr., WTC Command Sergeant Major

CSM Benjamin H. Scott, Jr., the WTC Command Sergeant Major, speakingduring the training conference held in Orlando, FL.

CSM Benjamin H. Scott, Jr., the WTC Command Sergeant Major, spoke with several senior noncommissioned officers during the training conference held in Orlando, FL.

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with Sergeants Major, First Sergeants, and Senior NCOs from several Warrior Transition Units (WTUs), Community Based Warrior Transition Units (CBWTUs), and the Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) during the Warrior Care and Transition Program (WCTP) Training Conference held in Orlando, FL.

During this Senior NCO meeting, I reinforced the idea of communication within our command and among each other resulting in a positive impact for the severely wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers and Veterans.

I also listened to the NCO leadership express concerns, frustrations, and issues that plague them at their locations. Their suggestions and concerns have not gone unheard. The purpose of the WCTP Training Conference was to bring these ideas to the table, because if you don’t ask, you won’t get. While the Warrior Transition Command has come a long way, we still have a way to go, and the feedback from the Sergeants Major and First Sergeants will greatly improve the path to excellence.

A key component to the way ahead is understanding and implementing the Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP). The CTP will help strengthen the leadership in the WTUs, Military Treatment Facilities, and the Senior Commanders—allowing for the best care possible.

So many times, my boss, BG Darryl A. Williams has stated, “CTP is the core of what we do.”   And I completely agree. In order for the CTP to be successful, we have to support it, own it, and live it. We are not simply setting the standards, but creating a foundation that will help these Soldiers and Veterans succeed for the rest of their lives. I’m not saying we can resolve all issues immediately, but we can’t take the necessary steps to fix something if we don’t know there is a problem that needs fixing. And the CTP helps us get at this realization.

The bottom line is that the CTP is a big deal.

BG Williams and I are committed to making this program a success by ensuring all severely wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and Veterans have the necessary tools and equipment to succeed and excel throughout their lives.

We will continue to stress the importance of the CTP and its essential role in ensuring the Soldiers, Veterans and their Families have the ultimate level of care and support that is standardized throughout the Army.

Along with our commitment to these Soldiers, Veterans, and Families, my personal commitment—and one that I stressed to the Senior NCOs during our meeting—is enforce the standards with compassion.

Read more about the Comprehensive Transition Plan on the WTC website.

Commander’s Drumbeat: One More Round

By BG Darryl A. Williams, WTC Commander

Herschel Walker visits with Soldiers

Herschel Walker visits with military personnel at the WCTP Training Conference in Orlando.

We’ve worked hard this week at the Warrior Care and Transition Program (WCTP) Training Conference, and folks were getting tired. We needed a little something, a little boost. Boy did we get it – in the form of Herschel Walker. This guy is awesome. He has a message I wish every Soldier and Family member could hear: “We can go one more round.” Most of you probably know that he is a Heisman Trophy winner, played for the New Jersey Generals, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, and the Philadelphia Eagles. What you may not know is that he suffered from dissociative identity disorder, dealt with extreme anger, and threatened others with physical violence of which he had no memory. He sought psychotherapy treatment and made his illness public to encourage others to seek help.

His story is peppered with references to his strong Christian faith and with sports anecdotes. With each demon he had to confront, he told himself, “I can go one more round.” One thing that struck a chord with the team at this conference was how he addressed stigma. In the Army, we talk a lot about stigma—the stigma associated with seeking behavioral health care. It’s something we want to wipe out, something we want to overcome. Herschel’s message is that stigma doesn’t really exist when you know who you are and what you have to do. It is something used to make others feel less than who they are. When you know who you are and what to do, stigma doesn’t matter.

He also emphasized the importance of support networks and admitted that some people bailed on him when he went public. It didn’t matter, the people supporting him were the ones he needed. Getting better, getting free from his illness was what was important. He credits his ex-wife and pastor for getting him through the dark days. Herschel said there are times when you don’t think you can get up, times when you don’t think you can make it, and that’s when you need someone there to encourage you—to tell you that you can make it.

To me, his most compelling message is that maybe more important than telling people to seek help, is if you see a friend or family member struggling—go to them. Go to them because when they get to that really low point, they can’t see anything else. Help that friend or family member go one more round.

Herschel is also vocal about the importance of physical and mental fitness and how they go together. He understands it is important mentally to be able to know and understand your surroundings and that if you are physically fit you have the energy to adapt.

He shared that he considered a military career before he was recruited by Coach Vince Dooley at the University of Georgia. Herschel proudly admits he feels a connection with servicemembers because we have the ability to overcome and adapt in a lot of different situations. He compared the football team to the military saying that teamwork is how things get done.

Walker, who in his life has felt like he was not going to make it, wants Soldiers to know that they will make it. That there is no such thing as I can’t ; no such thing as I will give up; no such thing as I will quit. We can go one more round.

It’s clear my job as a senior leader is to create conditions where all of our Soldiers and their Families feel supported and part of a team—a team that can go one more round.


Commander’s Drumbeat: VCSA Kicks Off Warrior Care and Transition Program Training Conference

By BG Darryl A. Williams, WTC Commander

Army Vice Chief of Staff, GEN Peter Chiarelli, kicks off the Warrior Transition Command Training Conference in Orlando.

Army Vice Chief of Staff, GEN Peter Chiarelli, kicks off the Warrior Transition Command Training Conference in Orlando. His remarks were carried live on the Pentagon Channel: Scroll down and click on the Warrior Care & Transition Conference featured video.

Hi folks. I’m back in Orlando, FL this week. You likely recall I was here about two weeks ago for the AW2 Symposium. This week is all about the Warrior Transition Command and the Comprehensive Transition Plan or CTP. The CTP is a big deal. It’s the roadmap for warriors transitioning out of military service or remaining on active duty and transitioning back to the unit or to another Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).

I’ve gathered about 1,000 people here from across the Army who directly impact the care of our wounded, ill, and injured warriors and their Families—from WTU cadre to clinicians, resource managers, and pharmacists.

The CTP is a seven-part multidisciplinary structured process for every Warrior in Transition that includes an individual plan that the Warrior in Transition builds for him/herself with the support of the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) cadre. Although it is standardized, it allows warriors to customize their recovery process, including setting and reaching personal goals. It includes a personal, customized plan created for the Soldier by the Soldier. This week is about the CTP, about committing to networking, learning the processes, and about standardizing how we support these Soldiers and their Families across the Army. The success of what we are doing this week will be measured in the extent to which what is learned results in real change. Change measured in terms of how well everyone, and I do mean everyone, implements every aspect of the CTP. So let’s galvanize this across the Army so that everybody is on the same sheet of music at the end of this week.

We couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. On Monday, GEN Peter Chiarelli, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, kicked off our opening ceremony so we’re all energized and ready to take on the tough challenges. His remarks were carried live on the Pentagon Channel.  Enter GEN Chiarelli, Warrior Care, or Warrior Care & Transition Conference in the search box to the left of the All Videos ribbon or click on this direct link.

I encourage you to take a look at this. For those of you haven’t had the opportunity to hear him speak, GEN Chiarelli is passionate about taking care of Soldiers and their Families. He recognizes there is nothing more important than caring for our own and he understands the challenges and commitment of all of you who support our wounded, ill, and injured, active duty, National Guard, and Army Reserve Soldiers. He was generous with his comments about how far we have come over the past few years, but clear that we still have improvements to make including continuing to take on post-traumatic stress disorder and concussions. He also addressed the Integrated Disability Evaluation System and where we are on that. He is committed to taking this on and partnering with Army leaders at the local levels and the Veterans Administration (VA) to streamline the process. Before he departed he challenged attendees to collaborate, share lessons learned, and commit to standardizing and implementing the CTP. It was great to hear him speak. It’s clear he gets that this is important, especially in a resource constrained environment. I want you to know that I share his passion and if we stay on track with training, education, employment, and keep telling our story, we’ll get this job done.

Training is important. I want to improve resiliency for our Soldiers, for our cadre and for all of you in this room. Have you heard of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Master Resiliency Training? It’s a great course—resiliency is important for social workers, for nurses, noncommissioned officers (NCOs), doctors—everybody. Look into this. If you help yourselves, you help your Soldiers and their Families.

Education can be addressed on numerous levels. For now, I want you all to understand the Continuation on Active Duty (COAD) and Continuation on Active Reserve (COAR) programs. I want Soldiers to know and understand the process for staying on active duty if that is what they want and they are able to do it.

Finally, you’ve all heard me say this before—we’ve got to work on careers and jobs for these warriors. They all deserve a soft place to land regardless of whether they stay in the Army or not.

Before I sign off I want to give a big shout out to our social workers! This is one dedicated group—they worked all day Saturday and Sunday. That’s impressive. They are a vital part of the WTU team and contribute directly to the success of our wounded, ill, and injured warriors and their Families. They brought some issues to my attention, and we’re going to look into them. These are the conversations I want to have and plan to have this week. That’s why I’m here. I look forward to the week ahead. Hooah!

AW2 Staff Provide Excellent Support to Wounded Warriors


AW2 Advocates attend AW2 Annual Training to enhance the services they provide to AW2 wounded warriors and their Families.

By BG Gary Cheek, WTC Commander

On Monday, I had the privilege of joining the staff of the Army Wounded Warrior Program
(AW2) at their annual training conference in Dallas. I talked to so many of them, and I was impressed with their passion for their jobs—or for many, their calling.

AW2 Advocates are very special people. They work directly with the individual wounded warriors and help them find benefits, programs, and resources throughout their transition. Their work is vitally important, in fact, it’s one of the most important parts of Army Warrior Care.

I really enjoyed AW2 Advocate Yvonne Michek’s training on case management. Her candid, heartfelt, and humorous presentation had the entire group captivated. She brought the impact of Advocates’ hard work and long hours to life.

“If it takes anything to do this job, it’s compassion,” Yvonne told the staff. “Most of us who take this job fall in love with it, and Advocates’ contributions to the Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families are invaluable.”

AW2 Soldiers and Veterans have experienced this compassion for six years this month. And, it’s this compassion that has enabled more than 6,000 Soldiers to find their new normal post injury. Seeing all 200 AW2 staff together, it was clear we’re doing something right—and we have the right people on the job.

Write a blog for WTC

Warriors in Transition can submit a blog by e-mailing WarriorCareCommunications [at]