FORT LEE, Va. (March 3, 2011) -- "This honor qualifies you as an academic superstar," wrote Dr. Elizabeth Tice, president of Ashford University, in a letter to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, CASCOM 1st Sgt. Laderek T. Green.
The letter recognized the first sergeant's recent placement on the university dean's list, an achievement that is based on the student's ability to maintain a high grade point average throughout a course of study.
Green has a bachelor's degree in business administration and is presently pursuing a bachelor's degree in organizational management. He is an avid believer in continuing studies throughout a military career. In this new era of "agility through education," he said it is imperative for all Soldiers to pursue additional learning opportunities, which can lead to college degrees and enhanced promotion potential.
"In the past, many NCOs making it to the Sergeant Majors' Academy had only one-year of college - or perhaps an associate's degree at the most," Green said.
"The intent as we move forward is for the Army to have better-educated NCOs, and anyone attending the SMA would have at least a bachelors' degree. Sergeants first class being promoted to master sergeant would need to possess an associates' degree."
The Warrior Leaders' Course, Advance Leaders' Course and the Senior Leaders' Course all prepare NCOs to hopefully make it to the SMA one day, Green noted, but the Army is now working the possibility of converting those NCO courses to college credit hours, thus helping the NCOs in their Army careers and in pursuing academic degrees.
"These are all indicators of the Army's direction and it hints at its vision of agility, or flexibility, in training and education," Green said. "We're building three different pillars of training that are equally important -institutional training and education, operation assignments and self-development."
Concepts are one thing, walking the walk is another ... Green's latest accomplishment in the academic arena is indicative of his support of educational excellence throughout his company.
"The first sergeant encourages everyone - civilians and Soldiers alike - to pursue every possible avenue of education they can," said HHC Commander, Capt. Ellis Allen. "This has led to many of our NCOs going on the become officers and warrant officers.
Making note of Green's additional support to the community that includes mentorship of at-risk youths in one-parent families and work with the Big Brothers, Big Sisters organization, Ellis said he is "frankly surprised the first sergeant finds opportunities to pursue additional degrees himself, given all of his duties and demands on his time."
"Then he makes the dean's list on top of it all. It's just amazing," Ellis said. "He is truly outstanding and an inspiration to all of us."
The Ashford University president also recognized Green's commitment in her congratulatory letter: "Your dedication and commitment to your studies make you a great role model for others to emulate," Tice wrote. "You and your family should feel quite proud of your accomplishment. All of us at Ashford University share in this pride as well and believe that students like you help make Ashford University the quality learning institution it is."