CJTF-HOA Enlisted Leader Reflects on Relationships Gained During Tour
After one year as the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Senior Enlisted Leader, U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Major Scott Mykoo reflects on the relationships and progress made between coalition and regional military forces here.
"Our mission is to strengthen defense capability and to protect U.S. and coalition interests," said Mykoo. "To do that, you have to first enhance relationships."
Mykoo said he strongly believes CJTF-HOA must constantly look for ways to engage with its counterparts; that trust and confidence are the keys to continued mission success.
Members of the Djiboutian Army confirmed that commitment through Mykoo's continued allied cooperation during a farewell ceremony in his honor.
"He (Mykoo) created good relations between the Djiboutian Army and U.S. forces," said Major Mohammad Gaditto, Djiboutian Army, Center Instruction Tactical Technical of Ambouli, commander. "He brought in English discussion groups to our schools to help our instructors and also assisted with the creation of a sports and fitness facility. We are thankful to have had the opportunity to work with the sergeant major."
As a token of their gratitude, Major Ahmed Said Guedi, Djiboutian Army Sheik Osman Compound commandant, presented Mykoo with a letter of appreciation from Djiboutian Chief of Defense General Ahmed Houssein Fathi.
"I am honored to receive this recognition," said Mykoo. "But, this is not just for me; this is for everyone involved in this relationship."
Mykoo stressed the importance of mutual respect and cooperation with America's allies. "Major Gaditto made a very good point when he said to me, 'If we lived in the same neighborhood, in the same building, and we did not interact and our kids did not play together - what would that say?' So I listened. That made sense to me. We're neighbors; the right thing to do is to reach out and offer friendship."
As his tour comes to an end, Mykoo reminds those still serving CJTF-HOA to keep the lines of communication open with our allies.
"We have to sustain relationships by continuing to build on our partner's trust and confidence by maintaining regular engagements with our allies," he said.