"Thoughts from the Running Trail" - Service Member Holiday Traditions

During this holiday season, SgtMaj and I would like to extend a huge thank you for serving your country.  We are extremely proud of you and what you do every day for the life you have chosen to ensure our country’s freedom. During this time it is important to remember, we all have different traditions such as making a festive ornament that describes us or sharing a story from when we were younger, but also remembering people believe in different things. 

 Being forward deployed together this holiday season, we think it would be good for us to start a new tradition with our CJTF-HOA Military family.  We believe that sharing our traditions and each other’s service cultures with one another, brings us together during this season and will also make us stronger.

 Here at CJTF-HOA the SgtMaj and I think it’s important to believe in the helio-tropic effect. This means growing something towards the light so it will flourish (thrive). Conversely, if you put something in the dark, it will soon wither, become brittle and break (deteriorate). We encourage you to find the silver lining in things, and, if you can conceive it and believe it, then you can achieve it.

Believing in different things and having different opinions, is ok; that is one of the many reasons why so many people envy our great country.  We admire that because of what you all share as a common belief, that you willingly go where you are sent, and you believe that doing so ensures that we can continue to have these freedoms of our great nation. It is your selfless service to our people and our country that continues to make that possible.

During this holiday season, think of your fellow service members who have chosen and are living this life far from home and who are willing to sacrifice their life in a heartbeat to defend and protect our freedoms.    This season we share our admiration and respect for our service members, our civilian team mates who are here with us and our dear families we are away from.

We are proud of what you represent for our Nation and the good people of East Africa.  You make a difference in this world and to our Country.

 We thank you! And, we ask you to take the time to reflect on this, to connect with your loved ones and to be grateful that we are together with such a fine Combined Joint Task Force here in the Horn of Africa! Look out for your Brothers and Sisters in Arms.  Stay engaged, stay focused and…believe.

UBUNTU and Happy Holidays!


Commander Senior Enlisted Leader

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U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Butler Kendrick Jr. assumed responsibility as the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa command senior enlisted leader, succeeding U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Claudell Taylor, during a Relinquishment of Authority ceremony at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, June 19, 2015.

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Thoughts from the Running Trail - "In Honor of Martin Luther King"

SgtMaj and I always say it is a Leadership factory at CJTF-HOA and we build Leaders first. We do so and we are so successful because this command is the most diverse we have seen. It is a melting pot of each of our services; active duty, reserves, and our coalition and civilian partners. We embrace each other’s culture, and, SgtMaj and I challenge each of you to learn from one another’s service culture and service traditions. While being in the countries of our East Africa Partners, share a little of your culture and learn about the culture of the country you are in. In turn, this will make our organization and our mission stronger and more successful.