Russell McCray, DynCorp International advisor/mentor working in support of the Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (CSTC-A) program, was the featured guest speaker at a ceremony celebrating the U.S. Army’s 237th birthday. The ceremony, which included a cake-cutting and remarks from coalition leaders, was held at Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan.
In his speech, McCray, a retired Army Command Sergeant Major, described what it personally meant for him to serve and how Army experience strengthens each soldier’s character.
“In my opinion, serving one’s country is a noble calling and I believe it is one of life’s greatest works. Nothing illustrates one’s commitment to their country more than putting on your boots and answering the call to serve whenever and wherever you are needed,” McCray said.
Visit the NTM-A website to view a video of the ceremony.
DI Advisor/Mentor Russell McCray
As an advisor/mentor with DI, McCray now works in conjunction with U.S. and NATO coalition uniformed personnel, advising and mentoring the Afghan National Army (ANA) Sergeants Major Academy Commander and staff as they develop senior non-commissioned officers for the ANA.
He also advises ANA instructors on how to train and instruct more than 45 military subject areas relevant to the continued development of the ANA non-commissioned officers (NCOs) corps.
After he retired, McCray wanted to continue to develop Afghan forces as an advisor/mentor.
“My last duty assignment in Afghanistan was working to develop ANA NCOs. That assignment afforded me the opportunity to work with some outstanding civilian contractors, particularly those I had the pleasure of working beside every day. What I realized during that time was that contractors can truly enhance the military’s ability to successfully accomplish their mission,” McCray commented.
“I valued the advice and counsel of a retired sergeant major, because I was able to consult with someone who had similar experience. I hope that during my time with DI, I will be able to do the same for someone else.”
About Russell McCray
McCray most recently served in the U.S. Army as Command Sergeant Major (CSM) of the Afghanistan Regional Security Integration Command- South (ARSIC-S) before coming to DI in February 2012. He advised the ARSIC-S commander on the status of more than 655 U.S. and coalition personnel’s conducting combat operation in Southern Afghanistan. He also served as the advisor for the Afghan National Army 205th Corps CSM and the Afghan National Police, 404th District CSM.
McCray’s work with the Afghan National Army Sergeant Major Academy was successful in mentoring several Afghan National Security Force senior non-commissioned officers (NCOs). McCray and his team conducted extensive one-on-one mentorship and training in the areas of administration, logistics, operations, instructional technique, counseling, leadership, and standard operating procedures (SOP) development.