Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

Friend, Problem Solver: Reserve Liaison Earns Praise

Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

Friend, Problem Solver: Reserve Liaison Earns Praise

Article excerpt

TUZLA, Bosnia-Herzegovina-As Sgt. Sherbert Noel walks the boardwalk in Tuzla Main, the dust kicks up around him. The drivers of the jeeps and armored personnel carriers wave when they see the colorful rainbow patch on his shoulder.

The U.S. Army Europe Mobilization Support Center patch has become synonymous with numerous descriptors -among them are friend, problem solver, liaison and bearer of good news. Noel is one of two Reservists serving the Tuzla area as a Reserve Component liaison officer. He is a key contact for any Reserve or National Guard issues that arise.

His patch is not all that is distinctive about him.

Born in Trinidad, he still speaks with a Caribbean accent. When asked a question, he spiels information like a database. He knows the numeric designations of all 28 Reserve and Guard units serving in his area, their location, the number of personnel assigned to each unit and the points of contact. He jokes that he still doesn't know the breakdown of gender per unit.

His boots have seen more mileage then some of the HMMWVs in the parking lot. "I don't like being confined to a desk," he says.

He makes the round to each unit a couple times a week, just to touch base with them and see if they have any outstanding problems. But it becomes evident as he greets members of each unit that his is a well-known face. He inquires about the daughter who had surgery yesterday or the father who is ill. Soldiers of all ages, gender and rank confide in Noel, and for him, that is what his job is all about.

"Yes," he says humbly, "I have become known as the man with the answers.'` But more important. says Noel, is that he has become known as a confidant. Reservists truly feel they have someone who listens and follows up. That's what helps keep morale high among the troops, he said.

He admits accommodations may lack privacy and a number of little things are bothersome, but "it wouldn't be right for me to complain, because I volunteered to come here. …

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