Chasing the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence
A Cavalry Squadron’s Business School Approach to Fixing Maintenance
Capt. Tyler D. Stankye, U.S. Army
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The Army needs doctrine on organizational change, and it is a perfect time for that change. From brigades reorienting on new theaters of operation to squadrons and troops trying to improve their maintenance culture, organizations in the Army are consistently striving to change for the better. Currently, the Army is refocusing from counterinsurgency to large-scale ground combat operations against near-peer adversaries, but we are doing so without the doctrinal framework to support such a transformation.1 If we look at existing doctrine, we find very little about instituting organizational change. Army Doctrine Publication 6-22, Army Leadership and the Profession, and Army Techniques Publication 6-22.6, Army Team Building, offer the Army’s approach to organizational leadership, and the only substance on change is the Forming-Norming-Performing paradigm of team building.2 The 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment (6-9 Cav), used both Kurt Lewin’s Three-Stage Model of Change and John Kotter’s Eight-Step Process for Leading Change to successfully change its maintenance program and win the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence (AAME) in 2020 while deployed to the Republic of Korea.3 Lewin and Kotter offer proven frameworks for organizational change that should be included in Army doctrine.
The Three Fundamental Stages of Organizational Change
The steps in Lewin’s Change Model are three distinct moments that occur in lasting organizational changes. Consider a blacksmith forging a piece of metal. The smith heats steel to make it malleable (unfreezing), strikes it with a hammer to change its form (moving), and then dunks it in water to harden its new form (refreezing) (see figure 1).4 Though there are many substeps to each of the three steps, the blacksmith must follow this general order to make a quality product.
Unfreezing. Unfreezing is the initial stage that identifies needed changes and then removes institutional barriers to lasting change. At the end state of this stage, the organization should clearly understand the desired outcome and be primed to make the change.5
Moving. Moving is the stage in which the organization takes action to achieve the desired change after setting the conditions. The changes are not yet solidified, providing flexibility for adjustment. At the end state of this stage, the organization has instituted its changes and assessed their viability.6
Refreezing. Refreezing is the final stage in which all of the changes are solidified in the organization’s culture. This stage ensures that systems, structures, and stakeholders mutually support maintaining the change. At the end state, the organization has galvanized the change with new structures to prevent reverting to the old way of doing things before the change was made.7
The Eight Steps of Organizational Change
The next framework is Kotter’s Eight-Step Process for Leading Change. When done in order and to completion, these steps create the unfreeze-move-refreeze cycle that generates successful change (see figure 2).8 6-9 Cav used it to gain and maintain the necessary momentum to change its maintenance program while preventing the organization from reverting to its old ways of doing things before the change was made.
Establish a sense of urgency. A significant portion of an organization is actively involved in generating organizational change. It is difficult to motivate an organization that does not see the need for change. Individuals need to go beyond their normal duties to facilitate the change. Establishing a sense of urgency is the method for getting that extra investment of time and effort from individuals to accomplish the goal.9
Complacency motivates individuals to maintain the status quo since it is a comfortable trajectory. When complacency is high and urgency is low, it is difficult to gather a group with enough organizational influence to guide the effort and convince key individuals to spend the extra time communicating a vision of change. Even if a small, motivated group exists in a generally complacent organization, the early momentum will end before the change is complete.10
To increase urgency, leaders must identify the sources of complacency and then remove them or mitigate their impact (see figure 3). Doing this requires bold action rather than a tepid approach; bold and potentially risky action creates a sense of urgency. Bold action makes individuals perceive the change as unavoidable and failure to change as catastrophic. Risk is unavoidable, and in the case of organizational change, prudent risk is required.11 In 6-9 Cav, urgency was created when the brigade commander required all combat vehicles drive onto the boat to the Republic of Korea under their own power. He also required every vehicle shipped to have a “10/20 Book” (operator- and unit-level maintenance) that included the 5988E (the Equipment Maintenance and Inspection Worksheet, a digital record of vehicle faults), Army Oil Analysis Program report, and the full equipment status report (the report of all faults paired with order status and fault date) for the vehicle. This requirement set a tough but very visible standard. The 10/20 books provided the brigade commander’s inspectors with the official record of current faults, so they had a record to assess why the vehicle did not meet his standard. Achieving a 100 percent operational readiness (OR) rate in a short time is an incredible task that constrained resources. This left little room for dishonesty and prevented units from generating false OR rates by loading faults onto a single vehicle.12
One of the most important aspects of successfully creating urgency is instilling it in the correct individuals.13 If the target of change is a squadron, troop, or platoon, then the key players will be the middle- and lower-level leaders at that echelon. For example, for a squadron-level change, it would be the troop commanders/first sergeants (middle level) and the platoon leaders/platoon sergeants (lower level), but urgency at even lower levels is always helpful. They make up the core of the organization with direct influence on the most soldiers. Leaders who have enough autonomy can succeed regardless of what is happening in the rest of the organization. These levels can usually circumvent resistance from higher echelons, but Army structure requires approval, even if tacit, from higher leaders. Urgency can either be initiated from the top or can be demonstrated to higher-level leaders in a way that convinces them to buy-in.
6-9 Cav nested the urgency from the brigade by tying the vehicle standard to all personnel evaluations down the entire chain of command. The squadron executive officer (SXO) made it clear that he would hold troop commanders and platoon leaders responsible if their vehicles did not drive onto the boat under their own power. It was now important to them. The squadron could not maintain the old laissez-faire approach to maintenance. Leaders were now accountable for their real OR rate since it would be obvious if a vehicle could not move under its own power.
Create the guiding coalition. Major change is difficult to initiate and sustain. On his or her own, no single leader can develop the right vision, communicate it to a large formation effectively, eliminate all the key obstacles, manage numerous change projects, and anchor the new approach deep in the organization’s culture. A weak coalition is even worse; it is ineffective and is unable to influence the organization in the correct way. An organization needs a strong guiding coalition with the correct organizational influencers, trust, and a shared objective.14
Major transformations are frequently associated with a single highly visible individual. For example, the SXO for 6-9 Cav changed the unit’s maintenance program and led the unit to win the AAME in the large modification table of organization and equipment category, the first time in the award’s history an active duty armored formation had won it. He knew a successful squadron maintenance program involved a large share of stakeholders and built a guiding coalition representative of the maintenance enterprise. He sold them on his vision and created a team that produced the Army’s best large modification table of organization and equipment category maintenance program during a rotation to the Republic of Korea.
The second reason for a guiding coalition is that most senior leaders had their formative years during a different time focused on counterinsurgency, and they may not completely understand the current systems or the motivations of younger soldiers. The SXO was the first to admit he did not understand Global Combat Support System-Army (the Army’s logistics and maintenance system) or the intricacies of armored brigade combat team maintenance requirements because he was raised with the legacy Property Book Unit Supply Enhanced (PBUSE) system in infantry and Stryker brigade combat teams. He took three steps with his guiding coalition to mitigate his knowledge gap. First, he required the coalition to do all briefings off reports generated by the Army systems of record (equipment status report; ZPROSTAT; Army Oil Analysis Program reports; and test, measurement, and diagnostic equipment reports) so the entire coalition had access to the same records. Second, he brought outside experts to teach these systems to the coalition, empowering the coalition with knowledge and making it independent of his knowledge gap. Last, he asked for guidance from the rest of the coalition whenever he did not understand the systems. He displayed his strength of character through humility. He was a major asking lieutenants and sergeants how things worked and to solve problems at their level. It was effective at mitigating his knowledge gap by leveraging the coalition’s collective expertise and by fostering cohesion through teamwork.
The guiding coalition requires the right mix of leaders and managers. Managers sustain processes and leaders create an organizational vision and inspire others. In change management, the managers keep the process under control while the leaders drive the change. They must work in tandem to drive and maintain the change process. A manager-heavy coalition will develop plans but lack vision, while a leadership-heavy coalition will have a lofty vision but lack the ability to take action to achieve it. It is also important to identify and avoid, or very carefully manage, those who have large egos and those who sow mistrust in the team. These individuals may be highly motivated, intelligent, and productive. However, they may use membership selfishly while degrading the credibility and trust within the team.15
6-9 Cav found the proper mix by building a coalition that included officers, a chief warrant officer, and noncommissioned officers (NCOs). They had the officers with the vision and maintenance chief and mechanic sergeants who would manage the maintenance on the ground. The experience of the NCOs who managed the execution tempered the lofty ideas of officers. The warrant officer was the bridge between the two that ensured leadership and management.
Develop a vision and strategy. Vision is a picture of the future with some implicit and explicit commentary on why people should strive to create that future. A good vision is one of three alternatives to breaking the status quo. The other two are authoritarianism—“Do it because I outrank you”—and micromanagement—“Do it like this and take these exact steps exactly how I prescribe them; it’s the only way to do it right.”16
The vision clarifies the direction of change by providing the end goal in a clear and concise manner. Clarifying the direction of change is important because soldiers cannot put in extra effort when uncertain of the direction. With a clear vision, understanding is easily transferred and decisions are simplified to one question: Is this in line with the vision? If not, inappropriate projects are identified and terminated.17
An effective vision helps coordinate various parts of the organization, supporting parallel planning and action. Without a shared sense of direction, interdependent people end up in constant conflict, and nonstop meetings consume motivation and resources. With the shared vision, interdependent people can work with some degree of autonomy and not impede each other.18 An effective vision has six characteristics:
- Imaginable: it conveys a picture of what the future will look like;
- Desirable: appeals to the long-term interests of soldiers, leaders, unit mission, higher leadership, and other stakeholders in an enterprise;
- Feasible: comprises realistic and attainable goals;
- Focused: is clear enough to guide in decision-making;
- Flexible: is general enough to allow individual initiative and alternative responses in light of changing conditions; and
- Communicable: is easy to communicate and can be successfully explained in minutes with little added explanation.19
6-9 Cav created a strong and concise vision that directly addressed its desire to improve the maintenance program nested with the brigade’s vision for success. Its maintenance vision was that
6-9 Cav will be the best in the Brigade at sustainment. We will flatten communication by eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy, using only Army systems of record for sustainment reporting, and empowering Soldiers to own their maintenance. We will build combat power and leave the Korea Enduring Equipment Set (KEES) above a 90% OR rate. We will continually learn better ways to do things and win the AAME.20
This vision was born from the original requirement from the brigade commander and evolved once the unit inherited equipment in the Republic of Korea. The vision was very clear and provided concise guidance on where the squadron should be at the end state.
Communicate the change vision. A vision becomes effective when it is communicated to the lowest levels and the enterprise develops a common understanding. Common understanding shares the sense of desirable change to motivate and coordinate the actions that generate change. Gaining this type of understanding and commitment drives the change at the lowest levels.21
Effective communication incorporates the vision in everything the organization does and says as an integrated marketing strategy. There can be no inconsistencies between the actions of senior leaders and the direction of the vision. Subordinates perceive all actions as a communication of the change’s seriousness to leaders. If soldiers see action contrary to the desired direction, they will lose their motivation to pursue the vision. A brigade cannot declare its vision is to reach the best maintenance standards in the Army if the finance officer rejects orders for deadlining parts because those parts are expensive, nor can the squadron maintenance team move all faults onto a single vehicle to hide the actual state of the fleet.22 Soldiers see through this and will perceive the vision as futile. Leaders must also take the effort to be seen in the motor pool working on their vehicles, which communicates to subordinates that leaders are serious about change.
Communication must often happen and in meaningful volumes. Simply mentioning a change to maintenance culture during Monday formation does not cut it. Soldiers and subordinate leaders are flooded with routine information daily; the change vision cannot be a casual inclusion or it will be lost. It needs to be addressed daily. Discuss the vision at troop maintenance and training meetings. Post the vision in maintenance bays and in troop headquarters. The command sergeant major should ask about the vision during leader professional development and interactions with junior NCOs. Troop executive officers need to teach their platoon leaders about it during physical training. Leaders also need to tailor the vision’s delivery to be received by its audience. All soldiers do not use the same jargon, so the vision must be communicated in a transferable way across all ranks and specialties.
If there are unavoidable inconsistencies between the vision and the actions of leaders, the leadership must acknowledge them, own them, and explain why to subordinates. Soldiers will always spot these inconsistencies, despite leaders’ best efforts. Likewise, soldiers can see through a poor excuse if they hear one. This requires leaders to be honest when they cannot overcome inconsistency and to give a good-faith effort to overcome them. 6-9 Cav’s SXO demonstrated this with his lack of experience in Global Combat Support System-Army and armored brigade combat team maintenance.
Empower subordinates for broad-based actions. Major internal transformation rarely succeeds unless many soldiers contribute, and soldiers cannot contribute if they feel powerless. Although steps one through four empower subordinates, step five is specifically designed to remove barriers to implementing the change vision. The four obstacles that step five attempts to remove are structures, skills, systems, and supervisors (see figure 4).23
Organizational structure can be an incredible impediment to change if not adjusted to facilitate the new vision. The vision of a new maintenance program is hindered if the squadron does not adjust the organization’s structure to facilitate it. 6-9 Cav developed a new maintenance meeting that decreased bureaucracy with representatives from each branch in the maintenance enterprise to support the new system. It instituted a new training program to teach end users how to function in the program. The training taught stakeholders the process and introduced them to the technicians, so processes were executed at the lowest level. Reporting requirements were adjusted for the new inflow of maintenance requests and their completion status. The coalition facilitated crosstalk between stakeholders to shorten the time between a fault identified and the repair completed. Subordinate action was facilitated by the structural changes.
Skills in the organization varied greatly among individual soldiers. Soldiers who did not understand the maintenance flow slowed it down when they tried to participate in the process. Leaders fixed this problem through training. Whenever a knowledge gap was identified, 6-9 Cav brought civilian field service representatives or soldiers with expertise to teach lower-level leaders who then taught their soldiers. The guiding coalition took time at the squadron maintenance meeting to discuss lessons learned and share best practices throughout the organization. This ensured a lack of knowledge never caused repeated failures.
Organizational systems can encourage or discourage the change vision depending on the adjustments made after the vision is created. These include systems peripheral to the change. 6-9 Cav aligned its awards and evaluation systems to complement the change vision. When soldiers acted in line with the change vision, their leaders recommended them for awards for their effort. When they resisted change, it was reflected in their evaluations. They adjusted this peripheral system to support the vision and visibly demonstrate that the change was serious.
Lastly, supervisors can adjust to the change or resist it. Senior leadership took action to change their mindset to align with the vision. Refusal led to formal counseling, and evaluations reflected any inability to join the team. In the most severe cases, those who refused were reassigned to positions where they could not contradict the pursuit of the vision.
6-9 Cav’s best example of an empowered subordinate was a mechanic sergeant who created the “Saber Scan” program. He identified that one of his biggest problems was that the squadron did not have enough technical manuals (TMs) for each vehicle to have one. Empowered by the unit and leveraging his skill with technology, he created an online repository of the TMs’ preventive maintenance checks and services portion for every squadron vehicle. The squadron military intelligence officer ensured TM portions complied with operational security guidance before they were added to the database. The sergeant then created a QR code sticker placed directly on the end item so soldiers had access at the point of use. This program is expanding to include other nonrolling stock.
Generate short-term wins. Change efforts must produce favorable results to proceed. An organization might charge ahead with a vision and a plan to remake itself but not produce any tangible results in a timely manner. Without such results, change dissidents make the case against change and kill the momentum of change. If a unit can produce small tangible wins regularly, it has evidence to quiet dissidents. Each win maintains the momentum or increases it.24
Major change takes time. The major change drivers will carry on regardless of the current status. Soldiers and leaders expect to see convincing evidence of success along the way. Dissidents require indisputable evidence to justify the costs of change. Engaging in a change effort without specific attention to short-term results is a risky strategy. Wins sometimes produce themselves, but often they require deliberate planning.25
Short-term wins are both visible and unambiguous; subtle wins and close calls are explained away as such by dissidents. A short-term win is a result of action in general, not the action itself (see figure 5).26 When 6-9 Cav fixed a majority of its vehicle faults, it was not a short-term win because it didn’t have high visibility. When it drove 97 percent of its entire fleet seventy kilometers to the Rodriguez Live Fire Complex with only one breakdown instead of only bringing shooting vehicles and shipping them by truck, it achieved a short-term win because of how visible and unambiguous the accomplishment was.
To achieve these benefits from short-term wins, they need to be planned and cultivated. Achieving a win should not be a surprise but rather an affirmation of diligent preparation and execution. Leaders and managers need to work together to plan, execute, and highlight these wins en masse. They need to seamlessly plan them into their strategies in line with the visions.
Consolidate gains and produce more gains. Resistance to change will never fully dissipate. Even when there is success early in the transformation process, dissidents resist change. As the change momentum grows, they become silent objectors waiting for their opportunity to make a comeback. They look for a momentary lapse in progress or motivation and attempt to hinder change efforts. Dissidents may attempt this when wins are celebrated, exclaiming that the effort was a success and is now complete or that the organization can slow down. Slowing down effort kills urgency and momentum. They hope to end the effort before actual completion. Whenever rest is taken before a completed effort, critical momentum can be lost and regression follows shortly after. Once regression takes place, it is difficult to regain momentum as dissidents now have credibility and those who have bought into the vision find it hard to reinvest.27
Instead of giving an air of culmination through celebration, organizations should acknowledge progress and keep the vision in mind (see figure 6). When significant tangible progress is made, the guiding coalition should meet to assess the situation for adjustments and new opportunities. A new project can be launched with the momentum from the success as the driver. It lends credibility to the effort and provides evidence that the transformation can continue successfully. Use a big success as a driver for more and new success, driving the process of change.28
After moving the entire fleet to Rodriguez Live Fire Complex, 6-9 Cav capitalized on the success to attempt another change. Rather than functioning like garrison gunnery where the only training is for the firing crews, the squadron used the opportunity to train expeditionary sustainment and command nodes. 6-9 Cav set up all of the combat trains and ran logistical convoys to and from the range for a month. Maintenance was done on-site at the unit maintenance collection point and the squadron main command post tracked progress. The combat trains command post coordinated all convoys and collected yellow reports through radio and joint capabilities release (JCR). Supply teams ordered supplies through very small aperture terminal (VSAT) and combat service support automated information systems interface (CAISI) systems. This forced the squadron to identify maintenance issues with ancillary equipment rarely used except in a field environment. They then used the expertise gained through vehicle maintenance to add ancillary equipment to the maintenance program. Using the opportunity to train field sustainment and command at the squadron level was a win in itself since units rarely take the time to do it.
Anchor new approaches in the culture. Most would consider the transformation complete with no need to expend more effort after achieving the vision. This is true for creating the change, but it fails to build staying power for change. At this point, the change is superficial and requires constant upkeep from the guiding coalition to maintain it. But if the guiding coalition stops, either because members change positions or permanent change of station, the change cannot sustain itself. It regresses to the old norm that creeps back in. Though it happens slowly, it brings the organization back to the old status quo. To stop this regression and build staying power, the guiding coalition must anchor the changes into the organization’s culture.29
Anchoring the change into the organization’s culture is a difficult task and is usually overlooked. It leads to more focus on structure and systems, while culture and vision are overlooked.30 There are three important definitions (see figure 7) this step relies on:
- Culture: the sum of the norms of behavior and shared values among a group of soldiers,
- Norms of behavior: common and pervasive ways of acting found in a group that persist because group members tend to behave in ways that teach these practices to new members, and
- Shared values: important concerns and goals shared by the majority of a group that tend to shape group behavior and persist over time even when group membership changes.31
Culture exists throughout a hierarchy.32 A brigade sets the overall culture, but it varies at each echelon below because lower echelons have specific roles that breed subcultures.33 Subcultures, in the best case, align with the higher culture with variance due to its specific mission; at worst, the subcultures exist to spite the higher headquarters culture and are the result of arrogance or apathy. Regardless of the culture’s level or location, it is important as it influences human behavior and decision-making, it can be difficult to change, and it is hard to address directly.34 The shared values, which are less apparent but drive norms of behavior, are the most difficult to change.35
New practices that are not compatible with the organization’s culture can lead to regression. Efforts to change a brigade, battalion, company, platoon, or team that took significant investment to execute come undone when new approaches are not rooted in group norms and shared values. To counter this regression, leaders must diligently link the change into the organization’s culture.36
Cultural change should always come last in a transformation effort. This is because culture changes only after people’s actions have successfully altered. The new behaviors produce some group benefit for a period of time, and people see the connection between the new actions and performance improvement. This does not imply a leader should not monitor the culture during the other stages. Leaders who understand the old culture easily figure out how to influence the urgency level, create a guiding coalition with the correct people, and shape the vision to make it appealing. Subtle alterations in the culture start as soon as the transformation process begins, and these serve as a gauge for the progress of the change and the buy-in of subordinates who feed that culture.37
6-9 Cav took three actions to ingrain its new approach into the organizational culture. First, it created a mandatory certification program for all incoming leaders and managers. These key individuals took position only after they were taught about the maintenance flow and the basics of the Army’s various maintenance reporting systems of record. These soldiers were evaluated on their knowledge and their ability to turn that knowledge into results. Second, 6-9 Cav included logistical knowledge requirements to their “Spur Ride” entry qualifications. Spur Rides are a historical rite of passage in the cavalry in which troopers demonstrate their skills in a series of tests. To qualify to participate in the event, troopers demonstrated the logistical knowledge commensurate with their rank in the unit’s system. Last, 6-9 Cav held a large ceremony for the AAME and individual awards for maintenance achievements. They broadcasted this ceremony on Facebook Live and made attendance mandatory. Key leaders across the 1st Cavalry Division attended the ceremony to highlight the award’s importance. The AAME ceremony galvanized the accomplishment and dedicated the unit to maintaining its new program.
To effectively implement its organizational vision, the Army should adopt the Lewin and Kotter change management frameworks into doctrine. Lewin and Kotter have spent their careers researching how to institute effective organizational change, and their writings are easily transferable to Army organizations. 6-9 Cav demonstrated that these processes are effective by changing its maintenance program to win the first armored formation to win the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence. The squadron’s success could be recreated across the Army if it adopted change management as a core competency using proven methods to create change doctrine.
- Jen Judsen, “The US Army Is Preparing for Major Changes to Force Structure,” DefenseNews, 6 March 2019, accessed 5 April 2021, https://www.defensenews.com/land/2019/03/06/major-army-force-structure-changes-afoot/.
- Army Doctrine Publication 6-22, Army Leadership and the Profession (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Publishing Office [GPO], 2019); Army Techniques Publication 6-22.6, Army Team Building (Washington, DC: U.S. GPO, 2015).
- ALARACT (All Army Activities) 081/2020, “Fiscal Year 2020 Chief of Staff, Army, Logistics Excellence Awards Program Winners and Runners-Up,” 6 October 2020.
- Kurt Lewin, Field Theory in Social Science: Selected Theoretical Papers, ed. Dorwin Cartwright (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1951).
- N. Andrew Cohen, “Leading Change” (lecture, The George Washington University School of Business, Washington, DC, 12 November 2015).
- John P. Kotter, Leading Change (Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 2012), 37–38.
- Ibid., 39–42.
- Ibid., 45.
- Theo Lipsky, “Unit Status Reports and the Gaming of Readiness,” Military Review 100, no. 5 (October 2020): 148–57, accessed 5 April 2021, https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Journals/Military-Review/English-Edition-Archives/September-October-2020/Lipsky-Unit-Status-Report/.
- Kotter, Leading Change, 49.
- Ibid., 53–54.
- Ibid., 59–63.
- Ibid., 69–70.
- Ibid., 71–73.
- Ibid., 72.
- Ibid., 74.
- Michael Hebert and Nathaniel Crow, “6th Squadron 9th Cavalry Regiment AAME Inbrief” (presentation, Cavalry Squadron Headquarters, Camp Hovey, South Korea, 9 January 2020).
- Kotter, Leading Change, 87.
- Lipsky, “Unit Status Reports and the Gaming of Readiness,” 148–57.
- Kotter, Leading Change, 106.
- Ibid., 121–23.
- Ibid., 123.
- Ibid., 126.
- Ibid., 138–40.
- Ibid., 150–51.
- Ibid., 153–56.
- Ibid., 156.
- Edgar H. Schein, Organizational Culture and Leadership, 4th ed. (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010), 1–2, 55–68.
- Ibid., 2.
- Kotter, Leading Change, 156.
- Ibid., 157; Schein, Organizational Culture and Leadership, 27–32.
- Kotter, Leading Change, 160.
- Ibid., 164–66.
Capt. Tyler D. Stankye, U.S. Army, is a brigade planner in Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. He holds a BBA in marketing from George Washington University. During his career, Stankye served as a scout platoon leader in Apache Troop, 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division; and troop executive officer in Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division.
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