Story by SGT Brandon Cox on 07/22/2019FORT DRUM, NY For a small town young man, a middle child and a brother of four, growing up in South Carolina was tough but what he learned at a young age would drive him to success.
"My parents are my story, I get a lot of my passion and dedication because of them," said Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Bostic, the former senior enlisted leader of the 10th Headquarters and Special Troops Battalion, Fort Drum, NY.
Bostic grew up in Bennettsville, S.C. where discipline was a common practice.
"I rebelled once against my father," said Bostic. "During the summertime, we had to do our chores, we had all day to do them, and we procrastinated. When my father came home, he was furious. I told him that I wasn't going to get my punishment, and he ended up giving me all of my brothers' punishment to prove a point."
"We had a long conversation and a lot of tears after that, but I learned not to procrastinate on my chores again," added Bostic.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Joining the U.S. Army wasn't initially Bostic's plan, but he was ready for a challenge.
"All I knew was I could leave the small town I was in," said Bostic. "My brother joined the Army and left town, and if he could do it, I could do it."
Bostic graduated Basic Training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Jackson, S.C., where he was awarded the Military Occupational Specialty 27D, as a Legal Specialist.
In a moment of reflection, Bostic recalls a memory from his training.
"I will never forget the time our drill sergeant had all 60 of us go upstairs to grab a canteen full of water," said Bostic. "We went upstairs and brought down 60 canteens of water. We were only supposed to bring down one canteen. These are what they called "attention to detail" drills and by failing to pay attention resulted in a lot of physical exercise. The Army is designed to help you succeed; all you have to do is pay attention," said Bostic.
There are many values and attributes indicative of a Command Sergeant Major, Bostic lists his two most important.
"Standards and discipline," proclaimed Bostic.
"Everything in the Army is challenging, yes, but it's never hard," said Bostic. "If you fail to study the standards, then you are failing yourself and eventually going to fail your Soldiers."
"If you learn how to become a disciplined individual, you will enhance morale and motivation in our organization," added Bostic. "If you figure out standards and discipline, then everything else falls into place."
Bostic has given 25 years of service to the U.S. Army and sees a lot of himself in his Soldiers.
"It humbles me to be a Command Sgt. Maj. because it is a privilege to serve in this capacity," said Bostic. "Not every Sgt. Maj. gets a wreath and not every Master Sgt. gets a diamond. These leadership positions are an honor for those that get to serve in them."
Bostic relinquished his responsibility of the 10th HSTB on July 18, 2019 and had a few things to say about his time here.
The one thing I am most proud of are the Soldiers, said Bostic. "They are so resilient, so capable and they really pull the heavy load."
To the Soldiers of the Workhorse Battalion, Bostic offered his last words of mentorship.
"Be great," said Bostic. "Set a bar for yourself and achieve that standard. Even I still have room to grow and learn from my Soldiers all the time."
Command Sgt. Maj. Bostic, his wife Kristen, daughter Madison and son Gavin, will continue their journey in Charlottesville, Virginia where Bostic will assume responsibilities as the Commandant of the Non-Commissioned Officer Academy and the new senior enlisted advisor for the Judge Advocate General Legal Center and School.