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Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington
By Sgt. Casey Hustin, 17th Field Artillery Brigade
Photo above: Sarah Zorn is promoted to 1st. Lt. Dec. 3, 2020 at the ‘Black Knight’ Company Operations Facility. (US Army photo by Capt. Ian Sandall, 17th Field Artillery Brigade)
JOINT BASE LEWIS MCCHORD, Wash. — An Army Leader is anyone who by virtue of assumed role or assigned responsibility inspires and influences people to accomplish organizational goals— 1st. Lt. Sarah Zorn, who for the past six months has accomplished that and more within the 5th battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 17th Field Artillery Brigade, has her own idea of what makes a great Leader.
“You have to be competent; you have to be confident; you have to care—and a little common sense doesn’t hurt,” said 1st Lt. Sarah Zorn, an operations officer with Bravo Battery. “I feel like that philosophy kind of defines my leadership approach and who I want to be as a lieutenant.”
Zorn demonstrated her innate ability to pursue actions, focus thinking, and shape decisions for the greater good of the organization both in and outside the chain of command of the ‘Black Knight’ platoon.
“Lt. Zorn has filled the role as the headquarters platoon leader,” said Capt. Grayson Williams, Company Commander with B-Btry., 5th Bn., 3rd FAR. “She really just wants to see others succeed in her platoon. She just goes the extra mile to make sure that the platoon succeeds. Her ability to provide that insight and always the desire to learn has been instrumental in the success for the battery so far.”
From making history as the first female regimental commander at the Citadel for 2,300 cadets, to becoming a platoon leader of 20 soldiers, Lt. Zorn stays focused on doing the job at hand and doing it right.
“I think that transition from big picture to a little bit smaller picture really fundamentally is all the same,” said Zorn. “So—I come into work every day and I tell myself I’m just going to do the next right thing—whether it be the next right thing for soldiers, the next right thing for the battery—the next right thing for the team.”
Army leaders have strong intellect, physical presence, professional competence, high moral character, and serve as role models. Lt. Zorn has been recognized for her selfless care within the ‘Thunderbolt’ community.
“I’d like to highlight just how much genuine care she has for soldiers,” said Williams. “I know she has taken time out of her weekends to work on care packages for families with new babies in the battery. Lt. Zorn just wants to see the whole battery succeed, and really she shows this commitment as she volunteers her own time to really provide and deliver what the battery is asking for.”
Zorn said, “I would say to anyone who’s considering this or maybe anyone who is brand new and who is doubting themselves—this (the Army) is one of the most rewarding careers that you could ever have.”
The most successful Army Leaders, like Lt. Zorn, recognize that great organizations are built upon the mutual trust and confidence of our greatest assets—our people—who come together to accomplish peacetime and wartime missions—and so long as we continue to inspire leaders like Lt. Zorn to join us—we cannot fail.