Winter: IA duty won’t hurt careers By Zachary M. Peterson - Staff writer Posted : Wednesday Nov 28, 2007 13:51:06 EST KABUL, Afghanistan — Navy Secretary Donald Winter on Wednesday wrapped up his fourth day visiting sailors filling Army billets in this landlocked country. Winter held several all-hands calls at bases around the capital city and met with Army leaders here. The secretary also met briefly with President Hamid Karzai and Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak at the presidential palace. The secretary assured individual augmentees deployed here that their work was not going unrecognized by the Navy back in Washington. He assured them that serving as an IA would not hurt advancement opportunities and that the Navy is continuing to work on improving the IA system. Several sailors told Winter they were happy to serve as IAs, but were disappointed their assignments often involved tasks below their Navy rank. Some sailors argued they were assigned tasks a lower-ranked person would perform on a ship. The secretary noted the inherent cultural differences between the two services, but he assured sailors he would discuss the issue with Army Secretary Pete Geren. Winter’s visit to Afghanistan included stops at Bagram Air Force Base north of the capital and a journey out to the Asadabad Forward Operating Base in the Kunar Province near the Pakistani border.