From the 95th Division Commander...

12/03/2012  |  Brig. Gen. A. Ray Royalty Commanding General, 95th Training Division (IET)
From the 95th Division Commander...

To members of the 95th Training Division team — I trust this finds your rucksack always close at hand in anticipation for the “On order, be prepared to ....” While the future across a global landscape appears unstable on any given day, our commitment to readiness requires diligence, focus, and vigilance — everyday. This is about attitude — taking the challenge — and standing firm when others run at the first sound of gunfire. An “equipment check” is in order everyday for each of us — mentally, physically, and spiritually.

The 95th Training Division Commander’s Conference conducted in Oklahoma City in September deserves the label of “success” at multiple levels. First, I want to thank members of the Division staff that worked diligently to bring this together — most excellent. Second, I want to thank each and every Command Team — Brigade and Battalion — that was present to actively participate in the open dialogue.

This Division formation is a warfighting organization of excellent intellectual capital, diverse perspectives, and outstanding leadership built on an intense loyalty to mission accomplishment. Third, I recognize the anxiety that many brought to the discussion that appears to surface when the future is clouded. My advice — get up each day — ruck up — and keep moving ... and be deliberate in your actions to accomplish the mission that is present today.

Several months ago, Mr. James White — a great American — retired from the Division’s Chief Executive Officer (CXO) position. Always willing to get the job done, Jim’s presence will be missed — absolutely. I am a better Soldier because of serving alongside Jim White with his deep sense of loyalty and dedication to the Army Reserve and the division. I would also like to thank Ms. Denise McCleary for her outstanding contribution to this division while standing in as the Acting CXO for several months until a backfill was identified. Meantime, the division is getting a great addition with Mr. James McCarty coming onboard as the incoming CXO in the next couple weeks. McCarty brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team from his time with the 108th Training Command. To Jim White — all the best; and to Jim McCarty — strap in ... lots to do — hooah.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the leadership, dedication, and outstanding service that Col. “Buddy” Holbert gave while serving as the Commander for the 3rd Brigade, 95th Training Division, Lexington, Ky. over the past couple years — truly outstanding. Holbert is moving to tackle the responsibilities of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G3 (Operations), 108th Training Command, Charlotte, N.C. There is no doubt that Holbert will serve in an exemplary manner for Maj. Gen. Robert P. Stall in the very near future. Congratulations are in order — job well done Buddy — drive on ....

Recently on a trip into the Washington, D.C. area, I had the chance to visit Arlington National Cemetery for a couple hours. My first goal was to visit the gravesite of Staff Sgt. Russell Shoemaker, 108th Division, killed in action at 1313 hours, 24 May 2007 in the Triangle of Death, Baghdad, Iraq. While operating as a Combat Advisor with the 1st Iraqi National Police Division, Shoemaker’s vehicle was ambushed by an Improvised Explosive Device followed by massive confusion and small arms fire as his vehicle was consumed by fire. A Soldier’s Soldier, Shoemaker never exhibited any doubts in his mind that we — the Americans — were going to walk away from a fight — ever. An exceptional Soldier, Staff Sgt. Shoemaker now rests on hollowed ground. If there is ever a time in your service to our great Republic that doubts and contradictions muddy your perception of your purpose and mission — spend some time at Arlington National Cemetery. It does not take long to get an azimuth correction as you walk through the endless rows of white headstones as generations of great Americans whisper so softly in the wind that the life of our Republic is worth the sacrifice.

In closing, it truly remains an honor to be part of the 95th Training Division team — from day one — given the highest level of professionalism, duty, and complete dedication that I witness across our formations. Somewhere on the trail each day, I am reminded of this opportunity to serve with some of America’s finest Soldiers, non-commissioned officers, officers, and civilians as a member of the Army Reserve in the 95th Training Division. The “can do” attitude to accomplish the mission is ever present across our formations – regardless of the challenges and the obstacles.

Charlie mike Warfighters — stay ready — meet you on the objective ... and Godspeed.

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