Good Change

08/25/2018  |  By Brig. Gen. B.G. Edwards Commanding, 104th Training Division (LT)
From the 104th Training Division (LT) Commander
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“Change,” is a word I’ve been contemplating for a few months. Often times, when we think of change, it carries a negative connotation.  However, change is part of life, something that we’ve all have experienced and something that is inevitable especially in any organization. For most, change is uncomfortable and may bring disruption. However, I believe change is good and the manner in which we look at change is important.

At the 104th, change has been part of its history and change allowed and continues to allow us to make positive impacts in our Army. I recently had the privilege to write a letter to a World War II Timberwolf Veteran, and thank him for his service to our country. This gentleman’s service with the 555th AAA Battalion, contributed greatly to the success of the Timberwolf Division and played a significant role in the liberation of the concentration camp Nordhausen, the Battle of the Bulge, and other strategic operations during World War II. It was because of the many brave Soldiers like him that we can look back and reflect on the rich history of the 104th Division, the United States Army, our Nation, and the reason we enjoy liberty and live in freedom today.

Today, the 104th is not structured as it was during World War II, nor does it have the same mission. However, it is strategically organized to build future leaders for the Total Army, who are prepared to win in a complex and thrive in chaos.  The 104th has internally undergone change, we welcomed DCG COL Woods, G3 COL Dobbs, and other key leader movements within the organization. This summer both 1st and 2nd brigade will undergo leadership changes; gaining two new Brigade Commanders, COL Hansen and COL Sanders respectively.  Also, USACC will undergo a change of command between MG Hughes and BG Evans. This will be an opportunity for the 104th to embrace, manage, and lead change at every level.

Change is a constant in the military. Change is not something that will go away but it is increasing in the rate of occurrences as technology matures and humans find more ways to manipulate it for war.  We must be prepared.  So, we have a choice.  Do we avoid change and fail to grow as an organization or do we quickly adapt and move our organization to the next level?  We will adapt and embrace the challenges to lead change.  Leading change will allow us transform the 104th training Division. Leading change requires vision, compassion, and commitment. We must be proactive instead of reactive.  We will transform our organization to greatness and keep us on the leading edge – First in Training!

As we move on and look ahead, why the emphasis on change? Thought it’s difficult to see change as good when going through it, change will allow us to be ready for the demands of our mission. This April I had the opportunity to visit the Sandhurst competition and see at first hand the Soldiers of the 104th leading change. During the competition, 47 Soldiers of the 104th provided support to the USMA.  In preparation for CST, the 104th has already stand up Task Force Wolf. This will be a demanding mission but one full of opportunities for success. It will also be necessary for us to identify the areas where we need change and lead change. This summer will be filled with many opportunities to lead change (UASCC CST/BCT, USMA R-Day, USMMA, Annual Training, etc.)

I invite you to join me in embracing, managing, and leading change. I also request you take advantage of the opportunity to explore and implement change that enables us to accomplish our mission in a more efficient and capable manner while embracing warrior ethos.  But most of all, have fun doing it!

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