03/04/2019 | By Maj. Gen. Kate Leahy Commanding General, 108th Training Command (IET)
From the Commanding General
I then had the pleasure of “patching in” our new Deputy Commander, BG David Elwell, and formally welcoming him to the Command. On 21 October our command conducted a first-class assumption of command ceremony on Victory Field, Fort Jackson. As I said in my remarks on that picture-perfect Sunday morning, joining the 108th Training Command ranks among the greatest privileges I’ve ever had. I am deeply thankful for this honor and opportunity, and I will do my very best to never let you down.
Prior to joining the 108th Team, I served a year-long assignment at US Army Europe Headquarters in Germany, which was preceded by a two year assignment as the senior intelligence officer at US Southern Command, one of our nation’s six geographic combatant commands. As a result of these experiences I’ve had the opportunity to see the threats to peace, security and freedom our nation faces from a few different perspectives, influenced by geography and regional priorities. Despite the different lenses through which global challenges are often viewed, there’s a common thread that exists in terms of how our nation’s friends and allies, whether in Europe, Central or South America, view the United States military, and the U.S. Army in particular. Our allies deeply value their partnership with the United States, admire the professionalism of our service men and women, and seek to replicate the discipline and esprit de corps they observe in our troops. I contend their views are based in large part on their direct experience with American Soldiers - forged from experiences as diverse as shoulder to shoulder in combat, to side by side on humanitarian assistance missions.
The direct link of the 108th Training Command and its Divisions to our allies’ positive perceptions is that the mission of this Command is to create the American Soldier — to take ordinary Citizens and make them extraordinary Soldiers, filling both the enlisted and officer ranks of our great Army.
In joining the 108th Team I bring with me a simple three pronged philosophy which I’ve shared with many of you already:
- Strive to do the right thing every day;
- Take care of Soldiers, Families and our Civilians; and
- Prepare for war.
The last of these tenets, prepare for war, has everything to do with readiness. As LTG Luckey, Chief Army Reserve, often says, he wants each of us to be ready enough to be relevant, but not so ready that it puts an untenable strain on our civilian careers or family relationships. It’s sometimes a tough balancing act to maintain the proper equilibrium across all three areas, but this is a critical principle that every leader at every level in our organization should be promoting, through both words and personal actions, across our ranks.
In closing I’d like to leave you with a reminder of our mission, which remains constant, as stated in The Army Strategy: the Army’s purpose is to deploy, fight and win our Nation’s wars by providing ready, prompt, and sustained land dominance by Army forces across the full spectrum of conflict. The Army mission is vital to the nation because we are the Service capable of defeating enemy ground forces and indefinitely seizing and controlling those things an adversary prizes most - its land, its resources, and its population. To all of our Griffon Team Soldiers and Civilians, thank you for your continued devoted commitment to this mission; to the Griffon Family Members, thank you for supporting your Soldier and making his or her service possible. First in Training!