From the 95th Training Division (IET) Commander

10/28/2021  |  By Brig. Gen. Susie S Kuilan
From the 95th Training Division (IET) Commander
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Change is inevitable. The only thing that doesn’t change is change itself. We will always have change. These may be clichés but there is always a modicum of truth in our clichés. Discussing change is a timely topic at this time. Both the 95th and 98th Divisions received new Division Commanders and Division Command Sergeant’s Majors. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. As you are reading this article, it is likely fall where the seasons are changing from late summer to fall and the leaves are changing colors. Again, change is inevitable. We may all say that we don’t like change but we should actually embrace change. Because through change, we get to see growth and rebirth.

Within the 95th Division, we recently had some major changes. Besides starting the calendar year with a new commander and then two changes of Command Sergeant Majors, we also hired a new Civilian Executive Officer, new Support Operations Training Specialist and other positions within and throughout the 95th Division footprint. New hires whether new to the organization or hired from within are always great for change because those people bring new, fresh ideas and new energy, to a position and an organization. This change also helps with cultural change which is often necessary to get a unit to move forward – further than they had moved previously.

Just as our own Division has been undergoing change, so has the larger United States Army and Army Reserve. One of the things that CSM Edwards and I speak to as we go around and talk to our units and Soldiers, is that the pendulum is swinging back and we are no longer focusing on COIN but rather large-scale operations and I believe you are starting to see those changes in the way the large training events are being conducted both on active duty and in the Army Reserve.

We are in the middle of changing the way we view and conduct physical fitness with the new Holistic Health and Fitness initiatives that are being implemented and the ACFT. And now the Army is studying the way they view and possibly evaluate height and weight. Bottom line, these are just more changes in the sea of changes that we face as we serve. And we shouldn’t run away from this change – we should embrace this change and figure out ways to lead the way within our smaller organizations to ensure that change happens more smoothly.

But it’s a funny (and fickle?) thing about change – it doesn’t last long sometimes before things change again. For example, many of us had just gotten back into the groove of full-fledged in-person Battle Assemblies when COVID starting spiking again, causing the USARC leadership and facility leaderships to relook those stances, and some units may be back to virtual Battle Assemblies or at least a hybrid version. And we had to deal with end of the year budget woes that were different than many of us had ever remembered seeing. Change. It’s inevitable.

What has not changed, however, in the 95th Training Division is an emphasis on people first and winning matters. I have had the opportunity on numerous occasions to recognize many special Soldiers over the last few months. COL Korf, LTC Hixson, CSM Kersey, SFC Perry and SFC Williams were recognized at a retirement ceremony – which is also a reflection of change. SPC Gutierrez, SGT Blackmer, and SSG Parada were recognized numerous times for winning at various levels in their Best Warrior competitions. We’ve had over 100 Drill Sergeants graduate from the academy this year including several who were honor graduates and made the commandant’s list. I could continue down this road of remembering all the Soldiers I have recognized this year but probably the most poignant of those recognitions and one of the biggest changes within the 95th Division is the retirement of Mr Jim McCarty as the CXO after serving in that position for over 9 years. We were very sad to see him go but we also know we’ll see him again as he is remaining in the local area. Change. It is inevitable.

Until next time and the next change,

Ironman 6

Victory Division

Commanding, 95th Training Division (IET)
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