This past quarter has been an exceptional one for the 104th Division. As the command continues to reform, we will become more adaptive and efficient in completing our missions. The Division is leaning forward to minimize the impact of reformation, while embracing the challenges it brings and looking for the opportunities to improve readiness.
During this time, mission continuity and communication is critical for all Soldiers and I am committed to providing the necessary guidance and resources to see us through. Understanding that our units are geographically dispersed the CSM and I are making an effort to get on ground with our Soldiers and find ways we can better serve them.
The command is working with our partners at Cadet Command and West Point to ensure that we are continually improving the building of our Army’s future leaders.
To kick off the fiscal year, I had the opportunity to visit Xavier University ROTC program in Cincinnati, Ohio, which has been building future Army leaders for over 139 years. During this visit, I was able to speak with cadre and Cadets on leadership, winning in a complex world, thriving in chaos, and what it means to be a leader. These type of events tell me a couple of things: (1) our trainers and drill sergeants are having a significant impact on these future leaders; and (2) that because of these efforts our Army will be in good hands in the future.
Our command hosted a G1/G3 planning workshop and CSM Summit in Dallas, TX in November. This event brought together individuals from each Brigade and Battalion, and was focused on standardizing procedures throughout the Division. I had the opportunity to speak with this group and address my priorities of maintaining and improving Soldier and mission readiness throughout our ranks.
November also led us to attend a retirement ceremony hosted by the 108th Training Command for a tremendous leader, COL (R) Greg Holley. COL (R) Holley served over 31 years in his military career, and successfully served in a multitude of challenging assignments. As the 104th Division G37 Forward, he led the charge to ensure that we are in sync with Cadet Command.
In December I had the opportunity to attend the Drill Sergeant Academy graduation at Ft. Jackson, S.C., for class 001-17, which graduated the first Timberwolves drill sergeant.
The 104th HQs supported a Cadet Summer Training Back Brief with our Brigades. This important aspect of Mission Command – ensuring shared understanding – will ensure that we are ready for the challenges of supporting Cadet Command and West Point.
In January, we participated in the USARC’s Command Readiness Review (CR2) of the 108th Training Command. The purpose of the CR2 to is to improve readiness. At the 104th Division we are resolved to continue the trend of leadership involvement and system integration, which will improve readiness.
In January and February I was able to visit several of our newly assigned AGR Professors of Military Science at ROTC schools across the east coast. These schools included Wofford College, East Tennessee State University, Marshall University, West Virginia State University, University of Maryland, Bucknell University, and Presbyterian College. During these visits I’m able to speak with Cadre, Cadets, and University leadership. I enjoy interacting with cadets and they know the Timberwolves from CST!
February also afforded CSM Trotter and I the opportunity to visit the 2-379 and 1-398 in Kentucky. These visits allowed us to speak with Soldiers, attend training, and address any concerns or shortcomings. We are excited to have these units on board and looking forward to visiting the 2-317 in Virginia soon.
In closing, I look forward to what the months ahead will bring, as we are now, more than ever, prepared to execute our missions with ready and relevant Soldiers. It always boils down to leadership. I think that we have great leaders in our formations, as well as Soldiers. Therefore, I know that every member of the Division will not only set the standard, but will be the standard in all that you do.