When I took command of the 95th Division almost three years ago, I told everyone that I was the most fortunate person in the entire Army Reserve. The years since then have unquestionably proven how true that statement was. My time with the Soldiers of the 95th Division has been successful and rewarding beyond all expectations!
…the strength of our Army comes from the quality, dedication, and talent of our Soldiers. A leader who realizes this, and develops, empowers, and trusts their Soldiers will achieve results far beyond anything they could have imagined.
The Soldiers of the 95th Division demonstrated over and over that they were unequalled in their skill and professionalism. They successfully dealt with massive challenges such as Reformation, and the need to activate a battalion and eight companies at Fort Leonard Wood for the IES mission. They did this while still producing more new Drill Sergeants than anyone else, and making sure that we accomplished every other assigned mission. They also produced an NCO of the Year and a Drill Sergeant of the Year for the entire Army. I never had a doubt that our Soldiers were equal to the challenges they were asked to face. Everything they touched turned to gold.
Leaders only succeed because of their Soldiers. No leader can be successful on their own. There is only so much that any one leader, no matter how talented, can do. Rather, the strength of our Army comes from the quality, dedication, and talent of our Soldiers. A leader who realizes this, and develops, empowers, and trusts their Soldiers will achieve results far beyond anything they could have imagined.
Our Soldiers want to be excellent; a successful leader lets them excel. Four words frame a culture of excellence: “Mission Command” and “Disciplined Initiative.” Taking things a step further, is an action legal, ethical, moral and safe? Does it help us achieve our goals? If so, go forward! When Soldiers understand and internalize this framework, the possibilities for success are endless.
The 95th Division was wildly successful during my tenure in command, but I can take no credit. Our Soldiers were the ones who did the hard work and careful planning. Our Soldiers were the ones who put in the long hours to get things “just right.” They are the ones who continued this Division’s century-long tradition of excellence. If anything, my greatest accomplishment was to stay out of their way and let them do what needed to be done. Sometimes doing less means accomplishing more!
My time with the 95th Division is over. Command of the 95th Division has been a tremendously rewarding experience. I will long remember being a part of such an awesome organization. I am sad to leave, but depart with a sense of pride in all that the Division accomplished during our time together. I am humbled and grateful that I have had the chance to be part of the “Iron Men of Metz.” There is no higher honor! I wish all of you the best in the years to come. Farewell!