Greetings Iron Men of Metz
By the time you read this, I will have completed my first 100 days as your new commander. It’s an honor and a privilege to lead such a distinguished unit, and I have enjoyed getting up to speed on the Division’s accomplishments, meeting the Soldiers, and making my way around the footprint to see you at various training events.
I’ve shared some video updates on Facebook lately and I encourage you to stay tuned for more videos as we move into the Spring. It’s been a busy couple of months and I’ve had to hit the ground running, but I’ve had the opportunity to participate in several activities within the Division, including the Division Symposium, BWC awards banquet, and Change of Responsibility. I also have YTBs upcoming for each Brigade.
For those who haven’t met me yet or didn’t get to see my introduction online, I’d like to take a chance to reintroduce myself and share a bit of my command philosophy.
I received my commission from Officer Candidate School in 1989 after graduating from a small college in Arkansas. I currently live in Northwest Arkansas with my husband and 5 four-legged “children.” Our grown children all live nearby. After three years on active duty, I’ve been serving in various military units from Utah to Maryland since joining the Army Reserve in late 1992.
As I mentioned, I’m proud and honored to serve in this fine unit and in fact spent many years within the Division, prior to taking command in January. I’d like to take a moment to outline some pieces of my command philosophy that I believe will deliver the excellence this Division consistently demonstrates.
My number one ask of each and every one of you is to take care of your Soldiers. Soldiers who feel supported will always take the greatest care of each other and in turn will accomplish the mission. Taking care of Soldiers ensures that each member is qualified and ready to be mobilized at any given moment. I value training, both military and professional. Building a sense of empowerment and resilience is a significant element of Soldier care. Our training will be rigorous and stressful to provide opportunities for our Soldiers to develop their skills. Develop, guide and coach your Soldiers and give them the opportunities to succeed. Soldiers should take responsibility for their expertise within their Military Occupational Specialty or branch and continuously seek out and take advantage of opportunities to pursue civilian and military education. I will always support opportunities for advancement, even if it means losing a good Soldier to another unit.
Mentoring and counseling are paramount to Soldier and Leader development. Every Soldier within the command should have at least one mentor they regularly communicate with. Additionally, in conjunction with the Command Sergeant Major, we have instituted a reading program as part of our effort to increase everyone’s professionalism. So far we have read the Fort Hood report and Black Hearts by Jim Frederick. For June, we are reading Start with Why by Simon Sinek and in September, we are reading the U.S. Constitution. Leaders should conduct formal counseling sessions with their subordinates to maximize individual performance. Counseling sessions are valuable in maintaining and improving performance, and never miss an opportunity to recognize great performance.
We as a collective body of professionals must provide a safe and harassment free environment. This will include providing the proper training on how to assess risk and the way in which to provide controls to mitigate identified risk. Annual and periodic training will include methods to eliminate sexual harassment, have consideration of others, and other ethical conduct topics.
Lastly, I understand our operational tempo is extremely challenging and demanding. It is important to maintain a balance between your family, civilian career, and Army Reserve commitment. I do not take lightly how challenging this has been while navigating a pandemic. Though I continue to ask you to take care of your Soldiers, most importantly, please take care of yourself. Check in with your Battle Buddies and never hesitate to reach out when you help. We are truly are in this together!
Iron Man 6