To the Soldiers, Families and Civilians of the 98th Training Division, I want thank each and every one of you for the warm welcome you extended to me and my Family during the Promotion Ceremony and Assumption of Command. We were so humbled by the efforts you took to ensure our smooth transition and welcome us back into the Iroquois family. It is truly an honor and privilege to once again a part of the 98th Training Division – I couldn’t have asked for a better assignment!
By the time this issue is out you should have all seen the updated Division Mission and Vision Statements, my Command Philosophy, and the “98th Division Road to War”, so I’ll simply highlight some key points.
- Readiness is the number one priority for the Division. Everything we do must be focused on improving our readiness.
- I expect Leaders at all echelons to be responsible for their own personal Soldier Readiness and the Soldier Readiness of the Soldiers in their areas of responsibility. Leaders must have systems and processes in place to ensure that all of the Soldiers within their area of responsibility stay in compliance with Soldier Readiness Requirements.
- Our ability to execute our missions, recruit viable Drill Sergeant Candidates, and retain Drill Sergeants (Combat Readiness) relies on developing Company Command Teams that can effectively plan, execute, and assess challenging, METL based training OUTSIDE of our reserve centers.
- Our ability to improve Soldier Readiness relies on developing Company Command Teams that can effectively utilize information systems such as DTMS, CSMM, EES, and develop systems and processes to manage their Soldier’s and unit’s readiness.
- Competition goes hand-in-hand with achieving high standards. Commanders must encourage friendly competition as a means of reinforcing unit cohesion, loyalty, and camaraderie. Drill Sergeant of the Year, NCO of the Year, Soldier of the Year, Command Safety Excellence Award, Command Supply Excellence Award, Commanders Cups, Marksmanship badges, APFT badges, etc., promote operating in the “Band of Excellence” and complement unit identity and esprit.
- Soldiers expect and desire to be held to high standards. They gain confidence in leaders who help them achieve high standards and lose confidence in leaders who do not know the standards, demonstrate the standards, or who fail to demand excellence in performance. We must set the standard.
- Everything we do as a Division must revolve around discipline. We must be disciplined in our appearance and actions, both on and off duty. Do what is right all the time, even when no one is watching. Leaders must demand top notch performance from their subordinates. Do not accept anything less.
- Trust is the bedrock of our profession of arms. Mutual trust must flow throughout the entire chain of command. Soldiers are more willing to exercise initiative when they believe their commander trusts them and is willing to support the outcome of their decisions. Commanders are more willing to grant greater authority to Soldiers whose judgment they trust.
As Commander I am responsible for the Division’s failures. All credit for its success goes to you. I work for you and my staff exists to support you. My most important responsibility is to ensure you have the guidance, tool, and resources you need to be successful. With that being said, I expect you to take care of your subordinates and their families, and always demonstrate professionalism. Hold your subordinates accountable for their actions and demonstrate the Army values 24/7. As Command Sgt. Maj. Priest and I visit your units I encourage you to ask us questions, let us know your concerns, and share your ideas. Together we will make the 98th Division the Army’s Initial Military Training Division of choice to expand its capability to provide agile and adaptive combat-ready Warfighters ready to “Win in a Complex World.”
“Standards, Discipline, and Trust”