Over the past few weeks stories have been run about how Maj. Gen. Pete Johnson, Fort Jackson commander, has been committed to teaching officers and enlisted Soldiers how to be better stewards of the Army profession.
On Tuesday he was able to speak directly to human resources professionals, and installation Richland Country Sheriff’s Department leadership about becoming betters stewards of the profession during the Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Maude Leadership Lecture Series.
Michael Molosso, the deputy commandant of the Adjutant General School said the lecture series is a “great opportunity to learn more about leadership.”
Leadership isn’t about being charge, but rather about building a team.
“Anyone can be a boss; anyone can be in charge,” said Teri Maude, wife of Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Maude, who was the highest ranking Soldier killed in the 9-11 terrorist attacks. “A leader is someone who brings together a team to go forward and to commit to accomplishing its goal.”
This goal is evident in the post motto, the installation commander said.
“There is an enemy out there, opposed to all we stand for, that is studying you and our team, and waiting for the opportunity to pounce,” Johnson said. Fort Jackson’s motto, “Victory Starts Here, Right Here” is a motto that show resolve to prepare and “wake up every morning and improve our foxhole and move our Army team forward.”
It’s the habit of excellence “that ensures we get there,” Johnson added. The Army stewardship means being the best and surpassing the standards. “We won’t do it by teaching minimum Army standards, but by exceeding them and striving for excellence in everything we do.”
Leaders must lead from the front and not be afraid to make “professional” on the spot corrections.
“We must train for hardship, test ourselves in our grit, push ourselves … we’ve got to be the best stewards of the Army profession we can be,” Johnson emphasized. “We hold ourselves to uphold and exceed Army standards.
“It is our character, our competence and our commitment that will carry the day. It is the discipline in supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States that makes us 10-feet tall to all of our enemies. It’s not our weapons, it’s not other capabilities — it’s the capability within.”
Johnson illustrated good leadership with the example of Maj. Dick Winters, the commander of Easy Company, 2nd of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment during the D-Day invasion and the march across most of Western Europe. Winters had the right approach to leadership — leading from the front — while Capt. Herbert Sobel, the unit’s first commander, may not have had textbook leadership style, he was named one of the reasons for the company’s combat successes because of the tough training he instilled in the unit.
Leadership isn’t a popularity contest, he told the leaders at the event, but rather should prepare to take Soldiers “farther than they think they can get” and model what right looks like.
The lecture series is meant to inspire young Soldiers to become strong Army leaders and to be passionate mentors, and teachers for the good of the Army.
(Editor’s note: This story is part of a series about stewardship of the Army profession.)