Maj. Gen. Ridge assumes responsibility of Army's Initial Military Training
November 25, 2013
The Army organization that transforms civilian volunteers into Soldiers and junior leaders welcomed a new deputy commanding general Friday, Nov. 21, 2013.
U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command transferred responsibility of Initial Military Training from Maj. Gen. Bradley W. May to Maj. Gen. Ross E. Ridge in a ceremony at its headquarters in Fort Eustis, Va., which also signified a change of senior commanders at Army Element Fort Eustis.
The ceremony presented a valuable opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of the team that leads one of the most agile formations within TRADOC, said Gen. Robert W. Cone, commanding general of TRADOC.
"The dedicated Soldiers and civilians of IMT transform our nation's sons and daughters into trained Soldiers, physically and mentally prepared to serve at their first unit," he said. "Oftentimes, that unit is deployed or deploying overseas into a combat environment. Accomplishing this awesome responsibility is no small task. It requires an innovative, dedicated and hard-working team. From the drill sergeants in basic combat training to the staffs and instructors responsible for some of the most sophisticated technical training in the world, we have consistently seen IMT create Soldiers who are the envy of the world."
May was at the helm of this organization for 21 months, and during that time he:
- Initiated a baseline Soldier physical readiness study to identify physical requirements for all Soldiers to complete Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills, which are the fundamental combat skills all Soldiers must be proficient in.
- Reinstated the Master Fitness Trainer Course to enhance the Army's physical readiness. Master fitness trainers are certified fitness advisers that facilitate unit level physical training.
- Expanded current policies to eliminate conditions that may place trainees at greater risk for misconduct in order to ensure a safe and secure environment for enlisted initial entry training Soldiers.
"I can tell you from the Army's perspective, we are truly losing one of the class act leader-developers in our Army today," Cone said. "He will leave big shoes to be filled. Not just in IMT, but in the armor-cavalry community for all that he has done and the standards that he has set. I think of him as the quintessential servant leader. But truly, selfless leadership has been his hallmark."
A separate retirement review in honor of May's 33 years of service followed the change of responsibility ceremony.
In recognition of his accomplishments, May received the Distinguished Service Medal at his retirement review. When he took the podium for his retirement remarks, he chose not to reflect upon his 33 years of service, but rather his final 21 months as the penchant of his career.
"It's fitting that my career ends while serving in an assignment where initial military training begins," May said. "It's been extremely rewarding being part of the organization whose mission is to transform civilian volunteers into Soldiers, who are responsible for defending what we hold so near and dear to our hearts: our freedom."
Following retirement, May will return to his hometown in Shreveport, La.
Ridge, the incoming DCG, is reporting from the Pentagon, where he served as the deputy, Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Army. Other previous assignments include a tour in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he served as Task Force 2010 director during Operation Enduring Freedom and chief of staff for the Strategic Effects Directorate of Multi-National Force -- Iraq.
Ridge is not a newcomer to TRADOC or the initial military training environment. He previously served as the 47th commandant of the Field Artillery School and chief of Army Field Artillery at Fort Sill, Okla. Ridge views his DCG-IMT assignment as a privilege afforded him once again.
"I look forward to serving as your DCG, and being able to transform the young men and women entrusted into IMT's care, into Soldiers who we will all be proud of, and who will dutifully represent our Army and our nation in time of war and peace," Ridge said.
The Army profession begins with IMT, transforming civilian volunteers into Soldiers and junior leaders who can contribute to their first units of assignment. As DCG for IMT, Ridge is responsible for standardizing, refining and assessing training for initial entry Soldiers, recently commissioned and appointed officers, and warrant officers at 23 installations across the United States.