MacArthur's leadership ideals seen in 1/25 officer
April 8, 2014
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - "Duty, Honor, Country - those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn," said Gen. Douglas MacArthur during his Thayer Award acceptance speech given in 1962.
More than 50 years after MacArthur first spoke these words to the cadets of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, they continue to resonate with today's military leaders, leaders like Capt. Cody Grimm, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, commanding officer and one of 28 Army officers chosen to receive this year's Gen. Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award.
"It's extremely humbling to even be nominated," said Grimm.
The MacArthur Leadership Award looks to promote and sustain effective junior-officer leadership in the Army by recognizing company-grade officers who demonstrate the ideals for which MacArthur stood.
"To me, is that I owe my men the best opportunity to succeed," said Grimm. "I owe them inspirational leadership."
Many people have congratulated Grimm since the Department of the Army announcement naming him as a recipient, and each time he has quietly thanked them and quickly returned the focus to his Soldiers. When asked what he thinks earned him the award, Grimm said he hopes it was simply taking care of Soldiers.
"What this award means to me is that all the Soldiers and leaders did an outstanding job while I was in command," said Grimm.
Lt. Col. Jason Wesbrock, 1-5 IN commanding officer, said Grimm leads from the front by setting high standards for his unit and personally achieving those same standards while placing his Soldiers and mission above his own needs.
"Capt. Grimm has established himself as the best company commander in 1/25 [SBCT], and has set and met the highest standards of any company commander in the brigade," said Wesbrock. "The competence of Soldiers, [noncommissioned officers] and their operations are a direct reflection of Capt. Grimm's dynamic leadership and his embodiment of Gen. MacArthur's ethos of 'Duty, Honor, Country.'"
Grimm's current position is his second command under Wesbrock; he spent more than a year as C Company, 1-5 IN, commanding officer before moving to HHC. Wesbrock nominated Grimm for the award.
"As the C Co., 1-5 IN commander, Cody distinguished himself by proficiently maintaining a comprehensive training plan focused on his company [mission essential tasks listing] from [physical training] to small unit collective training through platoon live-fire exercises," said Wesbrock.
Grimm expressed gratitude for a multitude of mentors and fellow Soldiers he has worked for and alongside but said that he couldn't have done any of it without the support of his wife, Carrie.
"I wouldn't be half the officer I am without her," said Grimm. "She has been extremely supportive; her career has taken a backseat so she could follow me wherever the Army takes us."
Grimm continued to say that his wife cares for their 2-year-old daughter Cora and enables him to dedicate a lot of time to his Army family as well.
"There has been a lot of selfless service on her part," said Grimm.
This year's award recipients are scheduled to attend a ceremony in Washington, D.C., May 29-30. Grimm said many of his family members plan to be there, including his brother, Capt. Jessie Grimm, a fellow Ranger currently serving as Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha Team leader.