FROM THE SENIOR COMMANDER: Boots on the ground, first impressions
June 30, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - I am taking this opportunity to introduce myself and talk about my initial observations and a little about my vision. Iâ€™m Maj. Gen. Robert â€śAbeâ€ť Abrams and I am the new Commander here.
My Family (wife-Connie, son-Robert) and I came in from the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., and we have been thoroughly impressed since arriving at Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield. What a great place to live and serve!
Hinesville, Savannah and all of our coastal Georgia communities and neighbors are so supportive and there is so much to do here locally. Weâ€™ve made so many new friends in the community, and are grateful for their hospitality and support of Stewart"Hunter.
Since assuming command, I have been able to visit and see all areas of Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield. I also visited our 3rd Brigade Combat Team at Kelley Hill in Fort Benning as well. I have met a lot of people and am amazed by the quality and professionalism of our Soldiers and DA Civilians at every turn. We are full of incredible talent at every level! Pride and discipline resonated at every stop.
Most of our units have been in RESET from long deployments, and they are now conducting high quality tough, realistic individual and small unit training to re-hone our warrior skills.
Everything I have seen has been top notch with leaders in the lead and Soldiers doing the right things. Third Infantry Division is blessed to have so many high quality leaders and Soldiers in its ranks. I could not be more proud by what I have seen thus far.
During the first month of command, Command Sgt. Maj. [Edd] Watson (our new division command sergeant major) and I met with numerous focus groups from units, Family Readiness Groups and community members. I would like to thank all of you who participated. The input we received was tremendous, and I assure you that we are hard at work addressing the issues that you raised.
Iâ€™m especially appreciative of our Family Members who took the time to meet with us. You, more than anyone, carry a big ruck sack for our Army and the nation, and I am very appreciative of all you do to support your Soldier, his unit and Stewart-Hunter. I look forward to meeting and talking with more of you!
Special thanks to all the Vanguard Families who have supported their Soldier these last 12 months while the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team blazed a new trail in Iraq. Iâ€™ve been honored to stand with you these past two weeks to welcome home every plane load of our returning Soldiers. Every welcome-home ceremony has been special and you remain an inspiration to all of us. WELCOME HOME VANGUARD!
The Third Infantry Division has an incredible history! Dog Face Soldiers of today are making their own mark on our Divisionâ€™s legacy. While none of the Brigades are on deployment orders, we must continue to build readiness in the event we are called on again to deploy. The Third Infantry Division remains the U.S. Armyâ€™s decisive force for any contingency. We must keep ourselves in top physical condition and be a disciplined outfit that is built on trust at every level and every direction including with our Families. This is one of my top priorities.
Our installation has an incredible record of achievement that matches the Divisionâ€™s! Weâ€™ve won so many awards for excellence over the last 10 years that they put in a special rule that prevents any installation from winning the Army Community of Excellence award back to back.
Our Garrison teams are dedicated and committed professionals who do their very best every day for all of our community. I look forward to meeting more of them in the coming weeks.
With all changes of command, there comes change to reflect the new Commanderâ€™s priorities and vision. As I discussed with all our commanders and command sergeants major, I wanted to conduct a full assessment of the Division and the installation before I changed anything.
In the coming weeks youâ€™ll begin to see some changes - some subtle, some not so subtle - most rooted in feedback I received directly from you. Iâ€™m interested in your continued feedback so let me know your thoughts either through the ICE system or through your chain of command. Iâ€™m a firm believer in the chain of command, but I also realize that sometimes when the chain of command appears to not be listening or moving fast enough that Soldiers and Family Members need to elevate their voices.
I am establishing a CG HOTLINE email address for those occasional HOT issues that you need to bring to my attention. It will be published soon in this paper, on Team Stewart Web site and on our Facebook page. If youâ€™re interested in following my daily random observations and thoughts, follow me on Twitter @DogFaceSoldier. I write all my own stuff so youâ€™re hearing directly from me.
I would like to thank all of you for your hard work every day, and your service to our great Nation in a time of persistent conflict. I look forward to serving with you.
I am a Dog Face Soldier and I could not be more proud that I am as the Commander of the Third Infantry Division " the best Division in the Army!
Rock of the Marne!