Teamwork builds continued success
February 28, 2013
Hello U.S. Army Europe team,
Now that I've had the opportunity to travel around U.S. Army Europe to meet many of our outstanding Soldiers, civilians and family members, I'd like to share some thoughts on one of my command imperatives that are absolutely vital to our success, teamwork.
U.S. Army Europe is a team of teams, from the commanding general and command sergeant major to a rifle squad, we succeed or fail as a team. Setting the conditions for our subordinates ensures we succeed; allowing them to fail means we have failed together. None of us can do this alone. All of your leaders need your help and support just as you need help from your higher headquarters so we can succeed whether in garrison or forward deployed.
An often used thought on teamwork is, "It's amazing what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit." Most of you can think about what a strong team consists of. Descriptions vary, but common themes remain true: Individuals feel they are contributing toward mission accomplishment, open and two-way communication is commonplace, and team members have each others' backs, not only on good days, but bad days as well.
Here in Europe, we have the unique opportunity of belonging to a team that not only consists of our sister services, but our partners and allies in the 51 countries in the EUCOM area of responsibility. Take advantage of this and learn from your experiences here both on and off duty. Leaders must take every opportunity to build multinational teams in our training and operational experiences, no matter the size of the exercise.
Building and maintaining strong teams requires self-reflection, voluntary self-improvement, selfless service, and loyalty. All of these components are critical in leading U.S. Army Europe through our current challenges: budget constraints, reductions in the force structure, training focused on addressing future threats, and integrating women into combat positions. Strong Teams enable U.S. Army Europe to succeed through all of these efforts.
March is Women's History Month and celebrates women's contributions to our nation. I encourage all of you to attend ceremonies and observances in support of Women's History Month. When former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta lifted the ban on women serving in combat positions, he recognized the daily efforts women have already made in combat.
Here in USAREUR, we are taking on the responsibility to successfully incorporate women into our combat arms. How U.S. Army Europe integrates women into these teams will be historic. Our goal must ensure all members -- women and men -- are ready to contribute and accomplish any mission, united together.
Strong Soldiers, Strong Teams!