One of the 28 junior officers who received the Gen. Douglas MacArthur leadership award poses for a photograph during a ceremony Oct. 21, 2020, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

A line of Gen. Douglas MacArthur leadership awards sit on a table before the ceremony Oct. 21, 2020, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON -- The Army’s chief of staff presented 28 junior officers with the Gen. Douglas MacArthur leadership award during a ceremony Wednesday at the Pentagon.

Gen. James C. McConville said the officers went through a rigorous process to earn the award, adding that the percentage rate to be chosen for it is even stricter than the competition to be a general officer.

Currently, there are over 120,000 company-grade officers and warrant officers in the Army.

“Think about that: that’s less than two hundredths of a percent to get selected for this very award,” he said. “So you represent an elite group of Soldiers who have been identified as the top leaders in the Army today.

“But your career is a marathon, it’s not a sprint,” he told the awardees. “It takes years of great leadership that you’ve demonstrated today. I’m very proud of each of you and know that you are living up to the legacy of those who have gone before you.”

Since 1988, the award has recognized officers and warrant officers in the regular Army, Reserve and National Guard who have displayed the ideals that MacArthur once stood for -- duty, honor and country.

MacArthur commanded troops in the Southwest Pacific during World War II and oversaw the successful occupation of postwar Japan before he lead United Nations forces in the Korean War. Throughout his career, he received two Purple Hearts, seven Silver Stars, five Army Distinguished Service Medals, three Distinguished Service Crosses, and -- like his father, Lt. Gen. Arthur MacArthur Jr. -- the Medal of Honor.

He was also only one of five Army officers to achieve the rank of General of the Army, a five-star general.

Gen. James C. McConville, the Army’s chief of staff, speaks during a ceremony to honor 28 junior officers who received the Gen. Douglas MacArthur leadership award Oct. 21, 2020, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

While speaking to the awardees, who all sat socially distanced in an auditorium, McConville said that great leaders possess the three “Cs” of leadership: competence, commitment and character.

And now with people as the Army’s top priority, the general added “care” for a fourth C to leadership.

“It’s leaders that truly care about the Soldiers that they lead,” he said. “We need leaders that care about their people -- their Soldiers, their families and their civilians.”

McConville then quoted former President Teddy Roosevelt who once said, “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

As part of that, the general said the best leaders not only require a high level of intelligence quotient, or IQ. They also should have emotional quotient, or EQ, to inspire their people to do incredible things in the Army.

“As you move up higher in leadership roles, IQ becomes less important and EQ becomes more important,” he said.

In closing, McConville noted the unique backgrounds of this year’s awardees who came from all corners of the country and even overseas.

“You’ve all taken a different path, gone through your own challenges and overcome adversity,” he said. “But every single one of you has worked incredibly hard and demonstrated the competence, the commitment, the character, and care for our Soldiers, that our Army needs.”

List of awardees

  • Capt. Emily Bye, U.S. Army Pacific Command
  • Capt. Kareem Dockery, U.S. Army Special Operations Command
  • Chief Warrant Officer 2 Nathan Fritz, USASOC
  • Capt. Charles Gray, U.S. Army Forces Command
  • Capt. Kristen Griest, FORSCOM
  • Capt. Jacob Henry, FORSCOM
  • Capt. Samuel Kuenker, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command
  • CW2 Meirong Magee, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command
  • Capt. Katie Nisbet, FORSCOM
  • Capt. Katlin Nordyke, USASOC
  • Capt. Charles Phelps, USASOC
  • Capt. Justin Raab, FORSCOM
  • Capt. Chelsea Sims, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division
  • Capt. Matthew Stein, FORSCOM
  • Capt. Erika Alvarado, U.S. Army Reserve Command
  • Capt. Melissa Bateman, USARC
  • Capt. David Bryant, USARC
  • Capt. Sean Courtz, USARC
  • CW2 Kenya Rice, USARC
  • Capt. Francis Riveratorres, USARC
  • Capt. Robert Shalvoy, USARC
  • Capt. Ian Beaty, Oregon Army National Guard
  • Capt. Ryan Matchey, Arizona Army National Guard
  • Capt. Adrian Mendoza, New Jersey Army National Guard
  • CW2 Christopher Nader, Oklahoma Army National Guard
  • Capt. Lance Nolz, South Dakota Army National Guard
  • Capt. Raffaele Simpson, Maryland Army National Guard
  • Capt. Jesse Valles, California Army National Guard

Related links:

Explosive leadership: ‘Standing on the shoulders of giants’

MacArthur awardee proud of Asian-Pacific heritage

Leadership profile: Knowing Soldiers, flexibility essential in murky waters

Sharing keys to lead ‘in an uncertain world’

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