By Julia LeDoux, Pentagram Staff WriterJuly 30, 2015
The U.S. Army Headquarters Command Battalion's new leadership team of Commander Lt. Col. Johnathon Kupka and Command Sgt. Maj. Kenyatta Mack has been in place nearly six weeks and the pair has been busy getting to know the Soldiers under their command and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.
Kupka and Mack assumed command of the Army's largest battalion, which comprises 52 agencies and more than 6,000 Soldiers, from Lt. Col. Mark Biehl and Command Sgt. Maj. Alex Pratt June 19.
"What Lt. Col. Biehl and Sgt. Maj. Pratt have done for the battalion and for Fort Myer, the joint base and the entire MDW (Military District of Washington) is amazing," said Kupka.
Kupka, a Bakersfield, California, native raised in Aberdeen, Washington, is an 18-year soldier who served in the infantry and as a Special Forces officer.
"What a privilege to be assigned here, let alone command here," he said. "You can't find better Soldiers anywhere in the world. These guys and gals are definitely the best."
The Seattle Seahawks fan has his favorite NFL team's slogan - I'm in - on the door to his office and explained that sums up both his leadership style and what he expects from his Soldiers.
"The profession of arms isn't for everybody," Kupka said. "It's a difficult task at times. Our country depends on us to be able to do our job and do it well."
And while the pair is still making their initial assessments about the battalion, Kupka said he is already sure of one thing: It's a tight-knit group.
"Commanders and first sergeants and leaders within the S-3 and all the staffs, they do their jobs well, they do them with little or no guidance," he said. "We're seeing great things."
"Soldiers can adapt to any environment you put them in as long as they know you love them and you're going to work hard for them and have their best interests at heart," said Mack. "There's nothing a United States Army Soldier will not do for you."
Mack, a soldier of 23 years, said the key to being a successful Soldier is commitment over compliance.
"When you are committed to something, you have a whole other level of dedication," he said. "When you're complying with something, you're doing what you have to do to get by. If you are committed to something, the quality of work you're going to put in is far greater that if you are just complying."