SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- The chief of staff in an Army organization is a highly demanding job. He is the focal point for the general's staff and oftentimes is the guiding voice of the command. Pulled in a thousand different directions at once, the chief keeps everything balanced and on task.
Brig. Gen. David Glaser, chief of staff, United States Army Central, reflected on his past 19 months at arguably one of the busiest Army Service Component Commands.
"I would describe my time at USARCENT as fast and furious, just like the movie," said Glaser. "In hindsight it is incredible to look back on the accomplishments of the command -- drawing a Combined Joint Operations Area down, building it back up, creating a second one, ensuring operations in the Sinai were resourced and so on. The mission was incredibly complex, fast paced and rewarding."
USARCENT has its main command post at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. and a forward command post at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. It is assigned to the United States Central Command and provides continuous oversight and control of Army operations throughout the USCENTCOM area of responsibility.
When Glaser arrived as chief of staff in November 2014, USCENTCOM had recently established Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve made up of multinational forces to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
USARCENT was tasked to command OIR given its continued presence in the region for more than 20 years. One of its missions in the AOR was to enhance regional security and stability and counter conflicts.
USARCENT led OIR for 15 months, simultaneously executing its regional mission of improving regional security and stability in the USCENTCOM AOR, until passing the helm to III Corps in September 2015. USARCENT now provides support to OIR as the Coalition Forces Land Component Command.
One of the accomplishments Glaser is most proud of is USARCENT continuing its USCENTCOM mission while simultaneously conducting the complex CJTF-OIR mission.
"The selflessness of our workforce and how they worked through staffing a CJTF, CFLCC and ASCC simultaneously for 15 months makes me humble and very proud to have had the opportunity to serve as the chief of staff," said Glaser.
Glaser said he learned a lot about Army Service Component Commands and their missions that he did not know prior to his assignment.
"I learned just how much there is to setting, shaping and executing unified land operations within a combatant command," said Glaser. "I'll be honest, for years I took it for granted when engineers showed up to build things, the DFAC was stocked, parts arrived, and I could talk inter and intra-theater. Now I understand just how complex those activities are as you work through host nations, Department of Defense policy, and our Congress."
Glaser will depart in July for a new assignment as the commander of Army Corrections System and to be the deputy commander for the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, which includes Army forensics, felony crime, detainee operations and confinement of convicted DoD personnel.
Glaser said there are a few things he will miss once he leaves the community and the command.
"What I will miss the most is the people. My family and I were embraced from day one at Shaw Air Force Base and in Sumter and we have formed some lasting friendships -- which is a great benefit to military life," said Glaser. "I will also miss the small-town living -- no traffic and Lake Wateree."
He also said he will miss being a part of 'Patton's Own' and wants all to know how honored and proud he was to serve alongside the Soldiers.
"My advice to the Soldiers is to embrace the challenges - be prepared, care for people, and manage risk by thinking forward in space and time," Glaser concluded. "Patton's Own -- Third, Always First."