By Sgt. Maj. Terry Anderson, 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public AffairsMarch 10, 2009
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (March 9, 2009) -- Tokyo was a much different place back in 1969, when then-Cpt. Robert Shadley commanded the 86th Ordnance Detachment at Sagami Depot.
"I was a missile maintenance detachment commander back then," Shadley said, reflecting on the year he spent in Japan. "Tokyo has fewer Soldiers today, better facilities, and the traffic is much worse."
Maj. Gen. (ret) Shadley rose through the ranks during his 33-years as an Army officer, culminating his career as the director of logistics for U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort. McPherson, Ga. Today, Shadley shares the knowledge gained during his three decades in uniform as a senior mentor for the 8th Theater Sustainment Command\'s (TSC) command post exercise (CPX), at Camp Zama, Japan.
"I offer advice to the commander and the staff, based on my experience and from what I'm seeing," Shadley said. "I make suggestions, tied back to doctrine, so that the command team can decide what they want to do."
Shadley does much more than just dispense advice. On day one of the command post exercise, he walked through the forward command post, meeting each staff member and Soldier, learning a little about each person. Shadley had very pointed words for the Soldiers of the 8th TSC.
"The key thing is that this is a knowledge management headquarters," he said. "Soldiers here take in data and information and turn it into knowledge that can be analyzed and briefed to the commanding general, so that he understands the whole picture and can make a good decision."
Shadley has the credentials and the experience to back up his words of wisdom. He's a Vietnam Veteran, having served with the United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam from 1970 to 1971. He has commanded at the battalion and division support command levels, to include the 1st Infantry Division Support Command during Desert Shield / Desert Storm, and was the director of logistics for the U.S. Atlantic Command, Norfolk, Va.
Shadley learned many lessons about staff work during his Army career, and travels to CPXs and battle command seminars all over the world to share his knowledge.
"This is the third TSC I've worked with during the past two and a half years," he said. "Exercises like this are a great opportunity for units like the 8th TSC to prove a concept and to give the staff some real world experience."
"He's (Shadley) a national treasure," said Col. Steve Fraunfelter, director of the forward command post. "He has a great knowledge of current and past logistical processes, and is a great mentor in leadership practices. If any Soldier has the time and opportunity to listen to General Shadley, it's time well spent."