KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - One week in company command, Capt. Stephen D. Kim is enthusiastic about taking Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, to greater heights and ensuring the company is "Always Ready."
Kim, a New York native, orginally had dreams of becoming a high school history teacher, following in the footsteps of his own high school history teacher, James Morrison.
"He was a personal mentor and great influencer," Kim said.
Kim discovered a new career path with the U.S. Army during college freshman orientation.
"I literally picked up a random brochure that caught my attention," he said.
He signed up for a Reserve Officers' Training Corps class and soon met with a recruiter.
Joining the U.S. Army in 2011 as a Transportation Officer following the completion of the ROTC at Philadelphia's Temple University, Kim experienced his first leadership role as a platoon leader and battalion maintenance officer while stationed at Fort Drum, New York.
Kim's leadership roles did not end there. He held positions such as platoon leader and company executive officer and now company commander.
"My breadth of responsibilities while in leadership has been a pretty good balance," he said.
Kim is no stranger to Team 21. Prior to his newly appointed position, Kim was a part of the future operations cell where he had to opportunity to support Saber Guardian '17.
In a testament to Kim's character, Lt. Col. Jason Berdou, 21st TSC Special Troops Battalion commander, shared what he was looking for when deciding who his next HHC commander will be.
"I wanted a company commander with an intellect and leadership quality that I would entrust my son to," Berdou said. "Those are the qualities that I look for in junior leaders who have the potential to be a battalion commander someday."
Now in command, Kim mentioned the goals he has for the company and himself.
"In my first 90 days I plan to observe, and see the current systems in place embedded by my predecessors," Kim said. "See what works, see what doesn't, and see possible solutions. I'm all about streamlining and making things more efficient."
He also plans on keeping his predecessor's open door policy.
"I know everyone always says their door is always open, but collaboration is big to me," he said. "Solving a problem collectively, that's what brings more joy and makes me more proud then doing something alone."
As personal development, Kim sees himself studying for the graduate school placement exam. He said he wants to work towards a graduate degree in supply chain management.