RIYADH, Saudi Arabia --
"He created a sense of Family and community for everyone on Eskan Village." This is a common reaction among staff members describing Maj. Gen. Frank Muth's legacy, after serving as Program Manager (PM) for Saudi Arabian National Guard (OPM-SANG) for two years.
Maj. Christopher Duncan, OPM-SANG G3 Operations, recalls Muth as one of the best senior leaders with whom he has ever served. "He placed great emphasis on getting to know his Soldiers and Civilian work force, not just because a good leader should, but because he truly cared about each and every person on his team. The command climate he established during his time at OPM-SANG was remarkable," Duncan said.
In July 2016, Muth was selected to serve as the Program Manager, SANG. "I was very excited, I had never done this type of assignment before. It was the chance to work Security Cooperation and Foreign Military Sales and knowing that I would be interacting with Saudi leadership that I was looking forward to," Muth said.
Muth quickly learned that the assignment needed three ingredients to be successful. "First, I had to develop a relationship with the Saudi leadership, and that took time and trust to build those relationships, and over time they trusted our recommendations," Muth explained. "Of course, it wasn't just me building the relationship, every Soldier and civilian that works for OPM-SANG plays a tremendous role in developing a strong relationship with their Saudi counterparts."
Muth also had the opportunity to work so many aspects of what it is to be in command. "This job is a great learning opportunity that involves just about every aspect of being in command. From staffing, training, acquisition, financial management, and contracting, to working with foreign dignitaries and State Department leadership. The assignment provided an opportunity to be exposed to all these areas in less than two years; for most leaders, they see this over the course of 20 or 30 years," he said.
For Muth, the best part of this assignment was working with his staff. "The people are the best part--when you are in this environment, often times away from your friends and family back home, the people you work and live with become friends, some become family," he said.
Helena Parks, OPM-SANG Budget Analyst, was very impressed with Muth the minute she met him. "From the moment I arrived at OPM-SANG, Maj. Gen. Muth met with me, made me feel my job here was important not only to the command, but to him. He told me right away that his door is always open whether I needed guidance, had ideas on how to improve the process, or just needed advice."
Muth believes that having compassion for others is paramount for good leaders. "Part of your job as a leader is to have that understanding and to bring that energy every day, it's a positive work ethic I try to adhere to," he explained.
"Spending so much time with the OPM-SANG team, you turn to each other for support, and I could not have asked for a better staff to work with the past two years," he adds.
Muth recalled a career highlight while serving at OPM-SANG when he was awarded the King Abdul Aziz Medal, First Order, from His Highness Prince Khalid bin Abdul Aziz bin Ayyaf Al Megren, Minister of the National Guard. "I was very honored and emotional. It was the culmination of an extremely rewarding assignment," Muth said.
Muth departs Saudi Arabia for his next assignment as the Commanding General, U.S. Army Recruiting Command in Knoxville, Tenn. "I had a one of the best assignments here at OPM-SANG, but after two years away, I am happy to be joining my family," said Muth.