GARDEZ, Afghanistan - Two days before the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade's first birthday the brigade's commander, Scott A. Jackson, was promoted to Brig. Gen. by the U.S. Army Chief of Staff during a ceremony at Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan, August 14.
"There are so many people to thank who helped me along the way," said Jackson. "I can't possibly name them all so I'll put them in to three buckets, my family, my units, and my leaders."
Jackson then described how the example he sets for his two sons motivates him to do his best, how non-commissioned officers throughout his career taught him important leadership lessons, and how he tries to emulate the traits of senior leaders he's worked for.
Gen. Mark A. Milley, the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, promoted Jackson in front of a group of leadership and staff from NATO's Resolute Support mission, United States Forces - Afghanistan, and 1st SFAB.
Jackson's wife, two sons, and friends and colleagues watched the ceremony over a video teleconference at the unit's stateside home in Fort Benning, Georgia.
Milley said that while he wished the Jackson family could be present to put the rank on Jackson, he was honored to stand in for them.
Jackson has more than 70 months of command experience at various levels and this is his second brigade command. Successfully completing an equivalent leadership position is a key tenant of SFAB personnel selection.
"Scott Jackson is incredibly competent, but this promotion isn't about competence," said Milley. "Competence is expected and the cost of admission to senior leadership. This promotion is about character and Scott has demonstrated time and again that he has impeccable character."
Jackson is leading his brigade though uncharted waters as the first commander of the Army's first SFAB.
Under his supervision the unit rapidly manned, trained, equipped, and deployed more than a thousand combat advisors and attached security force personnel to support strategic requirements in Afghanistan.
One year after the unit officially activated on August 16, 2017, Jackson said he is very proud of the unit and the opportunity to help make history by establishing SFAB standards and culture.
The Army is collecting lessons learned about equipment, training, personnel selection, and employment from the 1st SFAB's growth and deployment. Lessons that are already helping future SFABs.
1st SFAB deployed to Afghanistan in March and provides the Resolute Support commander with conventional warfare experts to train, advise, assist, accompany, and enable Afghan National Defense Security Forces at every echelon of command from battalion to corps.
Jackson's previous assignments include command of 2nd Armored Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, command of 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, U.S. Army Liaison to the United States Senate, and Lead Operational Planner for the First Cavalry Division.
His education includes a baccalaureate degree from the University of Notre Dame and two Masters degrees. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and the School of Advanced Military Studies.