SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Over 100 Army leaders across Oahu gathered Jan. 16, here at the 25th Infantry Division Consolidated Dining Facility to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s remarkable life and recognize his timeless courage.
The event was hosted by the Aloha ROCKS Chapter of the ROCKS Inc., which hails as one of the largest and longest mentoring organizations in support of Army leaders.
ROCKS Inc. was founded in the mid 1960s and its membership was originally limited to African-American field-grade officers but today the organization focuses on leader development of all men and women to help maximize their skills as officers.
Maj. Gen. Charles Hamilton, the commanding general for the 8th Theater Sustainment Command was the guest speaker for the event and shared his thoughts on what Dr. King's legacy means to him, pointing out that Dr. King was a warrior, guided by principles of emotions and character.
"Dr. King was a warrior, he got up every day knowing that he would get beat up, bitten by a dog, or he would get arrested and he knew that it was inevitable that he would be killed," said Hamilton.
Hamilton also provided a professional development session, addressing the current challenges of leader resiliency with strength and determination, mirroring the leadership principles of Dr. King's fight for peace.
"Think about the courage he had and the courage that many of you have because you raised your right hand to defend the Constitution of the United States, knowing fully well that you can be called at any moment to fight in harms way," said Hamilton.
The session was in keeping with Dr. King's dream of equality for all; a gathering of over 100 diverse leaders, treating each other with dignity and respect. As simple as the moment seems today; it's poignant that over 50 years ago this event would not have been possible.
As the nation prepares to pause and celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday on Jan. 21, let's also remember that Dr. King's warrior spirt transcends throughout our formations today and the Army's continued commitment to diversity is one of the reasons for it being the strongest fighting force in the world.