Maj. Gen. Scottie Carpenter, deputy commanding general for U.S. Army Reserve Command, presided over Brig. Gen. Jonathan Woodson's promotion to major general in a ceremony held ahead of the command's Change of Command ceremony at Army Reserve Medical Command's headquarters in Pinellas Park, Florida, March 31, 2019.
For the occasion, Woodson was joined by his wife, Sherril; son Jonathan and daughter Sarah, who currently serves the Navy as an active duty neurologist. During ceremony remarks, Woodson credited his family for their key role in his success.
"We all know that as Army Reserve Soldiers, when we raise our right hand and state that we will protect and defend the constitution, we also sign up our families at the same time," said Woodson.
"I need to acknowledge my wife for her tremendous support for my career and let her know that I love her for all that she has done for our family and raising our kids. I have two great kids, and they've signed up for duty as well," said Woodson.
Woodson brings a myriad of civilian and military experiences to his new role as ARMEDCOM commander to include leading Boston University's Institute for Health System Innovation and Policy and holding joint appointments as Professor of Surgery at the School of Medicine and Professor of Health Law in his civilian capacity. From 2010 to 2016, Woodson served as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense for all health and force health protection related issues.
In his military capacity, Woodson has deployed in support of Operations Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom; and to Kosovo as part of Task Force Medical Falcon. Prior to his selection as commanding general for AR-MEDCOM, Woodson previously served as the 3rd Medical Command's (Deployment Support) deputy commanding general, and is returning AR-MEDCOM after previously serving as their deputy commander in 2010.
During ceremony remarks, Carpenter praised Woodson's performance and his ideal fit to be the next commanding general for the command.
"You are getting a great commander. Someone who has really worked hard to get here, and I know without a doubt that this command will flourish under his leadership," Carpenter said.
In a follow-on interview, Woodson shared his thoughts about the significance of promotions and his leadership philosophy.
"When I conduct a promotion ceremony, I talk about how the individual has been determined to be ready to assume levels of higher responsibility," he said.
The skills needed to lead Army medical professionals goes beyond understanding the organization's mission and appropriately executing managerial responsibilities, Woodson explained.
"Leadership abilities are all the things one does to inspire people. It's about creating a vision for the future. It's about motivating people to work towards a common goal. These skills are not necessarily defined by authorities, they are defined by actions," he said.
Woodson concluded that the opportunity to lead is all about the people, and he's enthusiastic about getting started.
"People have always been the wonderful part of being in the Army Reserve. I'm really looking forward to getting back in and getting to know people, the contributions they want to make and what they want to bring to the organization, and then enabling them to achieve their potential," Woodson said.