Brig. Gen. Kris A. Belanger, Commanding General, 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command responds to a question, asked by an Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadet, during the Fort Jackson ROTC Leader Professional Development Symposium, February 7, 2020, at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Belanger participated in a panel discussion which featured an open discussion with other general officers. Cadets could various questions, during the one day event, devoted to mentorship and leadership development of ROTC cadets who will lead the Army into the future. 
(U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. David Lietz)
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Brig. Gen. Kris A. Belanger, Commanding General, 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command responds to a question, asked by an Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadet, during the Fort Jackson ROTC Leader Professional Development Symposium, February 7, 2020, at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Belanger participated in a panel discussion which featured an open discussion with other general officers. Cadets could various questions, during the one day event, devoted to mentorship and leadership development of ROTC cadets who will lead the Army into the future.
(U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. David Lietz) (Photo Credit: Sgt. David Lietz)
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Brig. Gen. Kris A. Belanger, Commanding General, 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command conducts an interview with WLTX-TV Channel 19 in Columbia, South Carolina. Belanger was one of 11 general officers taking part in the Fort Jackson Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Leader Professional Development Symposium at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, February 7, 2020. Belanger is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West point, New York. 
(U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. David Lietz)
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Brig. Gen. Kris A. Belanger, Commanding General, 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command conducts an interview with WLTX-TV Channel 19 in Columbia, South Carolina. Belanger was one of 11 general officers taking part in the Fort Jackson Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Leader Professional Development Symposium at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, February 7, 2020. Belanger is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West point, New York.
(U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. David Lietz) (Photo Credit: Sgt. David Lietz)
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Brig. Gen. Kris A. Belanger, Commanding General, 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command talks with Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets during a speed mentoring session at the Fort Jackson ROTC Leader Professional Development Symposium, February 7, 2020, at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Approximately 300 ROTC cadets from North Carolina and South Carolina attended the one-day event to learn from high ranking Army leaders about a variety of topics including financial management, best practices and how to be a successful Army officer. 
(U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. David Lietz)
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Brig. Gen. Kris A. Belanger, Commanding General, 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command talks with Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets during a speed mentoring session at the Fort Jackson ROTC Leader Professional Development Symposium, February 7, 2020, at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Approximately 300 ROTC cadets from North Carolina and South Carolina attended the one-day event to learn from high ranking Army leaders about a variety of topics including financial management, best practices and how to be a successful Army officer.
(U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. David Lietz) (Photo Credit: Sgt. David Lietz)
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Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets pause for a group photo at the conclusion of the Fort Jackson ROTC Leader Professional Development Symposium, February 7, 2020, at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
The one-day event featured panel discussions with senior Army leaders and speed mentoring sessions designed to allow ROTC cadets to ask direct questions to the Army leaders. 
(U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. David Lietz)
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets pause for a group photo at the conclusion of the Fort Jackson ROTC Leader Professional Development Symposium, February 7, 2020, at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
The one-day event featured panel discussions with senior Army leaders and speed mentoring sessions designed to allow ROTC cadets to ask direct questions to the Army leaders.
(U.S. Army Reserve photo by Sgt. David Lietz) (Photo Credit: Sgt. David Lietz)
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FORT JACKSON, S.C. – Brig. Gen. Kris A. Belanger, Commanding General, 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command, joined a variety of general officers at Fort Jackson, for a third year, to participate in their Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Leader Professional Development Symposium, February 7th, 2020.

“The purpose of being here is to really have an opportunity to influence and shape the minds of our future leaders and be able to paint a picture for them of the reality of what they are about to face as future officers in the United States Army,” said Belanger. “This is a unique opportunity. Not everyone gets to hear from senior leaders in the Army.”

Approximately 300 Army ROTC cadets from 12 colleges and universities across North Carolina and South Carolina engaged with 10 currently serving general officers and one who was retired through question and answer discussions, speed mentoring and presentations.

The event was hosted by Brig. Gen. Milford H. Beagle Jr., Commander, U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Jackson Commander, who opened the symposium with a talk about leadership.

“The Army wants you for one thing. You know how to lead. You’re learning that where you sit right now. That is your value right now,” Beagle said.

In the audience, Wake Forest University ROTC cadet Miles Middleton shared that he appreciated the chance to listen and learn from senior Army officers.

“I think it’s a great opportunity, as a cadet, to be able to hear from the officers and to be able to gain knowledge or ideas about their careers in the Army,” he said. “To hear from an officer who has been at it for 20 or 30 years is incredible!”

Maj. Gen. (retired) Abraham Turner, 41st Commanding General, Fort Jackson, South Carolina, said the symposium gives cadets, like Middleton, the tools they need to succeed in the Army.

“This leadership development program is probably one of the best formats our cadets can participate in to fully understand the challenges they will face as young lieutenants,” Abraham said.

A range of topics were covered during a company grade panel and general officer panel discussion. Cadets could ask any question and inquired on topics such as what is expected of them as Army officers including best management practices and financial management.

“There are a couple of really big pitfalls you can encounter along your way when you start out in your career and some of those common things are in those particular areas where one would get mismanagement of finances,” explained Belanger. “As leaders we do things that could potentially get us in trouble. Whether it’s not handling credit cards appropriately or government resources. We want to make sure people understand why things should be done a certain way and how we are upheld to standards because we are in the public eye, and the expectations are greater than you would have in any other organization in the entire world.”

Another cadet asked the company grade panel for guidance on relating to Soldiers as an officer.

“Be hungry for knowledge. Take investment in your Soldiers. Get to know them. Show them humility and be humble,” answered 1st Lt. Christian Alvarado, ROTC program, South Carolina State University.

Lt. Gen. Leslie C. Smith, Inspector General, Office of the Secretary of the Army, offered his guidance to the cadets.

“Take your job seriously but don’t take yourself seriously. Listen to your non-commissioned officers and treat everybody with dignity and respect,” Smith said. “Do what you need to do to make your organization ready to go. Focus on the task at hand as a lieutenant. The essence of leadership is you cannot ask somebody to do something that you are not willing to do yourself. It matters what you say but it also matters what you do.”

Lt. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford, U.S. Army Chief Information Officer, emphasized the importance of officers connecting with their Soldiers.

“People are the priority for the Army. When they send the Army, they send us to win. At an event like this we get to demonstrate that people are the priority for the Army. The greatest gift our generation can give is to set a good example for the next generation,” said Crawford.

Belanger said she always walks away with something new she learned at the symposium.