FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii —As the news cycle is overflowing with COVID-19 stories, a bit of good news focused on the talent currently in our Army is a welcome site, and that is just what a junior captain from the 311th Signal Command (Theater), Fort Shafter, Hi, has provided for the Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM), and the Army.
Capt. Emily Bye, the Commander for the 311th SC Headquarters and Headquarter Company (HHC), has had the distinct privilege of recently earning the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Army Leadership Award.
The Gen. Douglas MacArthur Army leadership award is presented to a few select company grade officers annually across all Army components for outstanding performance, emulating the characteristics for which MacArthur stood: duty, honor and country. All company grade officers in the rank of warrant officer 1, chief warrant officer 2, second lieutenant, first lieutenant and captain are open to earn the award.
However, Bye is not new to earning top marks and awards. After her graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point in May 2014, Bye attended Adjutant General Basic Officer Leaders Course where she graduated as Distinguished Honor Graduate and received the Benjamin Harrison Award for commitment to excellence in fitness and academics.
From there she was on the fast track. Her first duty station was Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. It was there she first executed missions as a Battalion S1, personnel, and later moved to America’s I Corps Staff to serve on the Commanding General’s Protocol Team, a high-demand, mistake-free environment.
Some of Bye’s more memorable duties during her early career included serving as Battle Captain during a Warfighter exercise in South Korea and her rotation as an Aide de Camp to an Australian Rear Admiral during the Joint Task Force Talisman Sabre Exercise.
Following her tenure on the I Corps Staff CPT Bye attended Adjutant General Captains Career Course, earning another accolade, the Frank C. Foster writing award. That is when she found herself heading to her current assignment at the 311th SC (T).
“Working in 311th Signal Command (Theater) provides opportunities to learn from senior leaders on a daily basis,” said Bye. “My company of HHC Warriors contains Division G1, G2, G3, G4, and G8 staff comprised of Colonels and Sergeants Major along with a Brigadier General.
“The unique opportunity to work with many senior leaders also provides its challenges that require flexibility and creativity,” Bye added. “I have learned that communication is essential and there is no substitute. Finding new ways to provide updates such as weekly Training Meeting Notes and Monthly Newsletters has shown very successful for our Team.”
One of those senior leaders, Brig. Gen. Jan C. Norris, the 311th SC (T) Commanding General, spoke about Bye’s professionalism, “Capt. Bye represents the best of our Army's current company grade officer corps. She possesses exceptional leadership, energy and executes with an innovative mindset. We're lucky to have her in our formation.”
Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett, the NETCOM Commanding General, added to Norris’ comments and said, “Capt. Bye has proven herself from the beginning as a Distinguished Honor Graduate from Adjutant school, a testament to her knowledge, to earning the Gen. MacArthur Leadership Award, a testament to her leadership. I am proud to call her a member of the NETCOM Team.”
“There are so many reasons I enjoy being a member of the 311th Signal Command (Theater), Bye said. “We are a multi-component unit made up of both Active and Reserve Soldiers and Civilian team members, and this combination of personnel creates a team with unreal abilities; the diversity and skills provide advantages and perspectives not typically found in an everyday unit.
Bye went on to speak about how the command is a real family. “Here at the 311th Signal Command (Theater) we pride ourselves on being an 'Ohana,' [a Hawaiian term] meaning a Family that supports each other to perform at their best.”
When asked about advice to others she first spoke about the opportunity given at her current station. “Upon given the opportunity to join 311th Signal Command (Theater), I would say be ready to join an ‘Ohana’ that is dedicated to helping you be successful. We are One Team, One ‘Ohana’ of Soldiers and Civilians with the goal to take care of people and make those around us better each day.
“I have the privilege to be an Adjutant General Officer in a Signal Company Command billet,” Bye said. “This opportunity has helped me embrace continued learning in areas that I have not worked in previously.”
Bye ended with a unique perspective. “With every new experience, I am able to add to my toolkit for future use and know how I can better serve my future commanders when I am back in a Human Resources billet.”