Command Sgt. Maj. Finis A. Dodson, command sergeant major, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, speaks to and visits with ROTC students from Alabama A&M University, Athens State University, and the University of Alabama-Huntsville at Alabama A&M University's Frank Lewis Gymnasium, Feb. 11.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Command Sgt. Maj. Finis A. Dodson, command sergeant major, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, speaks to and visits with ROTC students from Alabama A&M University, Athens State University, and the University of Alabama-Huntsville at Alabama A&M University's Frank Lewis Gymnasium, Feb. 11. (Photo Credit: Carrie Campbell) VIEW ORIGINAL
Command Sgt. Maj. Finis A. Dodson, command sergeant major, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, speaks to and visits with ROTC students from Alabama A&M University, Athens State University, and the University of Alabama-Huntsville at Alabama A&M University's Frank Lewis Gymnasium, Feb. 11.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Command Sgt. Maj. Finis A. Dodson, command sergeant major, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, speaks to and visits with ROTC students from Alabama A&M University, Athens State University, and the University of Alabama-Huntsville at Alabama A&M University's Frank Lewis Gymnasium, Feb. 11. (Photo Credit: Carrie Campbell) VIEW ORIGINAL

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s senior enlisted leader recently talked to ROTC members of the Bulldog Battalion about leadership, teamwork, Army values and the need for professional development.

Command Sgt. Maj. Finis A. Dodson, USASMDC command sergeant major, spoke to nearly 50 cadets and cadre at the Frank Lewis Gymnasium on Alabama A&M University during their training event, Feb. 11.

“I’m from a small town called Olive Branch, Mississippi,” Dodson said. “I have made it through my 33 years of military service with hard work and great leadership and mentorship.”

The battalion’s assistant professor of military science, Capt. Portia J. Brubaker, said it is important for the students, from Alabama A&M University, University of Alabama-Huntsville and Athens State University, to understand perspectives other than those of their cadre leadership.

“We wanted our cadets to gain understanding of the requirements of an officer from a senior noncommissioned officer and how the roles and responsibilities of noncommissioned officers and officers works in the Army,” Brubaker said. “We think it is imperative for our demographics to see diversity in positions held by Soldiers across the Army.”

Dodson told the students that young leaders are the future and that this is their Army. He said they should hold their peers, subordinates and themselves accountable to strengthen and improve the force.

“The connectedness of the Army can be explained using my five-finger metaphor,” Dodson said. “When you’re in a fight, you must clinch all five fingers together to punch effectively and not hurt yourself. It’s bad for your fingers to be opened and separated. This is how we must be in the Army: tight together and not separate.”

Dodson said all service members have to hold each other accountable to do the right thing.

“When we have lapses, whether not addressing sexual harassment charges or failing to properly train our Soldiers, it makes the Army weaker,” Dodson said. “It will be up to all of you, the future leaders of the Army, to improve and strengthen our ranks.”