Command Sgt. Maj. Finis A. Dodson, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command command sergeant major, speaks with family members before a commissioning ceremony for the University of North Alabama’s ROTC battalion, May 7. (U.S. Army photo by Carrie David Campbell)
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Command Sgt. Maj. Finis A. Dodson, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command command sergeant major, speaks with family members before a commissioning ceremony for the University of North Alabama’s ROTC battalion, May 7. (U.S. Army photo by Carrie David Campbell) (Photo Credit: Carrie Campbell) VIEW ORIGINAL
Command Sgt. Maj. Finis A. Dodson, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command command sergeant major, speaks during a commissioning ceremony for the University of North Alabama’s ROTC battalion, May 7. (U.S. Army photo by Carrie David Campbell)
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Command Sgt. Maj. Finis A. Dodson, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command command sergeant major, speaks during a commissioning ceremony for the University of North Alabama’s ROTC battalion, May 7. (U.S. Army photo by Carrie David Campbell) (Photo Credit: Carrie Campbell) VIEW ORIGINAL
Command Sgt. Maj. Finis A. Dodson, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command command sergeant major, left, and Maj. RaShaun D. Warren, University of North Alabama ROTC battalion department chair, right, pose with the battalion’s newly commissioned officers, 2nd Lt. Cameron Rust, 2nd Lt. Shelby Huffman, 2nd Lt. Zachary Butler and 2nd Lt. Dylan Pittman, following their commissioning ceremony, May 7. (U.S. Army photo by Carrie David Campbell)
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Command Sgt. Maj. Finis A. Dodson, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command command sergeant major, left, and Maj. RaShaun D. Warren, University of North Alabama ROTC battalion department chair, right, pose with the battalion’s newly commissioned officers, 2nd Lt. Cameron Rust, 2nd Lt. Shelby Huffman, 2nd Lt. Zachary Butler and 2nd Lt. Dylan Pittman, following their commissioning ceremony, May 7. (U.S. Army photo by Carrie David Campbell) (Photo Credit: Carrie Campbell) VIEW ORIGINAL

FLORENCE, Ala. – The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s senior enlisted leader challenged the University of North Alabama’s ROTC commissioning officers to discover who they are and to demonstrate that to everyone they encounter.

Command Sgt. Maj. Finis A. Dodson, USASMDC command sergeant major, who spoke at the university’s commissioning ceremony in Florence, May 7, told the students, 2nd Lt. Zachary Butler, 2nd Lt. Shelby Huffman, 2nd Lt. Dylan Pittman and 2nd Lt. Cameron Rust, they must define themselves and who they want to be.

“Who are you? I can’t answer that. Mama and Daddy and friends can to a certain point, but who are you in your own self?” Dodson said. “Everything I’m saying to you is going to be demonstrated by how you deal with others and how you deal with yourself. Your character, your technical and tactical expertise is going to be who you are.”

Dodson said whether someone’s life is based in standards and discipline will be evident by their behavior.

“Who you are can only be defined by you, and everybody else will answer that question about you based on what you tell them and how you demonstrate that answer,” Dodson said. “You’ve got to be able to admit when you have faults. Always remember it’s a lifelong learning system.”

Organizations can have faults too and can be improved. Dodson suggested the new officers periodically examine their organization to see if they are proud of it.

“If not, find a way to change it. Sometimes that means going against the grain and telling people this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be done,” Dodson said. “If it’s wrong, let’s fix it. If someone isn’t trained properly, let’s fix it.”

This philosophy is demonstrated by ownership and accountability of one’s Soldiers and organization. To explain the idea, Dodson asked the new officers to explain what someone means to them.

“Who is that? That is THE whatever, or that’s MY PMS. Those’re MY parents. That’s MY friend,” Dodson said. “That means that person takes ownership. It’s part of them.”

Dodson explained the Army’s concept of TIMS – this is my squad – and told the recruits they will be charged with the health and welfare of somebody’s son or daughter.

“It’s about people. At the end of the day when you get to your unit always remember it’s about the people,” Dodson said. “People are the most complex weapon system that you can ever encounter. People are what makes what you do successful.”

Dodson finished his speech by offering the students words he considers wise from Brazilian former professional soccer player Pele about success: “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”

Links

University of North Alabama - www.una.edu

University of North Alabama Facebook page - www.facebook.com/northalabama

UNA Army ROTC Facebook page - www.facebook.com/UnaRotc