CAMP HENRY, Republic of Korea – Before an audience of Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets at Keimyung University in Daegu, a group of leaders from 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command answered questions and offered advice for the future Republic of Korea Army lieutenants.
“Trust is the bedrock of our profession,” said Brig. Gen. Steven L. Allen, commander, 19th ESC, during his opening remarks to the audience at KMU. “Each of us has a responsibility to inspire, build, share and maintain that trust with one another.”
The event was designed to underscore the strong alliance between U.S. and Korean armed forces, and the local partnership between 19th ESC and KMU. The university is partnered with 19th ESC and U.S. Army Garrison-Daegu as part of the Area IV Internship Program, which provides students a chance to gain work experience within local military units.
After listening to Allen’s speech on leadership, the KMU cadets were invited to ask questions to a panel of 19th ESC Soldiers, including 1st Lt. Katherine Kezon, aide de camp to commanding general. Kezon was asked about something important she learned early in her career.
“Not every mission needs to be a success in a training environment, we can learn through failure,” said Kezon. “Letting your subordinates fail with grace and understanding, then creating an opportunity for them to rise to the occasion afterwards -- that’s how lessons are truly implanted with young Soldiers.”
The question and answer session included four Team 19 Soldiers, including Master Sgt. Harry B. Willis III, from 19th ESC’s Distribution Management Center. Willis saw the event as a rare opportunity to offer his leadership as a non-commissioned officer to a partner nation’s officer corps.
“It gave me more of an understanding as how they view us as a nation, and they get to understand the NCO aspect of being a Soldier,” said Willis, who serves in the Transportation Operations Branch of DMC. “It was good – two allies coming together with a shared understanding toward a common goal.”
Allen was welcomed to KMU by Dr. Synn, Il Hi, university president, and Col. Choi, Myung Ho, commander, KMU ROTC.
“He has earned the respect and admiration, not only of the local citizenry, but also the academic institutions of the Daegu area,” Synn said of Allen’s work with KMU.
During his remarks to cadets, Allen congratulated the KMU ROTC for being regarded as one of the top programs in Korea. In 2020, it was designated as the best ROTC by Korean Army Training and Doctrine Command.