CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea - Eighth Army recognized two of its top officers in a ceremony at the unit's headquarters on Oct. 27.
Capt. Joshua Fergel and CW2 Tyler Weiser bested a field of nine officers to earn the MacArthur Leadership Award nomination for Eighth Army. Named after the esteemed Gen. Douglas MacArthur, those receiving the top honors are leaders who exemplify qualities that MacArthur stood for: duty, honor and country. Both Fergel and Weiser now must compete at the U.S. Army Pacific level of the annual event.
Both Fergel and Weiser said taking care of Soldiers is among their top priorities and doing so is what guides their actions day to day.
"Soldiers assigned to your care have limited alternatives to receiving support and development," said Fergel, who is assigned to Battery D, 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.
"Leaders need to recognize the significance of being a source of support for those they lead and show them the same, or better, support they'd expect from their own leadership."
For Weiser, who is assigned to Company B, 532nd Military Intelligence Battalion, 501st Military Intelligence Brigade, understanding how to be a leader means being able to understand those you have the privilege to lead.
"I believe that leaders show respect, empathy and care for the Soldiers who follow them," Weiser said. "Not only do I try to lead and help Soldiers while at work, I also try to be a mentor in life and get to know them personally. It helps me understand what motivates them, if they are having a good day or bad and how to lead them. Each and every Soldier is different, therefore I take time to know them.
Now that both officers have earned the right to represent Eighth Army, they will soon compete at the U.S. Army Pacific level. Whatever the outcome, each Soldier takes pride in their accomplishment.
"I have a firm belief in the need to prove yourself every day to those you lead," Fergel explained. "While I am truly humbled and honored to have won, I intend to continue to try and prove myself as if this event never occurred."
Grateful for the prestigious accomplishment, Weiser understood how he got there, and it made him feel even more appreciative.
"I am just honored to be recognized and awarded this opportunity," Weiser said. "I do have to thank my junior Soldiers though, because it is them that make me who I am. They motivate me and give me the drive to be technically and tactically proficient, and also the opportunity to lead them on a daily basis."