Maj. Gen. Darren Werner, commanding general for the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, talks with two Chippewa Battalion Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets during a visit to Central Michigan University Sept. 15.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Maj. Gen. Darren Werner, commanding general for the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, talks with two Chippewa Battalion Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets during a visit to Central Michigan University Sept. 15. (Photo Credit: Photo credit Lt. Col. John Bacon, Central Michigan University ROTC) VIEW ORIGINAL
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (Photo Credit: Photo credit Lt. Col. John Bacon, Central Michigan University ROTC) VIEW ORIGINAL

DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. – Central Michigan University’s second annual Leadership Conference recognized over 160 distinguished service members who graduated from CMU with either an undergraduate or graduate degree and have since attained the distinction of serving as a general officer in the United States military.

This year’s event, spread out over two days during Sept. 16-17, included a Leadership Conference on day one, which featured the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command’s commanding general, Maj. Gen. Darren Werner, as discussion panel moderator. Four retired general officers, including Lt. Gen. Thomas Conant, U.S. Marine Corps; Lt. Gen. Leslie Smith, U.S. Army; Lt. Gen. Lawson Magruder, III, U.S. Army; and Brigadier Gen. Peter Injasoulian, U.S. Army, participated as panelists and shared their leadership insights with conference attendees gathered at the CMU campus.

Werner, a 1989 graduate of CMU, told the audience, “In the Army, you can be anything you want to be. Service to your nation enables you to be a part of something bigger than yourself. When you wear the Army uniform, you're a member of a team - a team whose history dates back to 1775 and whose jersey is the most respected in the world."

Some of the several hundred audience members included approximately 50 current ROTC cadets under the guidance and leadership of Lt. Col. John Bacon, chair of the CMU Department of Military Science & Leadership and commander of the Chippewa Battalion.

“I was very honored for my (Reserve Officer Training Corps) program to have these distinguished panelists and moderator in town to speak because they went on to success in their military and civilian careers,” Bacon said.

“We all wanted to hear the attributes, the competencies, the techniques, the skills that they learned over the years to be successful. Aside from that, what we found interesting was each of the panelists had their own distinguished, distinctive path in specialties that they pursued, not only in the U.S. Army, but in the US Marine Corps as well.”

“From a personal standpoint, as someone who cares so deeply about our cadets, I'm kind of at a loss of words as to how significant this conference really was. I really appreciate (the general officers) taking the time to share their insights,” Bacon said, adding that he hopes his cadets and others attending the conference glean useful information that benefits them regardless of where their career paths take them.

“I think the panelists’ comments will apply to everyone,” he said.