Paratroopers of the Gainey Company (activated in a provisional status), Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, uncased their guidon during a ceremony on Fort Bragg, North Carolina, March 29, 2023. The Gainey Company will operate as a specialty company harnessing innovation and testing, proving, and propagating technology across the Division.
“We’ve got a moral obligation as leaders inside this Division to stay at the forefront of technology, to put it in the hands of our Paratroopers so they can win every fight,” said Maj. Gen. Christopher LaNeve, commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division.
The 82nd Airborne Division strives to create a climate for individual growth for Paratroopers, and to place leaders at points of friction to develop the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) that will be most effective on the modern battlefield. The Gainey Company is a critical component for the Paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division to assess, develop, and train on new equipment and TTPs before they are distributed to the rest of the Division.
“We have a moral imperative to our Paratroopers,” said Capt. Adam Johnson, commander of Gainey Company. “We want them to have the best equipment and the best TTPs to go, fight, and win.”
Gainey Company’s lines of effort are managed by its four Platoons. The Integrated Tactical Network Platoon continues to support the Army’s approach that introduces new commercial components and network transport capabilities into the Army’s tactical network environment. The Robotics and Autonomous Systems Platoon supports the Division’s unmanned aerial and ground systems. The Technical Effects Platoon sustains the building of decoys, emitters, and other operations. The Airborne Innovation Lab Platoon is comprised of Paratroopers managing a research lab. The lab allows Paratroopers of the Division the ability to learn tactical innovation and to effectively create solutions to problems encountered on the drop zone through electrical, subtractive, and additive manufacturing engineering. Gainey Company is unique in the fact that
it is the only company in the Division whose sole job is developing and empowering the ongoing transformation of the 82nd Airborne Division.
Paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division have always been innovators, at the forefront of tactics and technology from the beaches of Normandy to the modern day. The Gainey Company will help the Division in the process of adapting to contemporary threats.
“What sets Gainey Company Paratroopers apart from the rest of the Division is the intangible drive to change and innovate, which is something that I look for when I’m hiring people into Gainey Company,” added Johnson. “This helps to proliferate the culture of change across the Division.”
The unit owes its namesake to retired Command Sgt. Maj. William J. Gainey, the first Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (SEAC) and a Paratrooper who cut his teeth in the 82nd Airborne Division. The SEAC was a newly created position established to advise the Chairman on matters of professional development of enlisted personnel in a joint environment. Command Sgt. Maj. Gainey was an innovator as the connection between the personnel of the U.S. Military and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gainey Company represents and models Command Sgt. Maj. Gainey’s innovation, endeavors, and motivation to lead from the front that is embodied by the Paratrooper.
“There are lots of leaders that have come out of the 82nd Airborne Division. Today we are going to celebrate the leader that is the embodiment of all of them,” stated Maj. Gen. LaNeve. “Command Sgt. Maj. Gainey, you’ve left a legacy with this Division. Your spirit will always live on in this formation.”
Gainey said that he was both honored and humbled to see the company activated. He addressed the formation and said, “Be the best you can be, and the best guys and gals is not always the one who’s getting the trophy, it’s the person who’s doing the best they can mentally do.”
“The Division will always be lethal, but we can be more lethal,” said LaNeve. “This Division will always be fast, but we can be faster. This Division will always be one of the most innovative and light divisions in our formation…Gainey Company is the embodiment of the way forward for the 82nd Airborne Division.”