HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s commanding general spoke to scouts of the Greater Alabama Council, Boy Scouts of America, at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center on Nov. 11 about the importance of “Be All You Can Be” and facing adversity.
Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler was invited to speak at the council’s 25th anniversary banquet as the keynote speaker.
“Be all you can be,“ Karbler said. “We’ve heard the army slogan. Those of us that are in our 50s probably remember ‘Be All You Can Be’ from the 1980s, and we’ve brought it back. Why? Because we want to make sure that our youth of today know about the opportunities that are in the Army, that you can be all you can be. And the scouts here, each and every one of you, those that I got to meet and talk to this evening, have exactly what it takes to succeed in the Army in whatever you want to do.”
He told scouts about the many opportunities the Army has.
“My message tonight is how do you get to be all you can be?” Karbler said. “First off, what the Army helps you do is what you can be. I would challenge anybody in this crowd to come up with an occupation within reason that the Army wouldn’t give you an opportunity to do.
“I was talking to a young man…who wants to study history. I said, ‘Do you know you can come in the Army, we’ll pay for you to go to college. You get a history degree. You get a master’s degree and you can go teach at West Point. You can be a history instructor at West Point.’ Computer science. Artillery. Flying helicopters. Work on helicopters. Infantry. Jump out of airplanes. Be in the airborne. All sorts of opportunities…and for you scouts, you are at a level of maturity and a level of demonstrating leadership that already put you head and shoulders above your peers. So I would just ask you to consider that. Be all you can be.”
Using sand, pebbles, a brick and three pitchers of water, Karbler demonstrated adversity and the push to service. Each pitcher of water represents tough times in one’s life and adversity, Karbler said.
Pouring the water over the sand, pebbles and brick, Karbler demonstrated how someone may act during adversity using the way water flows through each item.
“So, adversity hits this particular box here of sand and what do we see?” Karbler said. “All faded away, right? I would say that Dan Karbler 40 years ago was probably right about here with adversity, and I knuckled under.
“This box, it’s got some pebbles. Pours on adversity in our life, and what do we see happening here? Some of the pebbles remain, and some of the pebbles wash away. As we develop in our years, we get a little bit better. We get better on how we face adversity. Our integrity doesn’t fail us, but, yet, there’s still some opportunities for displacement of those pebbles.”
The brick is what people want to be when adversity hits, Karbler said.
“Thanks to 40 years in the Army, thanks to faith, thanks to a whole series of mentors, teachers, peers who have brought me along, much like your scout masters, the adversity might hit the brick here, but it isn’t collapsing. It’s staying strong,” Karbler said. “We may have been sand, we may have been pebbles, but, ultimately, we want to be that cinderblock where when adversity and the tough times of our life hit us, we don’t 100% collapse, we don’t partially collapse, but, instead, we stay true and strong, and, in my case, we stay Army strong, and we can be all that we can be.”