HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Army’s senior air defender highlighted areas future leaders need as they prepare to begin their military careers.
Lt. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, commanding general of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, addressed ROTC cadets on Oct. 18 at Alabama A&M University’s Frank Lewis Gym during a professional development session. Karbler highlighted professional development, personal development and selfless service, and said he looked forward to seeing the impact their generation of Soldiers will make on the Army and the nation in the coming years.
“When you get to your first unit, have a plan,” Karbler said. “Here in ROTC is the time to start thinking about your leadership philosophy. Now is the time to figure it out and practice it.”
While imparting wisdom to the future Army leaders he discussed how to learn to lead effectively, how to be led and how to collaborate as a cohesive team. Some of the points he made to the cadets were: no politics on social media; some training is okay, more training is better, too much training is just right; never underestimate the power of a handwritten note; memorize the oath of enlistment and oath of office; and be the first to lead applause, people will follow your lead.
“Know something about your Soldiers that is not work related,” Karbler said. “Know where they’re from, who their favorite sports team is and something about their family. That will establish a connection with your Soldiers and break down barriers.”
A member of the ROTC leadership team thanked Karbler for his visit and explained the importance of having an Army senior leader come and address the cadets.
“I appreciated the visit here today,” said Maj. Zachery Moore, ROTC executive officer and assistant professor of military sciences at Alabama A&M. “I may steal his leadership list and add it to my own. To impart some of the knowledge he has gained over the years is immense.
“The visit allowed exposure and access,” he added. “What I have found is that when we have senior leaders come and visit our kids, they want our cadets to understand they have access now and ask questions and truly be a part of the family that is the Army.”
The ROTC Cadet Battalion commander said he enjoyed the visit and hopes to soon branch into Army medical services.
“This was a big surprise for us,” said Cadet Hayden Smith, a senior majoring in biology. “Anytime a senior leader comes in is something we look forward to. His list of leadership tips was very helpful and a lot of things I will take forward just to better myself.”
Another cadet said she enjoyed the visit and wants to become an ordnance officer so she can “blow stuff up.”
“The general brought a lot of light to people who might be interested in becoming an air defense artillery and want to choose that career,” said Cadet Alexis Hopkins, a sophomore majoring in elementary education. “He helped everybody here with career decisions and his points for future lieutenants gave me a lot to consider. I will put the paper note he gave us, put it on my refrigerator and look at it every day when I walk out my door.”