FORT CAVAZOS, Texas — During a lecture series, Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, the U.S. Army surgeon general and commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Command, visited here on Jan. 4 to discuss the top 10 lessons from his 35-year career with Soldiers.
In a gesture reflecting his leadership ethos before starting his lecture, Dingle asked unit commanders and other senior leaders seated at the front to give up their seats to Soldiers standing at the back, emphasizing his value on the lower enlisted ranks.
“At times, we must relinquish our seats for our Soldiers to ensure they have a better position,” Dingle confidently explained. “We should always aspire for our Soldiers to surpass us. This necessitates us to train them diligently, trust them to be integrated into our medical and inspire them to constantly strive for excellence.”
In his address to the young Soldiers seated at the front of the room, Dingle emphasized the importance of leadership at every level, regardless of age or rank.
“Just because you are 19 (years-old) does not make you less of a leader than the individuals sitting in the back of the room,” Dingle said. “You are in a position to set the example of leadership and the example of what ‘right’ is because you are in a profession of arms; be the best Soldier that you can be.”
During the two-hour-long discussion, Dingle imparted his key leadership lessons from his more then three decades of military services to the packed auditorium. He stressed balancing professional duties with personal life and family commitments.
Dingle also emphasized the need for full engagement in tasks, finding joy in work and the crucial role of building strong relationships and teamwork. He advocated for servant leadership and the significance of maintaining a good reputation. Highlighting the value of mentorship, he concluded with the mantra “Work Hard, Play Hard,” encapsulating his leadership and personal growth approach.
Among those there were Soldiers from several military specialties, like Spc. Devon Dunn, a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist assigned to the 581st Area Support Medical Company, 1st Medical Brigade, who reflected on the key take a ways of the event.
“His leadership style shows he is a servant leader who puts junior enlisted members first,” Dunn said. “It made me feel acknowledged and valued.”
Approaching retirement, Dingle gave deeply influential final words to Soldiers at Fort Cavazos, urging them to surpass their personal and professional ambitions. His message, filled with urgency and inspiration, encouraged Soldiers to strive for excellence beyond their perceived limits as Dingle reflected on his career and dedication to nurturing future military leaders.
“I dare you to live your dreams; overcome challenges in your career and life, not just cope, but overcome them,” Dingle said. “Look back at all you have done, dust your hands off, and say how you like me now.”