FORT KNOX, Ky. - About 80 Soldiers and Family members from Fort Knox's 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) attended the "Get Motivated" business seminar held at Louisville's Freedom Hall Tuesday Sept. 29, to learn leadership and self-improvement skills from successful celebrities and top businessmen.

3d ESC senior enlisted leader, Command Sgt. Maj. Willie C. Tennant, explained that his Soldiers participation in the event was important in building resiliency and leadership amongst the ranks upon returning from Iraq.

"Our Soldiers truly enjoyed the opportunity to attend the "Get Motivated" seminar," said Tennant. "It was outstanding and we really appreciated the invitation and opportunity to attend."

Organized by husband-wife team Peter and Tamara Lowe, the seminar boasted a star-studded line-up that included Former First Lady Laura Bush, Gen. Colin Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State, former New York mayor and presidential candidate, Rudy Giuliani, University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino and Hall of Fame Quarterback Terry Bradshaw.

Several 3d ESC Soldiers took notes on the achievements of the speakers, planning methods of building their own success in the future and how to relate those lessons to their current situation.

"I think that the majority of what all the speakers talked about goes back to leadership," said Sgt. 1st Class Chuck Hibbs, the 3d ESC staff judge advocate senior paralegal and Madisonville, Ky., native. "You can use motivation and leadership in all aspects of life. I don't care if you're in the Army, a supervisor at Wal Mart or Home Depot. The basic principles of leadership and motivation are relevant everywhere."

Hibbs explained that the fact that one of his heroes, Gen. Colin Powell, was what initially drew him to attend the seminar. Hibbs mentioned that he has looked up to Powell since his time serving in the Gulf War.

Powell's address to the audience was one of the more popular for the day as he charismatically spoke of his time in office, and as he explained, his descent from the spotlight and his current service projects.

Powell, like the events other speakers, stressed the importance of leadership while Bush spoke of her time in the White House and life afterwards with her husband and former President George W. Bush.

"Memo to the ex-president," Bush said to the Freedom Hall crowd. "Turmoil in East Timor is no longer an excuse to not pick up your socks."

The Get Motivated seminar is well known throughout the United States and has been lauded by CNN, 60 Minutes, USA Today, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Together, the Lowes have built several successful businesses and along with their guest speakers, didn't hesitate to share the secrets to their success.

Tamara Lowe, who spoke during the seminar, shared her thoughts on motivation, and offered tips on how leaders can motivate their subordinates.

"The common belief is that motivation is something that has to be worked on by an individual," Lowe said to a Freedom Hall crowd of nearly 17,000. "But the reality is that everyone is motivated in some way, and they just have to find what motivates them."

The overall tone of the event was the importance of leadership. Several speakers stressed the importance of leadership and motivation, and how they differ amongst individuals. During Lowe's speech, she spoke at length about the drives, needs and award system. Lowe explained the importance of the system which explains that everyone is driven/motivated in different ways. Using the same method to motivate everyone would greatly decrease a leader's chance of success.

Overall, the 3d ESC Soldiers enjoyed the days events and most felt the reinforcement of leadership and its qualities are something that can be implemented throughout their Army career.

"Listening to great Americans...really lifted the spirits and enlightened everyone on how important the American Soldier and their families are to the security of this great nation," said Tennant.

Photos and story by Spc. Michael Behlin, 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) public affairs.
For queries, contact 3d Sustainment Command Public Affairs at: (502) 624-8601.
For high-resolution photos and stories by the 3d Sustainment Command, please contact the Digital Video and Imagery Distribution System by calling (678) 421-6612 or access them online at