Thoughts from the Running Trail

Some of our strongest role models are our mothers!  So as we celebrate "Mothers Day", remember to honor your mothers, motherhood and the influence they have made in our lives.  Championing our greatest successes and

consoling us during our failures, our mothers are the greatest force in our lives. Here too in Africa, many community leaders refer to women as the backbone of their community.  They have a powerful role in sustaining a strong family and influence the development of their community.  Happy Mother’s Day!  Thank you for laying the foundation for your sons or daughters who are here in support of "Operation Enduring Freedom".  With abiding respect, BG Grigsby Jr and Sgt Maj. Skinner…

Now on to business…

"...a sound body is good; a sound mind is better; but a strong and clean character is better that either."

As U.S. military members, you represent the one percent of those who serve our country. Our nation expects more from us than just winning on the battlefield. America expects us to represent her as a symbol of hope, resolve, compassion and greatness. Our military is built on a reputation of enduring core values that are at the heart of our character.   We must ensure we uphold the legacy of those who have paved the way for us and our great nation. Part of belonging to this elite team is living by our core values and professionalism every day. Incorporating those values into everything we do is called our profession of arms.

Leaders at all levels are charged with instilling and reinforcing the values that define our character.  As leaders, we must get to know our service members, because our service members are the key to success on the battlefield.  An officer or senior enlisted leader that lacks a firm understanding of this principle will not experience true success.

Values are key to motivation as they influence attitudes and perceptions. Our values are the benchmark for leadership. They're guides that shape our behavior, and that of our subordinates. We all can influence beliefs and values by setting the example. Conducting tough and collective training, rewarding good behavior, and having moral courage is fundamental to the principle of leadership by example.

As leaders, it is important we set an example in everything we say or do. Remember, saying one thing but doing another is the fastest way to lose all credibility and respect as a leader.

We are servants, responsible to protect and defend our nation and required to be nothing less than professional at all times.  Being a professional means you must be confident in your craft.  Professional means we are responsible for knowing what’s expected of us, and what we expect of others. Professionalism requires dedication from those willing to make sacrifices, often making their own needs secondary.   

 As leaders, we are responsible for our people. In combat, we may have to take risks in order to accomplish the mission. If we are careless, or we are not properly trained or conditioned to act in a professional manner, our unit may suffer more casualties.  Professionalism must be at the heart of every leader.

Remember, responsible leaders not only act in a professional manner, they also help to develop a spirit of professionalism and cultivate values in all service members.

"What you have chosen to do for your country by devoting your life to the service of your country is the greatest contribution that any man could make.”

- John F. Kennedy 


Leadership Commander Senior Enlisted Leader

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Story | Thoughts from the Running Trail - "In Honor of Martin Luther King"

SgtMaj and I always say it is a Leadership factory at CJTF-HOA and we build Leaders first. We do so and we are so successful because this command is the most diverse we have seen. It is a melting pot of each of our services; active duty, reserves, and our coalition and civilian partners. We embrace each other’s culture, and, SgtMaj and I challenge each of you to learn from one another’s service culture and service traditions. While being in the countries of our East Africa Partners, share a little of your culture and learn about the culture of the country you are in. In turn, this will make our organization and our mission stronger and more successful.

Story | Thoughts from the Running Trail

As leaders in CJTF – HOA, the safety of our warriors is always on my and SgtMaj’s mind. The temperature is starting to warm up with longer and brighter days and everyone needs to be prepared to manage the silent threat that is glaring all of us in the face.

Story | "Thoughts From the Running Trail" - Secured Liberty

Last week, as the commander of CJTF-HOA, I made the decision to secure liberty for our military members until further notice.

Story | "Thoughts From the Running Trail" - At-Risk Soldiers

Recently, for the second time in four years, a tragic shooting occurred at Ft Hood, Texas. Four lives, including that of the shooter, were lost, and more than 15 people were injured.