Page 6 - Jackson Journal
P. 6

                 From the Commanding General
For much of 2020 to date, the effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic drastically altered our lives and the shared societal behaviors that habituated us. Seemingly overnight, we ushered in a new set of social norms where an elbow bump replaced the handshake, social distancing and mask-wearing have become commonplace, and the word “quarantine” joined the daily lexicon. During this time of significant change, the fundamental principles of leadership, teamwork, and the importance of resiliency didn’t change. There will never be a substitute for relevant, consistent, and continuous leader development in our profession. The results prepare us to lead with confidence when the outcome is far from certain and inspires our subordinates to triumph over adversity and pivot quickly from mistakes made during their early career learning process.
Now that 2021 is upon us, the path forward will not be a straight and narrow one. If we want to change the trajectory for a brighter, safer future we all can share, we must remain vigilant and not rest on the laurels of the many successes we collectively
achieved at Fort Jackson since the onset of COVID-19. Creating and maintaining a safe training environment for Soldiers and cadre during a global pandemic and sustaining a CV-19 positivity rate that remained below the state and national average were not easy tasks. We were successful primarily due to our on-going efforts to mitigate the virus spread by adhering to force health protection measures, CDC guidance, reporting, contact tracing, and common-sense preventative actions. However, success can sometimes have a double- edged sword. As we meticulously work to sustain the safe environments we established over the past year, and now that various COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more readily available, we have to guard against a growing perception that the pandemic is under control or almost over. It’s not! The reality is that at present, many states, including South Carolina, are witnessing very high transmission of the COVID-19 virus, which is still putting enormous pressure on hospitals and healthcare professionals. Now is not the time to kick back and rest a little easier or relax our attentiveness. Our efforts will mean nothing if we don’t prepare for the most significant threat we will face in the near future. We cannot allow complacency and COVID fatigue to become the enemy of the good and undo all of the hard work we have done. My focus has not changed. Protecting our greatest assets, the Soldiers, Families, Army Civilians, and our off-post neighbors, is my number one priority and will remain so until this pandemic is referred to in the past-tense and committed to the annals of human history.
There are many interesting articles in this publication of the Jackson Journal covering a broad range of topics designed to inform, share best practices and perhaps become the catalyst for Team Jackson to develop innovative ways to lead, train and develop America’s most precious resource –its sons and daughters. There are three thought-provoking articles that I want to highlight. LTC Paul M. McManus’ article “Evolving Containment of COVID-19 in a Basic Combat Training Environment” discusses Tactics, Techniques, Procedures, and the successful approaches used to contain COVID-19 during Basic Combat Training. CSM Thomas E. Blair shares information about the Army’s five-year plan to promote inclusion among Soldiers in his article “The Army’s Project Inclusion Initiative.” In the article “The Role of Humility vs. Hubris for Leaders,” LTC Jerel D. (JD) Evans discusses the Army adding humility to its Army Doctrine Publication (ADP) 6-22 alongside empathy as necessary leadership attributes.

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