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                 long list of accomplishments. To top it off, after seriously pursuing the Commander and Chief Installation Excellence Award, we placed 4th on the first attempt! This doesn’t sound very laudable, but when you think of the installations that routinely hold the monopoly on this award and change rarely occurs between 1, 2, and 3, to come in 4th on the first attempt (as rookies on the block) is definitely laudable. In the coming years, I would expect to
see Fort Jackson in the top 3 if not #1!! Last but more importantly, our feedback on climate surveys increased in all three years, and the one area that consistently ranked in the top 3 positive areas for Fort Jackson was a sense of “connectedness.” This is not too bad as a unifying theme for our team.
Our Impact: As part of our current vision,
we have strived to be recognized as the leader
in Basic Combat Training and an installation of excellence. Given the senior leader visits, visibility, and our actions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we demonstrated that we could deliver quality readiness to our Army at scale, which was only enabled by the excellence achieved across our installation and through our tremendous partnerships on and off the installation.
The Bad
We Are Not Immune: As an installation, we
are not immune to those things that affect our community, society, or nation. We deal with our fair share of the three harmful activities (Suicide, Sexual Assault / Harassment, and Racism / Extremism). Although we have not seen significant cases of any of these activities, we realize that these things do, have, and potentially will impact our organization. At present, I am so grateful that we have embraced the ability to have “crucial conversations” about all of these activities and have committed to doing our part to eradicate them from Team Jackson.
Every Problem Can’t Be Fixed Immediately: If I’ve learned anything while serving in TRADOC and FT Jackson, it is that there is no silver bullet
to any problem and 99.9% of our challenges are
not new. In over 100-years of training, someone has encountered the same challenges that we face today. Patience and deliberate thought are required to solve any problem or challenge. We still have
the desire to chase solutions vs. solving the real problem in our formation. As someone once stated, “an innovative solution to the wrong problem is simply a waste of time.” We do not have time to waste, and I certainly hope that going forward,
we continue to get better at solving the correct problems.
The Ugly
Entitlement: I believe that every individual is worthy of an investment in their personal and professional lives. I have been deeply disappointed to encounter more leaders, civilians, and others that embrace a sense of entitlement. I can’t nor have I been able to determine the root cause during this command tenure, but it is disappointing to see a loss of selfless service and subordination to others, the organization, and our nation. Many, if not all
of you reading this, took an oath. The oath was not about you then, and it will not be in the future. We
  Over time, attrition, or as we like to refer to
it, “retention,” is consistently at an all-time high
of 95%. Misconduct remains a challenge but is at
a rate comparable to my first year in command. Ideally, zero is the goal, but this is always a work in progress.
   So enough for the history lesson, and to close this article before I lose your interest, I will highlight the main themes and the main focus of my article. In reflecting on 3-years of command, here is what I view as the good, the bad, and the ugly:
The Good
Our Culture: We have proved a way to change our culture and shift it to a more identity-centric focus. My spouse was at the DMV recently and overheard a worker comment to a Soldier in uniform; you work at FT Jackson? “Ol’ Relaxing Jackson!” Much to my spouse’s surprise and the worker, the Soldier, quickly stated there is nothing relaxin’ about Fort Jackson.
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