Adjutant General challenges artillery leaders to pursue excellence

Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, challenges leaders to pursue excellence as he described his four primary goals for the Virginia National Guard to an audience of more than 115 artillerymen and their guests during the 2014 Saint Barbara’s Day Celebration July 12, 2014, at the Norfolk Naval Station, Norfolk, Va. Named for the patron saint of the artillery who protects Soldiers from fires and sudden death, the Order of Saint Barbara recognizes members in good standing who have demonstrated the highest standards of integrity and moral character, displayed an outstanding degree of professional competence, served the U.S. Army Field Artillery with selflessness and contributed to the promotion of the Field Artillery in ways that stand out in the eyes of the seniors, subordinates and peers of the recipient. Eight Soldiers were inducted into the Order of Saint Barbara at the event. Williams told leaders to focus on four primary goals: being innovative in utilizing resources, using agile and adaptive thinking to take advantage of any situation and turning it into a benefit, making sure the organization is predictable and transparent in order to breed confidence and telling the Virginia Guard story so neighbors, local, regional and state partners as well as elected officials know what the Virginia Guard can do and how the organization is being successful. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Capt. Andrew J. Czaplicki / Released)

NORFOLK, Va. — Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, spoke to a group of more than 115 artillerymen and their guests from the Hampton-based 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team July 12, 2014, during their Saint Barbara’s Day Celebration at the Norfolk Naval Station in Norfolk, Va. Eight officers and noncommissioned officers received the United States Field Artillery Association’s Order of Saint Barbara award as part of the celebration.

Named for the patron saint of the artillery who protects Soldiers from fires and sudden death, the Order of Saint Barbara recognizes members in good standing who have demonstrated the highest standards of integrity and moral character, displayed an outstanding degree of professional competence, served the U.S. Army Field Artillery with selflessness; and contributed to the promotion of the field artillery in ways that stand out in the eyes of the seniors, subordinates and peers of the recipient.

Williams, a 29-year veteran “Red Leg,” addressed the crowded dining room during one of his first speeches since becoming the Adjutant General of Virginia and highlighted his views of the future of the Virginia National Guard.

“It’s important to understand and appreciate your history” said Williams. “Here you are the standard bearers of Virginia’s Artillery carrying parts of the lineage of the 29th Infantry Division Artillery, 54th Field Artillery Brigade, 224th Field Artillery Group, and 2nd through the 6th battalions and dating back to as early as 1811. You live and work in the shadows of where the 111th fought in the war of 1812, the Civil War, where the regiment departed for the Mexican incursion of 1916, and where you returned from WWI in 1919 and again departed for WWII.”

As his remarks continued, Williams made a quick leap to modern challenges related to the unit’s pending force structure enhancement.

“The 1st (Battalion,) obviously is on the verge of major changes with the addition of the 155mm battery and the repositioning of your fire support elements,” he said. “While these are critical changes that are long overdue, in my opinion these are not the most pressing change that you face.”

Williams then quoted Gen. Raymond T. Odienro, Army Chief of Staff, who said “We are no longer an Army at war, but an Army in preparation.”

“That’s absolutely true for us but I believe that we have very little time to master what that means in order to be able to continue to meet our mission,” Williams continued. “So, what does that mean for you our leaders?”

“I’m looking at our strategic plan as well as my command philosophy to help answer that. At the core it means we need leaders that focus on four primary goals,” he said.

“First, be innovative in the way we utilize our resources – whether that’s time or fuel – all of our resources are limited and extremely precious. Get the maximum effect out of everything because we may not get a second chance,” Williams warned.

“Second, be agile and adaptive in the way we think to take advantage of any situation and turn it to our benefit. This is tied to being innovative,” he said. “We need to be willing to accept risk and think differently; push harder to grow and improve.

Third, be predictable and transparent. In other words, bring order from the chaos that’s our daily lives to ensure that our Soldiers have a predictable landscape and a transparent profession that breads confidence,” Williams said.

“Forth, influence: we have to tell our story so our neighbors, local, regional and state partners as well as elected officials know what we can do and how we are being successful. Leaders at every level have to take responsibility for telling your unit’s story whether it is through a media engagement, getting photos on the state Facebook page, speaking at a local community event or inviting an elected official to come see what you do at drill” detailed Williams. “We will be more effective as an organization if people better understand the great things we are doing and how we can help in a time of crisis.”

Williams summarized his four goals by saying “These four lanes will drive our reinvigoration of how we organize and train here in Virginia. In the end, it’s about building teams that are centered on excellence. Our values will help guide us along the way particularly my five favorites: courage, candor, competence, commitment and compassion.”

“It was an honor to receive the new Adjutant General of Virginia at the 1-111th FA Saint Barbara Event as our honored guest speaker,” said Lt. Col. Jared D. Lake, commander, 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. “I see his four goals as visionary and spot on for what is required to making the organization ready and relevant. Success in these goals is critical to the success of any organization; civilian or military. In reaching these goals, Virginia’s citizen Soldiers will be postured to meet any mission, change or constraints we encounter in the coming years.”

“The St. Barbara’s Ball has always been a time to honor the proud and ancient traditions unique to the Field Artillery,” said Capt. Eric G. Forcey, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

“As the officer-in-charge for this year’s celebration, my expectations were met and surpassed. The vast amount of participation both from within and without the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team was highlighted by our key note speaker, Brig. Gen. Williams, our newest TAG and a ‘Redleg’ himself. It was truly an evening to feel proud as an Artilleryman and a member of the Virginia Army National Guard”

The evening ended with Williams’ closing words: “You as the leaders of Virginia’s artillery, and frankly all leaders across our formations, don’t hesitate in your efforts to meet our future challenges. Continue your pursuit of excellence in your profession, not only for today’s success, but tomorrow’s future.”

Col. Todd H. Hubbard, assisted by Lt. Col. Jarrod D. Lake, commander, 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team presents the Order of Saint Barbara medallions to eight inductees July 12, 2014, at the Norfolk Naval Station, Norfolk, Va. Named for the patron saint of the artillery who protects Soldiers from fires and sudden death, the Order of Saint Barbara recognizes members in good standing who have demonstrated the highest standards of integrity and moral character, displayed an outstanding degree of professional competence, served the U.S. Army Field Artillery with selflessness and contributed to the promotion of the Field Artillery in ways that stand out in the eyes of the seniors, subordinates and peers of the recipient. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Capt. Andrew J. Czaplicki / Released)

Col. Todd H. Hubbard, assisted by Lt. Col. Jared D. Lake, commander, 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team presents the Order of Saint Barbara medallions to eight inductees July 12, 2014, at the Norfolk Naval Station, Norfolk, Va. Named for the patron saint of the artillery who protects Soldiers from fires and sudden death, the Order of Saint Barbara recognizes members in good standing who have demonstrated the highest standards of integrity and moral character, displayed an outstanding degree of professional competence, served the U.S. Army Field Artillery with selflessness and contributed to the promotion of the Field Artillery in ways that stand out in the eyes of the seniors, subordinates and peers of the recipient. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Capt. Andrew J. Czaplicki / Released)

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