Ham urges Fort Hood soldiers ‘to serve with humility’

Ham urges Fort Hood soldiers ‘to serve with humility’

Monday, July 16, 2018

Retired U.S. Army Gen. Carter F. Ham discussed leadership qualities and the future of the Army as part of a leadership professional development event at the Phantom Warrior Center on Fort Hood.

Ham, now the president and chief executive officer of the Association of the United States Army, spoke to command teams and senior leaders from Fort Hood about the importance of the Army continuing to grow and adapt to a changing world.

Retired Gen. Carter F. Ham, Association of the U.S. Army president and CEO, speaking at a Fort Hood leadership professional development forum, said leaders must recognize the new challenges the Army is now facing. (Photo by Sgt. Ryan Rayno)

“We have to recognize, we do recognize that the conditions are changing,” Ham said. “We’re going to do something about it.”

For Ham, those changing conditions, that deserve the Army’s focus, include the new challenges and conflicts arising different places other than the traditional battlefield. “We’re going to fight in cyberspace and in physical space,” he said. “We’re going to fight in invisible spaces and cyberspace to get overseas theaters wherever we may need to be.”

It is in these unseen battles that Ham sees the long-term future of today’s Army.

“That is a significant change,” Ham said, “a major change from where the Army has been for many, many years.”

Shifting the conversation from the future of the Army to qualities of good leadership, Ham outlined what he thought were important attributes a leader should have in order to best serve their subordinates.

“You choose, we all should choose, in my view, to serve with humility,” Ham said.

Ham expanded on this by sharing a story of when he told his daughter that he was going to be promoted to a four-star general.

“My loving daughter says, ‘Dad, do these people really know you?’ and it’s a little reminder, that wherever you go, be it especially with your family, humility is not a bad thing,” Ham said.

Ham’s thoughts on serving seem to mirror what noncommissioned officers on Fort Hood are already practicing. “I have some great NCOs,” said Pvt. Melvin Hardy, a motor transport operator with the 96th Transportation Company.

Adding, “They have been reflecting a lot of their leadership on me and it’s just been helping me develop myself. When he said that, I related to that because it just made me feel like my NCOs have been teaching me.”

The idea of humility also rang loudly with some of the senior leaders attending the event.

“The biggest thing I took from General Ham was being humble,” said Col. Willie Rios, the deputy commander for the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command. “I think just understanding your role and being willing to serve with soldiers.”

Rios also holds the idea of serving high in his leadership style.

“The Army is bigger than just us,” Rios said. “We’re serving our nation, and so when we try to look at ourselves, if we are thinking about me, and I, we’re missing the mark.’