8th TSC officer wins MacArthur award

| March 19, 2010 | 0 Comments

Sgt. Maj. Terry Anderson
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

FORT SHAFTER — Gen. Douglas MacArthur once used the phrase “Duty, Honor, Country” in his famous farewell speech to the West Point Corps of Cadets.

These three words accurately describe the principles of one 8th Theater Sustainment Command Soldier, who received a Department of the Army-level leadership award, March 12.

Capt. Bryan Williams, aide-de-camp to Maj. Gen. Michael Terry, commanding general, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, poses with his wife, Mary Beth; and daughters, Elizabeth, left, and Bethany; following his promotion to Captain in March of 2007. (Courtesty Photo)Capt. Bryan Williams, aide-de-camp to Maj. Gen. Michael Terry, commanding general, 8th TSC, was one of 28 active and reserve component company-grade officers to earn the Armywide Gen. Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award.

The award recognizes company grade officers who demonstrate the ideals for which MacArthur stood — duty, honor and country.

It also promotes and sustains effective junior officer leadership in the Army by recognizing those officers who exhibit outstanding military performance, leadership and achievement.

“I was absolutely floored when Maj. Gen. Terry told me I had won,” Williams said. “I didn’t become a commissioned officer for the recognition; it’s all about positively impacting the lives of Soldiers and their families.”

Williams, a native of Redlands, Calif., enlisted in the Army in 1993, as a food service specialist and describes himself as the “classic case of joining the Army for college money,” although that has changed.

“I messed around after high school for a couple of years, then looked into the Army and saw that I could be a food service specialist and get college money, and thought ‘this will be easy,’” Williams said. “I never planned on staying in, but I found out how much goodness there is of being in this culture of the Army.”

His career in food service took him from Fort Lee, Va., to the White House, where he worked for Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and culminated as the dining facility manager for the Old Guard, at Fort Myer, Va.

“I was a sergeant first class at the time, and for some reason, I gravitated toward mentors that were commissioned officers,” he said. “I modeled my behavior and thinking after those officers, and was drawn toward becoming a commissioned officer.”

Williams completed Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a quartermaster officer in November 2003.

He later assumed command of Distribution Company, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, in March 2008. Ten months of Williams’ company command was spent in combat at Camp Taji, Iraq.

“Unequivocally, the most rewarding, challenging experience I’ve had not only in my career, but my whole life,” Williams said about serving as a company commander. “I looked for ways to make things better somehow — changing policies, changing procedures —it doesn’t get any better than knowing that everything you do can touch lives.”

Williams, 37, says much of his success is based on the counsel and encouragement he gets at home. He met his wife, Mary Beth, while they competed on the All-Army Rugby team. They were married in 1999, and are the proud parents of two girls: Elizabeth, 10, and Bethany, 7.

“(Mary Beth) tackled me at rugby practice one day, and we couldn’t stand each other,” he quipped. “But our relationship grew as we got to know one another. Her support motivates me to lead troops with an elevated level of passion. Having my family share in my success makes it even sweeter.”

In addition to family support, Williams credits his faith as a key reason for his success.

“My first sergeant and I devoted our first act together every morning to praying for our troops and for each other to make wise decisions,” he said. 

Receiving a MacArthur leadership award is a life-changing event for an individual Soldier, but Williams says he also owes a lot of credit to close friends and co-workers.

“When I found out I won, I called my former first sergeant and best friend, Kenneth Reynolds, who was getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan,” Williams said. “I thanked Maj. Jason Edwards, who nominated me for the award, and sent about 12 e-mails to people who have helped me along the way, thanking them for what we were all able to accomplish. It was a team effort, and I wanted to express that.”

Williams and his wife will travel to Washington, D.C., in May to accept the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award during a ceremony at the Pentagon. 

Category: News

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