JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii –Capt. Wilfredo Santiago, a chemical officer with the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, U.S. Army Pacific, was welcomed by Sea Dragon Soldiers as the commander of the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, Dec. 16, 2016, during a change of command ceremony on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
“I am honored to be selected as the battery commander,” said Santiago. “The fact that I am a chemical officer and I’m allowed to command an [air defense artillery] battery is a humbling experience.”
Santiago’s tenants of leadership are simple and straight forward.
“Serve others, Soldiers trust in the leaders that care for you, and leaders remember that a Soldier who trusts their leadership, will do his or her best to get their job done right,” shared Santiago.
Santiago, a prior enlisted Soldier himself, holds being a commander as part of a special life mission.
“Any captain will tell you that commanding is the pinnacle of their rank,” shares Santiago. “For me, it means that and more. I love soldiering, I do this job because it is truly what I enjoy doing. The fact that I can directly affect Soldiers’ lives is amazing. The legacy that a commander leaves has nothing to do with themselves, but with the Soldiers that they were able to influence. I believe that my most proud moment will be when I am able to affect the conditions that will bring solutions to Soldiers’ problems, and when I watch Soldiers grow and see them develop into caring leaders.”
The sentiment of this responsibility and the respect for those under wing, is felt not only by the incoming commander but also the outgoing.
“It’s been such an incredible honor to serve you,” said Capt. Jeffrey Scott, an air defense officer and outgoing HHB, 94th AAMDC commander. “I’m grateful for all that you do and will always sleep well knowing that Soldiers like you will always maintain the standard and hold the line. You are extraordinary, keep up the great work.”
Scott, who is continuing his Army journey, was wished well and thanked by his successor for laying a sturdy leadership foundation.
“Thank you for leaving me such a great organization,” expressed Santiago. “These Soldiers are truly outstanding and I couldn’t ask for a better command than this one. I will do my best to continue this amazing legacy.”
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