Fort Drum leaders welcomed two new general officers to command headquarters during a Mountain Salute ceremony Friday at Sexton Field.
The day after casing the division’s colors in preparation for its deployment to Afghanistan, Maj. Gen. James L. Terry, 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum commander, welcomed Brig. Gen. Harry E. Miller Jr. and Brig. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl as the division’s senior rear commander and deputy commanding general for support, respectively.
“Today is a great day, as we officially welcome Brig. Gen. Harry Miller and Brig. Gen. Kenneth Dahl to the 10th Mountain Division (LI), Fort Drum and the North Country,” Terry said. “This ceremony is one of our final steps prior to deploying.”
Terry said the division will assume control over NATO’s Regional Command South in Afghanistan, where Fort Drum Soldiers will assist the International Security Assistance Force with security operations in Kandahar and neighboring regions.
“Our team is prepared, we are trained and we are more than ready to move out and do the job our nation has called us to do,” Terry said. “Brig. Gen. Dahl and Brig. Gen. Miller are crucial pieces to our mission and will no doubt help make us successful.”
Before introducing each brigadier general, Terry spent a few minutes talking about the qualities of true leadership.
“Regardless of rank and position, if in a leadership position, you should always strive to be a servant leader,” Terry said. “All positions, from team leader to division commander, require Soldiers to have humility, act with selfless service, demonstrate integrity and be a disciplined example for any Soldier to follow. Being the example that other Soldiers want to follow is where you distinguish leaders.
“A servant leader is someone who willingly goes out of their way, not for merit or show, (but) to help a Soldier or Family in need,” he continued. “There are many other characteristics, but the outcome is usually the same in the servant leader’s formation: a positive, infectious attitude; disciplined habits that populate their formation; and a feeling of camaraderie that permeates the organization and serves as the cement that bonds our Soldiers during the good times and most certainly during the bad.
“The men we welcome today embody these qualities,” he added, “and will serve to strengthen and perpetuate our proud legacy. They are servant leaders.”
Terry called Miller a “proven leader” full of energy, care and compassion, and a commander who will be a great addition to the Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division team.
“Harry will be my representative here at Fort Drum, where he will lead and serve our Soldiers, civilians and Families,” he said. “We are very fortunate to get this great and highly regarded leader, and I personally couldn’t be happier to leave Fort Drum in (his) hands.
“Harry,” Terry said, turning to the incoming division rear commander, “it’s an awesome responsibility, and I guarantee you it will be one of the most rewarding.”
Miller took a moment to thank Terry, wish division troops Godspeed and express his admiration for the reputation of the 10th Mountain Division (LI) across the Army.
“It’s truly an honor for me to be here today,” Miller said. “I’d like to thank Maj. Gen. Terry for providing me the opportunity to be part of his senior leadership team and to lead the great Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division during his deployment to Afghanistan.
“To the Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division who are deploying, I ask that you stay focused on your mission, take care of your battle buddy and return safely to your loved ones,” Miller continued. “Sleep easy knowing that your Families and fellow troopers back here at Fort Drum are being looked after and taken care of. That’s my pledge to you.
“To the Soldiers and Families here at Fort Drum,” he added, “know that my door is always open.”
Miller also thanked his wife, Melissa, and his three daughters, who remain in New Hampshire to attend high school and college.
“I’d be remiss if I didn’t recognize and thank them for their support over the years,” he said. “As we all know, the Army is a team sport, and it all begins with one’s Family.”
Terry next welcomed Dahl, the incoming deputy commanding general for support, who will deploy with the division to Afghanistan. Terry said he knew Dahl years ago, when they both served with 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii.
“Back then, I knew that he would be a great leader at any level,” Terry said. “We are proud and thankful to have ‘K.D.’ and (his wife) Celia in the command group.”
Terry also let the audience know that Celia Dahl is a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard with a distinguished career and a recent deployment to Iraq. The Dahls have two adult daughters.
“I am here to serve, and I am here to give it my all,” Dahl said during his remarks. “I say that, very well aware that on the other side of this building is Memorial Park, a reminder that sometimes giving it your all is exactly what it takes.
“Bottom line, though,” Dahl said, “there isn’t any place on earth right now that I would rather be than right here.”
Terry concluded the ceremony by urging Soldiers and community members to visit Memorial Park to consider freedom’s cost.
“(It’s) my favorite place on Fort Drum,” he said. “Let it be humbling to all who are here to take note of the sacrifices and the courage of the men and women of the 10th Mountain Division who gave all in defense of our great nation.
“To our two new senior leaders, when you are in doubt, reflect on our statue and the collective sacrifice of our Soldiers and Families that it represents.”