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NEWS | May 8, 2023

Alumna Returns

By Staff Sgt. Starla Lewis

BLOOMINGTON, In – Brig. Gen. Patricia Wallace, Commanding General of the 80th Training Command The Army School System (TASS), was invited to return to her alma mater Indiana University (IU), as the guest speaker for the ROTC awards ceremony.
Wallace graduated from IU in 1990 and commissioned into the United States Army Reserve. She feels like her time at IU shaped her career today, both on the military and civilian side. Brig. Gen. Wallace was accompanied on the tour by another IU alumni Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel MacKenzie, Command Sgt. Maj. of the 83rd United States Army Reserve Readiness Training Command.
As they were given a tour of the campus by three senior ROTC cadets, that will be enlisting into the Active Component, the National Guard, and the Reserve component, Brig. Gen. Wallace was able to reflect on her campus experiences and see the changes they’ve made since her graduation day.
In addition to a tour of the campus, Wallace and MacKenzie had the opportunity to meet with the Dean of the School of Arts and Science and other IU faculty members.
At the awards ceremony, Brig. Gen. Wallace spoke to the cadets about the challenges the military is facing with retention and recruiting. Wallace believes that if they tell their stories, it will encourage more people to join our family by becoming service members.
During Brig. Gen. Wallace journey to become an officer, she discovered that she would commission into the Adjutant General branch. Though that wasn’t the branch she saw for herself, she told the cadets that she took advantage of the opportunity she was given, and it brought her success in her civilian and military careers.
Brig. Gen. Wallace charged the cadets to not take opportunities they are given at face value, but to take advantage of every opportunity and make it into a positive experience that helps them grow in their careers and in life.
The day ended with a dinner where Brig. Gen. Wallace was able to have one-on-one time with cadets that decided to commission into the Army Reserve, some already enlisted into the Reserve. The cadets were able to ask Brig. Gen. Wallace about choices she made that led to her success. She was able to tell them more about how professional development and growth will provide them with many great opportunities.