FORT McCOY, Wis. –
Major General Jody J. Daniels took the helm of the 88th Readiness Division when she accepted the unit colors from Maj. Gen. Scottie D. Carpenter during a change of command ceremony at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, Dec. 1, 2018.
Daniels, who previously served as the chief of staff for U.S. Army Forces Command, will officially assume the duties as 88th RD commanding general from Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Reinert on December 8.
“I’m honored and privileged to have this position. I’m excited to take over. I still have a lot to learn about the division, and how it’s going to transform and how we’re going to take it to the future,” said Daniels, in a room with over 200 people in attendance, including Wisconsin state assembly district Rep. Nancy VanderMeer; Mark Nielsen, representative for U.S. Senator Ron Johnson; Mark Aumann, representative for U.S. Rep. Ron Kind; Flora Csontos, representative for U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin; and other distinguished guests from the region.
Daniels will hold the threads of the large intricate web of the 88th RD’s unit operations, overseeing 55,000 Soldiers, and spanning 19 states from Ohio to Washington state, and like her predecessor will work to make improvements where possible.
Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Reinert, outgoing commanding general, 88th Readiness Division, talked about the proud history of the unit and explained the mantra driving his contribution to the unit’s lineage.
“Improve your foxhole. Make sure that you always take your position to the next level, because somebody is going to come behind you to take command of the position you’re at. Make it better for the future,” said Reinert, reflecting on the 101-year old unit that has been his Army home since December 2015.
“You are taking over a fantastic team. Jody, I’ve known you a long time. I know you will lead them well,” he continued.
The change of command occurs at a time of great evolutionary potential. Daniels will manage the 88th RD on active duty orders, developing new procedures and policies to enhance the 88th RD’s broader restructuring under the Army transformation program. The 88th RD is growing from a primarily civilian force taking care of facilities and Soldiers in other units within the geographic region, to a parent unit with more Soldiers assigned to its headquarters and expands its mission to better support the readiness of the U.S. Army Reserve.
“It’s an honor to be taking over from such a great leader, a great American. I wish we could keep him longer. I’ve always respected all the work that he’s done. I hope I can be half as good as him,” said Daniels of Reinert. The two Soldiers have known each other for years, and were selected to be general officers at the same time. Reinert serves as an assistant United States attorney in Iowa in his civilian capacity, which brought a unique skillset to his command.
Daniels brings her own skillset to advance upon her predecessor’s accomplishments.
“Coming out of Forces Command, out of the headquarters, which is responsible for about 750,000 troops, serving there as chief of staff, I got lots of exposure as to how the Army works, runs, interacts with the Department of the Army, Secretary of the Army, and the different initiatives they are trying to drive forward. I come here with a lot of exposure to how the overall Army runs and where it’s heading,” she says of her prior work experience and insight guiding her decisions at the 88th RD. “It helps me know where I should bring the readiness division, and helps set the mission over the next couple of years.”
“I think she could be the next commander of the Army Reserve. She’s that good,” said Maj. Gen. Scottie D. Carpenter, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Reserve Command, during his speech at the change of command ceremony.
She believes her success stems from fostering a positive work environment, lifting each individual, thus elevating the whole organization.
“My ability to work well with others, helping others succeed, and being a team player is what has helped me succeed. As a group, we do better than if I’m just trying to get out in front and lead the way for myself,” she explained of the leadership style she hopes will bring about even more successes as commanding general of the 88th RD.