NEWS | March 12, 2021

Army Reserve general officers share best practices with UNG cadets

By Sgt. 1st Class Jessica Espinosa 81st Readiness Division

The 81st Readiness Division commanding general, along with four other Army Reserve general officers, hosted a lunch and learn with cadets at the University of North Georgia March 9, 2021.

Commanding General Maj. Gen. Jami Shawley co-hosted the event with the UNG to help guide and mentor the six in-person and 281 virtual cadets with an open dialog of lessons learned and best practices, as well as offered an opportunity for the cadets to ask questions.

Both Shawley and Brig. Gen. Terri Borras, Military Intelligence Readiness Command commanding general, spoke at the event, offering a nod to Women’s History Month, while facilitating the meeting to help steer the cadets as they embark on their careers.

In what both speakers described as “luck and timing,” the duo shared their personal history in working toward their goals in service and how it reflects on the current gender equality within the ranks.

The hour-long event included vignettes on how best to leverage staff when coming up the ranks, coping with adversity, emotional intelligence, finding strength in crisis and diversity.

“One of the most relied upon lessons I’ve learned through my time in the Army is compartmentalization,” said Shawley, stressing the importance of learning from failures and not placing these items in boxes for later. “Not a great tool for emotional resiliency… What will happen is they will all tumble down and you will fail at a critical moment and you will never see it coming.”

Borras agreed, adding that emotional intelligence held a level of grit, perseverance and commitment.

“Your training is going to kick in and your ‘personal self’ is going to drive you to that successful moment that you need to have as a leader,” Borras said. “Sometimes you can do everything right and it still won’t work out. It’s driving past that to really look at: what is the impact to myself, what is the impact to my soldiers and what are we going to do about it from there.”

Joining in offering advice were: Maj. Gen. John H. Phillips, 335th Theater Signal Command; Maj. Gen. Rich C. Staats, 75th Innovation Command; and the Chief of Cyber and Commandant of the U.S. Army Cyber School, Brig. Gen. Paul G. Craft. Each offered their own personal stories to help better shape the cadets.

“Greatness will always bubble to the surface – always,” Borras said. “It doesn’t matter what you look like - it’s about competence, it’s about responsibility, it’s about your leadership. That’s the great thing about the Army… It will give you that platform.”

Outside of the lunch and learn, general officers were able to collaborate on the future of the UNG program during virtual and breakout meetings, as well as held a promotion ceremony for the UNG Army Reserve Recruiting Liaison for the 81st RD, Maj. Caitlin Demarest Hirsch.

For more photos of the event go to www.flickr.com/photos/81stwildcats