FORT BRAGG, N.C. –
Col. Daphne D. Davis, former deputy to the deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Reserve Command, was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in a ceremony held Sept. 10, 2021, at Marshall Hall at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
“It's been exactly 57 days since Lt. Gen. (Jody) Daniels called to tell me I'd been promoted, and I'm still in shock,” Davis said, referencing the chief of Army Reserve and commanding general, U.S. Army Reserve Command.
Lt. Gen. A.C. Roper Jr., deputy commander of U.S. Northern Command, presided over the ceremony. When meeting Davis for the first time in 2018, Roper recalled being impressed by her professionalism, competence and understanding of the situation.
"So, I made a choice in the back of my mind right then ... if there was ever a possibility for me to have her on my team, I would take it."
Roper attributed her success to her "great family, good Soldiers and commanders, and her foundation in her faith.” He remembered Davis sending him a text message that stated, "We are exactly where we are supposed to be in God's timing."
Roper honored and recognized Davis' husband of 13 years, Col. Vernon Davis; their six adult children; her mother, Luna Simpson; her father, Vietnam veteran and POW, retired Master Sgt. Nelson Simpson (deceased); her grandfather, World War II veteran, retired Sgt. 1st Class Nathaniel Mitchell (deceased); and Davis' great aunt, Mignonne Whitlow.
“None of this would be possible without your support,” Roper said.
He proceeded to recognize the Soldiers and commanders with whom she had worked over the past 31 years. "It took a village to bring her here," Roper said.
Davis took a moment to recognize and appreciate her village. “Many of you were placed in my path to guide me, support me, and challenge me and motivate me on this journey,” Davis said.
Davis expressed her gratitude to those who attended the ceremony. “Many of you have traveled far just to be here with me today, and it fills my heart with unspeakable joy.”
Family, fellow Soldiers and mentors helped drive Davis to keep going on her path. “I could not do this without them,” she said, "and by them, I mean both my biological and military family."
The audience heard stories of Davis' experiences as a young cadet, second lieutenant, and even as a captain. “These events may not seem significant; at the time, they were a big deal. They had an influence on me and helped me grow as a stronger leader throughout my career.”
Roper encouraged Davis to make a personal and professional difference with her new organization, U.S. Army Recruiting Command, where she will serve as deputy commanding general.
Davis said she is looking forward to her new role. "My goal is to recruit the best America has to offer in order to defend its inhabitants from whatever and whoever tries to pull us apart."
Although Davis acknowledges that achieving the rank of a general officer is a great accomplishment, she also realizes that it is not the end of the narrative. “I still have work to do and a lot to learn.”
“Always remember to simply let God lead and keep plugging away,” Davis added as she wrapped up her remarks. “I am Brig. Gen. Davis.”