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NEWS | Oct. 8, 2015

Army Reserve general visits future leaders at Howard University Leadership Conference

By Spc. Stephanie Ramirez 200th Military Police Command

WASHINGTON D.C. -- “Part of leadership is identifying future leaders within your organization and challenging them.”

Those were just some of the many inspiring words that the Army Reserve’s top military police officer shared during the 2015 Student Leadership Conference hosted by the Howard University School of Law Aug. 29.

Maj. Gen. Phillip M. Churn, the commanding general of the 200th Military Police Command, based at Fort Meade, Maryland, spent some time talking with students and staff who attended the conference about the importance developing leadership skills whether they are student leaders or aspiring to fill leadership roles in their career.

As both a leader in corporate America and the military, the D.C. native said when he was given the opportunity to talk with America’s youngest leaders, the answer was simple.

“When the Army Reserve reached out and asked me to be a part of the conference it was awe-inspiring,” he said. “It was a great fit for me to talk to these young developing leaders.”

The student leadership conference focused on challenging graduate and undergraduate students to become leaders and change agents in society through the application of strong character, creativity and courage.

“Mentors are essential during the development of a leader and this is a great opportunity to inspire our future leaders,” said Churn. “Just by attending leadership conferences and listening, students start developing intellectually and this is a great time for them to start thinking about all the different possibilities and where their career can take them.”

The theme of this year’s conference was the Art of Leadership: Reconnecting to Servant Leadership and a Selfless Spirit. This theme gave Churn the opportunity to articulate the importance of putting your associates first.

“Your job as a leader is to serve your associates,” he said in his message which was focused directly on the importance of leading by example. “As a leader, if you’re going to be standing in front of your Soldiers, or as a leader in corporate America you need to make sure that you are espousing the principles of your organization and the people that are following you need to see that.”

According to Howard University. the Student Leadership Conference is designed for students who desire to lead in the future, on campus advisors and newly elected student leaders who are committed to uplifting their organizations.

“If you can serve, you can lead,” said Dontae M. Bell a sophomore at Howard, “I believe everyone has the tools to be great leaders, and by attending leadership conferences such as this one and listening to the guidance of people who understand what it takes to be a leader, we get the opportunity to learn how to effectively use those tools to develop as leaders ourselves.”

Bell is currently the president of the arts and science student council at Howard, he is also a part of the ROTC program at Howard and hopes to use the skills that he learns from conferences such as this one to commission and become a leader for change.