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NEWS | Aug. 5, 2016

Army Reserve Medical Logistics Officer Receives MacArthur Leadership Award

By Capt. Charles An 405th Combat Support Hospital

WASHINGTON - When Capt. Joseph Skelly joined the Army Reserve in 2001, little did he know that nearly 15 years later he and 27 other junior U.S. Army officers would be joining the stage with Gen. Mark Milley, the Chief of Staff of the Army.

Skelly and the other officers were all recipients of the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award which was presented by Milley in D.C. on June 1, 2016.

“I joined the Army Reserve to defend the United States in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11,” said Skelly.  “I had served in the Army National Guard from 1996 to 2000, and determined in the days following 9/11 that I should fight for my country, and the Army Reserve presented the best opportunity for deploying to a combat zone.”

Motivated by the thought of serving his country after the events of 9/11, Skelly enlisted in the Army Reserve and was assigned to the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion.

He eventually deployed with the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion to Baquba, Diyala Province, near Baghdad in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2004 to 2005.  There he served as the provincial education officer assisting not only the U.S. Army, but also other U.S. government agencies such as USAID, and local Iraqi officials with the renovation of schools, technical colleges, and universities. He also supported the first national elections in 2005, and participated in numerous counterterrorist operations while deployed to Iraq.

In 2007, Skelly received a direct commission as a Medical Service Corps officer in the Army Reserve, and is now the chief staff officer responsible for logistics, supply and movement for the 405th Combat Support Hospital (CSH).

“He is one of the best junior officers I have had the privilege to work with,” expressed Col. Lesley Watts, commander of the 405th CSH.  “As a commander, I’m able to give guidance regarding medical missions and CPT Skelly is able to interpret that information and begin to execute the tasks for his logistics section.  That ability to execute without continued guidance is just one thing that sets him apart from his peers.”

His skillset, knowledge and leadership in professionalism made him stand out when his name was submitted as a candidate for the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award.

When reflecting upon his award Skelly said, “This award reflects the commitment and achievements of all the leaders and soldiers I have the privilege to work with in the 405th Combat Support Hospital and the 804th Medical Brigade. Working together, we have completed numerous missions the past several years at home and abroad. We have participated in training missions and executed real-world missions, all to support the Army Reserve, the Army itself, and our nation.”

“CPT Skelly has unlimited potential and I see him serving at the highest levels of strategic command in the years to come,” said Watts of what she sees in Skelly. “Capt. Skelly is my go to person when it comes to anything in the logistics field.   He is an officer who displays expertise, military bearing and executes with confidence.”

The recipients of the award were nominated by the Soldiers within their unit, and receiving the award is a great reflection of Skelly and everyone he works with.  

Skelly is a history professor at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York City when not in uniform, and hails from Stamford, Conn.