Tuesday, December 15, 2009

GEN Walter Sharp Roundtable

Or - "My morning with Skip"

This morning's DOD Bloggers Roundtable -

Topic: Gen Sharp will discuss his priorities for U.S. Forces Korea to include readiness to meet current and future military challenges posed by North Korea, how the transition of wartime Operational Control from the U.S. to the ROK JCS on April 17, 2012 is strengthening the ROK - U.S. Alliance, and USFK's progress in making assignments to Korea become normal two and three-year accompanied tours for all servicemembers.

So last night I printed out some stuff on the wartime OPCON transition and read it while I ate dinner. It wasn't easy to get through since there was no computer nearby to allow for Googling of terms....but I got through it.

I was 9th on the call. I listened to Gen Sharp's opening statement and the questions of my fellow bloggers. The questions ran the gamut - staffing DOD schools, evacuation plans for military families, h1N1; the difference in deployment times; the threat North Korea presents.

You should listen to the audio of the call.

The questions led interesting places. But the one the thing that had popped out at me during my reading apparently didn't occur to anyone else.

When it was my turn, I told the General that my question was going to be 360 degrees away from anyone else's -

"What did your Dad do in the war?"

He laughed and I think relaxed a little.

"He was a platoon leader in the 40th National Guard Division out of California. A platoon leader and a system S3. I'm very proud of that fact that I'm an Army brat. I was born actually when my father was fighting in the Korean War when he came back he was active duty military and he stayed in the service or 28 years. We moved around to many, many different locations. I loved growing up as a military kid adn moving around to different posts. I am very, very proud of his service. Humbled to be in command in the country and to be in command in the country in which he served."

When the transcript is out, I'll print the text of the reply more completely. But I got just the response I was hoping for. A thoughtful man who grasps the enormity of his responsibility and how it fits into history in general and his own history in specific. A man as proud of his father's service as, I'm sure that platoon leader would be of his son's service.

Imagine his father fighting in the Korean Conflict, thinking of his newborn son....it probably never occurred to him that all this time later we would still be in Korea, and that his son would be in charge of US Forces, Korea.

1 comment:

capo del fuoco said...


Well done. Excellent question that provided personal insight to an important leader that others would not have discovered.