The 4 Priorities for Ft. Jackson Commanding General Patrick Michaelis
The 4 Priorities For New Ft. Jackson Commanding General Michaelis
At the September Business over Breakfast, sponsored by Jeff Howle with Healthmarkets Insurance, Brigadier General Patrick Michaelis shared observations he has assessed during his first 90 days as the 52nd commanding general at Fort Jackson and his top four priorities.
To begin, Michaelis reminded guests that in the last 47 years since becoming a volunteer service, the Army has become more disconnected from the community. The Army is more technical than they have ever been, however, it is very important for the community to engage these brave men and women. Quality of life and community connection is key to helping a soldier and their family feel supported.
Assessments of the recent closure of the 20-year war in Afghanistan can be difficult, both emotionally and intellectually. We cannot remember Afghanistan without thinking of 9/11. Michaelis explained that he has come away from his time of service feeling that we may want change more than the Afghans. Michaelis feels a western form of government will not work for the country.
Currently, Michaelis is facing the difficulty of protecting his soldiers. The enemy, namely the delta variant with a low hovering, high transmissibility rate, is attacking his 10,000 trainees and 3,500 soldiers.
Michaelis’ assessment has helped him identify his top four priorities. First, providing basic contact training for 45,000 soldiers each year, or 1,000 per week for 10 weeks, to properly transition them to the operational force. Soldiers must learn healthy and holistic fitness to maintain themselves physically and mentally. They must also learn spiritual fitness to understand their core purpose that will help prevent a harmful nature. The Army wants to provide a soldier in the best version of themselves during their time of service and returning to the community.
The next priority is leader development as Fort Jackson also houses schools for adjunct generals, finance, leadership training of the brigade and chaplains. These schools impact about 10,000 to 15,000 individuals. Another priority for Michaelis is quality of life; the experience the soldiers and family have while in the Midlands. Some families of service members may move up to 27 times. They need to feel a sense of community and enjoy their time in the Midlands. Like the private sector, Fort Jackson is also experiencing degradation. The fort needs about 200 employees, especially in public works and dining. Michalis is working to keep wages competitive with the local market and recruit talent.
Finally, Michaelis needs opportunities for community engagement to help keep the connection between civilians and the Army.
Register for the next Business Over Breakfast on Tuesday, October 12 at 7:30 a.m. at RADIUS Church where Lou Kennedy, president and CEO of Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation, will be giving the keynote address. Tickets are $10 and must be purchased in advance. Registration will close Friday, October 8 at 2 p.m.