Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 46

The Role of Character in Col. Robert Gerard, Ph.D., U.S. Army, Retired Col. Robert Gerard, Ph.D., U.S. Army, Retired, holds a B.S. from the University of Southern Mississippi; M.S. degrees in education and counseling from Monmouth University and Shippensburg University; and a Ph.D. in public administration from Penn State University. He served in the Army during the Korean War and had two additional combat tours in Vietnam. Character, comprised of a person’s moral and ethical qualities, helps determine what is right and gives a leader motivation to do what is appropriate, regardless of the circumstances or consequences. –Army Doctrine Reference Publication (ADRP) 6-22, Army Leadership (2012) G reat Army leaders are humble soldiers who attribute their success to the men and women who work for them. They step aside while their officers and soldiers receive the awards and accolades they deserve. Their character enhances their leadership. One of the Army’s great leaders of character was Glenn K. Otis. Among his many command assignments during war and peace, he commanded the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, and U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army/Central Army Group. Gen. Otis spent the last four years of his life in Carlisle, Pennsylvania—maintaining a low profile as a quiet, unassuming retired officer. If you met him casually, you would never know of his impressive career, much 44 less his heroic actions during the Vietnam War. A Retired Officer I first met retired Gen. Otis at a military social function shortly after he moved to Carlisle. I attended alone and saw him standing by himself in a large, noisy room full of talkative guests. I thought I recognized him, but I was not sure. I introduced myself as Bob Gerard, and he replied casually that he was Glenn Otis. Although I had not been able to recognize the face, I recognized the name immediately. Had I not recognized his name, I doubt he would have tried to tell me about his former rank or his achievements. We talked for a good while, and I told him about a local breakfast club to which I belonged—a small group of Army retirees who met each Saturday morning to solve the world’s problems. Soon, he was a regular member. At our first breakfast meeting, he made a point of saying he preferred to be called “Glenn” rather than “General Otis.” However, we would never be able to refrain Gen. Glenn K. Otis, commander, Training and Doctrine Command, visits with soldiers stationed at Fort Jackson, S.C., 9 February 1983. NARA September-October 2014  MILITARY REVIEW