1-10 SFG(A) Officer named as MacArthur Leadership Awardee


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice
http://news.soc.mil/releases/News Archive/2009/March/090324-04.html

PANZER KASERNE, Germany (Courtesy of SOCEUR Public Affairs, March 24, 2009) - “Duty, Honor, Country: those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.” General Douglas MacArthur relayed this phrase to the corps of cadets during a speech at the U.S. Military Academy on May 12, 1962.

Today, Capt. Andrew Burgess, a Special Forces officer assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Panzer Kaserne, Germany, lives the phrase.

The Department of the Army announced the 2008 MacArthur Leadership Awardees on Mar. 6, 2009. Burgess was selected as one of 13 active duty commissioned company grade officers from throughout the Army to receive the honor.

Those selected, according to the award announcement, must demonstrate absolute commitment to Army values, possess unparalleled leadership skills and exhibit the ability to understand human nature and gain consensus among diverse groups. Burgess has had ample opportunities to build upon these qualities during the three and a half short years he’s served with 1-10 SFG(A).

Currently serving as the Headquarters and Service Company Commander at 1-10 SFG(A), Burgess began his Army career with the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii after graduation from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. in 2000. After graduation from the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2005, he was assigned to an Operational Detachment – Alpha at 1-10 SFG(A).

His travels while at the battalion have taken him to the hottest places on earth, both in terms of temperature and hostilities. One of his greatest leadership challenges came while in Iraq.

“We were responsible for advising a battalion-sized element from the Iraqi military that executed continuous combat operations as directed from their National level leadership,” he said. “We overcame harsh environmental conditions in order to prove our worthiness as combat advisors and ultimately improve their progress towards conducting unilateral operations.”

His commander, Lt. Col George Thiebes, describes one situation in particular where Burgess performed spectacularly.

“Capt. Burgess’ ODA performed one of the first nighttime raids into Sadr City, which had been off-limits to US forces for over six months," he said. "His assault force penetrated deep inside the city through multiple Improvised Explosive Device ambushes, enemy sniper and machine gun fire. CPT Burgess led his assault force to the target area, captured the targeted individuals and killed approximately 20 insurgents utilizing direct fire, Close Air Support and the quick reaction force throughout this 90-minute engagement.”

His detachment was also one of the first to serve within the International Security Afghanistan Forces (ISAF) as NATO SOF partners. Here, learning how to work seamlessly with coalition forces was critical.

“At one point I remember seeing Soldiers from over 10 different countries working together on a compound about half the size of Patch Barracks (in Stuttgart, Germany); hand and arm signals were pretty important,” said Burgess.

Burgess also led his team in support of the United States Secret Service mission to protect the President of the United States in Liberia. This is where his communication skills proved critical again.

When asked about working within an interagency environment in a potentially hostile area, he related, “Our success stemmed from maintaining open lines of communication between our Secret Service counterparts and the SOCEUR command team. This inevitably afforded us the flexibility to integrate with the Secret Service while ensuring we maintained our standards with regards to force protection and impact within the local populace.”

Always humble, Burgess said that even though he received the award, “there is a longer list of NCOs and Officers associated with this award. I'm extremely grateful for working with the most professional and dedicated individuals in our military.”

Gen MacArthur said later in his 1962 speech to the cadets about the words Duty, Honor, Country, “They build your basic character. They mold you for your future roles as the custodians of the nation's defense.” By living those words, Capt. Burgess is preparing to possibly be speaking them himself to a corps of cadets as a senior Army leader one day.
The Calendar Year 2008 MacArthur Leadership Award ceremony will be held in Washington, D.C. on May 7-8, 2009.


Capt. Andrew Burgess
Outstanding! The boss and I put our HHC commander in for this, but against competition like CPT Burgess, she didn't stand a chance.
I knew a MacArthur awardee from the Guard side; he was an abject tool. 10%....

Congrats to the CPT! Considering AD 18A's don't spend a great deal of time on a team he's had quite the career.