Meet Your Army

Meet Your Army is a monthly series of interviews by Dr. Rory Cooper with notable people serving in or attached to the United States Army.

April 13, 2021 - MG(Ret) John L. Gronski
MG Gronski is founder and CEO of Leader Grove LLC, an adjunct fellow with the Center for European Policy Analysis, and director of the leadership academy for student-athletes at Lebanon Valley College. He is also a leadership consultant and trainer, author, professional speaker, and executive coach. His presentations feature inspirational stories and wisdom gained from his own operational leadership experience and the experience of others. He is the author of two books: The Ride of Our Lives – Lessons on Life, Leadership, and Love, which tells the inspiring story about his family on a transformational journey as they bicycled across the USA, and Iron-Sharpened Leadership, which is based on his operational experience and is peppered with inspirational stories along with actions one can take to become a more effective leader.
Website - Order Iron-Sharpened Leadership - "Lead for Success" certificate program
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March 24, 2021 - SSG David Bellavia
SSG Bellavia received the Medal of Honor for his actions on November 10, 2004, as a member of Company A, Task Force 2-2, 1st Infantry Division. His platoon was assigned during Operation Phantom Fury to clear a block of twelve buildings from which insurgents were firing on American forces. The platoon began searching house-to-house. At the tenth house, Bellavia fatally shot an insurgent preparing to load a rocket-propelled grenade. A second insurgent fired at him, and Bellavia wounded him in the shoulder. When Staff Sergeant Bellavia entered a bedroom, the wounded insurgent followed, forcing Bellavia to kill him. When another insurgent began firing from upstairs, Bellavia returned fire and killed him. A fourth insurgent then jumped out of a closet in the bedroom, yelling and firing his weapon as he leaped over a bed trying to reach Bellavia. The insurgent tripped and Bellavia wounded him. Bellavia chased the insurgent when he ran upstairs. He followed the wounded insurgent's bloody footprints to a room on the left and threw in a fragmentation grenade. Upon entering the room, Bellavia discovered it was filled with propane tanks and plastic explosives. He did not fire his weapon for fear of setting off an explosion and instead then engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the insurgent, which led to Bellavia killing the insurgent by stabbing him in the collarbone.
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February 26, 2021 - COL(Ret) Douglas Matty
Dr. Douglas Matty is the Director, Army Artificial Intelligence Capabilities. His organization is responsible for the development, coordination and synchronization of Artificial Intelligence capability development for the Army. This includes all aspects of AI-enhanced capabilities, particularly materiel and workforce development. The organization, reporting directly to the U.S. Army Futures Command, is based in Pittsburgh, PA. Dr. Matty’s education includes a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering (including minors in both electrical engineering and computer science) from the USMA, West Point, NY. He has a master’s degree in applied mathematics (minor in cryptography) and a master’s degree in national securities studies from the U.S. Army War College (USAWC). He also holds a doctorate in engineering systems from Massachusetts Institute of Technology focused on enterprise engineering analytical and empirical methods.
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January 19, 2021 - COL Andrew J. "Coby" Short
COL Short is Commander, Pittsburgh District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and leads the Pittsburgh District in delivering integrated solutions that minimize risk and enhance reliability for the region’s water resource infrastructure while improving the environment. One of 43 Corps of Engineers districts, Pittsburgh District covers an area of approximately 26,000 square miles comprising the upper Ohio River Basin and extending into five states – Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland and New York. COL Short has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Joint Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and other awards and decorations. He has earned the Ranger Tab, Sapper Tab, Combat Action Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and been awarded the Bronze Order of the deFleury Medal.
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December 15, 2020 - SMA(Ret) Daniel A. Dailey
SMA(Ret) Daniel A. Dailey served as the 15th Sergeant Major of the Army from January 30, 2015 to August 9, 2019. He is decorated with the Bronze Star Medal with Valor for his leadership during the Siege of Sadr City. Later, he was selected as the 4th Infantry Division command sergeant major in 2009. Prior to his selection as the Sergeant Major of the Army, he served as the command sergeant major of the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command.
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November 10, 2020 - CSM(Ret) Bart Womack
CSM(Ret) Bart E. Womack served the United States Army with distinction for over 29 years as Drill Sergeant, Ranger Instructor, Relief Commander and Sergeant of the Guard at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, serving in Iraq and Korea, and culminating his career in dual roles as Commandant and the 101st Airborne Division Command Sergeant Major. He retired from active duty on 30 June 2006. He was awarded two Bronze Stars, one for valor, and the Combat Infantryman Badge with star, among many other decorations.
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October 14, 2020 - COL David M. Rozelle
COL David M. Rozelle is the first amputee to return to U.S. military duty in a combat zone. Then-Captain Rozelle deployed to the town of Hit, Iraq as the commander of the 3rd ACR's K Troop ("Killer"). During operations in Hit, Rozelle's Humvee ran over an anti-tank mine which destroyed both the Humvee and Rozelle's right lower leg. This resulted in the amputation of Rozelle's foot and ankle. After being given an artificial leg, Rozelle returned to duty as commander of the 3rd Cavalry's Headquarters Troop. He then redeployed to Iraq with the 3rd ACR on their third tour in Iraq. Since his injury, Rozelle has completed the New York Marathon and written the book, Back in Action: An American Soldier's Story of Courage, Faith and Fortitude.
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September 17, 2020 - MG Mark J. Schindler
MG Mark J. Schindler is Deputy Adjutant General – Army, Pennsylvania National Guard, Joint Force Headquarters. He serves as the primary advisor to The Adjutant General for manning, equipping, and training the Pennsylvania Army National Guard as well as assisting The Adjutant General in supervision and management of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Prior to assuming this position, General Schindler served as the Chief of Staff, Pennsylvania National Guard.
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August 18, 2020 - LTG Walter E. Piatt
LTG Walter Piatt is Director of the Army Staff and is responsible for integrating and synchronizing the work of the Office of the Secretary and the Army Staff to meet the goals and priorities of the Secretary of the Army. His previous position was Commanding General, 10th Mountain Division, and he also served as the 52nd Chief of Infantry.
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