Brigadier General Richard F. Johnson P ’19 and Afghan Governor Shamim Khan Katawazai
Students who listen to others, instead of fighting to command the spotlight, are building critical leadership skills—sometimes without knowing it—Army Brigadier General Richard F. Johnson P ’19 told Milton students during the Veterans Day assembly. He is the deputy commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division, the Task Force Southeast commanding general in Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom Sentinel, and the father of two Class I students. The brigadier general is on his fifth combat deployment. Governor Katawazai is a partner in moving toward peace in Afghanistan, and his service to his country comes at significant personal risk as the Afghan government and international security forces clash with violent extremists.
“When I was your age, I didn’t realize that I had the potential to lead; I didn’t really understand how to model leadership. If you want to be a leader, you can do that by being a good follower: being a strong leader at times and a team member at others. Generally, the leader listens. They allow other people to express their opinions, they absorb those opinions, and that allows them to form their own.” — Brig. Gen. Richard F. Johnson P ’19