April 1, 2014
By Mrs. Martha Yoshida (Leonard Wood)
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (March 31, 2014) -- Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, entered "Tiger country" March 26 to address an assembly of more than 230 of Waynesville High School's Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets.
Smith, who was a member of the JROTC when he was in high school, wanted to reach out to these students and future leaders by providing a positive influence and setting an example to follow.
"I am an example of what you have the potential to be," Smith said. "All of you have the potential to achieve certain things. You have got to take what you learn today and be serious about it and use it to achieve your goals."
He added that these young adults need to know that no challenge is too great to be solved and pointed to sources to help these cadets make good decisions.
"People in your school and people in your community are focused on your development and your success. All you have to do is trust them," he said. "You will learn about leadership right here. You'll learn about everything that you need to do to be successful in life."
Smith concluded with a motivational message for cadets to give their best each day, whether it's in class, sports, or their other activities.
"I expect the best from you and the best is what I give you every day," he said. "I want you to be successful in life. I think you have the potential to achieve whatever it is that you want to achieve."
Retired Army Col. Charles Williams, Waynesville High School senior Army instructor, said that the event was well-received by the Waynesville JROTC Tiger Battalion.
"Maj. Gen. Smith did a great job explaining Army Values and why they matter, the importance of doing your best and that you can do anything--all the things we discuss regularly," Williams said. "We would like to make this a recurring annual event."