Friday, December 07, 2012

Congratulations to the U.S.Army's Newest Full Bird Colonel - Col. Everett Spain

I had the rare privilege today at Harvard Business School to attend the Promotion Ceremony for Everett S.P. Spain as he was sworn in as the Army's newest full Colonel.  The ceremony featured a number of moving and memorable highlights.  Colonel Spain's son, Josiah, led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Brigadier General Mark Martin, a former commanding officer of Col.  Spain, set the historical meaning of the ceremony and reviewed key achievement's in Spain's career, which include graduating with high honors from West Point, winning the Best Ranger Competition as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, qualifying as an Airborne Jump master and an Army Ranger, receiving a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for service in Kosovo and Iraq.  He also served as Aide-de-camp for the Commander, Multi-National Force-Iraq during "the Surge." He was chosen as a White House Fellow, and helped to create the Treasury Department's TARP program.

Col. Spain and his wife, Julia, are the parents of four children - Josiah (12), Asher (10), Adah (8), and Jadon (7).  He is a second-year doctoral student at Harvard Business School.  Upon completing his HBS studies, he plans to return to his service as a faculty member at his alma mater, USMA at West Point.  At Harvard, he is an active member of the HBS Christian Fellowship and the Armed Forces Alumni Association.

During his remarks, Colonel Spain beautifully and movingly thanked the many facets of the crowd gathered to support him - his parents and sister, his wife and children, his in-laws, a former WWII sergeant who had escaped the Holocaust in Germany to serve as an interpreter in the U.S. Army.  He thanked, as well, the Harvard community and the community of active and former warriors who are his brothers and sisters in arms.  In its history, Harvard University has been alternately supportive of and then hostile to the U.S. military.  Always the one to accentuate the positive, Col.Spain  took us on a verbal tour of the Harvard campus with its many reminders - building, bridges and monuments - that memorialize Harvard men who have served their nation in the past in the military.  As an officer in the Army Corps of Engineers, Colonel Spain is by nature a "bridge builder."  Today, as he often does, by his remarks, he sought to build bridges of trust, respect and understanding - uniting the disparate elements that made up his audience  into one common celebratory community for the afternoon.

I feel  honored to call Colonel Spain my friend.

God bless you, Colonel.  May He guide you as you continue to lead our troops with honor, patriotism, valor and fidelity.


No comments: