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    Proud to be part of the First Army family

    Proud to be part of the First Army family

    Photo By Spc. Tyler Morford | My name is Tony Aguto, and I am a proud First Army Soldier. This is how I have...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    First Army

    My name is Tony Aguto, and I am a proud First Army Soldier.

    This is how I have introduced myself from my first day in command here at First Army, and it truly sums up my feelings about joining this historic and essential Army organization.

    I look forward to getting to know all of you but I wanted to use this opportunity to give you a brief introduction:

    At heart, I am a cavalryman. I commissioned from the U.S. Military Academy in 1988 as an Armor officer and have loved every day of it. The most prominent items in my office will always be my Stetson and my spurs.

    I learned everything I know from NCOs and I trust them – specifically my Command Sergeant Major John McDwyer – implicitly.

    I believe pride in our mission and heritage – and the stories of outstanding troops that touch us along the way – are what define us each as Soldiers. As a child, I learned from my grandfather, a trooper with the famed Filipino Scouts, how transformative a life of service and sacrifice can be. He was a Filipino farmer who joined the Americans in their fight against the Japanese in World War II. That’s why I joined.

    Here’s why I stayed: because of Soldiers like my father-in-law, a Vietnam and Korean War veteran and battalion commander. He served in a different Army – one defined by a contentious draft. It is the greatest honor of my life to serve today alongside every man and woman who raised their right hands – voluntarily – with the simple goal of serving and defending their nation. I continue to serve because of the stories I hear of and get to live, serving with our Soldiers and Family members.

    I grew up in our Army at our great Combat Training Centers. My time as a CTC commander in Germany instilled in me a true love and appreciation of the Army OC/T and the sacred duty it is to train and prepare our troops for combat. “To lead an untrained people to war is to throw them away.” (Confucius.) Now, as a fellow OC/T in the Army, and I couldn’t be prouder – and I couldn’t take this job more seriously. First Army is a perfect fit for me.

    Finally, let me tell you about my amazing wife, Mel. She is a working Army spouse who is proud to focus on securing loans for Army families. It is how she serves our troops, in addition to the tireless work she does to support our Soldiers and Families. We are settling into Rock Island Arsenal and are thrilled to be here and part of this community. The Army has sent us to some pretty remarkable places in a 33-year career, but an island in the middle of the Mississippi River – where we can watch the barges that move so much of America’s fuel, food and commerce from our 150-year-old home’s front window … this might take the cake.

    I want all of you to know that I am well aware of the incredible history and linage of this organization. I wear my new A patch with more pride than I can say. Our iconic block A was designed by Lieutenant General Hunter Liggett just weeks before the Armistice in the First World War. It had become clear the Americans had turned the tide of that horrible conflict, and Liggett wanted his troops to have a way to visibly demonstrate their pride.

    With that patch in mind, there is a phrase that motivates me every day: “Earn the A.” I will confess to feeling the weight of that charge, and I often find myself reflecting on one key word: EARN. Its definition is pretty intense: “to gain – to deserve – in return for one’s effort, behavior or achievements.” For more than a century, America has produced men and women so devoted to this nation – and to our block A – that they would attempt and then accomplish the nearly unthinkable:

    To go “Over the Top” in the bloody trench lines of France and bring that first global war to an end.

    To storm the beaches of Normandy, cross the Rhine, Battle the Bulge.

    To answer call after call: Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm.

    And today: to partner with, train and deploy nearly 1.4 million brave Citizens Soldiers into the fight since 9-11.

    Talk about earning!

    First Army, our mission is huge: 52 percent of the Army. It is essential: an ever-more volatile world, an age of great-power completion. And it is noble: as our first commander, General John J. Pershing, once said, freedom and liberty are only possible though “willing sacrifice, cheerful endurance of hardship, and strength and indomitable will.”

    It is my honor and privilege to join the long line of men and women who have earned their A for 103 years.

    It has been said that rank is only given to you in order to allow you to better serve those above and below you, and I feel that truth each day when I see the historic A that rests firmly on my left shoulder.


    Lt. Gen. Antonio Aguto
    Commanding General, First Army



    Date Taken: 07.27.2021
    Date Posted: 08.04.2021 14:37
    Story ID: 402437

    Web Views: 206
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