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    Brig. Gen. Richard A. Harrison, 44th Air Defense Artillery Commandant, Retreat and Farewell

    Brig. Gen. Richard A. Harrison, 44th Air Defense Artillery Commandant, Retreat and Farewell

    Photo By Amber Osei | Brig. Gen. Richard A. Harrison, 44th Air Defense Artillery Commandant, Retreat and...... read more read more



    Story by Amber Osei 

    U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery School

    Story by Amber Osei
    U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery School

    FORT SILL, Ok. – On April 28 more than 100 Soliders, civilians and well-wishers will gather for the retreat ceremony of Brig. Gen. Richard A. Harrison, 44th Commandant, Air Defense Artillery School.
    Harrison took command of the ADA School June 2020, during the pandemic. Soon after, his days began to fill with paperwork, meetings, media engagements, award ceremonies, and speaking events.
    All of which Harrison enjoyed to the fullest.

    “It was very motivational to pull up and see the star on my parking spot every day, knowing I would be wearing that star one-day soon,” said Harrison.

    Harrison was selected as the next ADA brigadier general in March 2021 and pinned on the Silver Star during a ceremony June 2, 2021.

    Since his arrival, he said many aspects of the high-profile job felt normal.

    Harrison’s prior assignment involved working as the executive officer for a four star general in South Korea. Harrison found the transition to the atmosphere at the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill, Oklahoma welcoming.

    “The climate that Maj. Gen. Kenneth L. Kamper, Commanding General, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill, OK has created here is one of mutual respect and motivation,” said Harrison.

    Harrison said being the ADA schoolhouse commandant means he has his fingers in many slices of the ADA branch pie.

    “I’m the proponent for the Air Defense branch - overseeing the training done here,” said Harrison. “Figuring out how to bring in new equipment for the branch, how to direct personnel, how to figure numbers when it comes to the force, those are my main roles.”

    At several speaking engagements around Fort Sill, Harrison mentioned his “humble beginnings” growing up in Sunbury, N.C. His small-town roots proved true when mentioning his favorite parts of his job as commandant.

    “I would have to say that my favorite memories at this school house revolve around me and Command Sgt. Maj. Randy Gray’s brown bag lunches with all the students at Captains Career Course and Basic Officer Leadership Course. Getting to talk with those students and asking them about choosing our branch, getting to know where they are from and what motivates them, those are some of my best memories,” said Harrison. “Or even with the cadets at West Point when they were opening their envelopes to see which branch they got, just seeing all the joy, shock and every other expression, really made my day. That makes this job worth it in so many ways.”

    During his time as commandant, Harrison took several temporary duty trips to include more than four months stationed at Fort Pickett, Virginia with the Virginia National Guard. There he oversaw the expatriation of more than 7,000 Afghan nationals into the U.S.

    “The Army has a great way of building you as a leader, building those leadership muscles you don’t necessarily get to use every day. So going to Fort Pickett, I worked with inter-agencies, the Department of State and Homeland Security,” he said. “I worked with contract doctors, contract nurses, and they don’t work with generals every day. This rank doesn’t move them, you know, it moves Soldiers, but not civilians. But earning their respect, getting them to really understand, one: I’m a person too, two: I’m a general officer, and three: I care about you and what you do for the team. That, for me really prepared me to lead again in a predominantly civilian organization.”

    Harrison’s next “predominantly civilian organization” is Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Newport News, Virginia, where his assignment is the G-3/5/7, Operations, Plans, and Training, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, directly under a four-star general. The staff there contains more than 380 members with more than half of those being civilians.




    Date Taken: 04.22.2022
    Date Posted: 04.25.2022 23:26
    Story ID: 419202
    Location: FORT SILL, OK, US 
    Hometown: SUNBURY, NC, US

    Web Views: 536
    Downloads: 0