FORT LEE, Va. – Brig. Gen. Douglas McBride Jr., a Bronx and Long Island, N.Y., native, said his Vietnam-veteran father served as a blueprint for his ambitions.
“When he got out of the military, he worked 90-110 hours a week for the New York Transit Authority,” recalled the Northeastern University ROTC graduate. “What he demonstrated to me was ‘You don’t have to be the smartest guy, but never let someone outwork you.’ His work ethic was through the roof.”
Despite his job commitments, the elder McBride was a family man.
“He always found balance,” McBride recalled. “We always took vacations, and he found space for quality time. He always put us first.”
Family, said McBride, is part of the triad he calls ‘F3’ – his faith in God, his family and the formations of military personnel and civilians he has the honor and privilege of leading.
“Those three things motivate and drive me each and every day,” he said.
McBride undoubtedly leaned heavily on faith when a subordinate, Col. Gregory S. Townsend, 23rd QM Brigade commander, was accidentally killed earlier this year helping a stranded motorist.
“Col. Townsend’s death was probably the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with outside of burying my parents,” he said of the 46-year-old husband and father. “We had become fairly close, as close as you could between a superior and subordinate. He embraced my vision and was moving aggressively to make it reality. He was a phenomenal leader and person, and to be struck down rendering assistance to someone who needed it was something none of us was prepared for. It was very difficult.”
Townsend leaves behind a wife and four children, noted to be the center of his universe. The same could be said about McBride and his family.
“The ‘why’ I do things is centered on my wife and two kids,” he said. “They are my purpose and my motivation in life.”
McBride’s wife is a published author, his son is an NFL football player, and his daughter is a rising junior at Auburn University.
While serving as an example to his family, McBride said he caters to the needs of many through association.
“There are many folks who look up to me as a role model,” he said. “I want to make sure I set that example and set the bar high so they have something to aspire to. That’s important to me.”
From a military perspective, McBride said it is not lost on him what his service as a senior logistician means to junior Soldiers making their way through the ranks.
“One day, I’m going to take this uniform off,” he said, “and when I do, I want to make sure I have built a bench of qualified individuals who can replace me.”
McBride, initially trained as an ordnance officer, has served in the Army for more than 30 years, 26 as a multi-functional logistician.