FORT LEE, Va. (June 18, 2015) -- By his own account, Col. Thomas J. Rogers’ speech went a bit long despite the fact he avoided mentioning many of the dignitaries present. It wasn’t intentional, declared the new commandant of the Army Logistics University, but it was more important to spend the time sharing a short list of commitments.
“I’m going to enjoy the day and appreciate being a member of this organization and all of its great people,” he said, stating the first of four pledges upon taking over his new duties during a change of responsibility ceremony in ALU’s multi-purpose room Monday.
“Second, I’m going to get up from behind my desk and my computer and I’m going to be engaging and interactive with our programs,” he continued, “but most importantly with all the people we have out there – NCOs, officers and civilian.”
Roughly 100 people attended the event in which the school’s colors were passed from Col. Matthew P. Shatzkin to Rogers, who last served as assistant commandant of the Quartermaster School. Brig. Gen. Ronald Kirklin, Rogers’ former boss, was among those in attendance. ALU President John E. Hall was the presiding official.
Noting his commitments were inspired by someone who had a heart attack, Rogers pointed out the man was provided with another opportunity to focus more on enjoying the day and the situation he had been placed in. The thought came to him again the morning of the ceremony while reading a book written by former football coach Tony Dungy.
“He was saying the same thing,” Rogers said to the audience. “Wherever we happen to be located, grow and be committed.”
Rogers’ third commitment was to value the mission and the people who collectively carry it out. Lastly, he pledged to listen to counsel so ALU can “offer the best education possible to the leaders of our Army.”
Rogers was commissioned as an infantryman in 1988 and has served in command and staff positions at various locations around the world to include Fort Bragg, N.C., where he spent more than 17 years, said Hall.
During his remarks, Shatzkin, who became commandant last June, thanked his family, the leadership and the ALU faculty and staff, who he said “possessed and expressed an undying dedication to the cause of preparing leaders.”
Among Shatzkin’s accomplishments were the establishment of two courses for general officers and attaining the Training and Doctrine Command’s Institution of Excellence accreditation for the school.
Additionally, he earned a Ph.D. in transportation and logistics from North Dakota State University.
Shatzkin previously served as the special assistant to the commanding general, Combined Arms Support Command. His next assignment will take him to the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
ALU is a major component of CASCOM’s think tank. It offers a wide variety of logistics-related courses to more than 20,000 military members and civilians on a yearly basis.