FORT JACKSON, SC (WIS) - In the continued effort to spotlight service members and veterans in the Midlands community, WIS sat down with the man at the helm of the U.S. Army’s largest training installation at Fort Jackson.
Brigadier General Milford Beagle, Jr., spoke about his life, his career, and what he’s doing at Fort Jackson to train and equip soldiers to be their best selves for the sake of this community and this country. He said a good leader not only motivates but inspires.
“There’s excellence around us every single day,” said BG Beagle.
Excellence is quite literally everywhere in Brigadier General Beagle Jr.’s office, especially in the form of coins. Rows of them sit on the window sill, on shelves, and all around his office. Each one is for a specific task, moment, or act from a specific place or person. All of them come from a moment, an act, or a place. He’s a guy who proves that excellence is earned.
It was not only earned in his years of overseas deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea. According to Fort Jackson, his combat and operational experience include Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq; Operation Inherent Resolve, Iraq; and Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan. He’s served since 1990 when he was commissioned into the infantry upon his graduation from S.C. State University. Since then, he has led soldiers from platoons to brigades and served in a number of different capacities.
Without a doubt, it’s an impressive resume. But when you meet him, it’s easy to see he leads by example.
“You have to motivate and inspire and they’re two drastically different things,” said BG Beagle. “You can hand clap and cheerlead and motivate very well, but to inspire, you have to live your life day to day a certain way.”
When you meet someone highly successful, disciplined and accomplished, you wonder how they got there. You also might be curious about how they start their day. BG Beagle says his day-to-day starts at 4:15 AM with an alarm, a cup of coffee, and a pen.
“The most favorite thing I do during that time is notes,” he said. “And it’s just handwritten notes to people for things. It can be for anything.”
It could be a word of encouragement or praise for an accomplishment. He makes it a point to take the time to notice the excellence in the people all around him. And by doing so, he inspires in the process.
“Anytime someone puts a limit or a ceiling over your head you look up and see that it’s made of glass,” he said. “And whenever you see that glass, your number one task is to shatter that glass.”
He has 28 years of service under his belt and his latest promotion to assuming the post of commanding general of Fort Jackson means he now carries an even bigger weight of responsibility than before. But if you ask him how he carries that weight, he will tell you this.
“I easily carry it. You’ve been prepared for it all along,” BG Beagle said. “The higher you go, the more rocks you put in your rucksack. But you just get better, you build that endurance, you carry those rocks.”
BG Beagle is a native of Enoree, S.C. He said he is thrilled to be back in South Carolina to continue to foster the bond between the military and this community.