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New SDDC Deputy Commanding General explains his command views.

Col. (P) James L. Hodge joined the Fort Eustis family on Aug. 2 reporting to his new office in Bldg. 661 at Ft. Eustis, Va. He begins his new duties as the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's deputy commanding general.

Hodge is eager to quickly get to know better both the command's mission and people, and says his principal mission is to support the Warfighter. In fact, his most memorable assignment was his most recent experiences in Iraq doing just that.

"I commanded the 3d ID DISCOM during the initial attack into Iraq and the fall of Baghdad," said Hodge. "To be one of the Brigade commanders of the United States' main effort while attacking into a foreign country was an incredible experience. You just cannot believe how wonderfully our Soldiers performed; I will never forget them and will forever be proud of them."

At this point in time, Hodge sees his greatest challenge being to quickly develop the technical expertise required to handle the challenges associated with such a large, diverse and complex organization.

"Every day is exciting," said Hodge. "There is much to learn and relearn. I've particularly enjoyed the opportunity to meet the SDDC workforce. It's an experienced, talented and motivated team."

The team Hodge mentioned is a blend of military, DA civilians and contractor employees, and Hodge is proud of their reputation. He does not foresee any special challenges from the primarily Department of Army civilian workforce.

"Fortunately, I've worked many years in PERSCOM and most recently at Headquarters Army Materiel Command, so I've had lots of experience working with civilians," said Hodge. "I think civilian employees like a challenging environment, they want effective leadership, they want to have a voice, they want the opportunity for advancement and they want to work in a healthy environment where they are free from harassment and prejudice. They want to be appreciated for their hard work and sacrifice--they want to be treated fairly."

Hodge is confident that SDDC's seasoned professionals are totally ready to fulfill the command's wartime mission both in the U.S. and overseas; in fact, he sees the command's greatest asset and single strength as its people.

"SDDC has a great reputation in the field," said Hodge. "I would encourage everyone to continue the fantastic work they are doing supporting the Warfighter--nothing could be more important. We must be flexible as we adjust to the requirements of a transforming Army."

In his spare time, the Norton, Ohio native enjoys running, golfing and spending time with his wife Michelle, two sons, Kyle and Corey, and daughter Kelsey.

June M. Pagan, Public Affairs Specialist SDDC Operations Center
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Title Annotation:James L. Hodge; Surface Deployment and Distribution Command
Author:Pagan, June M.
Geographic Code:1U5VA
Date:Sep 22, 2005
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