PHOENIX – A tireless work ethic, combined with exceptional leadership, has paid off for Capt. Eugene Lee.
Lee, company commander, Phoenix West Recruiting Company, Phoenix Recruiting Battalion, received the distinction of being named a recipient of the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award, during an award ceremony at the Pentagon, District of Columbia, June 7.
Lee was one of only 28 officers to be presented the award, which recognizes exemplary leadership among junior officers in the Army who demonstrate the ideals for which General MacArthur stood – duty, honor, country.
It was an unexpected honor for Lee, a West Point graduate, who said he was unaware he had been nominated for the award by Lt. Col. Dave Clukey, commander, Phoenix. Rec. Bn.
“I wasn’t really tracking that I’d been nominated. The battalion commander put in a good word for me and I never saw the narratives he put in on my behalf,” Lee said. “It was based on information of things I’ve achieved for him while being in command here.”
Lee said he found out he’d been nominated for the honor in February, along with recommendations from general officers.
“I was stunned to see I’d been endorsed by the USAREC (United States Recruiting Command) commanding general (Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Snow) and TRADOC (Training and Doctrine Command) commander General (David) Perkins,” Lee explained.
From there Lee’s nomination packet went to a board of senior officers, ranging from colonel and above, among a pool of more than 60,000 captains and warrant officers, said Clukey.
“Captain Lee’s packed was reviewed by board of 13 colonels and 4 general officers,” Clukey said. “He competed against the Army’s best captains selected by the commanding generals of every Major Command (MACOM) in the Army.”
Lee’s packet stood out among the numerous nominations and he was selected for the award, something he said he was humbled by.
“I’m very grateful the Army leadership recognizes good, hard, quality work and this validated for me the work I do,” he said. “I try to achieve positive results all the time and this honor has helped showcase that.”
Clukey praised Lee’s selection for the honor, citing hard work and leadership as keys to Lee’s selection.
“Captain Lee’s selection for this exclusive honor is really something special,” Clukey stated. “It not only documented his individual exceptional leadership, but his recognition represents the collective hard work and professionalism of both his (Phoenix West) company and the Phoenix Battalion.”
Lee was presented his award by Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark Milley, during the ceremony, one of the various highlights of his week in the nation’s capital.
“It was amazing to be recognized with my peers from the Army Reserve, National Guard and active duty,” Lee said. “One of the common traits I picked up from my colleagues was their work ethic. We like to keep our heads down, get the mission accomplished and work hard”
“I’m not the type who likes individual accolades, but the Army did a very good job of holding an exceptional ceremony to recognize the leadership awardees,” Lee continued. “It was full out pomp and circumstance that you normally wouldn’t see.”
Lee credits his success with being an active leader, someone who gains the respect and trust of his Soldiers.
“I’ve had a lot of incredible leaders who have trusted me to do my job. I definitely incorporate trust into how I lead and it’s helped pay dividends for me,” he said. “I like to build teams and relationships through trust, which leads to the job getting done the right way.”
Pictured above: Capt. Eugene Lee (center), company commander, Phoenix West Recruiting Company, Phoenix Recruiting Battalion, is pictured with two members of the Phoenix West Color Guard, prior to a Partnership in Youth Success Signing Ceremony, Peoria, Ariz., Feb. 21, 2018. Lee was recently selected as one of 28 officers to receive the 2018 General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award, which recognizes exemplary leadership among junior officers in the Army who demonstrate the ideals for which General MacArthur stood – duty, honor, country. (Photo by Alun Thomas, USAREC Public Affairs)