“Do My Part For The Greater Good”: The Power Of Teamwork

Lloyd J. Austin III


In this, the second interview in a series with General Lloyd Austin, he talks about his experiences from Company Command to Brigade Command. He discusses his time as a Recruiting Company Commander, explaining the challenges his team faced conducting outreach and attracting the right people in the decade following the end of the Vietnam War, and the introduction of the all-volunteer Army – VOLAR. He describes his return to West Point as a Tactical Officer, highlighting the positive effect the introduction of women had on the Academy. Even though he had two “career-ending” jobs (in recruiting and at West Point), he returned to the line and experienced success at Ft. Drum, where he served as a Battalion Operations Officer (S3), Executive Officer (XO), and Brigade Executive Officer. He returned to Ft. Bragg, where he served as a Battalion Commander for 2/505th PIR, and later became the Brigade Commander for the 3rd Brigade of the 82nd, commanding the 505th PIR. He reflects upon an aircraft collision that killed 23 paratroopers and injured over 100, when he was a Battalion Commander, and how he led his Soldiers through that tragic period. Finally, he recounts the sense of teamwork and camaraderie he fostered as a leader and how that has shaped who he is today.


topics Leadership Camaraderie Military Techniques Race in the Military African American Military Experience
interviewer Rick Black
date 24 October 2017


name Lloyd J. Austin III
institution USMA
graduation year 1975
service Infantry
unit 2/505 PIR; 505th PIR, 3rd BDE, 82nd Airborne
service dates 1975 2016