New commandant committed to developing cadets into principled leaders
In a Jenkins Hall press conference today with cadets and members of the Charleston media, Col. Gregory Stone, The Citadel's new commandant, discussed his leadership style and his goals for stepping into his new role.
Stone was appointed to his new position in July by Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, president-elect of the college. Stone’s arrival and that of Rosa in January mark a new era in Citadel leadership. Rosa will arrive Jan. 3
The Commandant of Cadets is responsible for the command, control and administration of the 2,000-member South Carolina Corps of Cadets. He reports to the president of the college. He replaces Brig. Gen. Emory Mace who retired in August after eight years.
Stone is third in administrative command at the college. The president is first. The provost/dean of the college is second.
Stone has a distinguished military career that includes roles that have taken him to the Pentagon and to commands in Germany, Bosnia and Korea. He comes to The Citadel after retiring from his post as deputy commandant of the Corps of Cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. As commandant at The Citadel, he will be in charge of the military life of the college, working with the cadet chain of command, the companies, life in the barracks and military proficiency.
What immediate changes will the new commandant be making?
Stone, who arrived shortly before Thanksgiving, plans to listen and make connections with cadets so he can assess the current environment before making changes. As commandant, Stone believes that the Corps’ perception of him is important.
“I think that’s what young, developing cadets need to see is that their leaders are real and that they want to connect with them and they want to listen to them,” he said.
Developing leaders will be an important goal.
“One of the things I intend to talk to the president about is how can we create in sophomore year, in junior year, in senior year really quality, hard hitting leadership opportunities," Stone said. "Because if you give a young person a meaningful leadership challenge and give them that responsibility, then they’re going to be able to learn and grow from it.”
While he is becoming familiar with his new post, Stone is also meeting with his staff, the provost and the deans. He wants to ensure there is no gap between the military and the academic programs. But one of his major goals is to make the greatest impact on cadets during their four years.
“Leading peers is a real challenge. One of the goals that I have is to find every opportunity that you can to give the youngsters an opportunity to be a leader so that they can begin to learn to practice that profession here,” he said.