October 2004

Articles in this edition
PT dedication inspires Hollings to reminisce
The new Zoo
General's Journal
Brigadier Foundation announces
new Hall of Fame inductees
Long lost ring reunited with owner
Alabama reporter gives heartwarming tribute to The Citadel
Board of Visitors tackles stadium,
building issues
Wachovia grant boosts reading program
Extra: Dawgs lead the good life

The new Zoo

Changes underway in 4th Battalion

4th Battalion commander Kyle Packard wants to shake 4BN’s reputation for unruly behavior that earned it the nickname The Zoo. So before the start of the semester, Packard asked his company commanders to develop plans to improve both the academic and military performance in their companies.

“We have great company commanders and good people around them,” Packard said. “I wanted others to take ownership of this process so that all cadets would feel they have a stake in the battalion’s success.”

The company commanders responded, laying out plans to Cadre and returning cadets. While each company commander developed his own strategy, they all addressed policies relating to the Fourth Class System, academics, military performance and accountability.

So far, the plans are building pride and showing some results.

packard photo
4BN Commander Kyle Packard, a German major with a four-year Army scholarship, knows about top performance. He finished no. 1 among 350 in the Army’s Leadership Development and Assessment Course last summer.

While the jury is still out on academic performance, parade rankings from some 4BN companies have improved significantly. November Company, which used to rank consistently in the bottom quartile in parade finishes, now leads the Corps. November Company Commander Phillip Lukens hopes to build on that success and make November’s motto – The Company of Pride – mean pride in excellence. To him, leadership is a matter of reversing some of the negative models he had encountered in earlier years. “During my knob year, I was so turned off by some of the things I saw that I thought I never wanted to go for rank,” he said. “Then I decided I could either complain or do something about it.”

In an effort to improve academic performance, the company commanders have adopted a common academic plan that bans instant messaging for knobs and uses room checks to ensure freshmen are studying during evening study period. There are also regular checks on sophomore rooms during ESP to help alleviate the sophomore slide that often accompanies the greater freedom.
In addition to raising expectations, the battalion leaders also look for morale-boosting activities such as a pre-game barbeque before the Benedict football game.

Even some of the notoriously independent senior privates are positive about the changes. “The Zoo is definitely becoming more professional,” said Ivan Enrique-Weitzel, a Romeo Company senior. “Kyle is on top of things and has a way of addressing problems by considering the personalities of people and not bringing down morale.”

Packard is positive about the early signs of a turnaround. “If you give others responsibility, the job of the battalion commander should be the easiest one,” Packard says. He has watched other leaders less skilled at delegating take on too much responsibility, so that others have no stake in the success or failure of a project.

“Almost every cadet values being trusted more than anything else,” Packard said. “People respond when you let them know that you are putting trust in them. It becomes their duty to live up to that trust because trust is so much a part of the honor system here.”

4BN commanders (from left): John Morris (O), Matthew Kaplan (R),
Christopher Grabowski (PB), Kyle Packard (4 BN),
Eugene Payne (T) and Phillip Lukens (N).

Excerpts from the commanders’ plans

Drill: Unless otherwise told, drill will be conducted for the entire 45-minute period. Drill will be conducted to standard and not time. Drill in 4th BN is no where near standard and until results prove that there is an improvement, drill will be conducted for the entire period.
- C/LTC Kyle Packard. 4BN commander

Academics are the primary reason we are here. I hold academics as very important. ESP will be strictly enforced by rank holders. If you do not have work to do it is fine to be walking around but do not disturb those with work. My goal is to raise the average of the company by .2.
- C/CPT Phillip Lukens, November Company commander

My goal for the company as it relates to PT is simple. I want 100 percent passing the PT test. I will spend my time in the mornings running with those who cannot pass until they can. We will also be spending a lot of time working on our intramural standing. Oscar Company has the ability to dominate in athletics if we can get the numbers we need out to play.”
- C/CPT John Morris, Oscar Company commander

My intent is for Romeo Company to become a well-rounded company while keeping high morale and upholding the high standards of 4th battalion. This will be accomplished through an improved accountability system, more incentives and a stronger emphasis on drill and parade.
- C/CPT Matthew Kaplan, Romeo Company commander

Some of the things you can expect from me are to be fair and unbiased in any dealings with subordinates and peers. I will treat each new situation with an open mind and am ready to take suggestions…Some of the things I expect from you are motivation and pride in your squad, platoon, company, battalion and corps.”
- C/CPT Gray Payne, Tango Company commander

Top of page
Articles in this edition

Subscribe Print Forward this to a friend


22 October
       Ring ceremony

22-24 October
       Parents' Weekend

26 October
       Greater Issues Address
       Dr. Roger Ferguson, vice chair,
       The Federal Reserve

5-7 November

Invest in The Citadel

About The Citadel Foundation
About The Citadel Brigadier Foundation

Give Online