By Robert Martin USAWC PAO 02 March 2020
(Carlisle Barracks, Feb. 27, 2020) – As part of the Regional Studies Program, the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea and former Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, Harry Harris, discussed his role as ambassador and the importance of the U.S. alliance with the Republic of South Korea with respect to both regional and global security issues.
Harris discussed the ever-changing environment and excellent opportunities in the Indo-Pacom area during his presentation to the Army War College class in Bliss Hall, Feb. 27. He addressed developments reshaping the region, and noted the shared values, concerns and economic interests represented by the U.S. and ROK alliance.
During the presentation, he shifted from regional insights to leadership lessons learned, offering guidance and advice to the class of 2020.He explained to the gathered students, faculty and staff what he looks for in commanders: transparency, calmness, well-read, gracious, takes the blame for their mistakes, and spreads credit when it is due.
He emphasized the need to network while at the War College, taking advantage of the joint and multinational aspects of this educational year. Work with your international fellow, sister service, and inter-agency colleagues here, he said, because you will serve with many of them or their colleagues in the future.
He advised them of the need for senior leaders to be media trained, because one day, you may have a microphone pushed in your face, and you will have to know how to deal with that.
The Ambassador also had a secondary reason for coming to Carlisle Barracks. He promoted student Elizabeth Martin to U.S. Army Colonel; Martin was formerly his Deputy Executive Assistant while at USPACOM.
Ambassador Harris was nominated by President Trump to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea. The United States Senate confirmed him on June 28, 2018. Harris commanded the U.S. Pacific Command, now known as the Indo-Pacific Command, from May 2015 to May 2018. He is the first Asian-American to hold four-star rank in the U.S. Navy and the first to head USPACOM. Before leading USPACOM, he commanded the U.S. Pacific Fleet.