Army Maj. Gen. Michael C. McCurry, the commander of Fort Rucker, on Friday encouraged Troy University graduates to live lives of purpose through service to others.
More than 800 students representing 25 states and 11 countries outside the United States took part in the fall commencement ceremony Friday morning in Trojan Arena.
“A life of happiness is obtained by living a life of purpose,” Gen. McCurry said. “A life of purpose is obtained by serving others. When we serve others, we truly live, and because we serve, that life is amplified and multiplied.”
Gen. McCurry shared with graduates three life lessons learned throughout his life of military service – relationships matter, always have a plan, and know yourself and your environment.
“Relationships matter. I know your parents always told you, ‘Be careful of the company you keep,’ and that rule still applies,” he said. “It is important to surround yourself with people of high character, people that lift you up and don’t drag you down and those who are committed to leaving the world better than they found it.”
Having a plan, Gen. McCurry said, helps one be prepared should the unexpected occur.
“Whenever you have a major life decision, always have a plan,” he said. “President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, ‘Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.’ Rarely in life have I ever had one of my five-year plans work out as envisioned, but the time taken to think about where you are now, where you want to go and what steps are necessary to get there, will serve you when the unexpected happens. Things will happen that you cannot predict — like a pandemic during your college years — but having a plan helps keep the unexpected from derailing your progress.”
Gen. McCurry encouraged graduates to know themselves and their environments.
“Understand what drives you, what you’re good at and what you need to improve to get yourself where you want to be,” he said. “Dedicate yourself to be a lifelong learner. Be aware of changes happening in the world and around you and rapidly adapt to achieve your full potential.”
The son and son-in-law of Army Aviators, Gen. McCurry was initially commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in 1988. Following his college graduation, he became a Regular Army Aviation Officer and a Scout Helicopter Pilot. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Idaho, a Master of Arts in National Strategic Policy from the U.S. Naval War College, and a Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. He is also a graduate of the National Security Policy Program and the Naval Operational Planner’s Course (now MAWS) and is a certified Joint and Maritime Operational Planner.
His command and leadership assignments include: Platoon Leader, 2d Battalion, 82d Aviation Regiment, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq; Troop Commander, 3d Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment; HHC Commander, 2d Battalion (Attack), 25th Aviation Regiment, Fort Drum, New York; Squadron Commander, 6th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, Fort Wainwright, Alaska, and Kirkuk, Iraq; Deputy Brigade Commander Task Force 49, Baghdad, Iraq; Deputy Commander United States Army Alaska, Fort Wainwright, Alaska; Commander, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, Fort Drum, New York; and Deputy Commanding General for Support, 2d Infantry Division, Camp Humphreys/Red Cloud, Korea.
Photos from Friday’s ceremony can be viewed at https://troyuniversity.photoshelter.com/galleries/C0000hjRFqcXwpe4/G0000_ZYYxSbiV.Q/20221216-Fall-Commencement.