Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz, Chief of the Army Reserve, was deployed to Kuwait and Iraq with the 143rd Transportation Command for 22 months between 2002 and 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Here are the four lessons major Stultz told Stripes he learned on his deployment, and why:

1. This goes not just for the Army Reserve, but for the whole Army: Train and equip everyone to be a warrior first.

How he learned it: “When we first crossed into Iraq in March ’03, the organization I led into Iraq was a theater-level logistics organization, mostly active component. We weren’t equipped with all the latest and greatest night-vision capability, some of the automatic weapons capability for protection, because we were a theater-level organization. We were supposed to be in the rear. We weren’t.”

2. Equip all components equally. They’ve got to be interoperable.

How he learned it: “In my [transportation] formations, I had an active, a Guard and a Reserve unit. And then I’ve got one maintenance facility. Well, that maintenance facility’s got to be able to service everybody, so you’ve got to have to same type of equipment, so we’re all interoperable. I can’t have two truck units out there with two types of trucks. And we’ve got to have the same type of communications capability, so we can talk with each other.”

3. Have that same interoperability capability on a joint service and international level.

How he learned it: “Very quickly, I found that within my organization over there, I had an Air Force weather detachment, a Navy Seabees organization, and Marine Corps officers and NCOs. Plus I had Navy and the Army [personnel] from five different countries. And we were all working together, moving forces offshore across the beach there at Kuwait Navy base. We had to be able to talk and be interoperable with each other.”

4. Be a statesman as well as a leader. Have the capability to move across those spectrums.

How he learned it: “Suddenly, I found myself dealing with the director of the Kuwait Port Authority, and discussing how our [military] operations may impact his economic port operations, and working some deals there on how we were going to share the port facilities. I found myself dealing with the delegations from the countries of India and the Philippines, talking about how a lot of their citizens were working as third-country national drivers in my truck formations, and their governments were concerned about how we were going to protect them.”

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