The First Division Museum at Cantigny Park announces an extraordinary guest panel of current and retired U.S. Army generals who will share their thoughts on applying leadership, in their military lives and beyond. All six speakers are current or former Commanding Generals of the 1st Infantry Division, the famed “Big Red One.”

“Leadership: A Conversation with the Generals” is set for Tuesday, June 8, at 7 pm Central. The virtual program, offered via Zoom, is free to attend. Advance registration is required at FDMuseum.org.

The roundtable discussion will be moderated by Colonel (Retired) Krewasky A. Salter, Ph.D., Executive Director, Museums at Cantigny Park, which includes the First Division Museum.

“We’ve assembled a remarkable group of general officers whose experiences during active duty are extremely relevant to all walks of life,” Salter said. “They have agreed to share their insights on leadership as military officers and civilians, and to share their experiences leading some of America’s finest men and women in peacetime and in combat. We are fortunate for this rare opportunity to bring them together.”

Scheduled participants are:

  • Major General Douglas A. Sims II is the current Commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division (1ID). He has soldiers deployed around the globe, including in Europe, the Middle East and Korea. Many of his soldiers also recently served in several American cities helping to vaccinate the population against COVID-19.

  • General Vincent K. Brooks served with the 1st Infantry Division twice, first as a company commander and later as Commanding General during the combat deployment to Iraq as U.S. Division-South (Task Force Victory) in 2010. As commander of TF Victory he had several other divisional brigades under his command.

  • Lieutenant General Ronald L. Watts commanded the 1st Infantry Division during the latter years of the Cold War. During his tenure he led 1ID soldiers in the deterrent mission REFORGER (Return of Forces to Germany)—the deployment of peacetime forces from the U.S. to Germany to deter Warsaw Pact aggression.

  • Lieutenant General Thomas G. Rhame commanded the 1st Infantry Division during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. During combat operations he led 1ID soldiers as they conducted the initial attack to penetrate Iraqi defensive positions, a rapid passage of lines for the British forces, a night attack, and in the critical role of liberating Kuwait.

  • Lieutenant General Perry L. Wiggins commanded the 1st Infantry Division from 2008 to 2009 and is qualified to fly several aircraft in the Army’s inventory. During his time in command 1ID soldiers served throughout four provinces in Afghanistan as part of a combined joint task force.

  • Major General David L. Grange commanded the 1st Infantry Division as his last assignment before retiring in 2000. He took command of the 1ID in Bosnia, leading the Division (Task Force Eagle) during a critical period when local mob violence tensions were high as Serbs, Croats and Bosniacs refused to live together peacefully.

More detailed biographical information for each general is posted HERE.

The First Division Museum is currently open Wednesday through Sunday. Entry is included with Cantigny’s parking fee, but advance ticketing is required to enforce temporary visitation limits. Masks are required. More information is online FDMuseum.org.


About the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park
The First Division Museum, part of the Robert R. McCormick Foundations, promotes public learning about America’s military heritage and affairs through the history of the “Big Red One”—the famed 1st Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. The museum’s main exhibit hall, First in War, transports visitors to the trenches of World War I, the beaches of World War II and the jungles of Vietnam. A second exhibit hall, Duty First, explores the 1ID’s history in more recent times. The Robert R. McCormick Research Center, open to the public, houses the museum’s library, archival and photo collections. Outside, tanks from every era are interpreted, along with artillery pieces and a personnel carrier. Solemn memorial markers and commemorative statuary also command visitors’ attention. In 2020, the museum launched “Footsteps of The First,” a travel program in partnership with Academic Travel Abroad. The program’s inaugural trip is to Normandy and other key sites in Western Europe, Sept. 5-16, 2021. Full details, including registration, are on the museum website.


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