Story by PV2 Michael Bradle on 08/21/2019Army Pvt. Michael Bradle
While on deployment to Iraq in 2007, then Lt. Col. Gregory Gadson didn't know that he would come close to giving the ultimate sacrifice when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb while returning from a brigade memorial service.
"I didn't know what was wrong with me," Gadson said. "But I knew it was significant, I knew it was serious and I said God, I don't want to die here' and I was out."
Although he lost both of his legs in the attack, Gadson would not lose his motivation to lead during his 20-year career and uses his experience to motivate Soldiers. He credits his past team with saving his life and by extension, allowing him to speak at a leader professional development session at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii on Aug. 19, 2019.
Gadson previously served with the 25th Infantry Division and had returned to Schofield Barracks to speak to Soldiers about his experiences and the importance of leadership.
Army Pvt. Michael Bradle
20 August 2019
"It's your habits. It's your way of life that forms your character," Gadson told the audience. "You're a Soldier 24/7, not just when you have this uniform on."
Gadson used the story of his near-death experience to illustrate how leaders in the Army must always be ready for anything. After nearly losing a member of his own unit as a platoon leader, he swore to prepare his unit and future units for any possible events. This decision helped to prove the readiness of his team when his own life was in danger.
A field artillery officer for the 25th ID Artillery, 1st Lt. Rodney Anderson, was among the many officers that attended the session. Anderson said he hoped the session made a positive influence on all that attended, and the lessons learned today will be taken to other units within the division.
"It was very inspiring to hear his story," Anderson said. "It's taught me that my actions impact those around me, and they ultimately impact my own life."