FORT KNOX, Ky. –
U.S. Army Recruiting Command staff said farewell to both deputy commanding generals and welcomed their new deputy commanding officers during a dual transition ceremony here, Aug. 31, 2023.
Col. Adam Smith, USAREC deputy commanding officer for operations, replaced Brig. Gen. John Cushing, who arrived in June 2021. Cushing is set to serve as the commanding general for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.
Col. Fredrick “Fred” Hockett, USAREC deputy commanding officer for support, succeeded Brig. Gen. Daphne Davis, who started in September 2021. Davis is slated to become the commanding general for the 95th Training Division – Initial Entry Training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Smith most recently served as the chief of the General Officer Management Office under the Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army. He also held the role as the chief division G-1 (personnel) for the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, now redesignated to Fort Liberty.
Hockett is no stranger to Fort Knox or USAREC; he previously served as the commander of the Army Reserve Career Group, and earlier in his career, commanded Pontiac Company in the Great Lakes Recruiting Battalion.
In parting, both Cushing and Davis told the team they were honored to lead USAREC and grateful for the lessons learned and friends made along the way. To them they are recruiters for life.
“Everything you do every day is to protect our all-volunteer force and our nation,” Davis said. “It’s not for me, (General Cushing, Major General Davis, nor is it for TRADOC); it’s to protect our all-volunteer force and to defend our nation.”
They also thanked the officers, noncommissioned officers and civilian workforce for their dedication and hard work to continuing the mission.
Maj. Gen. Johnny Davis, USAREC commanding general, hosted the ceremony and recognized them for their accomplishments and thanked them for their service.
“Daphne stepped into her role as the deputy commanding general support in July 2021, and her priority was immediately people first,” Maj. Gen. Davis said. “And if anybody knows General Daphne Davis, she is all about people first. Daphne led the charge to improve our command’s wellness teams, ensuring risk assessments were in place and working effectively to better take care of our geographically dispersed soldiers and civilians, wherever they are around the world.”
Maj. Gen. Davis also reflected on their ability to problem solve.
“During his tenure, John also bridged the gap between our physical and digital recruiting operations,” Maj. Gen. Davis said. “In 2023, you need both, and John helped us get there. All the operational success that we are seeing right now is directly linked to the efforts and touchpoints John worked and implemented over the past two years.”
Cushing left the incoming deputy commanding officers with some advice.
“It’s a love-hate relationship. I love the challenge. I love the enthusiasm, and I love the people,” Cushing said. “And I think that you're going to find that this organization is fantastic when it comes to that.”
Smith is a native of Corvallis, Oregon, and he commissioned into the Army through ROTC as an Armor officer in 2000 from Oregon State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science. He holds a master’s degree in human resource management from Webster University and a master’s in national resource strategy from National Defense University.
Hockett is a native of Romulus, Michigan, and he started as an Army Reserve infantryman in 1987. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy, and he holds a master’s in leadership from Central Michigan University and a master’s in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.