Lt. General Darryl A. Williams Congratulatory Message

¬†Hi, I’m Lieutenant General Darryl Williams, the 60th superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point since its founding in 1802, West Point has educated, trained and inspired leaders of character who are prepared for excellence in service to our nation. I can think of no finer exemplar of a leader of character than Bob McDonald. Bob distinguished himself at West Point, graduating in the top two percent of his class and serving as brigade adjutant for the Corps of Cadets. After graduating in 1975, he went on to serve as an infantry officer with the 82nd Airborne Division. After a successful business career, Bob continued his service to our nation as the eighth secretary of Veterans Affairs and with the same commitment to honorable leadership and excellence, he transformed the department. Improving services and opportunities for our nation’s veterans.

One of the hallmarks of good leadership is giving back. And Bob McDonald has not only served the nation and its warriors, but also supported the United States Military Academy. Over the years, Bob and his wife, Diane, have generously donated to West Point and the Corps cadets in several ways, most notably through their endowment of the annual McDonald Conference for Leaders of Character, which brings young students together from around the globe to learn about leadership from some of the world’s preeminent role models. Through this conference, Bob has certainly provided exceptional developmental opportunities, but also paid it forward by mentoring and inspiring our nation’s next generation of leaders. Wherever he served from the military to the boardroom, Bob McDonald never forgot the lessons he learned at West Point and always lived honorably, led honorably and demonstrated excellence while always committed to the ideals of duty, honor and country. He is a leader, certainly worthy of this prestigious award. Bob, on behalf of everyone here at the United States Military Academy, the Corps of Cadets and the Men and Women of the Long Gray Line, congratulations on this impressive accomplishment. Thank you for your many years of humble, selfless and honorable service and support to your alma mater, our army and the nation. And thank you for showing us what it means to be a leader of character.

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