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NEWS | Nov. 21, 2017

Army South makes history with new teammate

By Sgt. 1st Class Matt Graham U.S. Army South Public Affairs

Brig. Gen. Ellen S. Clark assumed the position of U.S. Army South’s Director for the Army Reserve Engagement Cell, or AREC, during a Nov. 15 ceremony hosted by Army South Commanding General Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer.

Aside from the significance of being the second highest ranked Soldier in the organization, Clark is also the first female general officer to serve in U.S. Army South.

While Clark acknowledges the significance of her historical assignment, she doesn’t intend on making the fact that she is a woman the focus of her time at Army South.

“I think it is important to remember that the reason I have this position is because the women who came before me made it possible,” Clark said. “I love working for the Army. I’m here because I love to serve alongside the Soldiers and civilians that make this Army the best in the world. I just want to do my part.”

Stammer hailed Clark’s arrival and laid out just how significant the role of AREC director is.

“Clark brings a level of knowledge and experience that we will rely upon heavily in order to complete our mission down in Central and South America,” Stammer said.

The AREC director is responsible for synchronizing the Army Reserve into the U.S. Army South mission. Highlighting the capabilities that the Army Reserve component can contribute, while coordinating their involvement at the earliest stages of the planning process is not an easy task.

“One of the challenges the active component faces with working with the reserve component is time,” Clark said. “There is a significant amount of time involved in incorporating the reserve element into and active duty mission. Reserve Soldiers can have a significant impact on the outcome of a mission; the planners just have to keep in mind the time it takes to incorporate them.”

In addition to the requirements of leading the AREC, Stammer said that Clark would serve the command in additional capacities. As the number two officer within the command, she may represent the command in his absence when multiple events require the attendance of a general officer.

“I have every faith and confidence that Gen. Clark will represent the command, the U.S. Army and our country with the utmost professionalism,” Stammer added.