HomeNewsArticle Display

Team Buckley Soldier receives Gen. MacArthur Leadership Award

Capt. William Denn III, commander of Alpha Company, 743rd Military Intelligence Battalion, 704th MI Brigade, right, poses with his team during the 2013 Bataan Memorial Death March while deployed. Denn is the recipient of the General MacArthur Leadership Award. (U.S. Army courtesy photo)

Capt. William Denn III, commander of Alpha Company, 743rd Military Intelligence Battalion, 704th MI Brigade, right, poses with his team during the 2013 Bataan Memorial Death March while deployed. Denn is the recipient of the General MacArthur Leadership Award. (U.S. Army courtesy photo)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- When the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 occurred, many Americans were deeply affected and some were moved to serve their country.

Because he grew up in New York state, Capt. William Denn, III, commander of Alpha Company, 743rd Military Intelligence Battalion, 704th MI Brigade, found that the events made him more determined than ever to serve.

Denn, who received his acceptance letter to West Point dated Sept. 11, 2001, said he wasn't initially sure if the Army would be a career for him, but after his first couple of years he realized it would be.

"I grew to love the Army, and I realized how much I admired and respected the American Soldier," he said. "I love leading Soldiers in combat."

The intelligence officer, who once served as an M1A2 Abrams Tank platoon leader during a 15-month tour in Iraq, is a recipient of the General MacArthur Leadership Award.
This is given to company grade officers who demonstrate outstanding leadership characteristics and embody the ideals held up by Gen. Douglas MacArthur: duty, honor and country. Fewer than 30 officers receive this honor each year.

MacArthur, also a West Point graduate, was a Medal of Honor recipient who served as the Army's chief of staff during the 1930s.

The award is given for leadership demonstrated over the previous year. Among Denn's accomplishments this past year, his battalion commander describes his creating a new section within his unit, then taking company command and transforming the unit's morale.

"[Denn] improved his company's unit cohesion, established a solid family readiness group and injected energy and influence into the unit," said Lt. Col. Gary Hausman, commander of 743rd MI Bn., 704th MI Bde. "He leads his company in unorthodox physical fitness races including a Colorado mountain snowshoe climb."

Denn led his battalion's team at the 2013 Bataan Memorial Death March, a 26.2 mile march through the desert that honors the service members who defended the Phillipine Islands during World War II.

The commander is known to his first sergeant as a strong leader who values action over words. The first sergeant for A. Co., 743rd MI Bn., 1st Sgt. Damian Basehore, describes Denn as someone who sets the example for others to follow and is always out front leading the way for his company.

"Captain Denn is a relentless leader who only expects the best," said Basehore. "He pushes people hard to get things right - not letting anyone get by with just doing enough."

Denn has been accepted to attend graduate school at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., in the fall. He plans to earn his Master's degree in public policy and describes it as a good opportunity to expand his horizons before bringing his knowledge back to the Army and continuing to serve.

He stresses the importance of being humble and having humility in his leadership, learning from mistakes and remembering that subordinates may have a better idea.
"Leaders need to understand we're here to take care of our Soldiers, not to have our Soldiers take care of us," he said. "When Soldiers know that you care for them, they will work hard for you and take care of the unit's mission."

Denn said his leadership philosophy is always evolving as he learns and adapts to lessons learned. From his experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said the biggest lesson he took away is the importance of staying calm and collected during stressful times.

"Soldiers are in tune with the emotions of their leaders," he said. "If leaders can stay calm, a unit will feed off of that impression, and usually that impression is given within the first couple of seconds. Soldiers will hear in a leader's voice how he will react to that situation."

Basehore describes his company commander as a trustworthy source for his Soldiers who listens to his NCOs even when they offer differing opinions.

"Capt. Denn is not afraid to make tough decisions and doesn't leave anyone guessing where they stand," Basehore said. "If you make a mistake, or aren't meeting his expectations, he lets you know immediately and doesn't sugar coat it. He then takes the time to clearly articulate what it is he's looking for and helps you get there. I can think of no better junior officer that I've come across during my career."

The 743rd MI Bn. is a base partner on Buckley Air Force Base.
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.