In a career spanning 30 years, now-retired Maj. Gen. Janet A. Hicks has a lot of accomplishments of which she is proud and a lot of memories to cherish.
Janet Hicks, former commanding general at Fort Gordon, has assumed the title of headmaster of the upper school at Augusta Preparatory School.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Of all of them, there is one that stands out to her.
"When I was selected to be brigadier general, I was the first mom in the Army," to do so, said Hicks, who turned over command of Fort Gordon and the Signal Center on July 15 to Brig. Gen. Randolph Strong.
Hicks, who was the first female commander at Fort Gordon, said that accomplishment is more than just a milestone in her own life.
"What it meant was it was OK for moms to be generals," she said.
Now that she's blazed that trail, she knows that other women can follow in her footsteps.
"It opens up the possibilities for them," she said.
Hicks was commissioned in the Army in 1975 and was stationed at Fort Gordon several times during her career. She assumed command of the Signal Center in August 2002.
In her 30 years, she's gone from "a second lieutenant learning the craft" to a "two-star general commanding the fort" and has seen communications technology make major bounds.
While the computers and phones have gotten smaller, lighter and easier to use over the years, one thing has remained constant.
As a leader, she's always been charged with helping young soldiers to find their way in life and helping them become better citizens, she said.
Hicks is now making a transition to being the head of Augusta Preparatory Day School's upper school and sees that field as being very similar.
"At the upper school, I will help young people find a path," she said.
Hicks will join her daughter, Jennifer, at the school. Jennifer will be in ninth grade.
Staying in the Augusta area was an easy decision for the Hicks family.
"We have lifetime friends - my husband does; I do," she said. "This is a wonderful place and the place where my daughter is most happy."
As Jennifer has completed her middle school years, Hicks saw this year as a time to "put roots down."
She said she believes this will be a time for mother and daughter to become even closer friends.
Hicks said she's looking forward to going shopping for school clothes with her daughter.
Thirty years of wearing fatigues to work has left Hicks' wardrobe limited. She said she can imagine her daughter asking "Is that what you are wearing?" a few times early in the school year.
Hicks said she knows she leaves Fort Gordon in good hands with Strong. He has succeeded her at two previous duty stations and has taken care of those units.
"As long as you treat people right, you are OK in my book," she said.
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