I met MG (ret) Boyd Cook when I was a new 1LT in the Maryland Army National Guard, sometime in the late summer or early fall of 2005. General Cook visited our armory in Hagerstown, MD to educate our unit about the ESGR Program (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve). For some reason, Boyd and I got along fairly well and I asked him if he would be able to mentor me a little bit.
He agreed and we met a couple of times before I deployed to Kosovo in July 2006. He even wrote an endorsement for one of my books that I had just published. What I remember most about MG Cook was his servant attitude. He really cared about helping Soldiers and young officers. He shared his wisdom with you and did what he could to guide you in the right direction and help you solve your own problems. He was very friendly and very kind. This was my first type of personal interaction with a General Officer, and to be quite frank, it was wonderful.
General Cook was everything you would want in a leader. He was confident, intelligent, decisive and good spirited. I’m sure that’s why he rose through the ranks so quickly!
In case you never met MG Boyd Cook, here are a few things you should know about him.
- He served in the Army and ARNG for 42 years, starting out as an enlisted man and ending up as a Major General
- He served as the Division Commander of the 29th Infantry Division (Light)
- He joined the Delaware Army National Guard in 1948 and was activated for the Korean War
- The Ft. Richie, Maryland armory is named in his honor
- After retiring from the military he served as the National Commander of the 29th Division Association and he was very active with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
- By trade, he was a farmer and businessman
Sadly, MG Cook died on February 2, 2008. Fortunately, his spirit lives on through his wonderful family and with all the people he mentored and led. I hope one day that I can have the same impact on others that MG Cook had with me.
If you knew Boyd, or ever served with him, I would love to hear your story. Please leave a comment to do so. Also, if you have a photo of him in uniform, I would love to add it to this post. You contact me to do that.