POSITION: Assistant adjutant general, Louisiana National Guard.
Maj. Gen. Stephen Dabadie is an assistant adjutant general with the Louisiana National Guard. He was promoted from brigadier general to major general, also known as a two-star general, in a ceremony Aug. 12 at the Louisiana National Guard’s Jackson Barracks in New Orleans. A graduate of Catholic High School Pointe Coupee in New Roads, Dabadie was a member of the ROTC program at Loyola University in New Orleans before moving on to Fort Polk in Louisiana and Fort Knox in Kentucky while on active duty. He joined the Louisiana National Guard in 1988 and served as the military liaison to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
How was the ceremony?
When you actually walk into the door, reality kind of sets in. I was very fortunate to have my family there with me, including my dad, my brothers and sisters, etc. It was a very humbling type of thing to occur, to have my family not only to be there but also participate in the pinning of my rank on my uniform.
Why did you want to serve in the military?
My father was in the military. He made a career in the Louisiana National Guard. That gave me some interest, and that gave me some interest to try out the ROTC program while I was in college. But also, I got an Army ROTC scholarship for college. That helped me with my decision. After I finished college, I had an obligation to repay, but I wasn’t convinced at that point in time that I was going to make a career out of the military. But when I got in, I liked it a lot. It seems to be for me. The rest is history. I stayed in. I never thought that I would attain the rank of general. I guess I didn’t have my sights set on that.
What’s the process like of trying to become a two-star general?
First of all, whatever assignment you get assigned to, you do your very best. And then there’s military education that you have to go to, including the U.S. Army War College. It’s based on performance probably more than anything. And having a lot of good people with you along the way that make you look good — meaning, you can’t do these jobs by yourself. It takes a team and it takes a lot of good people that helped you out along the way in whatever job that you have.
What do you say to anyone who tells you they want to join the military?
I would tell them that I would think that it’s quite admirable to want to join the military and to serve your country, protect your country, and give back to this great United States of America that we live in. We’re threatened every day, and these young men and women that join the military are the reason that we are able to enjoy the freedoms that we have in America. I think that’s admirable of them, and I really have a lot of respect for these young people that do the heavy lifting in the military.
Where does this promotion rank among the greatest moments in your life?
I would say it’s one of the greatest moments in my life. I think I had a couple of great moments when my kids were born. But I would certainly put it in the top three, top five greatest moments of my life.
Advocate staff writer Robert Stewart