The new commanding general at Fort Jackson is happy that a military career spanning three decades has led him back to his home state.
“To be close to home, it definitely makes it a lot easier to see family and friends,” he said. “And, for me, my parents are getting a little bit up there in age. It’s great timing when you look at it in that sense because now you’re around when they really need you and like to see you around more just because of their age.”
Beagle was born in Enoree and is a 1990 graduate of South Carolina State University. Beagle is the second SC State graduate to command Fort Jackson. Maj. Gen. Abraham Turner was the other.
“I’m a proud Bulldog,” he said.
Back in his college days, Beagle said he and his fellow cadets didn’t expect to make a career out of the military.
“We’ll do four years, we’ll jump to some nice job and that would be it,” he said. “But for the most part, a majority of us got hooked on service to our nation and the people that you’re around and things that you get to do — 20 years later you wind up as the commander of Fort Jackson.”
In military life, officers are rarely assigned to the same post twice, but Beagle was fortunate. He said Fort Jackson is one of two places he’s been assigned to twice in his 28-year career. The first time, he was there as commander of the 193rd Infantry Brigade. And he also underwent the same basic training he now oversees back when he entered the military.
“Even when I started my career early, and although we spent a lot of time during our cadet years training here at Fort Jackson and even as a cadet, came back here to train during my senior year for some additional Army training, never in a million years could I have imagined I would be the commanding general of this post,” he said.
“It’s good to be back to contribute more than you’ve been able to throughout a military career.”
Beagle said his family was thrilled to find out he would be coming home.
“A great majority of them were elated,” he said. And many more were “absolutely amazed” to learn about his duties and responsibilities as post commander.
“I come back here with the comfort of knowing the human terrain as well as the physical terrain, which makes it great,” Beagle added. “My old home state has really warmed up to me. I get goosebumps to think everywhere I go, I always get a great comment and that shows you just how great of a state we have.”
As for his plans for his command, Beagle said, “Continue to keep Fort Jackson relevant. Our mission will more likely never change in terms of basic combat training. But when you talk in terms of modernizing the post, making things better, quality of life, making things better for those families that come here.”
Since his mission is to train young soldiers, Beagle has some wisdom for them.
“Throughout life and even in a military career — most people don’t relate it to a military career — is you’ve got to be kind,” he said. “You’ve got to be humble. You’ve got to be thankful and that will take you much further than you would actually think… This is a great opportunity. I’m tickled pink every day to get up, strap on my boots and come to work.”
Beagle holds Masters Degrees from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas and the United States Army School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
He has served in leadership capacities from the platoon to brigade level. He has served in combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan in positions ranging from operations officer in tactical combat units to Advisor as part of NATO missions. His career assignments have spanned the globe from Hawaii to the Republic of South Korea.