New Roads native continues family military tradition
By Staff Sgt. Denis B. Ricou, Public Affairs Office
NEW ORLEANS – Maj. Gen. Stephen C. Dabadie, assistant adjutant general of the Louisiana National Guard, was recently promoted and officially “pinned” his new rank during a ceremony at Jackson Barracks in New Orleans, Aug. 12.
“Today is a humbling day, and I am filled with pride,” said Dabadie. “Getting to this point took great family support, a lot of hard work from officers, non-commissioned officers, Soldiers and civilians who mentored and taught me along the way.”
Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, adjutant general of the Louisiana National Guard, attended the ceremony and assisted with the pinning of Dabadie’s new rank.
“Steve lives the Army Values, day in and day out. The one that really resounds with him is this thing called Loyalty. He is loyal through and through,” said Curtis.
Dabadie’s wife, Sue, and his sons, Bert and Craig, had the honor of placing the two-star rank insignia on his uniform alongside his father.
Dabadie continues in a proud family tradition of serving in the military. Dabadie’s father, retired Brig. Gen. J. Levy Dabadie Jr., also served as the assistant adjutant general of the LANG during his own distinguished military career. The retired Dabadie graduated from Louisiana State University where he attended ROTC before enlisting in the Army’s active component in 1945. He later served in the LANG, where he rose through the ranks as the commander of the now 225th Engineer Brigade, chief of staff, and the commander of installations for Jackson Barracks in New Orleans, Camp Beauregard in Pineville, and Camp Villere in Slidell.
The younger Dabadie, a native of New Roads, La., graduated from Catholic High School of Pointe Coupee in New Roads and attended Loyola University in New Orleans where he received his bachelor’s degree and his commission as a distinguished military graduate through the ROTC Program.
“There are times when great leadership, logic and intuitive thinking come out,” said Curtis on Dabadie’s work following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. “That was a defining moment in our relationship.”
Serving as the Chief of the Joint Staff during and immediately after the hurricanes in 2005, Dabadie devised a plan to have teams of Guardsmen directly tied into each of the affected parishes, thereby improving communication, mission success and situational awareness among the different agencies. He then displayed exemplary leadership of Task Force Crescent Guard, later called TF Gator, when the Governor called upon the LANG to assist the New Orleans Police Department with their security efforts following the devastation of Katrina.
During Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008, Dabadie made the strategic military recommendations to the adjutant general on when to bring other states’ National Guard forces into Louisiana to help with the response and tracked the active missions during the period. He is credited with establishing the operating procedures and structure that exist today at the Tactical Awareness Center (TAC) that deals directly with the state’s emergency operations center.
“This organization gets better every day because of these Soldiers and Airmen,” said Dabadie. “They have this incredible spirit that no mission is too tough, this can-do attitude and this drive for being better than you were yesterday.”
Dabadie’s military education includes the Airborne Course, Infantry Officer Basic Course, NBC Officer Course, Armor Officer Advance Course, Senior Officer Logistical Management Course, Instructor Training Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College where he received his Master of Strategic Studies degree.
Dabadie began his military career on active duty. His first assignment was in the 1st Battalion (Mechanized) 61st Infantry, 5th Infantry Division at Fort Polk, La., where he served as Rifle Platoon Leader, Mortar Platoon Leader, Support Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, Battalion Maintenance Officer, and Company Commander. Following that assignment, Dabadie was reassigned to Fort Knox, Ky., where he served as an instructor, U.S. Army Armor School and then as the Operations Officer for the Law Enforcement Command.
He was appointed in the Louisiana Army National Guard in July 1988. He served as the Battalion Executive Officer, then Battalion Commander, 1st Battalion 156th Armor; Brigade Executive Officer, then Deputy Brigade Commander, 256th Infantry Brigade; Director, Plans, Operations and Military Support – J3 and Chief of the Joint Staff, Joint Force Headquarters – Louisiana; Military Liaison to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management; Task Force Commander, Operation Crescent Guard and Assistant Adjutant General (Army).
A major general is sometimes referred to as a two-star general because of the insignia they wear, which bears two stars.