Major Ernest M. Urquieta, an Engineer within the United States Army who hails from Superior, Arizona, was invited to be the guest speaker at the Sapper Leader Course the Engineers premier small unit tactics course.
Major Urquieta, who started his military career as an enlisted soldier, is intimately familiar with this course, as he served as an Instructor from 1995-1997 prior to becoming a commissioned officer. The 28 day Sapper Leader Course fundamentally is one of the most physically and mentally challenging courses the Army has to test students in Leadership. The demands of the course require more than conditioning, it requires will, the will to lead in any austere environment.
Major Urquieta’s message to the graduates was about Leadership, that it is a privilege to lead the sons and daughters, we train not for ourselves but those we lead!
Major Urquieta, the son of Neto Urquieta, attributes his success to lessons learned in his hometown of Superior, Arizona. The son of a copper miner, Major Urquieta joined the Engineer Regiment because of the history of Sappers and correlation with Miners. A Sapper is a versatile, mentally and physically fit soldier capable of operating in any environment and under all conditions – the same as a miner!
With more than 25 years of military service, Major Urquieta stated that he was “humbled by the opportunity to be the guest speaker.” There are many positive highlights in the course of a military career, but to impart the importance of leading to Sapper Leader Course graduates as the Army transitions is by far a humbling and prideful experience.
Major Urquieta is currently writing a book on leadership, A Miner’s Son, and still serves on active duty in Missouri.