Translation Stuttgarter Zeitung, 09 March 2010 Article by Daniela Eberhardt Photo of General Ward (top page): A soldier always

stays a soldier: General William E. “Kip” Ward wears four silver stars on the epaulettes of his dark blue uniform blouse Photo of Reception Area: (middle): The Reception area evokes the upper class spirit of the twenties period

“The Boss” calls the Clay Haus home
Home story: One of the 30 highest ranking U.S. military officers resides at a prime location on the slopes of the Stuttgart hills The car slowly moves up the driveway and stops next to a grey Porsche. Underneath the awning, a wrought-iron table-set richly decorated with pine twigs, welcomes us. From here the gaze inevitably moves in the direction of the garden and one catches a glimpse of the fantastic panorama of Stuttgart. A classic villa in a coveted location on the slopes of the Stuttgart hills. Their residents refer to it as the Clay Haus. The “Denglisch” (deutsch/englisch = combination of German and English) is no grammatical error but an American self-conception in Germany. Within reach of the Villa Reitzenstein lives one of the most powerful U.S. military officers; General William E. Ward wears four commanding silver stars on the epaulettes of his dark blue uniform blouse. The Commander of the U.S. Africa Command or AFRICOM is not only one of the estimated 30 four-star generals in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, the 60-year old is currently also the only African-American of that rank. Also, Ward is only the fifth Army officer of that heritage who has ever earned four stars. “The boss is coming;” a domestic servant opens the entrance portal, and General William Ward approaches his guests with a bounce in his step. At the blink of an eye he dominates the scene. He has no need for grand gestures; he beams as he greets his guests, says he wants to freshen up a bit and walks up the open wooden staircase. Did he just take two steps at once? There is just enough time to take a quick look around. There are several merging parlors, and the entrance hall evokes the upper class spirit of the twenties period. The reception area is twolevels high; the gallery is in its original condition with windows that open toward the inside. The two chandeliers have representational functions as does the grand piano around which the guests gather during the Ward’s legendary Christmas receptions – where 1,000 guests arrive in three shifts. The two living rooms reveal the personal touch of the owners: mementos from trips abroad complement the furniture – a screen from Asia, a mask from Africa, and family photos,

proud citizens in faded black and white. And there are elephant figurines everywhere – collected by the lady of the house. Joyce Ward walks in briefly: “Nice to meet you.” In the meantime, her husband has freshened up and spontaneously asks, “Why don’t you stay for the interview?” Gladly, she has time and would be pleased. After all, this is the first time the Wards have officially opened their home to the press. And so we find ourselves seated by the fireplace where a scented candle has been lit. It gives off the typical American fragrance-mixture of Vanilla and sandalwood, perhaps also a touch of musk and oranges. A very tastefully embroidered Heidelberg-pillow sits on the red velvet two-seater. The Wards have spent some time in Heidelberg, and have been in Stuttgart for four years now; the longest time they have spent in one place since their marriage 39 years ago. They have been in Germany for seven years which the General defines as ‘in and out.” He spent one of those years in Bosnia and one in Palestine. In his capacity as head of AFRICOM his latest travels took him to Libya and Algiers. In January he received the Trumpet-Award in Atlanta for his life’s work, i.e., his remarkable military career. Famous predecessors were Harry Belafonte, Nat King Cole and Ray Charles. He states that he is very proud of this “very special award.” What he doesn’t mention is that this award recognizes the accomplishments of African-Americans. In fact, he speaks deliberately, weighs his sentences and quietly affirms them with: “yeah, yeah,” which sounds like “ja, ja.” “Oh, the Black Forrest clock,” remarks the lady of the house, when the clock in the parlor discretely strikes the hour. The cuckoo clock: is there a more powerful symbol for Heimat (home) and for sanctuary? But is “Heimat” something the Wards can relate to here? “Yes,” they say, “we feel at home in Stuttgart, absolutely.” It sounds like they really mean it. The neighbors are “wonderful”, the City has received them very well; they feel welcome. Although the General puts things in perspective: AFRICOM was moved to Stuttgart because facilities in Kelley Barracks were available. Furthermore, the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) is located on Patch Barracks in SVaihingen and up until the creation of the Regional Command, Africa was their responsibility and Ward was the deputy EUCOM commander, Vice-Chief [sic]. In that respect it was only logical to stay here, he said. He draws the comparison between two well-known giants: Mercedes and Porsche also have their headquarters in Stuttgart, but sell their cars worldwide. “The activities are planned here and executed elsewhere. Our job is in Africa.” How long will he still be in Stuttgart? “I don’t know that. My bosses decide that,” he replies. “I have two.” Now he briefly looks at his wife, grins and corrects himself: “No, three.” She calls him “Kip”, a nickname which his aunt gave him; he liked it and so he kept it. “My two bosses are the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense,” Ward continues. That is his chain of command, and he will go “wherever they want to see me go.” A soldier stays a soldier. In January the Wards were the guests of the Obamas in Washington, they recount. What a thought. Here in Stuttgart they are friends with Lord Mayor Wolfgang Schuster and his wife

Stefanie; together they visit the theater and the opera. The General enjoys walking around the City, even if he is always followed by his bodyguards. He plays it down by remarking that he always has a lot of people around him, and that the [BW] Minister President is in the same position. He loves to be “downtown.” Joyce Ward has found a nice comparison for Stuttgart: “It’s a big city that makes you feel like you’re in a small town.” Her husband points out: “She travels a lot throughout Germany, she advises German-American women’s clubs.” He is proud of her and right now Germany counts, even though they are familiar with Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the United States from Alaska to Hawaii. The General has a hard time understanding why many Stuttgart residents still view the U.S. military as a state within a state. Most of his Stuttgart staff -- approx. 700 out of 1,300 -- live in the middle of the city since there is not enough housing on Kelley Barracks. “They visit the restaurants, shop in the stores and know their German neighbors.” The General’s prestigious official residence has belonged to the Americans since the end of WWII and is reserved for the senior military officer, i.e., the highest ranking representative of the military. Joyce Ward has named the villa “Clay Haus,” after General Lucius D. Clay, who brought U.S. Foreign Secretary James F. Byrnes and his famous “Speech of Hope” to Stuttgart after the end of the war, and who organized the Berlin airlift. Great acts, small acts. For the lady of the house it is important that the children enjoy coming back here. The 37-year old son and the 33-year old daughter, “our baby,” live in the States. They explain that while they, as parents, understand but don’t speak German, their son even dreams in German. After a good hour both invite me to the living room since it is time for the photo session. During the good-byes at the door, the General calls out in German: “Schönen Tag, Tschüss.” (have a nice day, bye) Bottom of the Page Summary: Photo: Daniela Eberhardt (left), William and Joyce Ward AMERICAN FORCES IN STUTTGART AFRICOM: The U.S. Africa Command was activated on 1 October 2007 and was fully operational one year later. The Command is located on Kelley Barracks in Möhringen; approx. 700 staff members and their families live and work in Stuttgart. All U.S. operations as well as military and humanitarian relief missions on the Black Continent are coordinated from here. Prior to the creation of the new regional command, Africa came under the jurisdiction of EUCOM, located on Patch Barracks in S-Vaihingen. With these two headquarters, Stuttgart has become one of the most important U.S. military communities outside of the United States. Commander: Before General William E. “Kip” Ward became the first AFRICOM commander, the 60-year old was the Deputy EUCOM Commander. He began his military career in 1971 in the Infantry. Currently the only African-American four-star general, he also holds a degree in political science. His military service has taken him to Korea, Egypt, Somalia (where he was in charge of the traumatic withdrawal of U.S. forces in the early 90’s), and to Bosnia, Israel and

Germany. He recently he received the Trumpet-Award in Atlanta for his life’s work. This award recognizes the accomplishments of African-Americans and is supposed to motivate young people. Interview: Many phone calls preceded the hour-long chat in front of the fireplace since the General has an enormous travel agenda. But suddenly things moved very fast: “Next week on Friday afternoon.” The visitor [Eberhardt] doesn’t just ring the doorbell, she is picked up at the press agency, taken to the gate at Kelley Barracks, signed in, and chauffeured out again shortly afterwards. In the meantime Colonel Franklin F. Childress, Director of AFRICOM PAO joined her in the car. The navigation system directs us in English through traffic, although we still end up straying slightly from Degerloch in the direction of Gänsheide. Since our own press photographer was not allowed to come along for security reasons, the photos were taken by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel LaPierre. • Insert Comment top left: “We feel at home in Stuttgart, absolutely. Our neighbors are wonderful.”
Joyce Ward, the “First Lady” of the [U.S.] forces in Stuttgart

Insert Comment top right: “I have two bosses, the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense.”
William E. Ward, AFRICOM Commander

(Translation by Gitta Rives, USFLO BW, DSN 420-7329, Email: gitta.rives@eur.army.mil)