GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Major General Johnny Davis grew up in Milwaukee.

But he ended up in New Mexico. “It was a brochure I received from New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico, it’s a military junior college, and I’m thinking, ‘Where is that?'”

Always believing he’d become a teacher or a pastor, his life took a much different turn.

“It was actually spending time with my grandfather, who was a WWII vet, and it was those times in his garden, that he would share all of those stories of the camaraderie, the friendship, the teamwork, leadership,” Davis recalls.

“He says, ‘Hey, this is something you really need to consider because this can open so many doors for you in the future,'” he said.

But General Davis had no idea just how many doors it would open in the summer of 1989. 

The first was getting out of Wisconsin for the first time.

From infantry officer, to a two-star major general and lots of steps in between, in 33 years, General Davis never looked back.

“It was a wonderful experience. I think those first three years were eye-opening to me. It was everything I thought it would be. The service, the friendship, the camaraderie. It was that friendship and everything about it that led me to continue my journey,” Davis said.

Deployments to Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq to name a few, even serving as Aide to the Army Vice Chief of Staff.

“I’m a son of Wisconsin, I’m a Wisconsinite, I’m a cheesehead. Never expected to witness success at such an early age and it just continued from there. I think it was just their investment in me, and my confidence level growing year after year,” said Davis.

It has all led him to his current position; Commanding General of the U.S Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox. 

“I’m responsible for all of the recruiting for the entire United States, Just to give you an idea of scale, we have about 14,000 soldier/civilians that are in U.S. Army Recruiting Command and about 1800 recruiting stations,” Davis said.

And Gen. Davis sees that as nothing but opportunity – Opportunity to convince young men and women that they can find their path too, like he did in his grandfather’s garden more than three decades ago.

“I think about him constantly.  I still think about those moments in the garden working with him, and sharing all of those Army stories. I just want to say thanks. Thanks for taking the time to pull your grandson aside and show him the way, and it certainly helped me see that there was light and a path forward for my career,” he said.