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Hall of Fame | Нейко Ненов
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Hall of fame

On Jan. 7, 2016, MG Neyko Nenov (1961-2015)  was inducted into the USAWC INTERNATIONAL FELLOWS HALL OF FAME

My father graduated from USAWC, Carlisle, PA in 2002.

The U.S. Army War College established the International Fellows Hall of Fame on 1 October, 1987. The hall of fame provides a prestigious and visible means of honoring international fellow graduates who have attained, through military merit, the highest positions in their nation’s armed forces, or who have held an equivalent position by rank or responsibility in a multinational military organization.

General Nenov became the 59th inductee into the International Fellows Hall of Fame.

My Father was honored in 2014, but he didn’t live to make it for the ceremony in 2016. On Jan. 7, 2016, I (Stanimir Nenov) and my mother (Despa Nenova) had the honor to be present at the Induction in Carlisle, PA.

This is a great honor for Bulgaria and the Bulgarian army for which my Father served during his life

The Ceremony

The event was held at the USAWC in Carlisle. There was a presentation about my Father’s career, induction into the Hall of Fame, followed by my speech on behalf of the family.

General Campbell, former commander of U.S. Army Europe:

“Maj General Nenov was a tremendous partner and friend during my tenure (at) USAREUR.”

After learning of MG Nenov’s passing last year, Gen Campbell said: “MG Nenov was always very proud to have graduated from the U.S. Army War College, I was proud to have served with him to help provide for a safe and secure Europe. Bulgaria and NATO have lost an exceptional leader, and the United States has lost a great friend.”

Click here for video and photos
My notes for the speech
I would like to begin with expressing my gratitude to MG Rapp, Col. Funk, Col. White and all the people from the USAWC who supported my father and my family during our year in Carlisle, after that and are still here today.
Thank you!
[Great honor]
Today we celebrate a great honor and appreciation for my father’s work and life.
[common values]
I was thinking a lot what to say today.
Talked with my Mother – we wanted to share some memories of my father, that could be useful for all of you.
Because in a few months you will graduate and continue your military career.
You will continue to serve your country at your best.
You will become the leaders of your armies.
Just like those 59 members of the Hall of Fame here,
Just like my father MG Nenov
So while we were talking a question came up:
what do all of these 59 individuals in the Hall of Fame have in common?
What are their skills and life values that got them to the top?
Today I will share with you 5 values that my father had in life.
And I hope that will be useful to all of you.
  1. Family is the most important thing
    1. My father always took great care of me and my Mom. Even though he was traveling all over the globe – we never felt uncared or unloved. He always supported us and make us feel safe and loved, so we go on with our day.
    2. And now as a grown man I can see clearly: the family is the place where you should feel safe, unstressed, that’s the source of energy for your next battle in life.
    3. Here to the family I will add the friends.
    4. My father had a lot of friends because he was a good and honest friend.
    5. He was always ready to help.
    6. And the love you give to your friends… it turns back to you.
  2.  Leaders eat last
    1. My father had a great respect for the soldier
    2. from what I have witnessed  – he always took great care of his men down to the solder.
    3. And especially the soldiers.
    4. They had to be well fed, well equipped, educated and motivated.
    5. Also, he was appreciating and thanking all.
    6. I can think of so many examples when he was thanking personally soldiers and staff for their work.
    7. Even in the military cafeteria – my father would enter the kitchen and will shake the hand of the cook, thanking him for the great meal.
  3. Your word is everything
    1. My father has taught me from a very young age:
    2. when you promise something to someone – do it.
    3. If you can’t do it – don’t promise it in first place. 
    4. My father never broke his promise to me, my mother, colleagues, friends…
    5. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver.
  4. Set ambitious goals and follow them no matter what
    1. Since I can remember myself I’ve always seen the look in my father’s eyes.
    2. Eyes with high motivation and great ambition.
    3. Those eyes never changed. 
    4. And when you know your goals, you break them down to small tasks that lead to that goal. That’s what he did.
    5. Also, prepare for the obstacles, because there will be many.
    6. My father never chose his positions in the army.
    7. He served where he was needed and where he was appointed.
    8. And in his case, that aways meant the toughest positions.
    9. But that’s why he became such a leader.
    10. You don’t become a great commander by staying in the warm and comfortable office – you go out in the dirt!
    11. Stay focused on the important
    12. It so easy to get distracted and slip with the urgent daily tasks that actually don’t contribute to your goals.
    13. Instead, focus on the difficult tasks, the important ones that will drive your life and career.
    14. I don’t know how my father did it – but he never missed an important thing for him, my mother, me and all the people he loved and respected.
    15. He always completed his important tasks. Always. I can’t think of an exception.
  5. Have interests beyond the army.
    1. My father read so many different books, we (the three of us) went to theater and shows regularly, we played tennis 5 times a week, skied in the winter,  enjoyed traveling and practiced so many different things in life.
    2. He was able to communicate with so many different individuals, no matter the status or education.
    3. For example, he could talk and have fun with a simple man from a small village,
    4. And the next day he was ready to discuss global events with the president 
    5. Thats very, very rare.
  6. Overdeliver
    1. I know I said 5 values, but here is number six.
    2. Over deliver. 
    3. My Father over delivered. When he is asked for 1, he brings 2.
    4. When he had to complete the task in 10 days, he didi in 7 days.
    5. He was always very well prepared
    6. and last but not least: he was always positive.
    7. Even to the very end of his life – he kept smiling and he stayed positive.


At 11:32 is the actual induction and the thoughts I shared on behalf of the family.