The Bayonet

Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2012

TRADOC commander shares key initiatives

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“Supporting the current fight,” was among the three areas of focus Gen. Robert W. Cone, commanding general of the US Army Training and Doctrine Command, conveyed to Soldiers and defense industry leaders during this year’s Maneuver Conference in Columbus, Ga., Sept. 18.

The annual Maneuver Conference is hosted by the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning.

“My priority is the obligation and commitment to you, those who have been in the fight or will soon be heading into the fight,” he said. TRADOC currently supports the force by overseeing and providing initial military training, functional training, professional military education, mobile training teams and collective training assistance. Cone also commented on the capabilities of the Asymmetric Warfare Group that gathers and analyzes relevant information from theater operations and applies its benefits in the training environment across the Army.

“AWG brings us the ability to see the next fight and to adapt our learning methods,” he said. “We have members of the AWG with operational units in a variety of areas of conflict. Through their observations and lessons learned, which they bring back to us, we improve the operating and generating force.”

Cone’s second area of focus included the structural transition of the force to the Army of 2020. He noted the importance of the Army’s capability to be operationally adaptable and able to win across a full range of military operations.

“The Army must be able to win the fight, first and foremost, and then we must focus on preventing future threats and, thus, develop the force based on these evolving threats,” he said. Building a winning strategy includes the ability to function in a joint operational environment where the Army conducts a wide range of missions, while retaining the ability to focus more narrowly on projecting power to deter and defeat aggression as specific threats emerge worldwide. The combination of a narrow focus within a wide lens allows the Army to adjust more rapidly to potential threats, he explained.

Human transition was the final area of focus during Cone’s discussion. He explained that TRADOC addresses human transition through the “Army Profession,” leader development, the “Army Learning Model,” “the Squad” and “Doctrine 2015.” A winning strategy in particular must include changes in how the Army develops Soldiers as members of the profession, said Cone.

The Army Profession encompasses defining the Army as a profession, certification, strengthening standards and improving feedback, he said. The Army leader development strategy also entails broadening the knowledge and experience of leaders; better “talent” management; rebalancing the pillars of leader development through education, experience and training; and the development of strategic leaders. Executing the human transition involves developing innovative and adaptive leaders—they are the key to operational adaptability, Cone said.

“War-fighting is a human function, and the most important aspect of achieving the Army of 2020 is how we capture lessons learned,” Cone said.

“As leaders, we must tell our Soldiers how important they are to our Army—they are members of a profession,” said Cone. “Leaders are responsible for making the hard decisions when it comes to Soldier care. We, as senior leaders, must make the tough calls as we ask our Soldiers to do the same.”

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