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FORT STEWART, Ga. - Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. John F. Campbell spent July 1 on Fort Stewart meeting with senior leaders to discuss the Army's Ready and Resilient Campaign.
Fort Stewart was Campbell's first of several planned visits to meet with senior leaders from various Army installations. The purpose is to find out what is working, what isn't, and how to effectively move the Army forward with the best-trained force possible.
Maj. Gen. John M. Murray, the commanding general of 3rd Infantry Division and Fort Stewart, said he was honored to host Campbell and several other senior Army leaders for discussions about resiliency and programmed personnel losses.
He said he was proud of the great work 3rd ID and Fort Stewart leaders have done to develop innovative ways to support the Army's Ready and Resilient Campaign, and was excited to share them with Campbell and his team.
"Fort Stewart is doing some incredibly innovative programs and I want to take a hard look some of these and see if we can export them to other places," Campbell said. "In the end, it really is about taking care of our Soldiers and our Families, and as our budgets decrease, we need to look at ways we can become more efficient (and) change the culture of our Soldiers and our Family members; and Ready and Resilient is about trying to synchronize those programs across the board."
The Ready and Resilient Campaign programs not only support the active duty Soldier, but also Department of Defense civilians, especially in locations such as Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, where there is a predominately civilian workforce. As the Army's end strength draws down over the coming years the civilian side will also see a reduction.
"We know that we have the very best Army in the world, the best manned, equipped, trained and led Army. We're going to have to make some very tough decisions; sequestration will drive us to it," Campbell continued.
Murray also believes the candid discussion and feedback his team provided to Campbell and his team will be very helpful as they determine the best way to ensure units have the flexibility needed to continue to provide the training and quality of life our Soldiers and Families deserve.
"Beginning input that we saw from Fort Stewart today will better enable us to make some of those decisions in a smarter way that impacts our Army," Campbell said. One fact that can't be avoided is that the Army is shrinking, Campbell said. It simply cannot continue to function at its current state on a smaller budget. Something has to be reduced to meet those numbers, and it's the active-duty component and select programs absorbing some of that cut.
"As we move to the future and our budget continues to shrink, we need to look at ways we can continue to get better," Campbell said. "We talk about becoming more efficient, talk about reducing programs; we want to make sure when we do that we keep the ones that have the biggest impact for our Family. We can't have everything we had in the past. It's about expectation management as we deal with our Families in the future.
"I think as long as there's open dialog and we're transparent about where the Army's going to go, I think the Family members will appreciate that," he said.
"We have the best manned, equipped, trained and led Army in the world today," Campbell concluded. "We'll make some tough decisions. We're going to have to get smaller, but in the end, we'll continue to have the very best Army."