The Bayonet

Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014

SMA: Engaged leadership key to resilient force

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FORT DRUM, N.Y. — As the Army begins moving toward reduced troop numbers, a glaring reality faces units across the board - commanders must be prepared to sustain a rigorous operational tempo with fewer Soldiers standing in formation.

To help shed some light on the future of the U.S. Army, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III and his wife, Jeanne, visited Fort Drum Aug. 5-6 to meet with Soldiers and Family members and to talk about the Army's Ready and Resilient Campaign.

Building the force during 13-plus years of combat in Iraq, Afghanistan and other more obscure theaters around the globe helped shape the Army into a force of more than 570,000. That number that could shrink to 450,000 by the end of fiscal year 2017 and if sequestration continues, could result in an even lower number of troops as overseas contingency operations wind down.

With a smaller Army, an added demand is placed on the need for a ready and resilient force capable of standing up to operational requirements at home station, at national training centers and while deployed.

"We've got to have as many Soldiers ready as we possibly can," Chandler said Aug. 5. "We have a very small Army that will get smaller, but we will still have to do the things we've done over the last 13 years.

"We're not going to be able to be successful as an Army if we have Soldiers who don't have the ability to bounce back, whether that's from an emotional injury or physical injury, so we've got to have as many Soldiers ready as we possibly can," he said.

"Resiliency helps us in our ability to bounce back, and to be that person who is able to deploy, and fight and win our nation's wars."

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