The Bayonet

Tuesday, Sep. 02, 2014

'Honing the Maneuver Force for the Next Fight'

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For the second year in a row, the Maneuver Warfighter Conference will be held on Fort Benning, and is set for Sept. 8-12.

It will largely take place at McGinnis-Wickam Hall. The conference begins Sept. 8 with an informal open house and icebreaker session before getting underway officially 8 a.m. Sept. 9 at Marshall Auditorium.

The annual conference provides a forum for contributing to the combat effectiveness of the Army by addressing current and future challenges to the maneuver warfighter.

Presentations will be delivered throughout the week, focusing on issues affecting the Army, particularly the Infantry, Armor and Cavalry.

Keynote speakers from across the Army and international partners will address the conference's theme, "Honing the Maneuver Force for the Next Fight."

Speakers and topics include:

•Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, former commander of the International Assistance Security Force Afghanistan, will discuss building learning organizations in the maneuver force at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 10.

•Gen. David Perkins, commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, will discuss TRADOC priorities and supporting the operational force at 8:40 a.m. Sept. 11.

•Gen. Mark Milley, commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command, will discuss institutional support to the force of the future at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 11.

•Lt. Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of Joint Special Operations Command, will discuss special operation forces and conventional force integration and training at 10:40 a.m. Sept. 11.

Gary Jones, chief of public affairs for the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning, said the conference plays a key role for the maneuver force.

"This annual conference is crucial to the development of agile and adaptive leaders, Soldiers and civilians who are committed to the Army Profession," Jones said.

In addition to the guest speakers, the conference will feature a look back at past conflicts.

"Each day, attendees will get a historical perspective to set the tone because the particular challenges faced by the Army in World War II, Korea and Vietnam offer unique lessons for leaders to consider as they work to understand future maneuver," Jones said. "That understanding will shape Army doctrine, concepts, designs and materiel solutions.

"In short, we need to understand where we've been, what worked and what didn't as we review, revise and apply doctrine to consolidate the lessons of our recent wars. Institutionalizing those lessons is crucial to our maneuver force because it's how we ensure our Soldiers and leaders are trained on the fundamentals. With the fundamentals mastered, we can then develop capabilities in our combat formations to seize, retain and exploit the initiative on whatever battlefield we face as an Army. This conference brings together hundreds of years of expert experience to get after these challenges."

To enable maximum participation, virtual attendees may attend portions of the conference online using Defense Connect Online. All virtual attendees need a DCO account to view conference briefings in real time. Guest accounts are available at for those without a DCO account. For more information about this service, go to and click on the DCO tab.

A complete schedule of speakers and topics, as well as links for viewing online, is available online at

Day 1 highlights

Some of Day 1's speakers and topics include:

8:25-9 a.m. - Maj. Gen. Scott Miller, MCoE commanding general on maneuver force rigor and training the basics.

10:10-11 a.m. - Maj. Gen. Paul Funk, 1st Infantry Division commanding general, on the "new" basics to support regional alignment.

1:30-2:20 p.m. - Maj. Gen. Paul LaCamera, 4th Infantry Division commanding general, on division and brigade combat team challenges and lessons learned.

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