Force management adds to hall of fame
May 29, 2014
By David Vergun
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, May 29, 2014) -- Force managers design formations, along with all their equipment, for war and peacetime missions.
In the 1980s and '90s, Robert B. Rosenkranz, now a retired Army major general, led that effort and he did it very well, said Maj. Gen. Robert M. Dyess, the current director of Force Development, G-8.
Rosenkranz's achievements as a force manager were recognized May 29, when he was inducted into the Force Management Hall of Fame, during a ceremony in the Pentagon.
What's notable about Rosenkranz's work was that it was done during a period of the Army in the 1990s that resembles today.
The issues are similar, Dyess said, "decreased resources, synchronization, integration and getting the most combat capability we can for the combatant commanders."
He added that "the wars and the systems might have changed slightly, but the required capabilities are essentially the same. History doesn't just repeat, it echoes."
One of the other similarities was the drawdown.
John McLaurin, deputy director, Force Management, G-3/5/7, who delivered the remarks, said the drawdown and funding issues were even worse than today, and it was "potentially the mother of all transformations over these last 25 years."
He quickly clarified his remarks: "Of course we'll have to see what the next few years have in store for the Army."
Rosenkranz remarked that the drawdown was so unpopular then, and by default, the work that he was doing, that he wore a special name tag that read, "Bob 'Don't Shoot the Messenger' Rosenkranz."
The political climate was nasty too at the time, he added. He recalled Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, who was the Army chief of staff at the time, being confronted by so-called "Army-free defense strategies."
Sullivan would say, "You can't win a war without going in the mud," meaning the nation needed its Soldiers, and in a few years, it would.
Besides managing the drawdown, Rosenkranz developed strategies that helped to bring about the end of the Cold War, prepared the Army for Operation Desert Storm, and equipped the force with weapons and capabilities that are still in use today, McLaurin said.
Rosenkranz "made the compelling argument that force management is a strategic factor in the formation of national security policy," McLaurin said. "His planning helped guide and achieve the readiness of the forces in support of combatant commanders. The balance needed between warfighting forces and institutional support was achieved by him at a most critical time."
In short, McLaurin said, he helped save lives.
Rosenkranz continues his support for the defense community in his current work at Trax International, a company that provides logistical support to the Army.
"I never expected to be here for this honor," Rosenkranz said. "It's deeply appreciated. The Army is in good hands. The country still loves its veterans and its Soldiers."
(For more ARNEWS stories, visit http://www.army.mil/ARNEWS, or Facebook at www.facebook.com/ArmyNewsService)