Personnel, readiness under secretary tours post, talks to troops in training
July 16, 2014
FORT LEE, Va. - Jessica L. Wright, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, visited the Combined Arms Support Command on July 1 and spent the day learning about training initiatives and family programs while also speaking with military members enrolled in classes here.
Many state and U.S. government officials have shown a great deal of interest in CASCOM over the past few years. In addition to training more than 180,000 students annually through 541 courses taught by the Ordnance, Quartermaster and Transportation schools, Soldier Support Institute and Army Logistics University, the command has spearheaded many credentialing initiatives that will benefit troops when they leave the military.
Wright started her visit at the Army Logistics University where she met with Soldiers attending the Combined Logistics Captains Career Course. She engaged the officers in an open discussion about personnel issues, career progression and leader development. A former Army officer herself, Wright said there is no better commissioned rank than captain in her opinion.
"I really enjoyed my time as a captain," she said. "I think it was the best rank of my career. As a captain, you are able to directly engage and mentor your Soldiers. That's very rewarding."
After her talk with the officers, Wright was given an overview of the command's Soldier for Life and Sexual Harassment, Assault, Response and Prevention programs. Senior leaders discussed the importance the command places on supporting its personnel. Also discussed was the WeCare app for smart phones that has become a useful tool for suicide prevention.
"Our No. 1 priority here on Fort Lee is taking care of Soldiers and their families," emphasized Maj. Gen. Larry D. Wyche, CASCOM and Fort Lee commanding general.
The Ordnance School campus was the next stop of Wright's visit. She learned about the CASCOM Technology Integration Branch's app development and how gaming technology is being used to enhance and increase the availability of learning opportunities. The under secretary said she walked away impressed with the level of hi-tech training being provided to Soldiers.
Finishing up her day at Fort Lee, Wright toured the U.S. Army Women's Museum. She reminisced about her time in the Army as she walk through the displays, commenting on some of the earlier uniforms female Soldiers wore. Her career was equally diverse -- starting out as one of the last females to attend the Women's Army Corps Officer Orientation School and winding its way through gender integration and becoming the first female Soldier to be appointed as adjutant general and commander of the Pennsylvania National Guard in 2004.
In her current position, Wright is the senior policy advisor to the Secretary of Defense on recruitment, career development, pay and benefits for 1.4 million active duty military personnel, 1.1 million Guard and Reserve members, 748,000 DOD Civilians, and is responsible for overseeing the overall state of military readiness.