MacArthur Award presented to NCO Corps
June 15, 2009
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (TRADOC News Service, June 15, 2009) - The Virginia Peninsula, Gen. Douglas MacArthur Chapter of the Association of the United States Army presented the 2009 Gen. Douglas MacArthur award to the Army Noncommissioned Officer Corps at its annual dinner last night in Newport News.
The chapter president Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Edward Dyer and the Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Lt. Gen. David Valcourt presented the award to Command Sgt. Maj. David Bruner, the TRADOC Command Sergeant Major and Command Sgt. Daniel Reid, 8th Transportation Brigade Command Sergeant Major.
In accepting the award for the NCO Corps, Bruner was very thankful for the honor and proud of the NCO Corps.
"We really appreciate the chapter recognizing the NCOs," said Bruner. "It is humbling to be in the company of these great noncommissioned officers of all ranks, from corporal to command sergeant major. They are truly America's finest and we wouldn't be here without them."
During his speech, the general gave the audience a look at where TRADOC is today and a look at some of the things to come.
"We expect our Soldiers to be versatile, said Valcourt as he talked about the Soldiers in today's Army. The versatility of our formation allows them to operate across the entire continuum of operations. Our Soldiers are not to be optimized on either end of the full-spectrum of operations. We can't afford to have two separate formations... one to do major combat operations and another formation to handle stability operations. We have modular brigades that augmented appropriately in order to operate across the entire continuum."
The TRADOC Commanding General, Gen. Martin Dempsey has stated the top priorities of TRADOC is to develop leaders and train soldiers.
"If we develop the right leaders, they will overcome any flaw in intelligence, equipment or planning," said Valcourt. "It is the versatility and adaptability in our leaders that drive what we do. That is why today in TRADOC, leader development is our absolute number one priority. We are attacking it with training, education and experience."
Valcourt talked about how leaders worked through the military decision making process (MDMP).
"For years the military decision making process alone has served us well," said Valcourt. "It is a process that allows us to solve problems that we understand. Today in the complexity of hybrid threats, MDMP is not enough. The term called design is a technique of critical thinking that helps understand the problem before we try to solve it. If you go out and start your car and it makes a strange noise, you don't go straight to get the transmission replaced. You have to understand the problem before you fix it. The goal of design is to understand ill-structured problems, anticipate change, create opportunities and manage transitions. It frames the problem, considers different approaches and develops the design concept to allow commanders to give guidance to their staffs and subordinates so that the MDMP process can follow."
The general also spoke of how the Base Realignment and Closure act will be changing the way business is done next year with every four-star headquarters moving in 2010.
He also spoke of the importance of the noncommissioned officers.
"I love speaking to brand new second lieutenants," said Valcourt. "I tell them that your job when you get to your unit is to stick your nose everywhere you don't think it belongs. Ask all the questions that you need to ask. If I could give you one gift it would be the world class platoon sergeant.
"That platoon sergeant may be old enough to be your dad, and that platoon sergeant could probably run that platoon better if you weren't there because he wouldn't have to stop and answer questions all the time. That platoon sergeant knows that his or her duty is to teach you to be a company commander. So, they take that time and help you learn to be a leader in our Army."
The general closed with the one line in the NCO creed that strikes him.
"Officers in my unit will have maximum time to perform their duties because they won't have to perform mine," said Valcourt.