Lt. Gen. David P. Valcourt addresses retention seminar
TRADOC Deputy Commanding General, Lt. Gen. David P. Valcourt, speaks during the U.S. Army Retention Training Seminar at Hampton Roads Convention Center July 31.

The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command hosted the U.S. Army Retention Training Seminar at the Hampton Roads Convention Center August 2 through 6.

Lt. Gen. Valcourt recognized five "Early Bird" winners, retention teams that met their retention goals well before the end of the fiscal year.

Sgt. Maj. Khadijah H. Sellers, Headquarters TRADOC command career counselor, said,
"It will be business as usual for TRADOC, because we already know how to make missions."

TRADOC recognized five retention activities for meeting their missions before all retention missions were suspended Army wide in June. Each retention team represented categories based on objective and population size.

The retention teams included, U.S. Army Recruiting Command (USAREC)/Accessions Command; Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; Fort Sill, Okla.; Fort Gordon, Ga.; and, Defense Language Institute, Calif.

Valcourt told the seminar attendees they were the scouts, the ones talking to enlisted Soldiers and commissioned officers about staying in the Army on behalf of the Army's commanders.

He reminded them to research all available incentives available to our Soldiers for retention. He highlighted the new Post 9/11 GI Bill for education, which includes provisions for passing the benefits to family members.

"You're not just responsible for retaining that enlisted soldier, but I also need you to be my conscience to see which commissioned and warrant officers are coming upon that retention decision, and I don't want them to make it alone, I don't want them to make it uninformed" Valcourt said.

He said the career counselor's job is tough because an Army career is an individual and a family decision. Referring to his son-in-law who has been deployed 18 of the 26 months of his daughter's life, Valcourt said he understands the career decisions Soldiers have to make.

Commanders and senior leaders can help the retention process through their mentorship, Valcourt said.

"Your role is to help the commander see his formations," Valcourt said. "You're not in this business alone. Most commanders will value what you tell them."

Page last updated Wed August 12th, 2009 at 15:00