Third Army visits Carter Center, shapes the future
March 3, 2010
On Feb. 17,2010, at 7:00 a.m. , a contingent of officers from Third Army/US Army Central reported for duty at The Carter Center in downtown Atlanta. Led by Third Army's Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Stephen Twitty, the team was prepared to learn about The Carter Center's great mission and programs, tour The Center and Museum, and meet with President Jimmy Carter's Conflict Resolution team to discuss "Shaping the Future" in the Central Command Area of Responsibility. Speaking of President Carter, the team also met with our former Commander-In-Chief to get his insights on the use of the Military Instrument of Power and his views on engagement activities.
The program started with a no-host breakfast attended by The Carter Center's Board of Councilors which included - local leaders like Mayor Kasim Reed, who meet at The Carter Center routinely to receive updates and who serve as ambassadors for The Center. The presentations that followed focused on The Carter Center's efforts to eradicate Guinea Worm Disease, support elections in Sudan, and to improve Mental Health care in the State of Georgia. The President, then spoke about these same topics, providing historical context and elaborating on key points. A question and answer period followed.
The Chief of Staff, COL Dave Eubanks, COL Matt Dawson, LTC Mufu Taiwo, and SGT Chris Burnett had an office call with President Carter. After a great discussion that covered highlights concerning Third Army and The Carter Center, as well as some personal stories, the President joined the officers from Third Army - representatives from the G2, G3, G4, G5, and the Command Group - for a question and answer session. All agreed it was easy to see why President Carter is so well-respected and accomplished as he left us with guidance to "get to work."
Following a tour of the facility, museum, and lunch, the Third Army and Conflict Resolution teams met again to follow the President's order to get to work. The conversations focused primarily on the Levant Region, but included themes and topics that were valuable for theater-wide application. Chatham House Rules applied and the discussions were frank, enjoyable, and at times, heated. Third Army attendees agreed that we may never be able to measure the true value of this exchange and we are already benefitting both personally and professionally from the insights, challenges, and contacts.
The Carter Center leaders and staff were professional, competent, and courteous and the Third Army team felt at home and at ease. The chance to meet local leaders from across the North Georgia Region was also noteworthy, giving Third Army leaders a chance to share our story. It also provided an opportunity for us to show that we are part of the community - at least until next year.
President Carter made it clear that despite the upcoming move to Shaw Air Force Base, (quickly approaching 550 days away), he wants and expects Third Army to maintain a relationship with his center. It is also the Commanding General's intent to build on this foundational visit, enhancing the quality and quantity of our knowledge and expanding our community outreach. This outreach resulted from a relationship that began between the Third Army Design Team - specifically due to the coordination of Capt. Michael Long and Maj. Trent Mills - and The Carter Center's Director of the Conflict Resolution Team, Hrair Balian. While there is not enough space to mention all of the wonderful people who made this visit and seminar possible, Dr. Balian deserves special mention, and the thanks of all at Third Army, for being so willing to share his vast knowledge of the Levant, and for being the consummate gentleman. Clearly, this is the start of a great partnership, one that should include Third Army team members visiting The Carter Center and Museum to learn more about their mission and the Carter Legacy. We guarantee that it will be well worth the time.