Army leadership discusses today's issues with Army War College students
October 14, 2010
- More than 20 senior leaders came to the Army War College Oct. 14 to discuss current and future challenges
- Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, led the "all-star" Army staff
More than 20 senior leaders came to the Army War College today to discuss current and future challenges and issues that face our nation's military during the 2010 Anton Myrer Army Leader Day, the capstone event for the college's Strategic Leadership course.
Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, led the "all-star" Army staff who held discussions in each of the 20 seminars about the lessons of leadership before the formal address in Bliss Hall.
Chiarelli spoke about the effects of war -- what we are finding out about them, what we are doing in response to them and the role that senior leaders like the student will play in mitigating or helping their Soldiers deal with them.
"We've learned some valuable lessons during the last nine years about the effects that these conflicts have had on our Soldiers," he said. "We have to make changes and address our policies to address what we face today."
Chiarelli went on to talk about the "signature injuries" of the current conflicts, post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries.
"These invisible injuries are real wounds," he said. "We must remove the stigmas associated with getting help. We have a duty to take care of our Soldiers 24 hours a day."
He said that studies are being conducted in partner with national health centers to find our more about the causes and effects of these conditions, but that an involved and caring leader was the first line of defense.
"What makes these changes possible are people like you," he said. "This generation needs caring and involved leaders. They are stressed and tired after nine years of war. You need to be able to tell someone they need help and make sure they get it.
"The only way to get through these problems is with leaders like you."
Other leaders share lessons in USAWC seminars
Joyce E. Morrow, administrative assistant to the Secretary of the Army and Acting Deputy Under Secretary of the Army, spoke to students about providing a broad spectrum of support services to Army Headquarters elements and other DoD activities, Morrow's responsibilities are similar to a 4-star commander. She oversees the operation of four field operating agencies that provide executive services, operations support, and business activities to customers in the Army and DoD communities.
"We are all civilians, military and contractors focused on the same thing-our greater mission," said Morrow.
She also spoke about her progression as a Department of the Army Civilian. As a graduate of the USAWC Class of 1999, she considered the Army War College a rare opportunity to read and think.
"All of her insights -- about the broad scope of authority and responsibilities, inter-agency coordination, and managing her workforce -- were valuable to everyone in the seminar" said student Diane Knight.
"I was very impressed with the amount of emphasis placed in inter-personal relationships and how she has never lost sight in being grounded and connected to the workforce," said Col. Robert Mundell, USAWC faculty member.
Lt. Gen. William Troy, Director of the Army Staff, met with students and offered a view from the top, sharing insights into navigating the executive atmosphere at Army Headquarters.
"This has been a very good session. Coming into this I didn't know what to expect, but now I can see all the themes that we are learning in the classroom as they tie into this very nicely," said student Col. Bruce Jenkins. "Lt. Gen. Troy is giving us excellent perspective from the top so we can see where the Army is heading. I am interested to know what keeps him up at night and I am curious about his insights about Army leadership because there are a lot of question marks right now."
Student Lt. Col. Robert Barnes asked Troy for his advice about strategic leadership.
"In our studies on strategic leadership, different competencies are discussed and today I feel like we really heard someone speak to the importance of being able to foster interpersonal relationships and the ability to have vision," Barnes said. "I think paying attention to how someone else sees an issue is important. It can help you understand why an organization does not want to participate or why an organization is eager to participate."
Troy thanked the students for meeting with him.
"It is vitally important to the leadership what you guys think. You all have a unique perspective that is important."
Lt. Gen. Daniel Bolger, Army Deputy Chief of Staff, led a spirited discussion about managing and prioritizing equipment and manpower requests, the importance of Congressional testimonies and the role of Congress in the resource and force manning arenas, the roles of senior civilians and the issue of Soldier suicides.
"It's important that all of you realize the vital role you will play in shaping our nation's future and what will be expected of you," he said. "You have arrived."
"Army Leader Day was great because it gave us as students the opportunity to sit down with senior leaders and get their perspective on what leadership is at the strategic level. We got to gain an understanding of the challenges they face, and learn from their experiences, which will hopefully make us better leaders," said student Marine Lt. Col. Joe Adkins.
Maj. Gen. Keith Thurgood, Deputy Chief of Army Reserve, spoke about the drawdown of forces and how the role of the Army Reserve and National Guard may change. He posed the question of whether Army Reserve will continue to be incorporated into the operational cycle of the Army as a whole or will it go back to the old model and be used as a strategic operational partner to be used if there is a major incident.
Thurgood pointed out both the pros and cons for each argument and said it would continue to be a source of discussion in the coming years but the dialogue was necessary to maintain trust and strong relationships with the civilian community.
Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza, Chief of Public Affairs, and Maj. Gen. James McConville, Chief of Legislative Liaison teamed to discuss communicating: it's about relationships and it's personal. We have the reputation as the best, professional, skilled military; officers in the room are expected to be effective, strategic communicators. Questioned by students about their roles, the senior leaders assured them of the need to develop communication skill sets and to participate in social media.
Students were particularly drawn to the senior leaders' personal insights about the challenge of responsibility. In conversation with Maj. Gen. Randy Manner, Special Assistant to the Chief, National Guard Bureau, students' many questions revealed suggestions ranging from the value of hobbies as balance, to the wisdom of seeking counsel in the face of ethical dilemmas.
<b>About the Army War College</b>
Established from the principles learned in the Spanish-American War, the Army War College was founded by Secretary of War Elihu Root, and formally established by General Order 155 on November 27, 1901. Washington Barracks - now called Fort McNair - in Washington, D.C. was chosen as the site.
The first president of the Army War College was Gen. Tasker H. Bliss and the first students attended the College in 1904. The College remained at Washington Barracks until 1940, when it was closed due to World War II. It reopened in 1950 at Fort Leavenworth, and moved one year later to its present location at Carlisle Barracks.
At Carlisle, the Army War College grew steadily as it performed its mission of preparing officers for leadership at the highest levels. Two specialized agencies evolved into integral parts of the Army War College: the Strategic Studies Institute, first formed in 1954, and the Military History Institute, established in 1967.
The Center for Strategic Leadership, a state-of-the-art war gaming complex that opened in 1994, contributed another unique dimension to the college and to Carlisle Barracks' history as a distinctive U.S. Army campus. Other organizations like the Army Physical Fitness Research Institute and the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute also contribute greatly to the students' experience.
For more information visit <a href="http://www.carlisle.army.mil" target="_blank">www.carlisle.army.mil</a>.