Army senior leaders discuss issues at War College
October 19, 2010
CARLISLE BARRACKS, Pa. (Oct. 14, 2010) - More than 20 senior leaders came to the Army War College Thursday to discuss current and future challenges and issues that face America's military.
Gen. Peter Chiarelli, vice chief of Staff of the Army, led the "all-star" Army staff for the 2010 Anton Myrer Army Leader Day, the capstone event for the college's Strategic Leadership course. Discussions took place 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 - and what can be done about 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 partnership 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."
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 Col. Bruce Jenkins, student. "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."
Lt. Col. Robert Barnes, a War Colllege student, said "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."
Joyce E. Morrow, administrative assistant to the Secretary of the Army and acting deputy under secretary of the Army, spoke to students about her current role in providing a broad spectrum of support services to Army headquarters elements and other DoD activities, and also spoke about her progression as a Department of the Army Civilian.
Morrow's responsibilities are similar to a four-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.
As a graduate of the War College Class of 1999, Morrow said that the school provides a rare opportunity to read and think and stated that it was not until after she left the USAWC and returned to the work field, that she realized how much she actually learned.
"All of her insights and career progression to her broad scope of authority and responsibilities, inter-agency coordination and managing her workforce were valuable to everyone in the seminar" said Diane Knight, student.
"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 in the Department of Command, Leadership and Management.
Maj. Gen. Keith Thurgood, deputy chief of the 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 the 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 primarily as a reserve partner and only 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.
Lt. Gen. Daniel Bolger, Army deputy chief of staff, G-4/5/7, 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."
Terrence Salt, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and the Environment, shared his perceptive on issues facing military installations around the globe.
Larry Stubblefield, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, spoke to students in seminar 16.
Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, Army surgeon general, spoke about health issues and other related topics in his seminar discussion.
"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 Marine Lt. Col. Joe Adkins, student.
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 Nov. 27, 1901.
For more information visit www.carlisle.army.mil