March 21, 2011 - TRADOC Relinquishing of Command
March 25, 2011
General Mieczyslaw Bieniek, it's nice to see you, Sir. Welcome. It's been awhile since Iraq. Congratulations on your assignment to Supreme Allied Command Transformation. General David S. Weisman, it's nice to see you here. Sisters, welcome! Okay, I missed Mass on Sunday; I'm sorry. (Laughter) I don't know who ratted me out. Anyway, it's great to be down here with you. And thanks for coming out today to help us say goodbye to one of our most distinguished and dedicated team of leaders, Marty and Deanie Dempsey.
I just want to say a special thanks to Deanie, right up front, for all you've done for the men and women of our Army for the last 36 years. As they were reading the citation for Deanie, she looked at me and said, "I hate these things." I said, "Yeah, but you need to listen because it's true." So Deanie, thank you, and thank you for your willingness to take on your next role as our Army's "First Lady." (Applause)
Marty, you've impacted our Army in ways that you have no idea. And the fact that you're here today relinquishing command of Training and Doctrine Command so that you can assume your new role as our 37th Army Chief of Staff is a testament of every feat you've accomplished in your career to date, and in the confidence that the President and the Leadership of our Department has in your ability to lead the Army into the second decade of the 21st Century. So Congratulations on your unanimous confirmation last week. You're already off to a better start than I had. (Laughter)
We've built a great team here over the past two and a half years. And really it's the TRADOC team that I want to talk to because they have such a huge impact on the Army. I want to talk about what it is that you bring to us. Thirty seven years ago, a year before Marty was actually commissioned, the Army established TRADOC. It came into existence at a critical time for our Army. We were recovering from a decade long war in Vietnam that left over 50,000 dead and thousands more wounded. We also found ourselves adjusting to the realities of an All-Volunteer Force. It was a tough time for all of us.
TRADOC's first commander was, as you know, General Bill DePuy. No stranger to the overhaul of bureaucracies, he had written a couple of years earlier, "There have only been two modes of life in the Pentagon - preparation for the next reorganization and recovery from the last."
So in 1973, around the time that Marty was sneaking beers at West Point, General DePuy was standing up TRADOC and asking the fundamental question, "How does this Army fight'" With the Cold War heating up, DePuy knew that we had to adapt to the realities that we'd soon face ... that we had to take the Army, as he said, out of the rice paddies of Vietnam and place it on the Western European battlefield against the Warsaw Pact.
The merits of DePuy's approach lay less than the details of the doctrine, but more than the idea of an overarching concept of warfare, that drove all the Army did - how it trained; how it organized; how it equipped; and how it developed its leaders. General DePuy and TRADOC led the way in establishing this vision for our Army. It's a vision that bore fruit almost three decades later in the lightening victory of Desert Storm, and it's a vision that is even more important today, given the conflicts and uncertain future that we face. Tomorrow's victories really do start here.
The scope and scale of what TRADOC does is phenomenal. With over 39,000 people spread across 20 installations, TRADOC has 32 schools that train more than a half million Soldiers a year. Just to put that in perspective for you, that puts us as the number 3 school district in the country behind New York and LA. And, TRADOC also produces over 100,000 new Soldiers and officers across more than 100 specialties every year. It's a phenomenal, phenomenal effort.
TRADOC also serves as the intellectual engine of the Army and continues to deliver on General DePuy's vision. Each of you is responsible for shaping the future of an Army at war in an era of persistent conflict, and never before has your role been more important.
It starts with the work that you do analyzing the future strategic environments, and this is hard government work, because as Yogi Berra says, and we all know, "predictions are hard, especially when you are talking about the future." Four years ago, it was your work in this area that helped me see the future of persistent conflict that we're in today. Let's not make any mistake about it, we are involved in a long-term ideological struggle against a global extremist network that attacked us on our soil and has tried several times just in the past year.
The trends that you identified--globalization, technology, demographics, safe havens, weapons of mass destruction--clearly exacerbate this struggle. And what's going on in North Africa right now only confirms what you've been saying: that there's a lot of uncertainty and complexity out there, and this Army needs to be prepared for it.
The dynamic nature of the threats we face in the 21st Century demand that we be prepared to anticipate change in this environment and to be versatile enough to adapt to it. Under Marty's leadership, that's what you've designed the Army to be -- a versatile mix of tailorable and networked organizations operating on a rotational cycle so that we can prevail in our current conflicts and restore the capability to hedge against unexpected challenges at a tempo that is sustainable for this All-Volunteer Force.
For the past seven years, we've been reorganizing this Army, our largest organizational transformation since World War II. And, in the next seven months, we'll finish the modular conversion of all but a hand full of our 300+ Brigades. We will also finish rebalancing about 150,000 Soldiers out of skills very necessary in the Cold War to skills more relevant today.
The organizational design of this huge transformation was done here at TRADOC. Continuing that effort, TRADOC has been leading -- for the last nine months -- a complete re-evaluation of our force structure to make sure we have the right size, right design and right mix of forces. This review is critically important because we need to ensure that we are appropriately organized for the future given especially what we've learned in the last ten years at war.
TRADOC has also taken the need to ensure the lessons of the current war are fully integrated into our training and doctrine. In the Army Operating Concept, you provided the intellectual foundation for how we will operate in the future. You've helped us think clearly about the need to conduct full spectrum operations. These efforts will be critical as we draw down in Afghanistan and Iraq, plan to decrease the size of our force, and plan to conduct operations more as a joint force to deal with future challenges across the spectrum of conflict.
And updating FM [Field Manual] 3.0 "Operations," you've recognized the expanded role of the commander on today's battlefield with the concept of Mission Command. The updated version of 3.0 institutionalizes this important new concept.
Our new [Field Manual] 7.0 "Training Units and Developing Leaders for Full Spectrum Operations," was published about a month ago. This edition builds upon earlier work by challenging leaders to make unit training and leader development more relevant and rigorous in order to effectively prepare for the full spectrum operations. All of these doctrinal manuals are invaluable tools for assisting our leaders in preparing for the future.
To help us operate effectively across the spectrum of conflict, TRADOC has also focused on training and developing the kinds of leaders we need for the future. Back in 2007, you began a review of our Leader Development Program. From that review grew a new officer development timeline that is much more in synch with the Army Force Generation cycle, and that contains opportunities for broadening experiences outside of leaders' core competencies to better prepare them for future leadership roles.
This is important because we know we can't solve all the problems we face with only the skills we build in our operational force. The Army Leader Development Strategy gives us a model for outcome-based education and a commitment to career-long learning. Your work has also led to adjustments in basic training to clearly focus on the mastery of a few critical skills rather than familiarizing Soldiers with a myriad of tasks. This is a perfect example of how you helped us to adjust to the realities of our new environment.
Finally, with a decade of war's backdrop, TRADOC has undertaken -- this year -- an assessment of the impact of this war on the Army Professional. The impacts of war have changed us as individuals and professionals in ways that we don't yet fully appreciate. For us to build on our success as an Army in this second decade, it's imperative that we take a hard look at ourselves to gain a better understanding of how a decade of war has affected us. Your effort to examine how we changed for better or worse will only strengthen us as an institution.
So Marty, I couldn't be prouder of what the men and women of TRADOC have accomplished under your leadership. You have shaped the future of the Army that you will lead. I couldn't be happier for the Army or for the Dempsey's. Marty, let me thank you again for all you've done on behalf of the Soldiers, Families and Civilians. Know as you walk the road to Washington, TRADOC is well positioned to execute its motto: "Victory Starts Here." Good luck and God speed.