FORT SILL, Okla. -- Army leaders see a need to change the way Soldiers fight and how they learn to fight.

Gone are the days when generals send divisions into battle - today's battles require quick action and reaction of Soldiers and leaders at the lowest level.

The Fires Center of Excellence wants to fuel that change. To help spark discussion of what's needed to make the change, the center scheduled the Intellectual Warrior Conference Apr. 12-13 at Reimer Conference Center.

"The idea for the conference began with Maj. Gen. Halverson and several key leaders within the FCoE," said Dr. Casey Blaine, conference organizer and chief of the professional development division. "He saw the merit in providing the command structure with a venue to address topics on an educational front. To that end, the conference boasts a variety of specialized presenters who will impart very practical, 'rubber-meets-the-road' experience, conversation, and presentation to conference attendees. The conference is the springboard for a variety of ongoing professional development opportunities for leaders and educational staff alike."

The conference brings together a range of experts - with the keynote address by Dr. Tony Wagner, Harvard-educated in education, author and founder and co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Because a change in training Solders and their young leaders will affect the entire Army, Army leaders will also present their side of the training coin. Speakers will include Lt. Col. Randal Wickman, commander of a basic combat training battalion, Jack Silvers from the Army Reconnaissance Course and many other professional Army educators.

Blaine hopes the conference will bring creative spark and synergy to an issue that has troubled those within and without the Army for years - Army training.

"For years, veterans and retirees have seen liberal changes in basic combat training and held their breath, expecting the Army to implode," Blaine said. "It has not happened. We now stand at a crossroads with a chance to move forward and give our platoon leaders, company commanders and sergeants tools they can use to win battles or we can choose to 'continue to march' with the education system of yesterday's Army.

"We hope this conference stimulates thought, debate and, if necessary, change."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16