Leadership reflects  on timeless profession
Lt. Gen. Robert Van Antwerp, Chief of Engineers and Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers addresses the ENFORCE conference, April 8.

Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. - (April 14, 2011) This year's ENFORCE conference was held April 6-9. The event's theme, "A Timeless Profession," provided a forum for focused collaboration, information exchange and the regiment's campaign plan, priorities, professional development and institutional updates.

During the opening remarks of the conference, Maj. Gen. David Quantock, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, addressed attendees.

"Looking across what a great Engineer Regiment we have ... it's awesome to have all of you here," he said.

Quantock talked about how far Fort Leonard Wood has come over the past few years and how much interaction the post has between the different organizations spread across the
installation.

"We are very proud of what we do here at Fort Leonard Wood," Quantock said.

Lt. Gen. Robert Van Antwerp, Chief of Engineers and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commanding general, gave the Chief of Engineers address during the conference, Friday.

Van Antwerp recounted several stories of previous visits to Fort Leonard Wood that incited much laughter and clapping throughout the general assembly.

However, Van Antwerp also discussed serious matters involving what it means to be an engineer and the responsibility that comes with the engineer profession.

Van Antwerp said that if the boiler goes out at Walter Reed Army Hospital where our wounded warriors are residing, an engineer is called in to fix that boiler, whether it's at 3 p.m. or 3 a.m.

"That's what we do, we help other people get their jobs done, and we don't say, that's not our job," Van Antwerp said.

Brig. Gen. Bryan Watson, U.S. Army Engineer School commandant, gave the commandant's update after the Chief of Engineers address.

"Timeless to the very beginning, an engineer is always there," Watson said. "Every campaign streamer that hangs from our colors, an engineer had a part of that."

Watson talked about the engineer profession and what the Engineer Regiment's response should be after nine years of war, to make sure the Army is served as it has been in the past.

"What does it mean to be a professional Soldier'" Watson asked the assembly. "You can be in the profession, but not be a professional, and after nine years of war, how do you do it'"

We have a responsibility for development; dynamic career development for Soldiers and leaders," Watson said. "We have to make sure they have the right skills and leader attributes to be members of our profession and live up to our legacy."

Watson said professionals are all about service and at the end of the day you have to have a sense of service.

"Every day you have to serve with the heart of a sapper," Watson said. "If you are part of the Army Engineer Regiment, you best be a warrior."

The ENFORCE conference continued with Dr. Don Snider, the Center for Army Profession and Ethic senior fellow and ENFORCE conference keynote speaker. Snider discussed the Army Engineer Soldier and how they have adapted in their profession.

"You have revamped your personnel system, particularly the officer personnel system, in remarkable ways," Snider said.

Snider said there is an idea spreading through Europe among moral philosophers and many military leaders that we have entered a post-heroic age. The public does not want their Army doing heroic things; in fact, they do not want their Armies fighting offensive wars; they want them only to fight defensive wars, and people want to know how we are developing officers and leaders to deal with this mind set.

"For the last 10 years in the United States Army, this concept does not apply. In fact, we are moving the other way; our Army is behaving more in the heroic tradition than it has in the past," Snider said. "Mainly because we have decentralized the counter-insurgent and counter-terrorist operations out to the edge, and we are dealing face-to-face with evil every day among our fighting forces."

Snider said that to be a Soldier is a calling, and that is what a profession is all about.

"You guys have to think about this as something far larger than yourself," Snider said. "Don't let it become a job."

Page last updated Wed May 11th, 2011 at 14:26