Gen. Cone: Courses Soldiers take today are crucial to the Army's future
June 10, 2011
Gen. Robert Cone, Commanding General for U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command stepped foot on Fort Leonard Wood for the first time this week and was impressed with the quality of training.
"What I saw out here, today, was tremendous," Gen. Cone said, "To see how these three schools work together under [Maneuver Support Center Maj. Gen. David E.] Quantock's leadership is very impressive."
Gen. Cone had been the TRADOC commander for about five weeks when he visited Fort Leonard Wood. His stop on post was just one of the many trips he is making to all TRADOC installations.
"I want to make sure I know what TRADOC does," Gen. Cone said, "TRADOC is like a school system that trains 500,000 people a year. My job is to put the right Soldier at the right place, at the right time, with the right skills to be successful. That means managing an extremely large system that deals with a school system, writing the manuals and doctrine that is involved, and basically looking into that crystal ball and making sure we are ready."
To better prepare Soldiers, TRADOC courses are rooted in the Army Learning Concept 2015 and the Army Training Concept, which take into consideration uncertainties in the operating environment.
"If they fail, it's because we haven't done our job of clarifying what our expectations are of them and giving them the fundamental skills that are necessary to make them successful," Gen. Cone said, "This business is life or death. We owe them the world's best training."
Gen. Cone also toured the Davidson Fitness Center; the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Response Training Facility; Stem Village and the Counter Explosives Hazards Center (CEHC).
At the CEHC Soldiers demonstrated the multiple uses for the Talon Robot and how a mine detection dog works.
The Soldiers demonstrating the TALON, an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and hazardous material (HAZMAT) removal robot, were here training from the 4th Brigade, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas, and 307th Engineer Battalion, Fort Bragg, N.C. EOD and HAZMAT removal is one of the Army's contributions to the joint fight.
Student, Sgt. Richard White said it's important for Gen. Cone to be able to physically watch the Soldiers demonstrate their skills.
"Today, he can see what we are actually doing. He can make sure everything is done properly and we train correctly," White said.
Gen. Cone said the hands-on education Soldiers get at Fort Leonard Wood is really taking learning to the next level.
"What I saw, today, is more interactive learning. They are teaching information in an interesting way here, then moving to a more practical hands-on type learning. It beats the heck out of sitting in a classroom and having somebody lecture to you," Gen. Cone said.
Gen. Cone said the drill sergeants he met with asked him for more self-esteem building activities for new Soldiers.
"It's about building their confidence. They were encouraging me to continue to raise the bar in terms of challenges where they demonstrate self-confidence," Gen. Cone said. A part of raising that bar is through the Profession of Arms Campaign, which seeks to develop leaders of character and competence to meet the dynamic challenges of the 21st Century.
One of the first things Gen. Cone did during his day on post was watch the Soldiers conduct physical training.
"It's just amazing. The techniques we are using, today, have been tailored based on what we have learned over the years from sports medicine and sports science," Gen. Cone said. "We have a commitment to all-around Soldier fitness. It's about giving them the lifelong skills to be healthy and to be fit."
"Fort Leonard Wood plays an incredible role. It is a centerpiece of what we do," Gen. Cone said, "I am confident in the leadership that we have here at Fort Leonard Wood. These guys are on their game."