General talks to TRADOC during time of transition
December 7, 2011
FORT EUSTIS, Va. -- Gen. Robert Cone, commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, took time out of his schedule to talk with TRADOC headquarters and the Army Capabilities Integration Center during two town hall-style meetings Dec. 6. at the Jacobs Theater at Fort Eustis, Va.
More than 600 military and civilian TRADOC employees filled the Jacobs Theater, where the general discussed the TRADOC mission, his vision, priorities and how he sees TRADOC working together to accomplish these goals.
The general began the discussion by explaining TRADOC is at a point of transition and facing several challenges -- much like the transition General William DePuy faced when TRADOC first formed in 1973.
"(TRADOC's) got to lead the Army through a time of transition -- a transition coming out of war and going into peace -- the post-Vietnam era versus the post-Iraq/Afghanistan era," Cone said, noting that the difference between the two time periods is that the current transition is "far more a dangerous environment" -- financially and strategically -- and has involved many sacrifices.
"People don't really understand the sacrifice that our Army has made in support of the two wars that we were involved in; particularly in an organization like TRADOC that has had to do more with less -- repeatedly," he said.
Cone said this transition point will affect two things: the structure of the Army, which includes the organizations and capabilities, but also the human transition.
"I think that the greatest development we've had in the last 10 years is this young generation of Soldiers and Civilians who've come to serve our country," he said. "The fact of the matter is they stepped up, they've stepped into a very difficult situation, they've adapted and they've learned. "
And being able to keep the Army's best and brightest is one of the major challenges Cone said he faces - the human transition, which is critical in shaping the Army of 2020.
"TRADOC is uniquely positioned to chart the course for our Army in both of those areas in the next two years," he said, cautioning that the transitions need to be done soon and it needs to be done right, or the organization will suffer.
"We got one chance to get this right," Cone said, stating that this one of the most important times in TRADOC history.
"My goal is to position us so we can play a leading role in the future of our Army."
In addition to shaping the Army, TRADOC's commanding general also discussed a number of other priorities, including the leader development, the Army Profession, Doctrine 2015 and TRADOC's presence at Fort Eustis, noting the importance of Soldiers continuing to maintain standards as well as the impact TRADOC's move has had on Fort Eustis, bringing more than $142 million in military construction projects.
"I think we bring a lot, and I think we're going to be great neighbors," he said.
Following the discussion, Cone held a Q-and-A session with the audience, said he believed the Packers would go undefeated this year, and concluded by stating that it's an honor to command TRADOC.
"This is a great organization," Cone said. "The contributions you've made to our country's defense and that you will make into the future are absolutely significant."