• Staff Sgt. Max Tarkington, Route Reconnaissance and Clearance Course - Sapper Noncommissioned Officer-in-Charge tells Gen. Robert Cone how the Talon robot is used by engineers on Fort Leonard Wood.

    TRADOC commanding general tours Fort Leonard Wood

    Staff Sgt. Max Tarkington, Route Reconnaissance and Clearance Course - Sapper Noncommissioned Officer-in-Charge tells Gen. Robert Cone how the Talon robot is used by engineers on Fort Leonard Wood.

  • Sgt. 1st Class Shawn Baldwin, Additional Skill Identifiers Course Noncommissioned Officer-in-Charge, and Gen. Robert Cone watch as Staff Sgt. Tyler Perez, Assault Breacher Vehicle Noncommissioned Officer-in-Charge, and Capt. Jesse Moore, S3 operations officer demonstrate how the Combat Engineer Heavy Track Course simulators are used in training.

    TRADOC commanding general tours Fort Leonard Wood

    Sgt. 1st Class Shawn Baldwin, Additional Skill Identifiers Course Noncommissioned Officer-in-Charge, and Gen. Robert Cone watch as Staff Sgt. Tyler Perez, Assault Breacher Vehicle Noncommissioned Officer-in-Charge, and Capt. Jesse Moore, S3 operations...

FORT LEONARDWOOD, Mo. -- U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command commanding general Gen. Robert W. Cone and his wife, Jill, visited Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., April 12. It's his second tour of the post since becoming TRADOC commander last year.

"I'm really honored to be here," Cone said. "When we visit every six months or so, we see real progress -- particularly the things that I have seen today. You are the point of attack for TRADOC. I come out to visit you to get feedback. I look forward to it."

While on post, he visited the chemical school, military police school, engineer school and ate lunch with Captains Career Course instructors.

Maj. Gen. Mark Yenter, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, accompanied Cone around post to observe the troops at work and ask them questions about the training they conduct on post.

"They certainly are knowledgeable about what they do -- every question had an answer," Yenter said.

While on post, Cone also spoke with senior leaders about how Fort Leonard Wood and TRADOC continue to shape the Army of 2020.

"This is an incredible time for TRADOC," Cone said. "We are at a critical point. It's about leader development and training -- that is what our focus is."

With the drawback in deployments, less troops are facing combat. But Cone said he believes even though there are fewer Soldiers headed downrange, they still deserve top-of-the-line training.

"We have to continue to train on what's happening downrange with great fidelity -- people's lives depend on it," Cone said. "I think people are gradually realizing the role of home station training, where I think the best training takes place."

Today's TRADOC leaders have an important opportunity. Cone said these Soldiers are trusted with the responsibility to shape tomorrow's Army.

"In the years to come, what you will be remembered for is your legacy in the leaders that you leave behind," he said. "Be a mentor; reach out to people who work for you."

Currently TRADOC trains about 600,000 people each year in its schools.

"I think this is a magnificent success story," TRADOC's commanding general said. "We have gone from a workload of about 360,000, up to 599,000. TRADOC has stayed at about 40,000 Soldiers, civilians and contractors doing the training. That's pretty efficient," Cone said. "You have to balance readiness, personnel and equipment. You can't take any one of those out, because we would end up with an organization that can't fight. We owe it to the people that stay in the Army to have a confident Army."

While on post, Mrs. Cone also met with Family Readiness Groups.

"I bring my wife because she is a career Department of the Army employee; we are a dual career couple," Cone said. "Jill talks through the dynamics of being a working spouse." While the troops and civilians Cone met during his visit were technically proficient at their jobs, Yenter emphasized the pride they take in their work.

"I hope what you saw today was passion," Yenter said. "What all of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and civilians feel in their heart."

Page last updated Mon April 16th, 2012 at 16:44