It is fitting that on the 10-year anniversary of the Iraq War, the Army gathered Joint Force partners, civilian military experts and foreign military representatives to analyze the lessons learned from more than a decade of war to help guide the service's transition to an Army of preparation.

The Army's senior leaders gathered at the National Defense University on Fort McNair for the 2013 Campaign of Learning's Senior Leader Seminar, an event hosted by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno to plan for the Army's future, facilitate discussion among top military experts, and capture lessons learned from several years of war.

"The central feature of the last 10 years of war is the importance of the human domain," said Gen. Robert W. Cone, commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. "We paid to learn the language, culture, tribes and fidelity in terms of network targeting … we must put in place structural imperatives so that we ensure we learn those lessons and add them to our doctrine."

Recognizing the Army's transition to an Army of preparation, senior leaders discussed the value of the Army as a member of the Joint Force. Despite the rapid evolution of technology, the Army's key contribution to the Joint Force is its influence on the human domain.

"There are two big ideas: the human domain and the human dimension," said Maj. Gen. Bill Hix, TRADOC's director of the Concept Development and Learning Directorate. "Human domain is strategic land power and influencing the operating environment -- we must stay engaged to the environment. The human dimension is optimizing our capital investment, which is people. Our Soldiers need to be regionally engaged and globally responsive."

A key topic of the SLS centered on a recently conducted Winter Wargame simulation, where a state with nuclear weapons collapsed. Senior leaders used this simulation to ask key questions and solicit input from more than 100 joint and multinational military leaders and civilian subject-matter experts.

Lt. Gen. Keith C. Walker, TRADOC's deputy commanding general of Futures and director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, used the simulation to evaluate the challenges of complex problems where the discerning Soldier, as a critical part of the Joint Force, must secure and control territory to meet national objectives.

"The Army, Marines and special operations forces give combatant commanders a discriminate capability that other joint capabilities do not provide," Walker said, reiterating the importance of land power.

Hix added, "The key point is that you need to control and influence key populations. In the Winter Wargame scenario, it was about strategically maneuvering to gain access to understand the situation."

Because the Soldier is the indispensible unit of the Army, its leaders emphasized the importance of leadership development and Soldier training during this time of transition.
"The Army spends roughly 50 percent of its budget on human capital, and we must get out of it as much as possible," Hix said.

Cone added that although technology is important, the human domain is critical.

"We will constantly seek a technological advantage," Cone said. "But what is behind technology is the human will … War will always be fundamentally a human struggle."

Page last updated Thu March 28th, 2013 at 16:40