By Nick DukeJuly 10, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga., (July 10, 2013) -- Students in the Maneuver Captains Career Course heard from one of the Army's top voices, July 1, as Gen. Dan Allyn, the commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command, spoke to the class about a variety of issues facing the Army today.
Allyn spent time talking about the uncertain future that lies ahead as the Army contemplates how best to approach reorganization and sequestration.
No matter what shape these challenges eventually take, Allyn said the Army's future leaders will be capable of meeting and overcoming them.
"There's a lot going on right now," he said. "Some of it is not so good. There's a lot going on that is sort of putting pressure on our Army. But, from my corner, none of it is equal to the leadership capacity that we have. The leadership potential that resides right here can dominate the environment that we're going to be thrust into. I don't care what that environment is. If we all go out there and execute mission command and empower our subordinate leaders, we're going to dominate the environment."
On the topic of sequestration, Allyn said future company commanders should focus on training their Soldiers rather than worrying about financial issues.
"Let me worry about sequestration," he said. "Let the chief of staff of the Army worry about sequestration. Let our core commanders worry about sequestration. I want you to worry about leading and training our Soldiers. This is not a new environment for us to have constrained resources."
He also encouraged the students to help develop the next generation of leaders by providing their subordinate leaders with top-notch instruction and advice.
"The most important job you have as a company commander besides mission readiness for combat is developing your subordinate leaders," Allyn said.
"Your job should be working your way out of a job from the day that you get there. You want to develop your lieutenants to able to command in your absence. You want them to be confident in their ability to do it and you want to be confident in how you have equipped them."
Allyn also talked about the issues the Army faces in the global community, which he said is more volatile and dangerous than it has been in his military career.
"I've been in the Army 32 years, and I've deployed to combat six times, and the world is more dangerous than at any time since I became a second lieutenant," he said. "It's more uncertain, more dangerous and we have more enemies than at any time in three decades."
Another issue Allyn spoke about was the Army's efforts to curtail instances of sexual harassment and assault.
"In the sexual harassment and sexual assault arena, I'll just give you a couple of simple thoughts -- 'not in my Army, not on my watch and not here,'" he said. "I believe in the leaders in our Army. I have absolute trust and confidence in the strength of our leadership. We've just got to focus it on this issue and win it."
He encouraged each student to take a personal interest in sexual harassment and assault prevention efforts throughout their military careers.
"If it happens in our formation, we better take it personally," he said. "You're going to be on point applying mission command to create an environment of trust, and when you do that effectively, conditions where sexual assault and harassment happen will not be possible. Company commanders executing mission command solve this problem."
While sexual harassment and assault is an issue for the Army, Allyn said the erosion of trust created by those types of instances is highly concerning.
"Command is the most sacred trust that you can be entrusted with in any army, and certainly in the U.S. Army," he said.
"We have a crisis of trust in our Army today," he said. "While it is magnified and publicized because of the sexual harassment and sexual assault issues, it's bigger than that. We have to have an environment in our formations where Soldiers will feel free to come forward with whatever challenge that they're facing. If our leaders don't exemplify that type of a trusting style of leadership, we cannot build anything on that foundation -- it is an unstable platform."