By Frederick R. Poole, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine CommandSeptember 25, 2013
FORT EUSTIS, Va. -- Gen. Robert W. Cone, commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, hosted a town hall at Jacob's Theater here Sept. 18 to share information with TRADOC military and civilian personnel.
Topics included how cuts to the Department of the Army's budget may affect TRADOC, the command's numerous accomplishments and the future of the organization.
Cone began the town hall by discussing TRADOC's mandatory budget cuts, noting that TRADOC will have to maintain readiness and the ability to reshape the Army despite the reduction.
Cone made it clear that in negotiating the challenges of sequestration, the command must continue to focus on the Army's current transition from war to future training and development of the force.
"We are in a transition between an Army of execution to an Army of preparation," Cone said. "Our future takes place in TRADOC classrooms and ARCIC (TRADOC's Army Capabilities Integration Center) meeting rooms across our Army to design the future. If we give that up and pay for too much near-term readiness, then we give up growing our leaders of the future."
According to Cone, since 2001, the TRADOC headquarters workforce has been reduced by 33 percent -- mostly by hiring freezes and retirements.
When discussing potential personnel cuts, Cone said he doesn't believe in reductions that single out temporary employees and those with little seniority. Instead, he said personnel cuts will be an opportunity for reorganization.
"For too long, all of the reductions in TRADOC were done by hiring freezes and retirements, and that left us with a good workforce, but not the optimal workforce for the work we need to do today," Cone said. "In some cases, we need to reorganize many of the functions."
He stated that when a sizeable amount of an organization is cut, it creates opportunities for employee advancement and increased responsibilities.
During the town hall, Cone highlighted successes in more than 20 TRADOC initiatives, ranging from further developing civilian education to the command's latest initiative, Soldier 2020.TRADOC's role in Soldier 2020 is to define physical demands to determine standards for each military occupational specialty and to identify institutional and cultural factors that will help Soldiers and the Army succeed. The intent of the effort is to match the right Soldier -- regardless of gender -- to jobs that best correspond to their abilities.
"My belief is that women have paid for their opportunity to serve wherever they want to serve in the U.S. Army," said Cone.
Cone added that recent surveys show the majority of Soldiers agree with women serving wherever they wish to serve.
The commanding general also discussed the importance of the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program, emphasizing that sexual harassment and assault are unacceptable in both TRADOC and the Army.
In addition to Soldier 2020, Cone also discussed the release of the U.S. Army Capstone Concept, the publication of new manuals within Doctrine 2015 and the implementation of the Army Leader Development Strategy, which outlines senior leaders' vision and strategy of all Army professionals.
Cone concluded the discussion by looking forward and highlighting future TRADOC initiatives.
"We have a great path set, and the Army is relying on us now more than they have in the past 12 years," Cone said.