By U.S. ArmyMarch 18, 2014
Good morning, everybody. It's great to be here at Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Eustis. Today is a day to celebrate TRADOC and the incredible things they do every day to make our Army who we are, whether it be training new Soldiers who come into the Army, whether it be training our new officers for the future, whether it be recruiting new Soldiers to come in, whether it be developing new concepts and developments, whether it be all the Centers of Excellence where we really talk about our combat capabilities and concepts -- our Army is about what TRADOC helps us to be. And this is a great, great day to do that.
Before I go any further, I would like to recognize first all of the commanders and command sergeants major that represent all the subordinate commands at TRADOC. I also want to give a special thank you to Major Leo Pena and the rest of the great band here at TRADOC. I also want to thank all of those that are here today: all the former TRADOC Commanders; the commander from ACT (General Jean-Paul Palomeros, Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation), sir thank you so much for being here; former Chief of Staff of the Army, General Sullivan; all the other guests; family members. It is tremendous for you all to be here today. Thank you so much for being here for this ceremony that, again, represents two great leaders: General Bob Cone and General Dave Perkins, but also the great things that TRADOC does every single day.
There has never been a more important time for TRADOC. The work that they are doing is critical in sustaining the Army's current readiness through their institutional training and the innovation, while simultaneously moving the Army into the future through integrated organizational and equipment concepts and doctrine. For over 40 years, the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command has recruited and trained Soldiers, developed adaptive leaders, guided the Army through doctrine, and shaped the Army through the integration of formations, capabilities, and materiel.
I have traveled all over the world visiting Army installations, observing training, and talking to Soldiers. Wherever I go, one thing is apparent -- TRADOC's hard work and the influence that they have on our young men and women is truly the foundation of our Army. What they have done each day is vital to everything that we've done over the last 12 years, and will be as we look to the future. TRADOC will help the Army navigate shifts in force, organization, materiel, and doctrine as we continue to transform the Army into a force our Nation needs.
Today is an opportunity to honor the accomplishments and say farewell to General Bob Cone -- an innovative, determined leader of vision. We're also very fortunate as we always are in the Army to welcome an accomplished leader such as Dave Perkins, who has the background, both operationally and institutionally, to lead Training and Doctrine Command in the future.
In just a few days on St. Patrick's Day at Fort Myer, Bob will retire following 35 years of distinguished service. At that ceremony, I'll highlight his distinguished career and say farewell to him and his family. But today, I would just like to highlight some of those accomplishments. Bob is a warrior scholar. He has commanded at every level from company through corps; he has served in joint and multi-national assignments around the world; he is combat tested, having fought in Operations Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, and Enduring Freedom. He is an accomplished leader of immense character, but we all know that. Today, I just want to take a minute to focus on some -- and I emphasize just some -- of his accomplishments leading this great command.
Under General Cone, TRADOC codified the first ever Leader Development Strategy. He orchestrated our strategy for Army leader development across three pillars: lifelong training, education and broadening experiences. This strategy is going to guide the Army in the development of competent and committed leaders of character with the skills and attributes necessary to meet the ever-growing complex nature of the future security environment that we will face.
He's led an extraordinary effort to completely and extensively reform our doctrine. For the first time in 20 years, we've formulated, changed, and rewritten our entire doctrinal basis. This effort, called Doctrine 2015, revised the structure of our manuals and brought them into the 21st century. They've accelerated the creation of the first 30 Army Doctrine Publications at the top level and the Army Doctrine Reference Publications and Field Manuals to support them, all while they were properly nested with each other. In doing so, TRADOC and the Combined Arms Center not only captured the key lessons learned from over a decade of conflict, but also more importantly ensured our doctrine was more accessible to our Soldiers, our commanders, and all our formations.
Bob has also led a comprehensive effort to ensure we select the best Soldiers for each military occupational specialty, regardless of gender. TRADOC is taking a standards-based, holistic and deliberate approach to clearly define physical standards based on our mission requirements for each Army occupation across the force. Simultaneously, they're conducting an extensive study to identify the institutional and cultural factors affecting gender integration, and then developing long-term strategies to assimilate women into previously restricted units. Last year, the secretary of defense lifted the combat exclusion ban for our female Soldiers. TRADOC's work in moving the Army in this mission has been lauded by Congress and many outside agencies for its comprehensive approach to remove barriers and give every Soldier the opportunity to serve in any position where he or she is capable of performing to standard.
As we today transform our formations to face an uncertain and complex world, TRADOC has helped us to develop the concept of Strategic Landpower. As the character of conflict has changed over the past decade, we've asked ourselves, "How do we more effectively link military action to achieve national outcomes?" The key will, of course, be maintaining dominance in the Land Domain. But we also must understand how it intersects with the Human and Cyber Domains. We must think about how we're going to establish a Global Landpower Network, in coordination with a Global SOF Network and underpinned by regionally aligned capabilities and forces and our Global Response Forces. This will enable us to prevent conflict through deterrence, shape the operational battle space and, when necessary, win decisively -- all in support of our Combatant Commanders. Landpower will provide the pathway for a more globally responsive force -- a leaner, more lethal and agile force, uniquely enabled and organized to conduct expeditionary maneuver.
Bob Cone has been the centerpiece of leading all of these efforts, and has set the framework and foundation for us to move forward. In my opinion, Bob's unprecedented teamwork with Forces Command, Army Materiel Command, and our Army Service Component Commands, with his dynamic leadership style has allowed us to move forward exponentially and very quickly. His vision and leadership has provided momentum to push the Army into the future. Bob, thank you for your leadership, thank you for your vision, and thank you for your friendship.
With all these accomplishments as the TRADOC commander, it is important for us to remember that he is just one-half of a dynamite command team. The very reserved and quiet Jill Cone has been serving alongside Bob for over 25 years. Just during her time here with TRADOC, she was invaluable with transitioning the command from Fort Monroe to Fort Eustis. She established the Fort Eustis Spouses club, provided extraordinary support to the Wounded Warrior Unit at Fort Eustis, and spent countless hours working with the Red Cross and various other Fort Eustis community activities. She's also traveled around the Army and TRADOC with Bob, supporting our Soldiers, our leaders, and our Families with an incredible amount of coaching and mentorship for all of the spouses of TRADOC. She spent countless hours at our pre-command course as they transitioned through Training and Doctrine Command.
Jill -- I know I speak for the entire TRADOC and Fort Eustis team, and the entire Army, but thank you for your constant dedication, not only to the command, but to your Soldier. We could not thank you enough. Please, let's give her a round of applause. [Applause]
TRADOC's core mission is to ensure our Army is prepared to face the security challenges of today, while preparing for tomorrow. The complex, ever-shifting nature of the strategic landscape requires TRADOC to be forward-thinking and innovative, integrating concepts and technology. We need a leader with proven tactical and operational acumen, an innovative mind and a respected leader. The Army's newest 4-star general, Dave Perkins, represents all of those qualities and much more. Having just commanded the Combined Arms Center, Dave has worked alongside Bob to bring about Doctrine 2015 and the Army Leader Development Strategy. He knows well enough how TRADOC works, and he understands priorities of the Army, and what we need to do to move the Army into the future.
He brings a wealth of wartime leadership and academic experience to the job. He's commanded at every level: battalion, brigade, and division in combat, as well as multiple joint and multinational organizations both here and overseas. He is uniquely qualified to lead this great command.
And of course, we are also welcoming Ginger, Dave's wife of 34 years. Her work with spouses, Army Community Support, and many other volunteer programs at many institutions and installations is well known. Dave and Ginger, Linda and I wish you the best of luck. You are an incredible command team. We welcome you here to Training and Doctrine Command, and we know that you're both up to the challenge.
We could not do what we do without the steadfast support of our Families as well as the American people. No Soldier stands alone. Army Families and their communities support them and have shown us the meaning of resiliency, character and untiring commitment. Our Soldiers proudly and voluntarily go into harm's way in our defense. The support of a grateful Nation is what drives them; that support welcomes them home, shaking their hands and thanking them for their service, reinforcing that their sacrifices are not taken for granted.
We all know the most important ingredient to our Army's success and our Nation's success is the American Soldier. As I stand here on this stage today, we have more than 66,000 Soldiers deployed to contingency operations, with nearly 32,000 Soldiers supporting operations in Afghanistan. We have another 85,000 Soldiers serving in over 150 countries around the globe.
Since 2001, these great young men and women of our Army have earned over 15,000 medals of valor, to include 9 Medals of Honor, 28 Distinguished Service Crosses, and 704 Silver Stars, and these numbers continue to grow every day. These young men and women are some of the bravest and yet most humble individuals I have ever met, telling me they were just doing their job.
They are living up to the professional standards and dedicating themselves to the service of our country. Their competence, commitment and character continue to be a source of inspiration for our Army and our Nation. It is our solemn responsibility to ensure that they are prepared, trained, ready, and well-led whenever our Nation calls. And that's why we're here today. Training and Doctrine Command plays a key role in all of that. They are the first people that our Soldiers meet. They are the ones who establish the training requirements to ensure they're ready. Whatever we do, we must never forget that it is for them -- those Soldiers who go into harm's way.
The strength of our Nation is our Army; the strength of our Army is our Soldiers; the strength of our Soldiers is our Families; and that's what makes us Army Strong. Thank you very much.