WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 14, 2014) -- The future of the Army rests in the cadets of today's Reserve Officer Training Corps, said the commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

The incoming lieutenants of the Army are expected to uphold traditions and legacies that go back to before the founding of the nation, Gen. David G. Perkins said yesterday.

"The Army that you are going into is older than the country you are swearing to defend," he said at a ROTC luncheon at the 2014 Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition.

"This is what I would call a bedrock institution of the United States of America, and really, a bedrock institution of the world," he said.

The Army is a large, complex organization that carries out various missions and operates around the world, he said, saying it seeks out excellence and empowers Soldiers to achieve it.

Perkins said he tells anyone, whether cadets or someone already in the Army, that to be successful, one must first must understand the traditions and legacies of this foundational institution.

"If it were not for the United States Army, there would not be a United States of America," he said.

LEADERSHIP, GROWTH

The Army grows leaders from within, Perkins said. It is the job of the new officer to grow, develop leadership traits, and become a great leader who makes the Army stronger.

Non-commissioned officers play a big part in helping grow those leaders, Perkins said. The general said one of the jobs of a senior NCO is to help young officers become successful.

An officer knows he or she has made it when the experienced non-commissioned officer boasts that "my lieutenant did this," Perkins said.

"A proven method of generating great leaders is bringing in very inexperienced lieutenants, putting them with great non-commissioned officers, and then eventually, with a lot of water and sunlight, they will grow up to be general officers," he said.

"It works every single time," he said.

HONORING THE LEGACY

In addition to Perkins' keynote speech at the luncheon, Boy Scouts presented to D-Day veterans in attendance medals from the regional government of Normandy, France. The six veterans served in the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Perkins thanked the Boy Scouts for their volunteerism and service to their communities. He also paid special tribute to the D-Day veterans.

"For those of us still in uniform, you're reminding us of why we serve," he said.

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