WASHINGTON (Army News Service) -- Soldiers, as well as Department of the Army civilians, have a lot of innovative ideas that can save money and improve readiness. Now is the right time to share them with Army leaders, said Under Secretary of the Army Patrick J. Murphy.

Murphy, who is also the Army's chief management officer, or CMO, was the keynote speaker during the Department of the Army Civilian Luncheon, at the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exhibition, Oct. 5.

On Oct. 3, the Office of Business Transformation rolled out a new Army tool that enables the Army community to share ideas for innovation, Murphy said.

It is called the Army Ideas for Innovation tool, or AI2, he said. AI2 is a common-access-card-enabled platform that allows Soldiers and DA civilians to submit ideas to the Office of Business Transformation on how the Army can become more efficient or effective.

"You all have decades of experience. About 45 percent of DA civilians are military veterans, many of them Soldiers For Life. With your experience come insights, and I need those insights," he appealed. "The more efficient and effective we can be, the better we can support Soldiers.

"Many of your ideas will make it directly to me, because as the CMO, I care about what my teammates are seeing each day as they get after it, and how we can become better as a team," he continued.

He added that it's everyone's duty to make the Army "better than when we found it."

TELL THE ARMY STORY

Besides innovative solutions, another way Soldiers and DA civilians can make the Army and nation better is to tell the Army story to those who haven't served, Murphy said. Even DA civilians who are not themselves veterans have an important role in telling the Army story.

Some 90 percent of young people get their news on social media. That's a perfect venue for telling the story, he said, pointing out that he tries to tell the Army story on his Facebook site.

The story to tell, he said, is the good work Army employees are doing every day. The story is also about Soldiers are doing every day, from deterring Russian aggression and fighting the Islamic State to protecting the home front during natural disasters that take place almost every year.

"When the president or a governor dials 911, the Army answers the call," he said. "Our Nation hands us the toughest issues because they know we will get after it and accomplish the mission. We're able to do this because we are a varsity team of Soldiers and civilians."

PURPOSE-DRIVEN LIFE

Soldiers and DA civilians "lead a purpose-driven life" every day, Murphy said. At every step of readiness generation, DA civilians are there, integral members of the Army team.

DA civilians are leading the way in ensuring Soldiers will continue to maintain a tactical and technical advantage over the enemy, he pointed out. "We are one team, and civilians are our backbone."

ARMY TEN-MILER

Murphy encouraged everyone who can, to attend the Army Ten-Miler, Oct. 9, at and near the Pentagon. He said he intends to be there and give Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey and Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Daniel B. Allyn a run for their money. Murphy said he told them jokingly to "look at my face because next time you see me, you'll be looking at my back."

The Army Ten-Miler and other events like this inspire esprit de corps within the Army and "make us feel like one family," he added.

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