A concept isn't enough
By Sgt. Raquel VillalonaJuly 17, 2018
CAMP RED CLOUD, Republic of Korea -- Warrior leaders, old and new, set aside a few days to rediscover the many different aspects of the unique mission belonging to the complex, dynamic 2nd Infantry Division/ROK-U.S. Combined Division.
Maj. Gen. D. Scott McKean, commanding general, 2ID/RUCD, and Command Sgt. Maj. Phil K. Barretto, hosted 'Transition Week,' July 10-13, consisting of seminars and visits to various locations across the peninsula for division leaders, brigade and battalion command teams, and key staff members to build a shared understanding of training, operations and logistical standards to establish a common reference for incoming senior leaders.
The week started with an "adrenaline-pumping" Army physical readiness training session followed by a series of seminars across the Korean peninsula.
In opening remarks, McKean, emphasized the importance of having leadership synchronized, mentioning that wasn't always the case.
"When I took command a year ago, there were concepts in place but I didn't see operation orders," said Maj. Gen. D. Scott McKean, commanding general, 2ID/RUCD. "You can't rehearse a concept; you have to be able to rehearse a plan; you need to be able to execute," he said.
McKean believes in holding the Soldier and their leaders responsible in maintaining high levels of discipline during training and readiness preparation.
"The goal is that we have as much autonomy as possible because this division is so diverse that we need to tailor ourselves to the type of units we have out here," said McKean. "My whole intent is that you are optimized for your particular mission," he said.
Leaders learned the historical context of the division and lessons learned from the Korean War, standards and expectations placed on them and their units, as well as what resources are available to accomplish their unique missions.
Warriors were provided the ability to conceptualize the operational environment after the Korean War and have a greater appreciation for the strength of the ROK-U.S. alliance during a trip to the Joint Security Area (JSA) and Odusan Mountain Observation Tower.
"There was an atmosphere of comradery," said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Hyeonjoong Kim, native of Seoul and command chaplain. "Everyone made an effort to learn and valued the importance of each moving piece of the ROK-U.S. alliance."
A tour of the sprawling new division headquarters on Camp Humphreys was the final stop where leaders attended classes focusing on family readiness and the division's current operations.
Command Sgt. Maj. Freddie Thompson IV, a native of Panama City, Florida, and 6-37th Field Artillery Battalion command sergeant major, attended Transition Week last year and again this year, noticing a more focused, mission-oriented commander's intent.
"Transition Week truly provided substance to the intent of the commander's vision while giving more attention to our mission," said Thompson. "The transition of senior leaders within the division makes Transition Week necessary in establishing relationships and a shared understanding of what the different elements and capabilities the division provides for the peninsula, as well as for each other."