Sustainability is Supporting the Army Vision for Decades to Come

By Colonel Brian E. GriffinAugust 2, 2018

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General Mark A. Milley, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, and Dr. Mark T. Esper, Secretary of the Army, recently issued The Army Vision for 2028.

In it, General Milley and Dr. Esper address the Army's challenges and reveal their plan for the Army of the next decade -- the Army that "will be ready to deploy, fight and win decisively against any adversary, anytime and anywhere." "The many demands on the Nation's resources will put downward pressure on the defense budget in the future, forcing the Army to continue making difficult choices about how it spends scarce dollars to meet national objectives and compelling us to become ever more efficient," they wrote.

In the Army Reserve, we are certainly compelled to become ever more efficient, but one particular choice to that end is not difficult: the choice to be sustainable. We know that our resources are vital to every mission, and we know that resource efficiency is critical to our continued readiness, resilience and security. We know that sustainable practices can reduce our demands on the Nation's resources and avoid costs that can be reallocated to other aspects of the mission.

So, we are implementing state-of-the-art initiatives that conserve our energy and water. We are building safe, healthy and efficient facilities. We are protecting our lands, and we are reducing our environmental "bootprint." The Earth impacts many of our vital assets, so we must be mindful of our impacts on the Earth.

The Army Vision also stated, "In all of these efforts, we will ensure that our Soldiers, Civilian workforce and their Families enjoy the professional opportunities and quality of life that they deserve." As we build a resource-conscious culture, sustainable practices will enhance our communities and encourage them to cultivate an ethos of stewardship.

Sustainable practices are important, innovative weapons in our arsenal, and they are essential to our defense. They ensure that our Soldiers have the resources that they need -- when and where they need them, whether they are training at an Army Reserve Center down the street or fighting a war across the globe. With our sustainability programs, the Army Reserve will only strengthen the Army Vision: to remain the world's premier fighting force and serve the Nation well for decades to come.