By Brenadine C. Humphrey, U.S. Army Cadet Command Public AffairsOctober 1, 2018
Fort Knox, KY (September 25, 2018) -- The Total Force Discussion panel opened Cadet Command's 2018 Mission Command Workshop (MCW) and included Maj. Gen. Scottie D. Carpenter, Deputy Commanding General of US Army Reserve Command, Maj. Gen. Charles W. Whittington, Deputy Director of the Army National Guard and Maj. Gen. John R. Evans, Commanding General of U.S. Army Cadet Command.
The panel was an addition to the newly redesigned Mission Command Workshop, which Evans utilized as his first opportunity to address Brigade Command teams and Professors of Military Science in a group environment to facilitate a shared understanding of the operational environment for Cadet Command.
"More than 90% of our Professors of Military Science are from the Active component, and although the Guard and Reserves and Active components have served alongside each other in combat for the last 15 years, there are glaring holes in our knowledge base, simply because we don't know what we don't know," said Col. Scott Sonsalla in his introduction for the panel discussion.
With so many professors of military science (PMS) coming from the Active duty component, this can lead to Army ROTC Cadets not having access to Cadre with first-hand knowledge of the benefits and opportunities the Army National Guard (ARNG) and the US Army Reserve provide.
The panel addressed some of these blind spots by offering a forum for PMSs to hear from and ask questions of leaders in all three components, while highlighting the need for them to do the work to learn more about all three components.
Whittington asked the PMSs to widen their frame of reference and to be cognizant of the importance of looking at each Cadet individually, "If you're one of those that, for whatever reason, believes in a particular direction, in either component, or branch, ask yourself, are you are really doing the right thing for the folks that you are leading? I would just ask that you widen your aperture, ensure that you give the opportunity for these young folks to ask those probing questions."
During the panel, Evans spoke directly to the active component Professors of Military Science, "We're from the same tribe, and I will say for the bulk of my career, I was guilty, as a member of our tribe, of not fully understanding what our Guard and Reserve brethren do. Really, if you haven't experienced it downrange, what they provide our Army, is absolutely - there's just no substitute for it. We can't set up the theater, we can't execute the fight without them. So, we are in every sense, a total Army….This is a one team fight."
"It's incumbent upon you as an active component PMS -- and our Guard and Reserve folks better understand this -- to educate yourself on the processes, the opportunities, and the things that your Cadets can avail themselves of in the Guard and Reserve."
Evans closed the panel by highlighting how Cadet Command's PMSs are unique in the officer accessions process, "You are spread across 965 colleges and universities -- just like the Guard and Reserve -- you are the face of our Army to America. That is exceptionally important."
"The last thing I'll leave you with, is our Guard and Reserve components are strategic in every sense of the word. General Carpenter and General Whittington talked about what they bring to the fight… I will tell you, more importantly, they are in touch with our communities. Get out there and understand what's going on in the Guard and Reserve so you can serve those Cadets well and serve our Army well."