The commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command spoke to U.S. Army Forces Command's senior commanders and command sergeants major during a Fort Bragg forum, where he emphasized "Unity of Effort, Unity of Command" -- the importance of professional and personal relationships, teamwork and cooperation across Army organizations -- including the Total Army Force of active, National Guard and Army Reserve.
"Unity of effort is what our Army needs," said TRADOC Commander Gen. Paul E. Funk II. "We've got to do this together." The general spoke with more than 170 attendees Nov. 14 at the FORSCOM Commander's Forum with Gen. Michael Garrett, the Forces Command commanding general. Attendees at the Marshall Hall two-day forum included commanders from Corps, Divisions, First Army, National Guard Adjutants General, U.S. Army Reserve and U.S. Army Reserve Command leadership. TRADOC is the Army command that includes U.S. Army Recruiting Command, U.S. Army Cadet Command, U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, and over 36 other schools and centers.
General Funk's presentation updated the group on Army recruiting initiatives, efforts to lead change for the future of the Army, the vital roles of the Army Combat Training Centers, and upcoming leader development events.
In April 2020, we are going to conduct a TRADOC-FORSCOM Leader Development Conference, where we are going to look for the leadership attributes that we need not just for now, but also for the future, Funk said. "Fundamentally, we're going to need different skill sets 10 years from now than what we're looking for and recruiting for now."
Funk also reflected on the history of leading change and modernization in the Army. As you look at the "Big Five" Army projects and weapons systems of the 1980s in history, the real important pieces of that are the Non-commissioned Officer Education System, the Army After-Action Review process, and how we built readiness and trained our force through the Combat Training Centers program, Funk said -- focusing more on the changes to the Army's culture than the actual weapons systems fielded over 30 years ago.
For example, "the Combat Training Centers were always designed to be leadership laboratories, they weren't really designed to be readiness producers -- that was a by-product," Funk said. "They were designed to put you into situations that you might see or would see on the battlefield against a more capable threat … and to develop leaders along the way."
Reflecting on Army recruiting and today's potential Army recruits, Funk emphasized "the All-Volunteer Force is the most strategic thing we have." He highlighted the importance of working with local schools -- high schools and junior high schools, as well as colleges and universities. He pointed out that Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and the Reserve Officer Training Corps help introduce today's youth to valuable leadership skills as well as the Armed Forces.
U.S. Army Recruiting Command statistics indicate that 71 percent of today's American youth do not qualify for military service due to issues associated with obesity, drug use, health problems, past misconduct and aptitude. About half of today's youth indicate they know little to nothing about military service.
"I need your help," Funk told the FORSCOM leaders, to work with local schools, community leaders and civic organizations. He emphasized that Army recruiting is a teamwork enterprise that requires the entire Army to attract new Soldiers, develop leaders of character and "Tell the Army Story" to many key audiences across the Nation.
Recruiting Command statistics indicate that 79 percent of today's recruits have a relative who served previously in the Armed Forces, though veterans' populations continue to decrease.
On Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2019, the U.S. Army launched a new marketing and advertising outreach campaign, called "What's Your Warrior?," to showcase the breadth and depth of opportunities the Army offers today's youth. Soldiers serve in over 150 different career fields, according to Army officials. As part of the new campaign, real Soldiers will tell their stories to highlight the diverse talents and capabilities of those who serve in the U.S. Army.