By Ms. Kelly Morris (Rucker)February 13, 2020
Fort Rucker hosted senior leaders from across the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command for the TRADOC Commander's Forum at the Seneff Building here Feb. 11-12.
With a theme of "Driving Change through Technology and Training -- Victory Starts Here," the event was intended to foster dialogue among leaders and included sessions focused on strategic initiatives to support fielding a Multi-Domain Operations capable force by 2028, and a MDO ready force by 2035, while also supporting Army readiness.
Event host Gen. Paul E. Funk II, TRADOC commanding general, emphasized the importance of ensuring citizens and Soldiers understand why service matters.
"We've got a great story to tell. We've just got to get out and tell it," Funk said.
Though the event focused heavily on technology, Funk emphasized the importance of developing leaders.
He spoke about a culture of assessment, meaning a culture of accountability and responsibility to improve, and the importance of pinpointing the knowledge, skills and behaviors Soldiers should have at every level of their careers.
"We have to look at our career through a lens of assessment--at each phase," Funk said.
"As we assess, what we're looking for are ways to improve. What we want to do is help you get better. At the end of the day, our leader development programs are where we're going to make the difference. We're going to see some great simulations and simulators, but at the end of the day if our leaders don't understand how to use them and why we do the things we do, it won't matter," he said.
Funk called for recommendations that will help ensure balance--so that when Soldiers leave from initial training at TRADOC and go to other commands, they are better informed and understand the standards to help prevent any incidents of sexual harassment and assault and suicide.
"We've got to attack this. Everything we can do, we've got to keep at it," he said.
He also emphasized the importance of diversity across the force.
Funk spoke about the importance of changing the culture of fitness, and called for leaders to emphasize the Army Combat Fitness Test.
The ACFT is an essential component of the Army's Holistic Health and Fitness program, to improve individual Soldier readiness and lethality. The ACFT focuses on power, muscular endurance and strength, speed, cardio endurance, balance, agility, flexibility, coordination and reaction time.
"I expect you in your organizations to drive the ACFT. Let's get everybody to a standard," he said.
Leadership includes a responsibility for inspiring others through daily behavior, according to Funk.
"It's your job," Funk said. "Be the leader you want to be led by. Know your squad. And do things the right way. It's that simple. If we do that, we're going to inspire people."
Funk commended leaders for their part in helping ensure the Army meets its recruiting and retention goals, and for helping to tell the Army story.
"We're getting after attrition. We're getting after bringing in the right folks. And we're really focused on the programs that make them successful. And we've got a great product," he said.
Maj. Gen. David J. Francis, commanding general of USAACE and Fort Rucker, provided an Aviation training update.
To help explain the scope of the training activity, he showed a video graphic that depicted four hours of busy airspace activity at Fort Rucker condensed into 60 seconds. Fort Rucker launches approximately three and a half combat aviation brigades' worth of aircraft every day, he explained.
The Center is increasing throughput to help with challenges from the high operational tempo, working various initiatives to help address the attrition rate, and also looking at ways to integrate developing technology to improve training.
The forum also included other speakers from t Headquarters Department of the Army Directorate of Military Personnel Management, Assistant Secretary of the Army -- Manpower and Reserve Affairs, and the office of the Director of Military Personnel Management, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1, Army Pentagon; TRADOC, Fort Eustis, Va.; the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; the U.S. Army Recruiting Command; the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military History, Fort Eustis, Va.; the U.S. Army Center of Military History; and the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, Ga.