Army Senior Leader Town Hall

By Dontavian HarrisonJuly 22, 2020


Moderator: Good afternoon and welcome to our audience watching this virtual town hall online as we live stream on DVIDS, Facebook and Twitter. This afternoon, we have the honorable Ryan McCarthy, Secretary of the Army, General James McConville, the Chief of Staff of the Army, and Sergeant Major of the Army Tony Grinston. Thank you all for taking time for questions in this virtual town hall. Since our last town hall, the Nation and the Army have continued to confront Covid-19. But in addition to the pandemic, our nation and the Army are also dealing with questions related to racial, gender and other social injustices following tragedies such as the murders of George Floyd and one of our own Soldiers, Vanessa Guillén. This town hall is a chance to hear from our Army's most senior leaders as they answer frequently asked questions related to these and other topics from Soldiers, families and the civilians on Army standards, policies, policies and programs. I'll pass it off to the Secretary McCarthy for opening comments, and we'll get into some questions for the next 30 minutes or so Mr. Secretary.

Secretary McCarthy: Thanks to everyone joining us this afternoon. The Chief, SMA and I will try to answer as many questions that we can that you've submitted.  To the points Kurt made before, in particular, we'd like to specifically address sexual assault, suicides and racial tensions. These three very difficult issues have plagued us for years, but in the recent seven months, it has hit a crisis point with the deaths of Mr. George Floyd and SPC Vanessa Guillén. These are things that we have to address and take decisive quick action on and improve. We can only do that by listening and learning from all of you. So much of what we want to do today is ask us the hard questions and have a conversation.

Moderator: So, following up on your opening comments, Secretary McCarthy, what is the Army's response related to the outcry for change amongst the Hispanic community following the death of Vanessa Guillén?

Secretary McCarthy: I’d like the chief to take a shot at this one first.

General McConville: Thanks, Mr. Secretary. I had the privilege of attending Vanessa's memorial service at Fort Hood on Friday, and I had the honor of meeting Vanessa's family - her mom, her dad, her sisters and much of the extended family. And quite frankly, they are very angry. They are heartbroken, and they're in a lot of pain because they sent us their daughter and quite frankly, we didn't take care of her. We have to find out what happened. We have to make sure that something never happens like that again to one of our Soldiers. And as the Secretary said, you know, we have to have leaders at every single level aggressively getting after sexual harassment, sexual assault, taking care of Soldiers so we don't lose them to suicide, and aggressively getting after racism and extremism in our ranks. This is not who we are, this is not what we're about, and this is what we expect every single leader at every single level to aggressively get after it. Sgt. Maj.?

Sergeant Major Grinston: Yes, sir. First, foremost my personal condolences to the family of Vanessa Guillén. I wasn't at Fort Hood, but I did do a Microsoft Teams ‘This is my squad’ small group session with staff sergeants and Soldiers from Fort Hood. It’s really important for all of us, all of us, to take time to actually listen to our Soldiers and hear what they're saying. It's painful. The Soldiers on Fort Hood that I talked to were really dealing with the anguish of the murder of one of their fellow Soldiers, and it was important for me to listen, to hear their stories. They had questions they wanted me to answer. Do we look at cameras? Do we need more cameras in the parking lots? So it's important for us to take that time at every echelon to listen to our Soldiers. But it doesn't just end with just listening to the staff sergeants. We have to listen at our offices. I've done that at my office. We have to listen, and then if we need to take those appropriate actions. When Soldiers tell us that they're having these issues taking action, don't just stand by and go, “well, it's going to get better.” Do something about it.

Moderator: So sexual assault and sexual harassment continue to be an issue in our Army. What changes is the Army looking at to better address this problem both at Fort Hood and maybe across the institution?

Secretary McCarthy: So first and foremost, our focus is on prevention. I think that efforts like ‘this is my squad,’ and I’d like the SMA to make some comments about as well, is to preventing such actions like this. How to understand the importance of being a great teammate in preventing terrible things like sexual harassment, sexual assault happening to a fellow Soldier in the event these sorts of things happen. It is how do you have the trust in the system for a Soldier to come forward to their leadership and tell them that something like this has happened? And then, of course, taking care of the individual Soldier throughout the entire ordeal and then as they try to move on with their life after something like this happening. But where I think you'll see the three of us our focus is prevention, preventing these sorts of things from happening. SMA, you have anything you want to add?

Sergeant Major Grinston: First and foremost, ‘this is my squad’ focuses in on the leadership. So, we've been implemented in FY21, so in October, in the Basic Leader course, we're actually going to talk about ‘this is my squad’ and what that means. One of those modules is talking about trust. We have to learn and teach our junior NCOs and our junior leaders on how to build trust. We're going to have those types of discussions in PME. We are going to start there, but it doesn’t end there. It's got to go back to the unit. And the second tangible thing is we're looking to revise the promotion board questions and have those be situational questions so that you actually, when you're in there, you'll have, you know, a first sergeant and a battalion CSM can ask you those situational questions so you learn how to react in those areas to get after the prevention. Do you actually know what to do with a sexual harassment claim? Do you actually know what to do with sexual assault? And those are going to be board questions on promotion boards, the best warrior competition boards - will be situational questions on these hard topics.

General McConville: Yes, you know, the way I want our Soldiers, our leaders to look at sexual harassment and sexual assault is it's a deliberate (inaudible). Is one of our Soldiers intentionally hurting another Soldier? We would never tolerate that. We would never tolerate that on a range, in training. We would never tolerate that in combat, but for some reason we don't have people intervening when it comes to sexual harassment and sexual assault. What I need every leader to do is to teach our Soldiers, to teach our leaders that they must intervene. That needs to become part of our culture. I gave a Soldier's medal….I had a chance to award a Soldier's medal to Master Sgt Royer last week at Leavenworth because there was an active shooter that he risked his life to go ahead and intervene in to protect some other Soldiers and some other civilians. That's our culture. That's what right looks like. And that's what we must do when it comes to sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Moderator: The recent demonstrations in response to the murder of George Floyd and other African Americans have highlighted America's continued struggle with race issues, and the Army is no different. What is your reaction? What implications do you think there are for Army, and does the Army have a way ahead to potentially address some of these issues?

Secretary McCarthy: I'll start. The anger and the frustration of that horrible event obviously spilled out in the streets all over America, and quite frankly, it was necessary for peaceful demonstrations. We don't want to see things get to the point where they can become violent and people get hurt, buildings burned and looted. But demonstration is part of our system, the ability to express ourselves. We saw a lot of that over really the last two months, and it really has brought the focus and attention that is needed for us to address the racial tensions that have existed in our country for decades. What also, from my standpoint, is it really comes down to leaders at every echelon sitting down and having conversations with each other, finding the right venue. I was in Poland last week and sat with Soldiers from the first Cavalry Division - lieutenants and captains - just sat over a meal and had a very hard, uncomfortable conversation. But really, it comes down to empathy -  your ability to look across to another Soldier who may have grown up different ethnicity, different part of the country, but listening and understanding what it's been like to grow up as an African American male, Latino. For me, as a Caucasian or Irish Catholic kid growing up on the North side of Chicago, the willingness to listen and to learn and to have an appreciation for what they've been through, and to know that they are my teammate and that I'm going to  be there for him. Everybody in the formation has to find the right venue, and they have to be willing to listen and learn from each other.

General McConville: Diversity is the strength of our Army. 20% of our Army - 200,000 Soldiers - are African American; 14% of our Army is Hispanic - about 145,000 to 148,000; 18% of our Army is females. This is the strength of our Army - diversity. We have to make sure as leaders that every single Soldier in our Army is treated with dignity and respect, and every single Soldier is taken care of. That's what makes us who we are. And if we see that not happening then every Soldier, every leader has the responsibility to intervene and get it right.

Sergeant Major Grinston: I will caveat with two things. We've talked about this before. We have to listen, hear and then act. I'm just going to tell you my personal - I was doing a ‘This is my squad’ on racial inclusion, and a master sergeant helped me hear something that maybe I'd said wrong in the past. You know, I probably have said, you know, I just see green, and I've heard other leaders say that - I don't see race. The master sergeant, and I listened to him, he said, when you say that you don't see all of me because there are other parts of me that make up the Soldier. When I take off my uniform and I drive out the gate I'm a black man and I'm driving down the road and I may be treated differently than I would be if I was in my uniform. So when you say I see green, you may not see all of me. I thank him for that, and I would share that with everyone because we actually have to listen and then learn. I personally say that I learned something, um, through his interaction, and I appreciate that. But we also need to understand, and the second point is, how do we open up these conversations? Having them, it's not easy. Another thing, and I just share what I learned, was we started off I thought it was a really good technique. And somebody said, Well, tell me how you grew up. Something so simple of a question really opened my eyes on how to start the conversation in a simple room by you just telling me where did you come from? What was it like being you in your hometown and what experiences have you had? And once you get through that icebreaker, I think you'll learn a lot about your folks, I think that's one of the questions that I learned through my listening sessions.

Moderator: Thank you, gentlemen. Recently, in the last several days, the DoD and then the Army have issued a policy on flags on Army installations. Could the policy be explained? Are there going to be any looks at additional flags or symbols?

General McConville: Well, basically what the policy says is those flags, um, that are authorized to be flown on Army posts – there are flags that are not and so those flags are not allowed. If they are not stated in the document you cannot fly them on Army posts. Some of the people have taken a look at the (inaudible) that we put out and said I want to fly this flag or that flag. What we would like you to do is come back through you chain of command to us, and we are going to gather up those flags that were not included in the policy, authorized to be flown, and we will go to the Secretary of Defense and work through an exception of policy. But the intent of the policy is to authorize those flags that bring us together and those flags that don't are not authorized.

Moderator: Additionally, a very highly debated topic as part of this lead up to this town hall has been the renaming of Army Posts. Is there any intention to revisit the renaming of Army posts in the near future?

Secretary McCarthy: This issue is currently under debate within the Congress. The House of Representatives and the Senate both have committees of jurisdiction of oversight over the DoD, and they both have competing language that are pretty similar. They are going to conference so they kind of come together, and then they'll come out with the National Defense Authorization Act by the end of this year, that will come out with the path on the way forward. They're working on that with the President, and I think in the coming weeks we'll see the path forward on how we will address this issue.

General McConville: My best military advice is we should look at anything that's going to bring us together and make us stronger.

Moderator: Thank you, gentlemen.

As part of the announcement about project inclusion, one of the initial initiatives was the removal of the DA photo to help reduce the possibility of racial or gender bias in promotion boards. There are other elements in promotion boards or other parts of the personnel files that may or may not contribute to unconscious bias with regard to racism or gender. Is there anything being done to look at that or address those issues?

General McConville: I'd like to take that just really from the start as far as the photos in the promotion file. We have been looking this at this for quite a while. In fact, at a former job as the G1 we used to survey every single board to get a sense of whether they thought the photos were helpful or not helpful. About 99% of people said they actually thought that we should keep the photos there. So what we did was we commissioned a study by our scientists up at West Point, and they looked at this for about a year and a half and went through a bunch of mechanisms to see what impact the photo had on a promotion board or selection board. What we found out was that people tended to vote people that have the same experience or, quite frankly, look like them higher than someone else so African Americans would vote African Americans higher; women would vote women higher; Caucasians would vote Caucasians higher. So in order to make it fair the Secretary went ahead and made the decision to take the photos out. What he also directed was some of the other things we want to take out, whether it's gender or its race, anything that could bias the board. You know, some have come back to us - what about names? What about pronouns in evaluation reports? And we're actually taking a look at that to see how much impact that has when it comes to unconscious bias, and we need to come back to the Secretary with a recommendation on that.

Sergeant Major Grinston: Sir, Secretary, I want to personally acknowledge all the emails that I get on this topic - both ways. On the enlisted side, I know we look at a lot of records, and I acknowledge some people strongly believe we should keep the photos in. One comment that was sent said, well, you know, it's just criminal we take these photos out. Stop voting the picture. My advice back to them is vote the record. Look at what the words say - words matter. This is important for Army. I know on the enlisted records in those promotion boards they look at thousands and thousands of records, but sometimes we use, in my opinion, based off the studies…and it's not my opinion it's what the science shows that we're voting the picture and sometimes not the record and when we remove that, we're going to vote the record and not the photo.

General McConville: Just one other thing on pictures, when we do the battalion command assessment program part of that, uh, is an interview, so to speak, with senior officers. That is actually done as a blind interview. There's a screen between the person and the interviewers and so they can't see really who the person is. Again, from science and from techniques that have been shared across the country, folks have argued that that's the fairest way to do it. And what we want to do is have the fairest system for everybody.

Moderator: Thank you, gentlemen. Going back to project inclusion and a comment Sgt. Maj. that you made a few minutes ago about having the hard discussions. In addition, project inclusion initial initiatives was the sensing sessions as part of that. Just to clear up, at what level do we expect those hard conversations in the sensing sessions to go on and how are we getting after that?

Sergeant Major Grinston: It needs to happen at all levels. We all have a responsibility in this with my office. I shut the door, locked, and we started out with how did you grow up? We went around the room and a lot of things come out. I mean, I'll be honest. There were tears in the room of the office of Sgt Maj on some of the things that we just didn't know. We started off with how you grew up and there were no slides. We just had a powerful, honest conversation with staff. But that has to happen in every echelon in every command. We can't just stop there. It’s okay if the first sergeant has it with the supply clerk, the XO, the commander, and then that sets the tone and it sets an example for what the squad leaders and the platoon sergeants should be doing.

Secretary McCarthy: I did one last week in Poland, like I mentioned before with lieutenants and captains, and Chief and I have lunch one on one every Monday, so every teammate that we engage we're going to get stronger. We're going to get better together. So, I want to encourage every echelon of the Army to be having these discussions.

General McConville: I just want to make sure that for the leaders out there, we're not suggesting that you do this. We are directing you to do it. And when we come around, we're going to be checking to make sure this has been done at every single level. It's really important.  The Sergeant Major of the Army talked about ‘This is my squad’ and it's kind of metaphor, but it's a metaphor for bringing a team together. It's a metaphor for saying that every Soldier has a leader that cares from him. Every Soldier has a buddy that knows them and cares about them. Every Soldier, if they have a family, their leaders know their families, and when there's something going on wrong, they can reach out and help him. And every organization is building cohesive teams where everyone treats everyone with dignity and respect and everyone takes care of each other. And if you do that, you will have a great organization on the battlefield and you won't have a lot of the challenges that we're facing today.

Moderator: Thank you, gentlemen. Another question that we had, coming back to Covid-19 and the PCSs that are going on right now and the travel requirements, with the increased number of cases across the United States and obviously affecting the Army as well, do we expect any changes to be made in the near term? Are you considering any to limit PCS moves? Is there consideration for instituting travel bans like there were on passes and leaves related to Covid-19?

General McConville: I think, you know, we're continuing to assess the threat from this invisible virus. All along we've been talking very close with commanders. One size does not fit all. We're doing very, very aggressive testing to bring Soldiers into initial military training. Quite frankly, a lot of Soldiers that come in are asymptomatic, but they do have the virus and we are able to take care of them and get them well, let them continue their training. I'll be at the National Training Center this weekend to see how we're doing collective training and the measures that we're putting in place. We're talking to our commanders overseas to determine the best way to deploy our Soldiers. And there's different ways they deploy. Some go as units. Some go what we call rotator flights. Some go on commercial flights. We're using a bunch of methods from restricted movements to quarantines to testing to screening so we can protect the force and then still accomplish the mission.

Sergeant Major Grinston: Sir, I’d just like to say, um, on two points. When the movers come we've made some changes. One of those changes is that they should fill out the questionnaire and say, you know, have you been sick? Are you ready? You can ask for that questionnaire. But you’ve also got an obligation just in the household goods to do your own questions internally to your family. And, you know, the family could stay separate from the packers and the movers, and you fill out that questionnaire for the household goods. But also during the move itself, we're still finding that all the things we've been saying from the beginning are still good. You know, wear your mask, wash your hands, stay social distant and those still apply during the PCS move no matter what state you're going to, no matter where you're moving through and in and out of. I think when we stop doing those things we've said, we're seeing the spikes. These things still apply, and I think that's really important. And that's how we can do the PCS moves through the season.

General McConville: I just want to add something to what the Sgt. Maj. said. We need, you need to respect this virus, and you know, just because maybe others don't you have to protect yourself. You have to protect your family, and the way to do that is to do precisely what the Sgt. Maj. of the Army said - take the proper precautions and we're going to try to help you do that.

Moderator: Thank you, gentlemen. Another question we got online from both officers and NCOs is professional military education. Obviously in the Covid-19 environment we've gone virtual with that. Once we get to the other side of the virus, whenever that is, is the intent that we go back to in person or we continue the virtual piece or is it a hybrid?

Secretary McCarthy: I think the Chief can best answer this, but I think it's important for us to learn from this experience. We found some pretty effective means to use the virtual environment. General Funk is doing an analysis of that now, but I would presume there would be some kind of a combination. The Chief is probably best suited to talk about the way forward.

General McConville: I think the Secretary just gave a great lead in. What we see in the future is a hybrid. We are a learning organization. We're moving from an industrial age Army to an information age Army. In order to do that, we're seeing the power of virtual instruction. This is going to allow us to do a lot of things. In some cases, you know, take better care of families because we don't need to split up families as much. And at the same time we give our Soldiers, our noncommissioned officers and officers an opportunity for world class education that they need to get. So I think what you're going to see is one size does not fit all. We're going to take the best of what we learned virtually and apply that. And then there are some times where you just have to do things face to face because you can't telecommute to combat or you can’t telecommute to everything we do in the Army.

Sergeant Major Grinston: I would just add that there are some intangibles in some of the classes where you get to know the people that you're going to go through your military career with. Those intangibles can't be learned through virtual means. We have learned a lot of lessons. I don't think we're ever going to go back to the way it used to be. But the human interaction and sometimes even in those classes the interactions you have while you're not in a class are extremely valuable and then may actually last a lifetime. We can't just disregard them. I think the answer is yes. There will be some version, but we actually don't want to disregard the human interaction in those professional military education classes.

Moderator: Staying in the virtual realm and moving from industrial age processes to information age processes one question online. The leave form. Is there ever going to be an intention of making it a purely digital form or process?

General McConville: Yes! (laughter) This is something we're absolutely committed to with the integrated personnel. Listen, we talk about, you know, coming out of the industrial age and going to the information age is as many of you know, what we really did with the leave blank is we just took the same leave blank and made it digital. We passed it around with email. That is not what I mean by information age. The National Guard right now is on the integrated personnel pay system. As we get that fully online for the rest of the services, it will be on your phone. It will be a quick two-step deal. You check it off. It immediately goes into the system. It won't be the 22-step system it is right now. So, it is coming, and it's not coming fast enough.

Moderator: Thank you, sir. A topic with several different questions which will be more to the sergeant major's heart. The Army combat fitness test. Several questions about the ACFT with the introduction of 2.0 but some of these probably extend to the early versions as well. How will the ACFT effect admissions into NCOES in particular?

Sergeant Major Grinston: Currently, it will not affect admissions into PME. We're still looking, once we get back, whether a lot of for the enlisted side still virtual. We will take the ACFT, but it will not affect how you get in. You're just going to take the test. That allows us to get the data. And also it just kind of takes away the fear of the test. I think some of the angst is that you just haven't taken it enough. You learned over time. So right now it's not going to affect how you get into the school. You passed, you fail, you did great. The course is going to go, but the intent right now and those, where we can, will take the Army Combat fitness test but it won't affect how you get in the course.

Moderator: Following up on the ACFT, postpartum Soldiers. Are they going to….is that going to be any change for policy regarding physical fitness and the test regarding postpartum Soldiers to policy or anything else is that under consideration?

Sergeant Major Grinston: Currently, there's no recommendations to change the amount of time for postpartum. It's currently six months, but it's actually on a case by case basis. If you go to the doctor and say, you know, I need more time, then we're going to give you more time. That's the way all's not all temporary profiles but that's way temporary profiles go. We use the baseline of six months. We’ve talked about do we go longer? Do we go shorter? But right now it's staying at six months. We need to take the test in order to find out….that's why we need, it needs to be the test of record so we get the data. One thing I will say is that if you're uncomfortable with that, then say something to your doctors or your leadership. I've actually had female Soldiers say, well, you know, I had a C-section and I thought, and this is the old ACFT, I was ready to go back, and it was not good for me. So, I encourage you. Don't do anything that's, you know, extraordinary efforts. If you feel that your body is not ready to take the test, go to the doctor, go to the chain of command say I need more time and we'll look at that. That will help us with the data. I think if you try to rush back and you're physically not ready after pregnancy, you're actually not informing us on the amount of time we need.

General McConville: The ACFT is really part of the holistic health and fitness program that we are putting in place, which is much more than just a test. It's putting dietitians, it's putting physical therapists, it’s putting strength coaches into units and really trying to cut down on the injuries that basically challenge our Soldiers across the United States Army. So, as the Sgt. Maj. said, this is a chance to really learn on what our Soldiers can achieve, how having the specialists that can help our Soldiers get into the appropriate shape. The science behind the test is really designed to reduce injuries and make us more fit, and we're going to have a chance over the next year to see how that plays out. That's why we're implementing it the way we are. We've also implemented an alternate event called the plank, and so we'll see how this plays out. Once we get some data we will be able to make recommendations and decisions in how we want to go forward.

Moderator: Speaking of the plank, sir, question online. Do we have to try the leg tuck before we go right into the two-minute plank for the test?

Sergeant Major Grinston: Yes.

General McConville: Sgt. Maj. says yes.

Sergeant Major Grinston: I've done both - one leg tuck and or two minutes of plank. I personally prefer the one leg tuck. The ultimate goal is the exercise of the core is the actual leg tuck movement. The plank is an alternate event that tests some of the core strengths that we need in our warrior task in battle drills, in the standards that every Soldier should achieve. It's actually the leg tuck. We need time to build off that to get to the leg tuck. The goal is to attempt a leg tuck. If you can't attempt the leg tuck then we go to the plank.

General McConville: Sgt. Maj., can you talk about what our Soldiers are doing now in military training as far as the ACFT.

Sergeant Major Grinston: Yes, sir. They've already taken it. We've had two companies and both those companies, and they were mixed genders, males and females, and they were 100% pass on the Army combat fitness test in those two companies. Soldiers really like it.

Moderator: One final question. Quality of life question. Follow up on the housing bill of rights. Can we get an update on the status of the housing bill of rights and where we're at with that becoming official?

Secretary McCarthy: I'll start here, if these guys want to weigh in too. So, there's about 18 elements of the housing bill of rights - 15 of them we've got a path forward and we are executing today. The three that are still outstanding are we are trying to get the data on every home or every asset in the inventory. It's difficult to get seven years of maintenance records on these various homes. For the common lease agreement we think we have a path forward. Then the most challenging is dispute resolution. Why you see issues go quickly to legal action is because we don't have a dispute resolution mechanism in place. Congress passed legislation that empowers the installation commander, but the companies want a third party or a separate entity who have a more objective posture to represent this middle ground or facilitator between the resident and, ultimately, the company when they work through an issue. Next week we have a meeting with the companies. We're going to address this dispute resolution issue head on and try to find a path out before we could bring potentially a third party to arbitrate for us or to support the installation commanders to arbitrate. But also, uh, we're meeting with the bondholders of the companies, the financial institutions that lend money to these companies. One of the things that we think we're very close on is a deal to increase - what they'll do is they'll take on more debt, which brings more capital funding money to bear to increase the investment accounts by substantial numbers. We will put out the number if we get the deal on Monday. But what that could do is bring on a substantial amount of funding to recapitalize homes across the entire force. So, we're excited about this opportunity on Monday – it has taken a lot of hard work. General Gus Perna and now Ed Daley and Mr. ____ the secretary for INE, have done a great job driving this to a head. We think we're going to be in a position to get more funding but also have the path out on dispute resolution. So, a big set of meetings in front of us next week.

General McConville: Yeah, I just want to touch on, we talk about people first - the Secretary, I and the Sergeant Major. We have five quality of life priorities. Number one is housing. We've had problems with housing. The Secretary has been working very hard on the ability to get more funding to invest in housing and some of it through the privatized folks as far as raising money through bonds. Some we're investing in barracks. We know that right now that we've got to invest in housing over the next 10 years so we don't have some of the problems we've seen in the past. As we build new housing we're building to quality, not necessarily code. We know what happened with some of the newer housing that was built - it required a lot of maintenance. So, that's a lesson learned that we're going into. We are very concerned with what's going on with health care. That's the number two priority. We want to make sure that we keep that in place. We're investing in child development centers because we know how important that is. There's a lot of work going on in spousal employment, and the last but certainly not least is PCS moves. We put the inspectors back in place, and some of the feedback that we're getting is the moves are going better. We know they were not going very well for a while, and we're going to watch that very closely. But all these quality of life initiatives are things that we're going to stay on top of because we think it's very, very important to our Soldiers, civilians and families that are serving our country so well.

Moderator: Well, gentlemen, that is the final question that we have time for. I'll turn it over to anybody to say farewell. Thanks for tuning in.

General McConville: I just want to thank all our Soldiers, our civilians, our families, our Soldiers for life that are out there. Over the last seven or eight months we’ve been faced with some incredible challenges, from the Middle East, with Covid, to what's going on in the country and really around the world, and you continue to do great things that just make me and the Secretary and the Sergeant Major very, very proud of everyone that has raised their right hand to serve this country. I just want to say thank you.

Moderator: Thank you all very much.