Fort Benning Public Affairs
FORT BENNING, Ga. – How to make the Army's Infantry and Armor forces become even more lethal and ensure they continue having first-rate leaders is the focus of the U.S. Army's annual Maneuver Warfighter Conference, scheduled online for Sept. 9 and 10.
As a measure to help limit the spread of COVID-19, the 2020 Virtual Maneuver Warfighter Conference will be live-streamed.
This year's conference theme is: "Delivering Lethality and World-Class Leaders."
The conference is open to members of the U.S. military, Department of Defense civilians and contractors, as well as international military partners.
Those wanting to take part must register online, and are encouraged to do so in advance. A full schedule of events is available on the website.
The annual conference is a prestigious event that draws some of the most distinguished military leaders from within the U.S. Army and those of international military partners, to highlight key concepts and developments relating to maneuver warfare.
Participants gain insight into some of the Army's foremost leaders and thinkers, and it also enriches the professional development of more junior Soldiers who get to see, hear and learn from the distinguished senior leaders, said Dan Duval, a strategic planner with Fort Benning's U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence.
MCoE hosts the conference in its role as the institutional seat of the Army's Infantry and Armor branches, which together make up the maneuver force.
"We host it every year because we are the center of gravity for the maneuver force," said Duval.
"This is an opportunity for junior leaders to be part of a mentor-protégé relationship with the senior leaders of the Army," he said. "They get to ask questions. They get to see what senior leaders do and how they carry themselves and what their message is. This is the importance of this.
"It's about the relationships that are built, it's about the messages and the themes that are delivered," said Duval, "and it's about teaching young leaders what their senior leadership is thinking about."
It also helps the senior leaders by providing an additional forum to highlight what they deem especially important matters bearing on maneuver warfare, and brings them into further contact with the members of that force, Duval said.
"These senior leaders look forward to this every year because this is their opportunity to really touch the heartbeat of the maneuver force – get their finger on that pulse," he said.
Both days' sessions are scheduled to start at 9 a.m. and end by 4:20 p.m.
The first day's sessions focus on lethality, the second day's on leader development.
Titles of some of the presentations include: "Lethality," "Strategic Lethality: Improving Multinational Interoperability to Speed the Kill Chain," "Mastering the Fundamentals to Win at the Point of Contact," "Army Lethality in the Indo-Pacific Theater," "The Basics of Leader Development," "This is my squad: Empowering Junior NCOs," and "Leader Development and the Profession."
Among scheduled speakers this year are Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. James C. McConville, and the Army's top senior enlisted adviser, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston; Gen. Michael X. Garrett, commanding general, U.S. Army Forces Command; Gen. Paul E. Funk II, commanding general, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command; Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, commanding general, U.S. Army Pacific; and Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Schmidt, commandant, U.S. Army NCO Leadership Center of Excellence and Sergeants Major Academy.
Other scheduled speakers include two from foreign military partners: Lt. Gen. Wayne D. Eyre, commander, Canadian Army, and Maj. Gen. Mick Ryan, commander, Australian Defence College.
MCoE's commanding general, Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Donahoe, is scheduled to give remarks at several points during the conference, among them the Sept. 9 opening and Sept. 10 conclusion.
Conference participants will also have the option of viewing a variety of "Warrior Corner" videos in which military professionals discuss various topics related to lethality and leadership of the maneuver force.
Scheduled Warrior Corner topics include, among others: Soldier lethality, Armor One-Station Unit Training, cyber operations in brigade combat teams, the Army's 75th Ranger Regiment, robotics, and the Next Generation Combat Vehicle.
MCoE trains Soldiers for the Infantry and Armor branches, and also operates the schools that trains those hoping to qualify as paratroopers, Rangers, snipers, or for other military specialties.