WASHINGTON – Gen. Paul E. Funk II, commanding general, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, shared his thoughts with joint service interns during their first in-person Leader Professional Development session on May 13, 2021 at the Pentagon.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Army Staff Internship Program is a broadening opportunity for qualifying, post-command Army captains. Participants in this three-year program begin by earning a master’s degree in policy management from Georgetown University. In the second year, officers are assigned to the Joint Staff or Office of the Secretary of Defense and then spend their final year on the Headquarters, Department of the Army staff.
In addition to learning the ins and outs of policy management and government procedures, the JCS/OSD/ARSTAF intern program also holds leader development opportunities for the interns. This includes LPD discussions with senior Army leaders covering topics such as civil-military relations, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and other important conversations
The first LPD of the year was hosted by Funk, who facilitated the session by having a candid conversation with the interns about topics pertinent to the Army’s current and future missions. He placed emphasis on the importance of driving cultural change on and off the battlefield.
“You as Army officers are advocates for our Soldiers and their families,” Funk said. “It will be your generation’s Army soon. We have to remember our actions are going to affect the young men and women on the ground.”
Funk also discussed the importance of fostering an environment that is diverse and inclusive, as part of driving cultural change. He broke this discussion down into 5 categories: command climate, positively intrusive leadership, trust, reporting, and follow through/feedback.
“When you establish a command climate, it is about treating your people with dignity and respect,” Funk said. “At the end of the day, you will be responsible for the good of your unit, showcasing positively intrusive leadership and caring for your Soldiers.”
Capt. Patrick Glazebrook is in his second year of the Internship, currently assigned as a special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He expressed the value in learning from leader experience through these LPD discussions.
“Hearing clear, candid guidance from General Funk is crucial,” Glazebrook said. “Discussions like this will help us progress in this program and provide insight for decisions we will make as leaders in the future.”
Glazebrook, an Armor officer by trade, previously served in several units that Funk commanded, including the First Infantry Division, “The Big Red One,” in Fort Riley, Ks.
“I have personally witnessed General Funk’s care for troopers and putting them first. This is what makes him a great leader,” Glazebrook said. “His affirmation that we will be the leaders responsible to confront Army issues inspires us to do our best to tackle the future head on.”
This intern program exposes tactically-focused officers to policy, plans development and implementation which will help them through all stages of their Army careers.
“We need to work diligently to understand what drives Soldiers to serve,” Funk said. “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”