The U.S. Military Academy welcomed the Secretary of the Army Honorable Christine Wormuth as she spent two days absorbing the culture of West Point, speaking with various cadets, faculty and staff, and attending the Henry O. Flipper Award dinner as a keynote speaker last week.
“I think what stood out to me was the pillar approach thatʼs taken here at West Point in terms of how we develop our cadets,ˮ Wormuth said. “Iʼve been to West Point before, and I was familiar with the academic pillar, but the fact that we couple that with the military pillar, the development and fitness pillar and have it all underneath character, I think that was what really stood out to me and it absolutely will contribute to the objectives I have as Secretary of the Army.ˮ
According to Wormuth, the Nation and the Army are moving toward an uncertain future.
In response to this, she developed six objectives to help guide the force through these changing times.
According to Wormuthʼs message on Army.mil:
• The first objective is to put the Army on a sustainable strategic path amidst this uncertainty.
• The second is to ensure the Army becomes more data-centric and can conduct operations in contested environments, which will enable the Armyʼs ability to prevail on the future battlefield.
• The third is to continue Army efforts to be resilient in the face of climate change.
• The fourth is to build positive command climates at scale across all Army formations.
• Her fifth is to reduce harmful behaviors in the Army, and the sixth is to strategically adapt the way the Army recruits and retains talent in order to sustain the all-volunteer force.
“Most notably, I think all of the firsties here who will commission to second lieutenants are going to be on the frontlines of promoting that positive command climate across the entire Army,ˮ Wormuth said. “Theyʼre going to be able to bring all of that character and leadership development when they go out into the operational force.ˮ
Wormuth said her expectations for future Army officers is to take everything that theyʼve learned at West Point, whether itʼs about holistic health and fitness, or whether itʼs about building character, and use that to provide a positive command climate for Soldiers and to help them develop their own characters and make sure that theyʼre trained, disciplined and fit.
“I know these cadets are graduating from the academy with tremendous discipline and have great time management skills, and so my advice to them would be to just give themselves a little bit of time to transition out of this very unique environment and into the operational force,ˮ Wormuth said. “In the operational force, these new officers will learn to cook, clean and take care of themselves, so it is essential to prepare for real-life challenges and be patient with themselves.ˮ
For more information on the Secretary of the Army’s six objectives, visit https://www.army.mil/article/253814/message_from_the_secretary_of_the_army_to_the_force.