2022 Eisenhower Presentation Remarks

By Constance QuinlanOctober 26, 2022

Good afternoon, and welcome to all. A special thanks to my friend and West Point classmate, General Bob Brown, and his whole team for putting together this great event.

It’s wonderful to get back to the Eisenhower Luncheon with lunch again!

Like Napoleon said – an Army marches on its stomach. And many of you, I know, came for the food and not the speech.

I know all of our VIPs have been introduced so I will just say that I am very blessed to serve on such a talented Army leadership team under our 25th Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth.

The United States Army exists for one purpose: to protect the Nation by being ready to fight and win the Nation’s wars as a member of the Joint Force.

We can do and have done other missions like responding to COVID assisting in securing the Southwest border, helping communities recover from natural disasters such as Hurricane Ian, or even driving buses. This is important work, and we are truly proud do it, but this is not why our Army exists. Our purpose is to be ready to fight and win the Nation’s wars, and we can never forget that. And did I mention that winning matters?

It’s appropriate that this is the Eisenhower Luncheon. Most people probably remember General Eisenhower as the Supreme Allied Commander during World War II or President of the United States, but I’m constantly reminded of him as the Chief of Staff of the Army because I live in his old house, Quarters 1 at Fort Myer.

Every day that I’m home I walk by the Eisenhower Bedroom, literally where Ike slept when he lived there.

His portrait hangs over the mantel, and it’s uncanny to see how his eyes seem to follow you wherever you go in the room. He seems to be telling us to make sure we get the Army of 2030 right so we can win in the future because he knows that WINNING MATTERS.

Right next to his portrait is an old rotary phone in a display case. It’s the actual phone he used at his headquarters during World War II. And as some of you may know from my previous speeches, I think the telephone is a great example of transformational change versus incremental improvement.

Phone companies incrementally improved that rotary phone for many decades.The transformational change came when innovators decided a telephone could also be a camera, a GPS device, or even a computer.

We are not incrementally improving the Army. We are transforming it from the post-9/11 era to an Army that is ready to fight and win in large scale combat operations. Because it’s not about fighting the LAST fight better. It’s about being able to win the next fight, so decisively that no one wants to fight us. To do this, we have set clear priorities – people, readiness, & modernization – and we have relentlessly pursued these priorities with consistency and persistence.

We are living in a very challenging and dangerous time. China is building a world-class military to challenge the United States and the world order - North Korea, Iran, and violent extremists remain persistent threats.

And when Russia in February attacked Ukraine – a sovereign country – without provocation the United States Army was ready to respond and support our European allies and partners. We were ready because we had the right priorities and the right posture in place.

And when I say ready, I’m not just talking about the tactical readiness of our units. I’m also talking about the strategic readiness of our Army, the Joint Force, and our Allies and Partners.

A good example of tactical and strategic readiness is the deployment of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry Division.

When they were ordered to Europe last February, it took less than one week to get the entire brigade from the United States to live fire exercises in Germany. I had actually planned to go down to Savannah to see the them off, but they were gone before I could get there! This is what our Nation expects from us!

This speaks volumes about the Soldiers of the Raider brigade and our Army logisticians, but a lot of other things had to happen to make this possible.

The Army has been working with Allies and partners and investing in setting the European theater for years and what we are seeing now is a return on that investment. We can surge troops, but we can’t surge trust. And I want to personally recognize and thank all of our allies and partners here at AUSA this week for working closely with us to make what we do possible. Thanks to those relationships, we were able to invest in Army Prepositioned Stocks, not just in Europe but globally.

We have ensured that the equipment we have staged around the world is modern, well-maintained, and ready to go. When combat units don’t have to load all of their equipment onto ships, that gives us speed. We have invested in elevating U.S. Army Europe and Africa to a four-star command along with other key commands like V Corps, a Theater Fires Command and an MDTF. These commands matter to our allies and partners, and they matter to our adversaries.

We made these investments because there will always be a critical role for combat credible ground forces around the world. I’ve traveled to Europe three times since Russia invaded Ukraine. I’ve been to Germany, to Poland, to the Baltic States, and to the UK. I’ve met with over 30 of my counterparts. The feedback I get every time is that there is no substitute for having American Soldiers on the ground, for both reassurance and deterrence.

We are giving our full support to Ukraine and paying very close attention to what’s happening there. History doesn’t necessarily repeat itself, but we can learn a lot from Ukraine just like our Army Seniors Leaders learned from the 1973 Arab Israeli war. That’s how they built the Army we’ve been fighting with the past forty years with the doctrine, the organizations and big 5 weapon systems that the Army won Desert Storm with so decisively.

This week marks a major milestone in our transformation to the future. Taking into account the lessons learned from Ukraine, we are releasing the long-awaited update to Field Manual 3-0 “Operations,” the most significant change in Army doctrine since Air-Land Battle.

FM 3-0 codifies Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) from an operational concept to our official capstone doctrine. MDO recognizes that the Army will be contested in every domain – air, land, sea, space, and cyber – and that the future Army must be prepared to fight in multiple domains at once. We must be able to get from fort to foxhole in a contested environment, anywhere in the world.

Executing multi-domain operations means having highly-trained Soldiers in all environments. That is why we reactivated the historic 11th Airborne Division in Alaska this past June.

The Arctic Angels of the 11th Airborne are training to be masters of their craft in Arctic Warfare, who will not only survive but thrive in extreme cold weather and mountainous terrain.

Being contested at all times means changing how we think about command posts. That’s another lesson from Ukraine. In Iraq and Afghanistan they got used to having large, static operations centers, even at the company level. That’s all gone now. Our command posts aren’t going to have stadium seating anymore. They must be agile, more dispersed, and able to move at a moment’s notice. The Russians have learned this the hard way that a large, stationary command post is a dead one.

This means we are going to need leaders who can operate on intent, with mission command-type orders. This is where the American Army is blessed to have the world’s greatest professional Non-Commissioned Officer Corps.

This is how we get cohesive teams that are highly trained, disciplined, and fit, who are ready to fight and win. This is how we train Soldiers to be masters of their craft and get after foundational readiness in tactical units.

Ukraine has reinforced what many of us already knew: that Precision fires are critical for large scale combat operations. That is why long-range precision fires remains our number one modernization priority. HIMARS has been a game changer in Ukraine, and that’s a weapon system with about 75 kilometer range. Now imagine how much the game changes when we start employing Precision Strike Missiles (“PrSM”) from the HIMARs platform with a 500-plus kilometers range or we employ the soon to be fielded Mid-Range Capability that can sink ships from over a thousand kilometers, or we employ a hypersonic missile capability that can travel thousands of kilometers with pinpoint accuracy.

I can envision a future Army that gives COCOM Commanders the option of establishing no-movement, no-fly or no-sail zones from the land.

Our five Multi-Domain Task Forces will be the units task-organized to provide our combatant commanders with these anti-access and area denial capabilities. In addition to long-range precision fires, they will provide long-range precision effects, through intelligence, information, cyber, electronic warfare, and space operations. Last year we stood up the 1st MDTF at Joint Base Lewis McChord (aligned to INDO-PACOM) and the 2nd MDTF in Europe. We just activated the 3rd MDTF in Hawaii, and we are in the process of choosing basing locations for the remaining two. Soon, we will field the 1st MDTF with the Army’s first hypersonic missiles.

These new organizations are providing multiple options for combatant commanders and multiple dilemmas for adversaries.

The war in Ukraine is also highlighting the importance of well-coordinated combined arms. We’re putting a lot of money into combined arms and making sure we can protect Soldiers on the battlefield.

We’re improving the Abrams tank, and we’re replacing the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. We are fielding Mobile Protected Firepower. This spring, we’ll award the Phase 3 and 4 contract for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle to three vendors. We have issued prototypes of the Robotic Combat Vehicle to our first unit in FY22. In FY23 we’ll equip our first unit with the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle. As for future vertical lift, we expect prototypes of the Future Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) to fly by the end of 2023. And within the next few months we will down-select the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) to one vendor. We’re building a resilient and reliable Army network that can work in the dirt, because the network underpins everything.

In FY23, we’re equipping the first units with our new Integrated Air and Missile Defense systems. And as I have highlighted many times, we are aggressively looking for innovative ways to get after the threat of lethal drones. We are seeing lethal drones being employed across the spectrum from violent extremists to great power adversaries and we are going to need a robust Counter-UAS capability everywhere and all the time.

For Soldier Lethality, we’re issuing the prototypes of the Next Generation Squad Weapon in FY23 to begin replacing the M4 and SAW. And we remain committed to fielding the Integrated Visual Augmentation System – IVAS what I view as one of the most transformational capabilities for our Soldiers on the battlefield.

Tying all of our modernization efforts together is Project Convergence 22. It’s our annual experiment and campaign of learning kicking off this week.

Like last year, Project Convergence will include every Service of the Joint Force, and this year we will incorporate allies and partners as well. We are getting great results from putting our modernization systems into the hands of Soldiers as soon as possible: Soldiers from USARPAC, III Armored Corps, the 82nd Airborne Division, and the 1st Cavalry Division. Experimenting with tactical units in the dirt is how we are getting after the speed, range, and convergence that we need for decision dominance and overmatch. Because in the future, we’re not going to be outgunned, outranged, or overmatched as a fighting force.

Working closely with industry, we are delivering on our six modernization priorities at the speed of relevance. We remain on track for 24 in 23 – 24 systems in the hands of Soldiers, through fielding or testing, in FY23. We have been consistent; we have been persistent; and we are getting it done.

We have learned over the past few years that there are really four factors for assessing an army’s potential for success on the battlefield.

First, CAPABILITY – Do they have the right, modernized weapons systems?

Second, CAPACITY – Do they have enough of them and at scale?

Third, COMPETENCE – Can their Soldiers use them effectively?

Fourth and most importantly, do their Soldiers, NCOs and Leaders have the will to fight. That’s the hardest to measure.

This is where our Security Force Assistance Brigades are paying dividends.

These small teams of highly trained and disciplined officers and NCOs are helping to build the capabilities, capacity, and competence of the conventional forces of our allies and partners. We saw this last winter, as Soldiers from the 4th SFAB partnered with security forces in Georgia, Latvia, North Macedonia, Poland, and Romania. This training reinforces a strong will to fight.

We have learned this in Ukraine, where one side has a strong will to fight, and the other side doesn’t. You can buy the most expensive weapon systems, but you can’t buy courage on the battlefield. You can buy equipment, but you can’t buy commitment.

That’s why at the end of the day in our Army, it’s about people – our Soldiers in the active Army, Guard, and Reserve; their families; our Army civilians, and our Soldiers for Life, our veterans and retirees. People are our greatest strength and our most important weapons system. We can transform our doctrine, stand up new organizations and modernize our weapon systems, but if we don’t get the right people in the right jobs at the right time, the rest isn’t enough.

We must win the war for talent and it has never been more important. That is why the Secretary and I are advocating for a Call to Service, inspiring young men and women to serve our country.

This effort in the Army is being informed by our first principles.

1) We will not sacrifice quality for quantity.

2) We will not lower our standards.

3) We will invest in Americans who want to serve so they can meet our standards.

No one can unlock a person’s full potential like the United States Army.

We need to open the Army up to America. We live in these wonderful “gated communities” called military installations, and we need to get back out into our local communities. Because what we’re finding is that exposure to the Army matters. Eighty-three percent of new recruits come from military families, and fourty-four percent come from high schools with JROTC programs. That tells us that young people are more likely to serve when they’re already familiar with the Army.

When I talk to recruiters, they tell me their biggest hurdles are recruits who can’t pass the ASVAB or meet our fitness requirements. That’s why we stood up the Future Soldier Prep Course at Fort Jackson two months ago. It’s too early to tell, but if we keep getting the kind of results we’ve gotten so far, we’ll be scaling the course to other locations like Benning, Sill, and Leonard Wood.

This is a fundamental shift in how we do business, because the recruits in this prep course aren’t just rising to the occasion to meet our standards; a lot of them are actually rising above. They’re taking on leadership roles when they get to initial military training.

We want every parent in this country to know that the Army is a pathway to success for their kids, both in and out of uniform.

We want every young person to know that the Army is a path to endless opportunities. You can be anything you want to be in the United States Army.

They say that every generation has its heroes, and I would like to give you an update on one of MY personal heroes, Jim “Pee Wee” Martin.

Jim jumped into Normandy on D-Day at the young age of 23. He fought across Europe with his band of brothers, through Operation Market Garden and Bastogne. I had the honor of meeting him at the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when 93-year-old Jim returned to Normandy to jump a second time.

This year, I am sad to report that Jim is no longer with us. He died last month on Patriot Day – how fitting! – at the age of 101, a Screaming Eagle until the end. He was laid to rest three weeks ago at Dayton National Cemetery, with over 500 Screaming Eagles in attendance.

Jim was a member of this country’s Greatest Generation, a generation of Americans who rose to the challenge they faced, who raised their right hand and asked what they could do for their country, who were as heroic as they were humble. And although I am saddened by Jim’s passing, I am inspired by the Soldiers and NCOs we just recognized.

I am inspired by the Soldiers and NCOs who are serving with distinction around the world in harm’s way so we can enjoy our way of life.

I am inspired by the Soldiers and NCOs who have committed to living up to the legacy of great American Soldiers like Jim Martin. I am inspired because I know if we are called upon to protect this Nation, to protect the free world, like generations before us – I know that our Soldiers are ready.

We are the world’s greatest fighting force because we have the world’s greatest Soldiers and NCOs, and we are going to keep it that way – because winning matters. I could not be more proud to be the Chief of Staff of THIS United States Army.

God bless all of our Gold Star families, our wounded warriors and our Soldiers serving in harm’s way! It’s about People First, Winning Matters, and we remain Army Strong!