CAC commander visits familiar ground at religious institute

By Mel SlaterNovember 2, 2023

1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Lt. Gen. Milford “Beags” Beagle, Jr., Commanding General, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, KS and former Fort Jackson Commanding General speaks with USA-IRL Chief of Staff and Deputy Commandant, Chaplain (Col.) Emmitt Furner on Oct. 26. (Photo Credit: Mel Slater) VIEW ORIGINAL
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Lt. Gen. Milford ‘Beags’ Beagle, Jr., U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, Kan., commander, Chuck Heard, deputy director for the Religious Leader Academy, discuss technological update in the Simulation Center, Oct. 26. (Photo Credit: Mel Slater) VIEW ORIGINAL

A familiar face visited the Institute for Religious Leadership, Oct. 26.

Lt. Gen. Milford “Beags” Beagle, Jr., U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, commander, stopped by the IRL during a trip to the post.

“Lt. Gen. Beagle has been a friend and an impactful supporter of the Institute’s transformation not only as the Fort Jackson commanding general but also as the commanding general of the Combined Arms Center,” said the Institute’s chief of staff and deputy commandant, Chaplain (Col.) Emmitt Furner. “His leadership has materially helped us achieve our current successes. To have him return to see our continued evolution is a blessing and inspirational.”

As the center’s commander, Beagle is charged with developing and integrating Army leader development, doctrine, education, lessons learned, functional training, training support, training development, and proponent responsibilities in order to support mission command, and preparing the Army to successfully conduct unified land operations in a joint, inter-agency, inter-governmental, multinational environment.

Beagle’s last visit to the Institute was when he was commanding Fort Jackson and the organization was known as the Chaplain Center and School. It has since transitioned to the Institute for Religious Leadership and has grown considerably in size and scope.

The Institute has added the Religious Leader Academy, NCO Academy, a graduate school and the Religious Support Operations Center. The RSOC functions on behalf of the Army Chaplain Corps.

Dr. Nathan White, Graduate School Associate Dean and Chuck Heard, RLA deputy director provided information on efforts and projects relevant to CAC interests and further enhance the capabilities of the Chaplain Corps.

According to White, the graduate school was founded four years ago in response to the Army chief of chaplains’ desire to further professionalize the Chaplain Corps. To this end, the graduate school develops and conducts education in support of relevant certifications, academic degrees, and professional competency. A major recent focus has been in increasing Army Learning System capability in the affective domain. The graduate school also publishes the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps Journal.

Beagle was presented with a special publication on the free exercise of religion that the Journal published:

Heard added, our time with Beagle was focused on our thinking about how we can achieve better learning outcomes to better prepare students for Large Scale Combat Operations despite TRADOC being in a persistent “no-growth” state.

In addition to a comprehensive total task inventory review and detailed analysis of all of our courseware, we’re exploring innovative ways to help learners master abstract concepts (battlefield visualization, impacts of the electromagnetic spectrum, etc.) to shorten the timeline from novice to performer as much as possible, Heard said. One way we’re exploring is the use of more immersive and interactive technologies such as the Battlefield Visualization and Interaction platform. BVI includes and augmented reality sand table, a floor projection system for rehearsals of concept drills, and virtual and augmented reality for immersive training.

Initial uses for the battle lab include integration into the mission command master scenario for all courses and a supplemental tool for the Captains Career Course staff ride. Future implementation includes leveraging it as a concept’s lab for our co-located Futures Command team, developing mission briefs for severe weather action plans and active shooter drills, and conducting rehearsals of concept for key events from foot marches to field training exercises.

Beagle was also shown some of the interactive equipment in the USA-IRL Simulation Center.

He said he was impressed with what he saw.

“It’s the evolution of where things go,” he said. “It’s different parts of our Army where you see learning, you see education evolve, but you’ve got to make sure that it’s occurring across our Army and when you see it with our chaplains and what we do for our (Unit Ministry Teams) and the evolution they’re at today, I’m impressed.”

“The last time I visited and where they are now is like multiple evolutions in terms of being on the right trajectory, the right path and learning curve,” Beagle said. “It’s phenomenal to see, and based on where I sit now and having to keep oversight across our Army, it’s just great to see. In some cases, based on what I saw today, what we do here at the Institute for Religious Leadership is ahead of everybody else. That is phenomenal to see, you know, this institution not only keeping the pace but, in some cases, pushing the pace.”

Beagle left Fort Jackson to command the 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum, New York. He then transferred to Fort Leavenworth to serve in his current position.