AFC Commander: Don’t neglect family, self in times of disruption and stress

By Ed Lopez Picatinny Arsenal Public AffairsJanuary 24, 2024

AFC Commander visits DEVCOM Armaments Center at Picatinny
Gen. James E. Rainey, commander of the U.S. Army Futures Command, received a series of briefings and tours during his Jan. 17 visit to the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Armaments Center at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. The center conducts research, development, and engineering in support of more than 90 percent of the Army’s lethality, focusing on advanced weapons, ammunition, and fire-control systems. In foreground at left, Armaments Center engineer, Bhavanjot Singh, talks with Rainey during his tour. At right is Chris J. Grassano, director of the Armaments Center. Rainey also held a town hall with center employees during his visit. (Photo Credit: Todd Mozes) VIEW ORIGINAL

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- Underscoring a priority of putting people first, the commander of the U.S. Army Futures Command told an audience of largely Army civilians to neither neglect their families nor themselves during times of uncommon stress and disruption.

Gen. James E. Rainey made his remarks during a town hall on Jan. 17 at Picatinny Arsenal, the home of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Armaments Center. The center provides more than 90 percent of the Army’s lethality, focusing on advanced weapons, ammunition, and fire-control systems.

As a prelude to his remarks, Rainey noted the relatively recent spike in armed conflicts in the world, in addition to long simmering tensions among certain world powers. “This is one of most stressful and disruptive times in my life that I can remember,” Rainey said.

“If something is going on in your life and you need to be somewhere other than work, be where you need to be,” he told the audience. “Be where you need to be for your family. Be where you need to be for yourself. If we create that kind of environment everybody will be able to navigate the stress.”

Rainey’s visit was his first to the Armaments Center since Rainey became AFC commander on Oct. 4, 2022. The Armaments Center is the primary research and development center for new and existing armament systems. Rainey’s visit included briefings and demonstrations in addition to the town hall.

“I believe in your mission, I believe in this organization, I believe this place is a national treasure, primarily because of the human capital you bring,” Rainey said early in his remarks.

The purpose of the Army Futures Command is to transform the Army to ensure war-winning future readiness. The command currently focuses on three overarching priorities: prioritizing people, designing the Army of 2040 and delivering the Army of 2030.

Rainey noted that the expertise at the Armaments Center would play a pivotal role as the nature of battle and technology evolves in the future.

“We’re not going to build Paladins and tanks and Bradleys as much as we are going to be figuring out how to put those capabilities on autonomous systems that we then create formations that are the right combinations of humans and machines,” Rainey explained. “There are some big ideas out there. Offensive and defensive fires are going to merge into one thing.”

Shifting his discussion to the workplace, Rainey said treating each other with dignity and respect was paramount and not negotiable. “One person not behaving the right way can destroy organizations and teams,” he said. “I just want to be real clear to everybody that I have no tolerance for that kind of behavior.”

At the start of the town hall, Rainey presented the Civilian Award for Humanitarian Service to Barindra Narinesingh. On the morning of Oct. 12, 2023, on his way to work at Picatinny Arsenal, he provided immediate help and first aid to a motorist injured in a car accident.

Narinesingh noticed that the driver was positioned headfirst on the floor of the car’s passenger side. He immediately called 911 for assistance and, working with the 911 operator and state police, helped to remove the injured motorist from the car.

He then applied first aid to stop the bleeding from the motorist’s injured hand. The award citation noted that “the humanitarian and selfless acts demonstrated by Mr. Narinesingh in service to his community reflect great credit upon himself and are in keeping with the highest standards and values of the Armaments Center and the U.S. Army.”