By Melissa Bower, Fort Leavenworth LampNovember 5, 2009
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (Nov. 5, 2009) - Training and Doctrine Command's commanding general, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, said that Fort Leavenworth's outgoing commander is a perfect choice for security transition in Afghanistan.
"I don't know what the new strategy's going to say," Dempsey said of the U.S. plan in Afghanistan. "I don't know how many troops we're going to contribute to it beyond what we've contributed, but what I do know is that of all the jobs in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the one that actually does produce the possibility of success and the possibility of transitioning responsibility to the host nation, it's that job, and so it's not a surprise to me that that's the job that Bill Caldwell would be asked to take on."
Dempsey presented Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV with the Distinguished Service Medal at a ceremony Nov. 2.
Stephanie Caldwell was presented the Margaret C. Corbin Award for volunteering and the Secretary of the Army Public Service Award. The Caldwell children received "Army brat" certificates.
CAC Command Sgt. Maj. Philip F. Johndrow served under Caldwell for 18 months and said it was an honor for their two families to work together.
"Their continued focus on taking care of the Soldiers and their families as well as their outreach to the local community has defined their time here at Fort Leavenworth," Johndrow said of the Caldwells.
The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club also inducted Caldwell as an honorary member of its elite noncommissioned officer organization.
"There is no one on this post or in the Army who understands more the importance of empowering the noncommissioned officer so they are able to maximize their capabilities and be that all important combat multiplier on the battlefield," Johndrow said.
At an earlier ceremony Oct. 30, retired Lt. Gen. Robert Arter, civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army for Kansas, presented Caldwell with a proclamation from Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson recognizing Caldwell's service to the community.
"Your visionary contributions in terms of initiating an interagency program - which not only speaks to the moment but speaks to the future - and in the process, mentoring and tutoring the leadership not only of our Army, in the Defense establishment, but I dare say, of our nation in the process," Arter said.
Serving as commanding general of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth for the past 28 months, Caldwell oversaw the publication of new doctrine and the inclusion of foreign, sister service and interagency resources into that doctrine. Publications out of Fort Leavenworth during Caldwell's command included Field Manual 3-0 "Operations," FM 7-0 "Full Spectrum Operations," FM 3-07 "Stability Operations" and FM 3-07.1 "Security Force Assistance."
As commandant of the Command and General Staff College, Caldwell made community engagement a graduation requirement. Warrant officers and interagency students began attending CGSC and the number of international students at CGSC increased along with the increase in the general student population.
CAC overhauled its Web site, which created a jump in monthly visitors from 24,000 to 514,000 in two years. CAC also created YouTube, Facebook and Twitter social media sites.
Caldwell said his new position commanding the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Training Mission-Afghanistan would draw from many lessons learned at Fort Leavenworth. Priorities in Afghanistan will include leader development, continued cooperation between interagency, sister service and NATO partners, and continued media engagement.
Caldwell said he truly believes in the mission in Afghanistan and was honored when Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of the International Security Assistance Force U.S. Forces Afghanistan, asked him to be a part of that mission.
"Twenty-eight months ago when I first arrived here coming out of my deployment in Iraq, I had absolutely no appreciation for the magnitude of what's done here at Fort Leavenworth - not only for the Army, but the United States military," Caldwell said. "It's incredible when you start thinking about the fact that we do everything from doctrine to lessons learned to national simulations."
As for leadership development in Afghan forces, Caldwell said ongoing instruction and coaching are imperative to increasing the professionalism of Afghan security forces and building its legitimacy to the local population.
"As I go forth in Afghanistan, that same philosophy of developing leaders is paramount there too," he said. "We can train military formations, we can train police forces, but what will sustain that and give them the ability to operate so they don't succumb to corruption and other things is leadership."
Caldwell had the opportunity to meet Gen. Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, chief of staff of the Afghan National Army, during Mohammadi's visit to Fort Leavenworth earlier this fall. Caldwell said Mohammadi agreed that although Afghan security forces are capable, leadership development was a priority.
"What he shared with me is that we need to develop our leaders in the Afghanistan army so that they exhibit the same type of professionalism and care for the soldiers and they understand that they work with civilian leadership, and that they're there to protect the people - like our Army does," Caldwell said.
Caldwell hasn't been on the ground yet in Afghanistan and doesn't have a specific demand for the number of U.S. and NATO personnel needed for the campaign. However, Caldwell did say he understood McChrystal's request for additional troops.
"In order to build police forces, we're going to need additional U.S. and NATO forces to partner with them after they've gone through the training," he said. "That's really key. We have experiences of withdrawal in Iraq to understand how critical that is to the long-term success."
Caldwell said he's confident the government and military leaders in the United States would provide American Soldiers with the resources they need.
"I don't think our government would ask us to go over and do this mission if they weren't going to resource us with the assets we need," he said. "From everything I've read ... resourcing is there and it is available. It's a matter of everybody having a plan put together."
Caldwell said although a plan hadn't been formulated for Afghanistan, a new brigade from the 82nd Airborne Division recently took on the advising to training mission. They trained specifically for security force assistance.
"We're not trying to impose on them something that's foreign to them," he said. "It has to be something they want. We're there to help them and assist them, not to pose our way or our organizational structures or our methods upon the Afghanistan people."
Caldwell said community and media engagement would continue to be a priority under his command, as well.
"I believe transparency is critical," he said. "If the U.S. government is going to entrust us with the amount of money that they're going to give us, and more importantly, the lives of the men and women that they have given to us in the United States and our NATO partners and friends, then we have an obligation to be as transparent and as open and explain to people how we are using those precious resources."
A new commanding general for CAC and Fort Leavenworth has not yet been named.