By Kelly SchloesserApril 6, 2010
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 6, 2010) -- The Army has succeeded in changing and adapting over the last few years, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. told leaders at the Pentagon.
Casey spoke at the Army Leader Forum April 6 in the Pentagon auditorium.
"No other organization could have done what the Army has done in the last five or six years," said Casey. "We are not an old, stogy bureaucracy like many may think. We are agile."
Casey provided updates on where the Army is in achieving the goals set in 2007 and laid out a revised future for Soldiers of the 21st century.
In 2007, the chief said the Army was "out of balance," stating the demands where exceeding what the Army could sustain over time. As a result, four imperatives critical to maintain the current level of operations and prepare for future demands were set.
Sustain, prepare, reset, and transform provided a roadmap to get the Army back on track, he said.
"Over the last three years we have made great progress and strides," Casey said.
The chief also said that with all of the improvements, the Army is on target to achieve its goals in 2011.
Casey presented several examples of current success and goals likely to be met by 2011, to include:
Aca,!Ac Rebalancing growth
Aca,!Ac Increasing dwell time
Aca,!Ac Sustaining Soldier, Families, and the civilian workforce
Aca,!Ac Completing Base Realignment and Closure initiatives
Aca,!Ac Modular reorganization
Aca,!Ac Preparing for an unknown future
Ensuring a longer dwell time remains one of Casey's priorities.
"One of the most important things we can do in the Army to restore balance is increase the time Soldiers are at home so that they can recover," he said.
Casey cited a study completed last year that concluded Soldier recovery between deployments takes two or three years for a one-year deployment.
"By 2011, 70 percent of our active force will have one year out and two years back. The Guard and Reserve will have about 80 percent at a four-year dwell by then," he said, with hope of more progress by 2012.
Despite meeting the interim goal for dwell time, Casey said that the Army must do better in order to sustain long-term.
The chief noted that the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are longer than America's time in combat during World War I, World War II, and Korea combined. Versatility is not just a priority; it is necessary, he said.
"The unexpected future is what we will continue to plan for as we become a versatile mix."
Casey described a versatile mix as providing a balance of light, heavy, Stryker, Special Forces, aviation, engineer and other capabilities. It is a partner to a modular force structure that was planned in 2004 and is now about 90 percent complete, he said.
Casey noted this alone was a significant change.
"Modular reorganization and rebalancing is the largest organizational change of the Army since World War II," he said. "And we've done it while we've deployed 150,000 Soldiers over and back to Iraq and Afghanistan every year."
As for planning for the future, the Army leaders should always expect the unexpected, he said.
"We have to assume that something unexpected will always happen, as history has proven. We will not be able to predict it, but rather plan for it," Casey said. "And we will do so by achieving these imperatives."
Despite being an enormous organization where culture is not always easily changed, the chief re-emphasized that the Army has come a long way since 2001.
"We already are a fundamentally different Army than we were in September of 2001. We have adapted for the future and we will continue to be a more agile and versatile Army than ever before," he said.