By Lt. Col. James D. Crabtree, MCTP Public Affairs OfficerAugust 2, 2011
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan., Aug. 2, 2011 -- Col. Mark E. McKnight relinquished command of the Mission Command Training Program July 22, at a ceremony held at the Lewis and Clark Center. Previously known as the Battle Command Training Program, MCTP is the U.S. Army’s only deployable combat training center.
Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., as Commanding General of the Combined Arms Center, officiated over the ceremony.
MCTP evolved under McKnight’s command, seeing an important realignment of training efforts to reflect recent experiences of the U.S. Army in combat. The emphasis changeover from “battle command” to “mission command” recognized the need to concentrate on the role of the commander to empower agile and adaptive leaders in order to conduct many types of operations, some of them simultaneously.
MCTP Observer/Trainers, including senior members of the HQ staff, spend significant time on temporary duty throughout the United States and, less often, overseas.
Caslen called MCTP “one of the Army’s most unique organizations.”
“His work will be impacting our Army positively for a number of years,” Caslen said of McKnight's leadership.
In conjunction with the change of command, the colors of the Battle Command Training Program were formally exchanged for the colors of the Mission Command Training Program, completing the re-designation process begun in May. McKnight and Sgt. Maj. James Illes solemnly cased the BCTP colors and then uncased the new MCTP colors.
The re-flagging took place prior to the change of command, which means that McKnight will be both the last BCTP commander and, briefly, the first MCTP commander. Col. Charles E. A. Sexton, an officer with experience in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Restore Hope and Iraqi Freedom, assumed command following the changeover of the colors.
Sexton praised the preparation McKnight provided him prior to taking command of MCTP and noted that this period is a “dynamic time.” He finished with a promise to the Soldiers and civilians of MCTP: “I will not let you down.”
MCTP is part of the Combined Arms Center-Training, which delivers training programs, products and services to leaders and units in support of Army readiness. Wherever Army training occurs, the Combined Arms Center-Training helps make it happen.
To learn more about the Mission Command Training Program and CAC-T, visit http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cac-t/, www.facebook.com/usacactraining or www.twitter.com/usacactraining.