By Thomas Zimmerman, Army War CollegeOctober 27, 2011
Oct. 26, 2011 -- Two sets of leaders in Army War College strategic education courses confronted the realities of doctrine and practice from the unique perspective of the commander of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.
Gen. Robert Cone spoke to both the flag officers engaged in the Combined/Joint Force Land Component Command, and the "crown jewel of our leadership and our Army," as he described the Army War College resident class, Oct. 26.
Cone's intent was to share his insights about TRADOC's role in transitioning the Army's structure and its people. A TRADOC challenge will be to make the most of the operational experience in the force today and make sure it's institutionalized.
TRADOC is listening, he noted, and Army students in the USAWC class will be critical to planning and executing the Army's transition.
"The Army is in transition, and it will require the vision of senior leaders such as General Cone to help guide us, as well as the commitment and support by all leaders across the Army," said Army student Col. Thomas Dorame, reflecting on the TRADOC commander's message to students.
"TRADOC is heavily involved as we re-shape the force through development of doctrine, implementing organizational design, and incorporating new methods of training/learning across the Army.
"Additionally, they will play a key role as the Army focus on revitalizing the "Army Profession" across all levels of leadership," said Dorame.
Cone spoke about the strength of experiences and ideas shared within the USAWC student body, in an interview following his formal comments.
"I think the opportunity to think, share and reflect with others on their experiences is tremendous.
"The greatest thing at the War College is the student body," he said. "This particular group -- joint, interagency -- really reflects the success we've had in the last 10 years in terms of people working together to achieve this nations ends. They are truly the crown jewel of our leadership and our Army.
"You've got an all-star leadership and faculty here that really understand the needs of this aspiring professional body, and that's very impressive," said Cone.
Cone had one last message for the students. As the Army navigates uncertain times, emphasis must be on leader development.
"The focus is broadening and balance," said Cone. "It's absolutely important that we grow young leaders who aren't just masters at the tactical level. We expect that of them. We have to give them experience outside the operational unit -- at civilian academia, a variety of assignment experiences -- that will help broaden their background and experience so they are prepared to think more broadly.
Cone's comments about leader development resonated with USAWC students.
"What really captured my attention is that we are not going back to the way things were," said civilian student Kelly Gibson, who works for the Marine Corps. "The world has and continues to change, and we will have a whole new baseline. We need to make sure we can adapt to this new environment."
"His remarks about mentorship really struck me," said Army civilian student Maureen Riggs. "He said that it's important for both the senior leaders and subordinates to be equally engaged and taking an active role. This applies not only to the military, but the civilians as well. We need to be personally invested in each other."
Gen. Cone and his wife, Jill, explored several enhancing features of the Army War College experience. Visiting the Army Heritage and Education Center, the couple learned of its contributions to Army leader development and public education.
Jill Cone participated in the Facilitating Leadership and Group Skills training seminar. FLAGS is a 'flagship' program for senior military spouses to refine leadership skills in preparation for future responsibilities with military family programs.
"I'm very impressed at all the programs there are here to help families," said Jill Cone. "Everyone here really works hard to make sure our families receive what they need and are a part of the community."
About the Army War College
The U.S. Army War College develops, inspires and serves strategic leaders for the wise and effective application of national power, in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment,
The College helps develop senior leader competencies necessary for success in the contemporary operation environment --
• The only Senior Leader College that addresses the development and employment of landpower
• Emphasis on strategic leadership
• The only Senior Leader College Distance Education Program that is certified for Joint Professional Military Education I [JPME-I]
• Resident Education Program is accredited for Joint Professional Military Education II
• Graduates more than 300 SLC JPME Phase I-certified, and 340 JPME II-certified annually
For more information visit www.carlisle.army.mil or follow us on Twitter @armywarcollege
Combined/Joint Force Land Component Commander Course
The Combined/Joint Force Land Component Commander Course is a senior level program hosted by the USAWC's experiential education center, Collins Hall. The course develops senior officers' readiness to function effectively as land component commanders in a joint/combined, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment. These commanders will need to plan, prepare for, and execute land-centric operations that provide coalition commanders with capabilities to achieve policy objectives through rapid, decisive, and sustained land dominance.