The National Training Center and Fort Irwin's leaders received leadership lessons from a distinguished visitor last week.

Retired Lt. Gen. Joseph Inge visited the NTC and Fort Irwin for two days to conduct a leadership development program on the profession of arms for the installation's senior NCOs, civilian leadership and field-grade officers. Inge retired from the Army in 2007 after 38 years of service.

Inge said he wanted to conduct professional development at the NTC and Fort Irwin because of the important role the installation plays in training Soldiers.

"The work this place does to prepare Soldiers to defend our country is critical, and the people out here are professionals," he said.

In his remarks, Inge talked about what it takes to be a good leader, naming four characteristics common to all leaders -- character, competence, confidence, and a will to win.

"There are some who say leadership is changed, that it's new and different today," he said. "I disagree. I would say leadership is about building consensus so we can accomplish the mission."

Inge also spoke about challenges Army leaders will face in coming years as the Army transitions out of combat roles in Iraq and Afghanistan and confronts tighter budgets. He pointed out that many senior leaders have not served in the Army during a time of financial constraint, and encouraged them to remain adaptable.

"The environment I've described is going to take some serious leadership," he said. "If you start addressing things in a negative way, your troops are going to pick up on that."

Inge said the most important task the Army's senior leaders may have before them is to build the Army in which their children will someday serve.

"These young kids today want to know why more than ever before--that's not good or bad, it's just the way it is," he said. "We're going to have to figure out how to bring in the youngsters behind us who won't be a part of the force that's been deploying."