By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterNovember 23, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (November 24, 2011) -- Gen. Robert W. Cone, commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, visited Fort Rucker Nov. 17, speaking with Soldiers in Advanced Individual Training, the Warrant Officer Senior Staff Course and the Aviation Captain's Career Course to talk about resiliency and the future of the Army.
"We've got some work to do on becoming a doctrine-based Army again and capturing standards for the future," said Cone.
He explained that it is TRADOC's job to determine what the core structure is for the Army and what kinds of organizations the Army needs.
"I'm responsible for basically looking at the future and taking a look at what the strategy is for the U.S. forces," said Cone. "I'm also responsible for the doctrine in terms of how the United States Army fights and designing the formations."
Budget and personnel cuts to the Army have now added to TRADOC's responsibility to designing the Army of the future so that it can accomplish what it needs to, according to Cone.
"The Army is looking to cut its numbers from about 589,000 servicemembers to about 520,000." he said. In total, the Army is looking at about $580 billion in cuts, he added.
Cone said the prospect of the budget cuts have many Soldiers concerned in terms of their future in the Army, but advises them to stay focused.
"The key to success here is to stay focused on what you're doing and stay focused on what the Army has asked you to do," he said, "Sometimes worrying about things that may or may not happen can cause you to get distracted."
Cone also spoke about how important it is for the Army to get back to the profession of arms.
"I think that the Aviation community is further ahead in the profession of arms than others because they have such a unique body of professional expertise and they've always protected that," said Cone. "I think that maybe in other senses is where [the Army] may have drifted a little and lost its' way."
It is important to take the Soldiers that were trained to do a specific job in the Army, and give them a job that they were trained for rather than having to contract it out to civilian workers, according to Cone.
He said that Soldiers should take full advantage of the opportunity to train here on Fort Rucker.
"It's the world's best Aviation training facility--you won't find any place that's like it in the world," he added.
Cone also expressed his excitement for TRADOC's doctrine 2015 initiative, saying that doctrine had to be relooked at along with the young generation of warfighter, and how Soldiers communicate and share information. Soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have a wealth of knowledge that can benefit the doctrine and training, and communicating this knowledge to the Soldiers that are training is a key element, he said.
"Instead of writing after-action reviews, [Soldiers] can get on TRADOC-sponsored websites and share their experience," Cone said, "so that our doctrine becomes a living, breathing document that reflects the most recent experience of our Soldiers in combat.
"[The current generation of Soldier] tends to learn very differently than my generation," said Cone.
He explained that today's Soldier uses different media tools for learning, such as Android products [or iOS devices.'
"If we can capture some of the basic things you learn in a classroom that tend to be very boring, we can translate that into apps that we can put onto Android [products] and [iOS devices]," said Cone.
"There is ample evidence that shows when [Soldiers] look at these apps, on the basic lower levels of knowledge, things like declarative domains and procedural domains of knowledge, they can retain that information [better], which then allows us to move to higher levels of learning that are more participative and experiential based," he added.
As Cone's trip came to a close, he expressed how he felt about his visit saying that it was, "tremendous, and Maj. Gen. Anthony G. and Kim Crutchfield are doing an incredible job here leading this base," adding that the enthusiasm he saw on Fort Rucker was "infectious."
"When you look at all that goes on here on a day-to-day basis, it's absolutely masterful the way that it's all coordinated and executed with so much professionalism," he said.