FORT MONROE, Va. (TRADOC News Service, Jan. 14, 2008) - The commanding general of the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, Gen. William S. Wallace, welcomed the Iraqi Minister of Defence, Mr. Abdul Qadir Mohammed Jassim, at Fort Monroe, Va., today. The minister is visiting select U.S. military commands to gain a better understanding of U.S. military organizations, programs, and training that may be applicable to the institutional capacity development and force generation in the Iraqi Ministry of Defence.

During his week-long trip, Qadir will also visit the U.S. Army Central Command, Special Operations Command, Joint Forces Command, and the Pentagon for meetings with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and other senior military commanders.

"We are honored that you would make a stop at TRADOC part of your visit to the U.S.," said Wallace, during a brief office call with the minister. "We want to give you ideas about how we recruit, train, and develop leaders in the U.S. Army."

Following the customary exchange of gifts, Qadir participated in briefings and discussions led by Gen. Wallace, Col. Damian Carr, chief of current operations, G-3/5/7, that highlighted TRADOC's organization and core missions, and Col. Chuck Rogerson, director, Leader Development and Education, G-3/5/7.

"We have a saying here at TRADOC: Victory starts here!," exclaimed Wallace. "We don't fight battles but we establish the foundation on which our Army operates."

Wallace went on to highlight TRADOC's role in building the future Army.

"It's a very necessary requirement for someone to think about the future," he said. "We are considered the architect of the Army. We "think for the Army," and not just about the Army today but how we want to shape our force to deal with a very uncertain future."

The Iraqi military is modeled as a joint force with the Iraqi Army as its ground force supported by a naval and air force. It is also modeled closely to that of the U.S. Army with distinctive commands that are responsible for collective combat training, institutional training and doctrine, accessions, and combined arms (logistics) support, that all support the Iraqi's 13-combat division ground force.

This was Qadir's first visit to the U.S. since he became Iraq's Minister of Defence in 2006. Prior to that he served as the commander of the Iraqi Ground Forces as an Iraqi Army lieutenant general. He commanded the Iraqi Army's 17th Armor Division during the Iraq-Iraq war and later commanded the Iraqi Army's Armor School. In 1990 he became the Chief of Armor and was later imprisoned by Suddam Hussein for refusing to burn oil fields during Desert Storm when Iraqi forces withdrew from Kuwait. He was released in 1997 and was retired before returning to serve the new Iraqi government.

Considered an expert strategist and tactician, Qadir is also an avid historian of armored warfare having graduated in 1975 from the Russian Military Academy where he studied Soviet Armored Battle tactics.

"These are such important subjects and ones that we are working closely with Multi-National Forces in Iraq" said the minister. "We will take the vital aspects of your leader development programs and apply them in Iraq."