By Elizabeth M. LorgeApril 3, 2008
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 3, 2008) - The commander of the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., testified this week to the Airland Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee about the Army's new operations manual, FM 3-0 .
Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV told Senate Subcommittee Chairman Joe Lieberman and Ranking Member John Cornyn that while Soldiers are performing magnificently in the war on terrorism, FM 3-0 is their blueprint for operating in an uncertain future. He also said creating a total-government approach for future conflicts is crucial for success, adding that this depends on Congressional resourcing of other government agencies.
FM 3-0 marks the first major changes to Army doctrine since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and institutionalizes simultaneous offensive, defensive and stability operations. In fact, stability and combat operations are given equal importance.
"A tremendous amount of change in FM 3-0 has come from lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan," Caldwell said after the manual's launch in February. "It was important for us to go back and take those lessons that we have learned over time and incorporate them into our doctrine, training and leader development."
Both Lieberman and Cornyn were concerned about how the Army could support and budget for such a wide spectrum of operations, but Cornyn congratulated the military for its ability to successfully perform so many missions.
While Caldwell was in the capital, he also stopped by the Army's Worldwide Public Affairs Symposium and talked to public affairs officers about the changing face of media and the importance of engagement.
"Telling the story of the United States Army and our Soldiers is not only a noble calling, but in today's information environment, it is essential to the success of our mission and to the overall success of our nation in this era of persistent conflict," said the former Multi-National Force-Iraq spokesman.
Now every student at the Command and General Staff College, which falls under Caldwell's direction, is required to conduct at least one media interview, one public-outreach event and write one blog.
"As Soldiers, we understand the maximum effective range of our primary weapons systems and exactly what that means," he said. "But with the emphasis on information as an element of combat power, we need to understand that the maximum effective range of a message, once it is launched, is unlimited.
"All communications have the potential to be global, and we need to expect that our messages will be heard and understood in multiple countries, in many different languages, and more importantly, through many various cultural filters. Always think through the implications of your messages and how they will be perceived on a global scale. Remember that in many parts of the world, an American Soldier will be the only contact that many people will have with our great nation."
(Editor's Note: A report from John Harlow contributed to this article.)