April 23, 2012
By Anthony C. O’Bryant, TRADOC
FORT EUSTIS, Va. — Secretary of the Army John McHugh traveled to U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command headquarters to receive briefings from TRADOC leaders on the Army Profession, doctrine, leader development, and training and education, April 20.
Gen. Robert W. Cone, TRADOC commanding general, began the briefing by discussing TRADOC’s ‘big three’ missions — supporting the current fight, structural transitions and human transitions — as the command works to transition the force to the Army of 2020.
McHugh cited the importance of TRADOC’s mission.
“We are coming out of 10 years of warfare. We have a new national military strategy, and we need to take lessons learned, and measure our way ahead, and put that into doctrine and training programs in a way that positions us to take the best of the recent past, and build toward a better future. And, all of that starts right here [at TRADOC],” said McHugh. “Throughout the history of the Army, our development of our training programs and our educational initiatives have always been important, but this is amongst the most important times in recent memory.”
Cone and Lt. Gen. David Perkins, the Combined Arms Center’s commanding general, briefed McHugh on the latest initiatives underway to implement changes identified with the Army Profession Campaign.
TRADOC released the Army Profession report earlier this month, which, according to Perkins, was the most comprehensive study of the profession ever conducted, gathering feedback from more than 40,000 surveys from Army personnel across all cohorts. He compared the effort to a similar study in 1987 that only involved feedback from 400 officers.
The TRADOC-governed campaign was led by the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and designed to determine ways to identify and strengthen weaknesses in the profession, and to leverage its strengths.
“[The Army Profession] is as old as the Army itself, and is built on certain core principles that have always set this Army apart from other militaries from across the planet and throughout history,” McHugh said.
He said he sees the Army at an inflection point, where it needs take its last 10 years of combat experience and use that to define the Army as a profession with the “guidance and the input from those great warriors who have been out there doing the hard fight.”
McHugh said he believes the Army needs to reestablish and reaffirm the foundational principles that have always been important to the Army and embed them with new lessons.
“We find ourselves today with a force that is very rich in combat experience, and has demonstrated over ten years that they certainly have the skills with soldiering and prevailing on the battlefield well in hand,” McHugh said. “But, as I think Gen. Cone and his team here are helping us to do each and every day, we want to make sure that they have that full professional development and education. The schoolhouse is an important part of that, and this team [TRADOC] is working very hard, along with the Army leadership, to try and provide the means and the way forward to make that happen.”
McHugh ended his visit with a message to TRADOC expressing his appreciation for their role in the Army.
“I just want to say to the team here that this a critically important time for this mission. All of us in the Pentagon who depend upon them are very grateful for the effort they bring each and every day. And I think I can say for Soldiers — whether they know it or not — [they] benefit from the hard work that happens [at TRADOC], and we are all in great debt to them,” McHugh said. “Keep up the good work.”