By Public Affairs Staff 20 October 2017
Future challenges, how the Army does business and insights from the careers of 24 senior leaders were themes of the day at an annual gathering at Carlisle Barracks.
The senior Army leaders were participants in the Army War College’s Army Leader Day, Oct. 19, 2017, which is an annual event held to pass knowledge from current senior leadership of the Army to the future strategic leaders, through lectures and face to face discussions in seminar. Thirteen of the leaders were Army War College graduates or former Army War College Fellows.
Gen. James McConville, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, began the program in Bliss Hall by speaking to the student body on topics ranging from Army readiness to the future Army and taking care of Soldiers.
He echoed the theme “pray for peace, but prepare for war” as introduced earlier this month by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley. McConnell touched on topics on the forefront of many Americans like potential flashpoints in North Korea, Russia and terrorism and reminding the audience that it often takes troops on the ground to solve these complex problems.
Other issues discussed included strategic leadership, integrity, the multi-domain battle field, Army modernization priorities and the importance of balancing unit responsibilities with personal family time.
Following the keynote address, the students moved to 24 seminar rooms for candid, in-depth discussions with other senior leaders of the Army staff.
Lt. Gen. Gary Cheek, Director of the Army Staff, quickly introduced himself to the students gathered in seminar 21, and just as quickly questions began to flow as Cheek lent his experience and expertise while answering some of the probing questions.
Cheek also shared what he and other senior leaders expect from new Army War College graduates. He mentioned that writing a concise and clear paper is very important. He made recommendations for discussing issues with senior leadership and stressed that it was vital to be able to explain the problem in clear and concise writing and also to provide options and recommendations. Lastly he stressed the importance of a positive outlook and build relationships. When you have an issue you will be able to find assistance, because you have invested the time in building a relationship.
Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, Director, Office of Business Transformation, discussed the importance of strategic minded leadership, and shared some of the lessons learned over the course of a 36-year career. He talked about the future of the Army, and shared his opinions on how the Army prepares for future conflicts. He spoke informally to the group in seminar 22, and emphasized the responsibility of senior leaders to keep reading, learning, and growing long beyond their war college graduation.
Lt. Gen. Gwen Bingham, Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, spoke about the challenges that face the Army and DoD with aging and excess infrastructure.
Army Leader Day is a unique opportunity for senior Army leadership, military and civilian, to visit Carlisle and interact with the current class. The event allows students an opportunity to speak directly with current senior Army leaders and learn more about the unique aspects of leadership required at the strategic level.