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TRADOC Senior Leaders Conference Discuss issues from the TSLC.

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Old 08-13-2009   #1
Martin Dempsey
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Join Date: Mar 2009
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I first want to thank you for the opportunity to discuss the important issues facing us and to gain your perspectives and insights on the critical task of adapting our institution to more effectively support the nation’s national security interests. I view Small Wars Journal as an important gathering place for strategic thought, and I appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with some of the most thoughtful minds in our country.

The upcoming TRADOC Senior Leader Conference (TSLC) in Gettysburg comes at an important time for Training and Doctrine Command and for our Army. We continue to transform TRADOC while simultaneously supporting transitions in both OIF and OEF. Let me offer some thoughts and considerations as we put our shoulders behind these challenges and opportunities over the next 2 years.

If our experience over the last eight years has taught us anything, it’s that war and conflict will continue to increase in complexity. We know that conflict will be waged among the population and for influence on the population, and we know our leaders and their soldiers will operate among a diverse set of actors along blurred military, political, economic, religious and ethnic lines with the potential for escalation and spillover in a variety of unpredictable ways.

Hybrid threats--combinations of regular military forces and irregular threats often in collaboration with criminal and terrorist elements--will migrate among operational themes to seek advantage. The operating environment will become more competitive as our adversaries decentralize, network, and gain technological capabilities formerly found only in the hands of nation states.

The challenge confronting us is building balance and versatility into the force by developing our leaders, by designing our organizations, and by adapting the institution. The outcomes we seek are flexibility and resilience to hedge against future uncertainty. Three imperatives are guiding our efforts to align the operational and institutional Army to meet demands and support the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) model:

• Develop our military and civilian leaders
• Provide trained and ready forces to support current operations
• Integrate current and emerging capabilities

These imperatives will remain in tension for the foreseeable future, but there are things we can do to bring them into better balance. The TRADOC Campaign Plan (TCP) describes how we’ll achieve balance across our priority lines of operation: Human Capital, Initial Military Training, Leader Development, and Capabilities Integration.

The focus of our discussions during the TSLC will be on the TRADOC Campaign Plan (TCP). We will also examine how TRADOC’s TCP aligns with and complements the Human Capital Enterprise. We'll demonstrate how the Central Training Database will become the “Training Brain” for TRADOC and provide us the opportunity to enhance training in the institutional schoolhouse.

As you may know, we've asked ourselves how we can replicate the complexity our leaders experience while they are deployed, and we will discuss some emerging opportunities to do just that. I'd like this to generate discussion about how TRADOC can lead innovation in training and education to account for the speed of change in the contemporary operating environment.

I look forward in the coming weeks to a lively, thoughtful discussion with the Small Wars Journal community.
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