DoD

August 24, 2012

Dempsey: Transition in military uncomfortable, but necessary

Tags:
by Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service
120816-D-VO565-003
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conducts a town hall with members of the Minnesota National Guard in Rosemount, MN, Aug. 16, 2012. DOD photo by D. Myles Cullen

WASHINGTON D.C. – Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conducted a town hall meeting with members of the Minnesota National Guard in Rosemount, Minn., Aug. 16.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, the military must undergo three transitions in the coming years, with each dependent on finding the best way forward in lean economic times.

During the meeting, Dempsey told guardsmen that the best way to transform the military isn’t just about what’s best for the armed forces, but “really about figuring out what’s best for the country” in the years ahead.

“What does the nation need in 2020?” Dempsey asked. “How do we build that capability? How do we deliver in a way that’s affordable for the nation?”

“We’re all citizens first,” he said. “Therefore, I think we’ve got to figure out how to help the country through that economic challenge while preserving the military that it needs.”

Dempsey highlighted his three transitions.

First, he said, is to move from a military that is generally focused on deploying for combat into one that can perform missions besides counterinsurgency.

Service members of his generation were criticized as being “stuck in a Cold War mentality,” Dempsey said.

“It was a challenge, I will admit to you,” he said, “for us to change the way we looked at problems from that Cold War paradigm into the counterinsurgency paradigm.”

“I would submit to you that those of you that have done nothing but counterinsurgency are going to have exactly the same challenge, when looking back at other kinds of warfare,” he said.

But that’s exactly what service members must do, Dempsey said. “Not because we think it’s on … the horizon, but it could be someday and you can’t wait until it’s there to get ready for it.”

The second transition is economic, he said and involves managing a shift from the “largely unconstrained budgets of the last ten years — ‘if you needed it you got it’ — to something that is going to be more constrained.”

That might make service members uncomfortable, the chairman said, but the military has an obligation to become more affordable to the country. “Why? Because national power … is actually the aggregate of three things, not just the military,” Dempsey said. “It is the military, but it’s also economic well-being and it’s also diplomatic influence.”

The last transition is the drawdown of military members. Over the next five to six years, the Army and Marines will reduce in size by about 120,000 people in total, he continued.

“We owe it to those young men and women who have served so honorably and so well to make sure we take care of them,” Dempsey said.

“In all of that we’ve got to keep faith with our military family,” he said, adding that family includes veterans, wounded warriors and the parents and spouses of service members killed in action.

One way to keep faith as the Defense Department draws down is to guarantee that resources continue to be dedicated to family support programs, Dempsey said.

“The challenge of course, is we’ve got 1,000 flowers blooming out there,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure that we can identify the ones that are most important and ensure we continue to resource those.”

“The second way we keep faith is by pay, compensation, healthcare and retirement,” the chairman added.

Finally, he said, keeping faith with the military family means providing the toughest training possible. “I’m not keeping faith with you if I resource all that other stuff and I don’t train you,” he explained, “because then, I send you off to war and you’re not ready for it.”

“Change is always uncomfortable,” Dempsey said, “but often if we’re agile enough, the change can actually make things better for us and improve relationships, not disrupt them.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Joseph Dangidang

452nd Maintenance Group hosts Assumption of Command ceremony

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Joseph Dangidang From left: Col. Russell A. Muncy (left), commander, 452nd Air Mobility Wing, Chief Master Sgt. Daniel G. Willers (center), command chief, 452nd Maintenance Group, and Col. Ken...
 
 

2014 AFRC Media Contest results

Congratulations to the following representing Team March: Feature Article – first place – Linda Welz (452 AMW/PA) Commentary – second place – Lt Col Beth Horine (4 CTCS when commentary was written) Series – second place – Linda Welz (452 AMW/PA) Feature Photograph – second place – MSgt John Nimmo (4 CTCS) Pictorial Photograph –...
 
 

Overcoming failures: Don’t be a carrot or an egg

You will fail. The question is, how will you respond? This reminds me of a parable of the carrot, egg and coffee. A senior airman was distraught when he learned he did not make staff sergeant after his first time testing. His staff sergeant supervisor saw a teaching opportunity and the next day he filled...
 

 

McKenzie, Faley take command

The 452nd Operations Support Squadron and 452nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron held formal Assumption of Command ceremonies at March Field on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. Col. Mark Sigler, then commander of the 452nd Operations Group, passed the guidons to Lt. Col. Nick R. McKenzie, who accepted one as the new OSS commander, and to Lt. Col....
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Melissa Goslin, U.S. Air Force graphic/Airman 1st Class Tom Brading

The road to fitness: One Airman’s drive to get fit, inspire others

BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. (AFNS) — A photojournalist assigned to the 628th Air Base Wing public affairs office here has lost more than 60 pounds since he began his fitness journey a little more than a year ago. Senior Airman ...
 
 
photo/ Charlie Gill

March communications engineer celebrates his roots

photo/ Charlie Gill Randy Staley makes and plays his own wooden flutes and skin drums. Randy Staley is a communications engineer at the AFN Broadcast Center on March Air Reserve Base. He can carry a tune. He’s not a singer, b...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin