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/Staff Sgt. Tiffany Lindemann

Team March maintainers refurbish KC-135 Stratotanker in record time

U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tiffany Lindemann Staff Sgt. Caleb Meyer, an active-duty crew chief, and Staff Sgt. Neftali Rivera, an Air Reserve Technician and crew chief, both from the 752nd Maintenance Squadron, screw in th...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan

Johnson assumes command of 56th Aerial Port Squadron

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan Col. Timothy McCoy (left), commander, 452nd Mission Support Group, March Air Reserve Base, passes the guidon to Maj. Mark E. Johnson, commander, 56th Aerial Port Squadron, ...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Ryan Crane

Airman, Guardsman recognized as ‘heroes’ in Paris

U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Ryan Crane Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone (right), Aleksander Skarlatos (center) and Anthony Sadler pose for a photo in Paris Aug. 23, 2015, following a foiled attack on a French train. Stone was...
 

 
150822-F-RK887-146

Chief Kacsmaryk Retirement

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan Chief Master Sgt. Michael Kacsmaryk, superintendent, 752nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, March Air Reserve Base, receives a U.S. flag that was flown over the Capitol, duri...
 
 

The 452nd Air Mobility Wing 2015, 3rd Quarter award winners

Airman of the Quarter – Senior Airman Christian Bojorquez, 452 SFS   NCO of the Quarter – Staff Sgt. Kevin Duffy, 56 APS   SNCO of the Quarter – Senior Master Sgt. Winston Demmin, 452 AMXS   Company Grade Officer of the Quarter – Capt. Dawn Schultz, 452 MDG/752 MDS   (Not pictured) Civilians of...
 
 

Healthy Base Initiative ends, Team March continues concept

The Defense Department’s Healthy Base Initiative is about to end, but the emphasis on health and wellness is merely making a transition. The Healthy Base Initiative, a DOD demonstration project at 14 installations that tested ways to improve the health and wellness of troops, civilians and their families, is ending this month. However, the successful ideas that...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>