Army

August 23, 2012

Dempsey: Transition in military uncomfortable, but necessary

Tags:
By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conducts a town hall with members of the Minnesota National Guard in Rosemount, Minn., Aug. 16, 2012. He told the Soldiers the military must undergo three transitions in the coming years, with each dependent on finding the best way forward in lean economic times.

WASHINGTON (Aug. 22, 2012) — The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says the military must undergo three transitions in the coming years, with each dependent on finding the best way forward in lean economic times.

During a town hall Aug. 16, in Rosemount, Minn., Gen. Martin E. Dempsey told Minnesota National Guardsmen determining 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 going back to looking 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.


 
 

 
front_page

Fort Irwin Soldiers honored at Armed Forces Day event

Children surround Spc. Matthew Bragg – of B Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment – for a photo opportunity at the 2015 Torrance Armed Forces Day Parade, May 16.   Leadership, Soldiers and civilian employe...
 
 

News Briefs June 2015

Now through Aug. 5 SAC Summer Camp. 6 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday – Friday. 1322 Pork Chop Hill. The Fort Irwin School Age Center Summer Camp Program accommodates children from kindergarten to fifth grade. SAC encourages physical, emotional, and social development through the following service areas: sports, fitness, and health options; life skills, citizenship...
 
 
Sgt. Erik Thurman

Memorial Day ceremonies supported by 11th ACR

Sgt. Erik Thurman Major Bradley Lang addresses an audience during a Memorial Day ceremony at Desert View Memorial Park in Victorville, Calif., May 25. The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment had the honor of participating in three Me...
 

 

Garrison command team will miss installation, great people

For the command team of Col. Jon Braga and Command Sgt. Maj. Carlos Esmurria, leaving Fort Irwin in July will be a bittersweet moment. The two have been at the helm of Fort Irwin United States Army Garrison, the organization that manages the cantonment area of this military installation, since mid-2013. It will be 24...
 
 
Leslie Ozawa

NTC bids farewell to post CSM, hails interim

Leslie Ozawa National Training Center and Fort Irwin Commander Brig. Gen. Joseph Martin congratulates Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Travers. Travers received a Legion of Merit award for his service to the NTC as post command sergea...
 
 
IMG_5348

11th ACR Horse Detachment demonstrates tradition

Sgt. 1st Class Roman Hacker leads fellow Horse Handlers of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Horse Detachment on a beach ride at Salinas River State Beach in Marina, Calif., May 8.   Friends of the Fort Ord Warhorse welcom...
 




One Comment


  1. […] High Desert Warrior » Army 1 min ago by in Fort Irwin. You can follow any responses to this entry through the | RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. […]



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>