Soldiers --Trained and Ready for Full Spectrum of Operations Stress Must be Reduced; Put Families First 

4/9/2009 

            The commanding general of III Corps said that it was essential for soldiers to be trained and ready to operate in both counterinsurgency operations and high intensity combat operations.

            Speaking April 9 at the Association of the United State Army’s Institute of Land Warfare breakfast in suburban Washington, Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch cited the example of the corps headquarters deploying to Korea for an exercise emphasizing conventional warfare.

It also means ensuring that his soldiers have individual and collective training for the full spectrum of military operations.

            “They have to have that skill set,” he told the 150 attendees.

            Also serving as the commander of Fort Hood, Texas, he said about one-third of the corps is deployed now, one-third has recently returned from deployments in Afghanistan or Iraq and the last third is getting ready to deploy.”

            Adding, “All is manageable; all difficult. Synchronizing the ARFORGEN [Army Force Generation Model] process is difficult.”

            Looking at force well-being, he said the stress “we’re experiencing [is] palpable in the eyes of the families.”

            He described steps the corps has taken to reduce that stress, including not working weekends without his specific approval, working past 6 p.m. nightly and sending soldiers home at 3 p.m. on Thursdays “to put families first.”

            Adding, “This forces leaders to use their time wisely.”

He also wants his soldiers to have by Thursday afternoon their training schedules for the coming week so that families can plan around them.

            Lynch said that he tries to instill in his meetings with incoming soldiers and at social gatherings that “It’s OK to have fun.”  Adding, “Let’s make these the ‘Good Ole Days.’”

            He noted, “I demand engaged leadership” and he is seeking to empower his junior leaders in how to deal with their soldiers’ and their families’ grief and sorrow.  “It’s all about communication.”

            To help soldiers develop professionally, the corps has scheduled monthly counseling sessions for every soldier where leaders and soldiers review how goals were met or missed and objectives for next month and how to achieve them.  “It’s a contract.”

            Lynch added, “Leaders, soldiers, families have to have a deployment mentality.”

            Force Protection, an AUSA sustaining member company sponsored the breakfast.