JCS chairman: Active leadership needed in era of transition 

10/12/2011 6:00 PM 

The U.S. military is entering an era of transition which will require active leadership, the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Martin Dempsey, told attendees at the Association of the United States Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition, Wednesday, Oct. 12.

Dempsey said that when he first became a general, then-Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki told him that a general officer's most important responsibility was “to manage transitions.”

The military today is faced with three major transitions, he continued. The first is transitioning from a war footing to a “readiness footing,” he said. Secondly, the military is transitioning to an era of smaller budgets. And finally, there will be a large-scale transition of veterans to civilian life. While Dempsey acknowledged that he had “not fully grasped” that issue, “we have to keep faith with our veterans.”

“That is the task at hand,” he said. “We can only get through it if we work together.”