The director of the Army National Guard said to keep itself operational “we’re going to have to get back to basics,” including schooling for noncommissioned officers and officers for promotion as well as addressing the state of aging armories.
Speaking at a breakout session for the Army National Guard at the Association of the United States Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition Tuesday, Oct. 12, Lt. Gen. William Ingram, said, “Look at captains, majors and 6’s and 7’s, all they’ve done is get ready and go to the war-fight.”
Adding, “We’re going to have to go back to the future, pre-9/11” and re-emphasize home station training.
Ingram explained that “we’ve promoted people rather quickly in the last 10 years. We don’t have the breadth and depth” that is necessary to mentor junior officers and soldiers. He added that “we used to be long in the tooth” in the Army National Guard, but that experience helped in bringing along juniors.
“We skipped a few schools,” Ingram said. “It’s time to catch up on schooling.”
As for armories, Ingram said, “Forty-six percent of armories are over 50 years old and don’t reflect the professionalism and tremendous capability of people who work there.”
The challenge is “military construction [funds] are getting smaller.”
Ingram said that as part of the Defense Department’s budget cuts in the next five years the Army National Guard will drop from more than 356,000 soldiers to 350,200.