Firing Line: Conversation #4 February 2017
a. AUSA Moderator - “GEN (Ret) Julius Becton recalls when President Truman desegregated the military.”
“I enjoyed being a soldier; I enjoyed being around soldiers.” With that simple declaration, retired Lt. Gen. Julius W. Becton Jr. summed up his primary motivation for decades of service that began in an era when minorities faced immense challenges in a military—and a civilian society--that was still rigidly segregated. Becton, 90, the guest speaker at a Black History Program sponsored by the Association of the U.S. Army at its headquarters in Arlington, Va., said he was on active duty for training at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 1948 when President Harry Truman issued his historic Executive Order 9981 to desegregate the military.”
b. AUSA Five Things – “SMA Dailey on funding and support of family and soldier programs.”
AUSA Five Things: A Weekly Tip Sheet for AUSA Members, dated February 20, 2017: “Greatest Challenge.”
“Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey told a Senate subcommittee he’s concerned about the impact of tight budgets. ‘If we want to continue to retain and attract quality people for our future all-volunteer force, we must provide adequate levels of funding and support our key family and soldier programs,’ he said, describing the quality of life of soldiers and their families as ‘good but I believe it could be improved.’
What to watch: The challenge, Dailey says, “is keeping faith with the people we serve while remaining fiscally responsible.” That means being good stewards of tax dollars while providing for soldiers and their families.”
c. USA Moderator – “Should more Army forces be stationed overseas?”
“Reshaping the military to tackle evolving threats should be a higher government priority, four national security analysts warned during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Thomas Donnelly of the American Enterprise Institute’s Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies said he is less concerned about the technological, tactical and operational challenges facing the U.S., and more concerned about politicians and the defense community thinking in terms of goals and purpose.
One thing the U.S. can do is simply be present in critical regions of the world, Donnelly said. ‘No other single defense reform would pay a bigger or more rapid return on defense investment than negotiating a return of forces based or home-ported closer to the zones of contention,’ he said. To do this, the military needs to be bigger and have fully funded readiness accounts and increased stockpiles of weapons, munitions and equipment, he said.”
d. AUSA Five Things – “Do you know what realized mission command is?”
AUSA Five Things: A Weekly Tip Sheet for AUSA Members, dated February 20, 2017: “Drunk on Information.”
“Maj. Gen. Eric Wesley, Army Maneuver Center of Excellence commander, says future warfare will require soldiers to operate independently, without constant communication from higher headquarters. Doing this will require some culture change because the Army has become ‘drunk on information and dependent on permission,’ he said at an International Armored Vehicle conference in England.
What to watch: Training is being revised to give small-unit commanders the confidence to make their own decisions based on following the intent of original orders even as circumstances may have changed. Wesley described this as ‘realized mission command.’”
THIS WEEK'S POLL QUESTION:
(TO VOTE: SCROLL DOWN TO THE FOOTER OF THE PAGE)
Should NATO countries spend more on Defense?
- Not sure