George Opens AUSA Leader Solarium

George Opens AUSA Leader Solarium

Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Randy A. George attends the Leader Solarium at AUSA 2023 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., Monday, Oct. 9, 2023. (Pete Marovich for AUSA)
Photo by: Pete Marovich for AUSA

Speaking to more than 160 mid-grade NCOs and officers, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Randy George called on the young leaders to help him solve some of the biggest challenges facing the force today.

The specially selected group of soldiers gets this unique opportunity through a Leader Solarium hosted by George at the Association of the U.S. Army’s 2023 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C.

Organized by AUSA’s Center for Leadership, the Solarium will feature talks from Army leaders and civilian subject-matter experts and small-group discussions. At the end of the three-day event, the soldiers will provide feedback to Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, George and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Weimer on opportunities and challenges facing the Army.

George kicked off the Solarium Oct. 9, spending an hour with the soldiers, highlighting his priorities and the challenges facing the Army.

“Everything we do at the Pentagon is to make sure we’re enabling our warfighters at every level,” George said. But some of the best ideas for how to be a more lethal and cohesive Army won’t come out of the Pentagon, he said. “If you guys are waiting for us to come out with the great ideas, that’s probably not going to happen,” George said. “A lot of what we need to execute is going to come from the ground up.”

Sworn in Sept. 21 as the 41st Army chief of staff, George outlined his four focus areas—warfighting, delivering ready combat formations, continuous transformation and strengthening the Army profession.

The Army exists to fight and win the nation’s wars, George said. “I’m interested in making sure that we’re doing everything we can to build lethality and cohesive teams,” he said. “If there’s something out there that’s not doing that, that’s not helping you build lethality or cohesive teams, then we need to talk about not doing it.”

Delivering ready combat formations includes making sure Army families are informed and equipped with the right resources and programs to support them as they support their soldier. It also means refining the Army’s maintenance schedules to increase efficiency and save time, and trimming excess equipment that may be bogging down unit commanders, George said.

The Army also must chase continuous transformation—not just modernizing its equipment but transforming how the force operates and trains soldiers, George said.

George’s fourth focus area is the Army profession. One major push is encouraging soldiers to do more professional writing. “Write about your experiences,” George said. “We want to have professional dialogues in professional forums. That’s what professionals do.”

The Army also must focus on standards and discipline. “I’ve always said that discipline is the foundation of any good unit, and it’s certainly why we’re going to be successful on the battlefield,” George said.

- Michelle Tan