McConville: Army is Busy But Ready

McConville: Army is Busy But Ready

Gen James McConville speaking
Photo by: U.S. Army/Sgt. Dana Clarke

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville, speaking March 8 at an event hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army, said the force faced “a lot of challenges” over the years and now faces another one with the fighting in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has started an “illegal” war, McConville said, but the Army is ready. 

The Army has quickly moved highly trained and well-equipped units to Europe to stand ready for action, if needed, a feat made possible by years of preparation and training and close coordination with allies and partners, McConville said at the event, part of the new AUSA Coffee Series, at the National Museum of the United States Army.

“We don’t get to decide when we go,” he said. “When it is time to go, we go with the Army we have.”

McConville said today’s soldiers “have to be problem-solvers. They have to be able to think. They have to make things happen.”

He sees the force—active, National Guard and Army Reserve—as being highly successful. “I could not be more proud of our soldiers than I am right now,” McConville said. “We are very, very blessed.”

There will always be a need for ground forces, no matter what anyone says, the chief assured the audience. 

Strong relationships with partners and allies are “all coming together in a united stand for freedom, which is what we are seeing now,” he said.

While deploying to Europe to bolster NATO allies, the Army is also preparing for the future, McConville said. “At the end of the day, we want outcomes,” he said about the Army’s modernization efforts.

“Twenty-four of our signature modernization systems will be delivered in 2023,” he said. “If I don’t mention your system, that doesn’t mean we have cut it,” he said as he listed several new capabilities. 

He stressed it is important that industry deliver systems on time because the Army doesn’t have time to spare.

Additionally, work is underway on the 2023 budget, McConville said, pledging to continue making people and new systems a priority.