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Milley’s First Status Report as Chief in 2015-16 Green Book

Monday, October 05, 2015

In the latest edition of ARMY magazine’s Green Book, new Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley warns the Army to be careful to “not to repeat the reflexive mistake of making the linear assumption that our next conflict will look like the fights we have been engaged in for so long.”

The Green Book is an annual edition of the Association of the U.S. Army’s magazine that includes Status Reports from around the Army, a command and staff directory, and guides to installations and weapons. Here is a link to a digital version of this year’s 336-page magazine.

In Milley’s Status Report, he writes, “A decade and a half of war has taught us that the Army must constantly adapt to the missions assigned and the environment.” Milley talks of establishing a culture with robust innovation and a focus on flexibility, adding that adversaries recognize the limits of U.S. capabilities and capacity so the Army needs to continue to adapt through emerging technology, intellectual talent, and being “flexible enough to change quickly if or when we get it wrong.”

“We have the best-equipped, best-trained and best-led Army in the world, but we cannot rest on our laurels. We must get better,” Milley writes. “Winning matters, there is no second place in combat, and combat readiness is the key to winning.”

Retired Army Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, president and CEO of AUSA and a former Army chief of staff, expresses concern about the Army in his Status Report. “Affordability shouldn’t be how a powerful nation decides the size of the one military branch with the unique capabilities of sustained dominance on the ground anywhere on the globe,” he writes. “Nothing displays American power like the boots of U.S. soldiers on the ground.”

Sullivan advocates three things for the Army in 2016. He wants the drawdown of forces to stop, at least temporarily, to “give time for serious consideration of myriad threats facing the U.S., and what role ground forces may be required to perform.” He wants sequestration repealed “as soon as possible, for the peace of mind of our soldiers and civilians, their families, the defense industry that supports our Army, and our citizens and allies.” And he calls for a nation that appreciates “why we have, and why we still need, an Army.”

“We are a nation that abhors war,” Sullivan writes. “It is incumbent upon those of us who know the Army is there to prevent war as much as fight one to explain the danger than comes from being ill-prepared.”

While this is Milley’s first Status Report as Army Chief of Staff, the Green Book also contains the last report from Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh, who is expected to step down by Nov. 1 after six years on the job.

“Without reservation, serving your Army has been the greatest honor and privilege of my life,” he writes. “It has served to reinforce and increase my respect and admiration for our soldiers, their families, and the civilians who support them.”

The Army is a “formidable force,” McHugh writes. “Together, you have helped make a vital difference. Together, you have confronted foes while having to rely upon unpredictable resources. Together, in the most basic terms, you have protected freedom around the world. “It may be easy to dismiss my optimism as reflections of a departing leader,” he writes. “But it has been your accomplishments, your glory and your actions that provide the basis for these claims, not my words.”