Grinston: Busy Army ‘More Ready’ Than Ever

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Grinston
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Grinston: Busy Army ‘More Ready’ Than Ever

While major operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have ended, the Army continues to be on a high operational pace and is “more ready than we have ever been,” Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Grinston said.

“We’re not 250,000 soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan like we were in 2006 and [2007], but we are still extremely busy doing the missions that we’ve been asked to do for our country,” Grinston said Sept. 30 during a call with media hosted by the Defense Writers Group, part of the Project for Media and National Security at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Policy Extends SHARP Resources to Army Civilians

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SHARP training
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Policy Extends SHARP Resources to Army Civilians

Army civilians are now eligible to receive Army Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention services, the service announced. 

The new policy, announced Sept. 17, represents a significant shift in access to SHARP resources for Army civilians. Previously, Army civilians could only qualify for limited SHARP services if they worked overseas, were deployed or were also dependents, according to an Army press release. 

Army Streamlines Training, Testing for Expert Badges

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Soldier receives EIB
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Army Streamlines Training, Testing for Expert Badges

The Army is changing the way soldiers train and test for the three skills badges that are critical to career advancement.

A process that now takes more than a month, where soldiers vie for the badge that demonstrates proficiency and expertise in their MOS, will soon take only two weeks. This consolidation of training and testing will save units untold amounts of resources, time and logistics, the Army’s senior training NCO said.

McConville: ‘Terrorism is Not Going Away’

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Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville visits troops in training.
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McConville: ‘Terrorism is Not Going Away’

Strategic competition is driving the Army’s effort to modernize, but the counterterrorism fight that dominated the past 20 years of U.S. military operations is not over, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said.

“Terrorism is not going away, at least in my eyes,” he said Sept. 9 during a webinar hosted by Defense One. “There are groups of people out there who have committed to wanting to kill Americans and, if they have the opportunity, to attack the homeland.”

Army Hones Arctic, Jungle Fighting Capabilities

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Soldiers training in jungle
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Army Hones Arctic, Jungle Fighting Capabilities

The Army is planning 20 combat training center rotations in fiscal 2022, including, for the first time, a rotation focused on fighting in the Arctic and another on operating in the jungle, senior officials said.

Planning also calls for a rotation dedicated to a security force assistance brigade and at least two for Army National Guard brigade combat teams, said Maj. Gen. Sean Swindell, assistant deputy Army chief of staff for operations.

Fort Jackson NCO is 2021 Drill Sergeant of the Year

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Drill Sergeant of the Year
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Fort Jackson NCO is 2021 Drill Sergeant of the Year

Sgt. 1st Class Travis Burkhalter of Fort Jackson, South Carolina, is the Army’s 2021 Drill Sergeant of the Year.

Burkhalter, a drill sergeant leader at the Army Drill Sergeant Academy, was selected for the honor on July 30, after a grueling four-day competition. During the Drill Sergeant of the Year Competition, 12 NCOs were tested on their physical strength, rifle marksmanship, land navigation, written exams and essay evaluations, to determine who was the “best of the best.”

Guard Rises to the Challenge

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About 17 years ago, amid the demands of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, the Army shifted from a division-centric to a maneuver brig

Keeping Quality People is Major Army Goal

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Soldiers in the jungle
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Keeping Quality People is Major Army Goal

In addition to recruiting the best talent, the Army must also focus on retaining those soldiers once they are in the ranks, the service’s top personnel officer said.

The Army must “compete for and retain talent,” said Lt. Gen. Gary Brito, deputy Army chief of staff for personnel. “Manning the Army is a key component of readiness.”

Funk: Army Must Grow Soldiers’ Skills, Talents

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Gen Paul Funk
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Funk: Army Must Grow Soldiers’ Skills, Talents

The Army continues to look for ways to put the right talent in the right places across the force, all while focusing on improving quality of life for soldiers and their families, a top general said.

“We are absolutely trying to put talent where it needs to be used and actually allow it to grow,” Gen. Paul Funk, commanding general of Army Training and Doctrine Command, said May 6 during a virtual discussion hosted by the Center for a New American Security.