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A Dialogue About Our Army

mong my favorite encounters with different groups

within the Army

are those with groups of cadets. It doesn’t matter whether they’re West

Point cadets, ROTC cadets or warrant officer cadets. These young leaders-in-waiting want toknowexactlywhat“we”in- tend to do with this Army, and they want to make sure I know that they intend to be part of achieving that vision. They are quite remarkable and always inspiring.

Within the past two years, we’ve made several important state- ments about “who we are” and “what we need to be” as an Army. In The Army Capstone Concept (ACC), we reviewed the lessons of nine years of warfare and, importantly, reflected equally on that which changes and that which en- dures. Most recently, in our Army Oper- ating Concept, we articulated what we’re going to do about making what we’ve learned institutional and made a commitment not to neglect, “wish away” or overlook that which endures.

These concepts matter. They pro- vide the intellectual foundation for how we design our Army and produce the doctrine, organizations, training, materiel, leaders, personnel and facili- ties to support it.

The Army Capstone Concept

In The Army Capstone Concept, we noted the increase in the complexity of the environment, the dizzying pace of technological change and the emer- gence of hybrid threats—regular, ir-

regular, criminal and terrorist—who decentralize, net- work and syndicate against us. We also asserted that despite the changing character of conflict and the in- creased capability of potential adversaries, the chal- lenge of conducting military operations on land re- mains fundamentally unchanged. Unlike in other domains, actions have meaning on the ground be- cause of the interaction of people and as a result of the interdependence of societal fac- tors including religion, race, ethnicity, tribe, economy, judicial system and political system. As a result, military operations on land are man- power-intensive, subject to fre- quent and often unpredictable change, unforgivingly brutal,

By GEN Martin E. Dempsey

This is the second in a series of articles on the Army’s “campaign of learning.”

GEN Martin E. Dempsey, commanding general of Training and Doctrine Com- mand (TRADOC), discusses The Army Capstone Concept and an enterprise approach to support training of a 21st-century Army during the 2010 Winter Symposium of the Association of the U.S. Army in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

December 2010 I ARMY 39

U.S. Army/SGT Angelica Golindano

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