SMA Professional Development Forum

SMA Professional Development Forum


– [Ken] All right, good morning everybody and welcome to this noncommissioned officer
Professional Development Forum. And I’m Ken Preston, Sergeant
Major of the Army Retired, soldier for life. And let me go ahead and
start by recognizing our host for today’s
Professional Development Forum, our Sergeant Major,
Sergeant Major of the Army Michael A. Grinston. Sergeant Major, thanks
very much for being here. We also have, Sergeant
Major of the Army Dan Dailey joining us here this morning. Sergeant Major, thanks for being here. We have Command Sergeant Major Hassan, from the United Arab Emirates. Sergeant Major, thanks
for being here with us. We have Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, our Medal of Honor
recipient, and once again… (audience applauding) You know, for Sergeant
Bellavia, you’re among us, and that’s the great
thing about this forum is, as soldiers and
noncommissioned officers here, we can say that we’re very proud of you and what you’ve done, and what
you do now to represent us in all the places you
travel around the world, and I just wanna say thanks. Also wanna recognize
Commander Sergeant Major Kim, Sergeant Major of the Army
from the Republic of Korea. So Sergeant Major, thanks very much also for being here with us. All of our senior noncommissioned
officers here, welcome. And today we have a number
of awards we wanna do to start this thing off. And we wanna start with the
presentation of the FY2019 Sergeant Major of the
Army Retention Award. So with that, I’m gonna turn it over now to Master Sergeant Godinez, who’s gonna take us through this. – Good morning. – [Audience] Good morning. Today, we will announce the
winners of the Fiscal Year 2019 Sergeant Major of the Army
Retention Competition. Will the command sergeants
major of the following commands please move forward when called? The winners for their
respective categories are, The 101st Airborne Division. First Infantry Division. 25th Infantry Division. 21st Theater Sustainment Command. United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. Second Infantry Division. 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command. United States Army Cadet Command. And The United States Army
Security Assistance Command. These commands are being recognized for achieving the highest
retention mission accomplishment within their competitive categories. Today’s retention program
involves a complex support system that involves leaders of all levels and career counselors
providing sound advice to soldiers and their families. The commands before you today represent the best retention
programs in the Army. (men speaking off-mic) (audience applauding) – All right, very good,
so at this time now, I have the honor to
announce the 2019 recipients of the Sergeant Major Larry L. Strickland Educational Leadership Award. So the Sergeant Major Larry L. Strickland Educational Leadership
Award is given in the honor of the memory of Sergeant
Major Larry L. Strickland, the Deputy Chief of
Staff G1 Sergeant Major who was killed in the
September 11th terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Sergeant Major Strickland was an outstanding noncommissioned officer and a friend who cared
deeply about soldiers and their professional development. He believed if you educate
the noncommissioned officer, you educate the soldiers they lead. Honoring Sergeant Major Strickland today gives us the opportunity
to honor all those who have given their life in
the service of our nation. The Sergeant Major Larry L. Strickland Educational Leadership
Award is awarded annually to a senior and mid-grade
noncommissioned officer who exemplify the army’s vision of life-long learning and
motivates others to continue their professional development
to shape future leaders. A noncommissioned officer like
Sergeant Major Strickland, who identifies, trains, develops, coaches, and mentors tomorrow’s leaders, a noncommissioned officer who is a steward of our army’s, and our nation’s, most precious resource,
the American soldier. I would ask the following
distinguished guest to join me here on the left
side, in front of the screen. First, Sergeant Major of the
Army, Michael A. Grinston, Sergeant Major Retired Tom Gills, who serves as the President of the Sergeant Major Larry L. Strickland Memorial Fund Committee, and Ms. Pam Swan, the Director of Military Relations and Business Development for
Veterans United Home Loans. And now, the 2019 Sergeant
Major Larry L. Strickland Educational Leadership Award senior noncommissioned officer recipient is First Sergeant Demetrius Herold, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 53rd Movement Control Battalion,
7th Transportation Brigade, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. How ’bout a round of applause? (audience applauding) Hey, wait! No, no, no, wait. Okay, yeah, you’re good. He’ll take the trophy back. (audience laughing) Okay, so Sergeant Major Gills, the President of the Sergeant
Major Larry L. Strickland Memorial Fund Committee will
present a check for $4,000. (audience applauding) Now, wait! Troy, you’re not worried about the… All right. Good job. Okay, now we take the check back. (audience laughing) – It bounced. – [Ken] All right, Tom. That’s why we do these rehearsals. So, Ms. Pam Swan will
now present our honoree with a laptop computer on behalf of Veteran’s United Home Loans. (audience applauding) And I’ll add that, in
addition to the Bronze Eagles received here, there’s
also a large Bronze Eagle on display at the United States Army Sergeant Major’s Academy
at Fort Bliss, Texas. All the eagles are from the Association
of the United States Army, and the name of each Strickland
Award recipient each year is displayed on the Bronze Eagle at the United States Army
Sergeant Major’s Academy. So, one more round of applause
for First Sergeant Herold. (audience applauding) Okay so, honorees, stay here, please. So our 2019 Sergeant
Major Larry L. Strickland Educational Leadership Award mid-grade noncommissioned
officer recipient is Sergeant First Class
Brandon Lapse, 86th… (audience applauding) 86th Engineer Dive Detachment Joint-base Langley Eustis, Virginia. And SMA Grinston will
now do the presentation of the Bronze Eagle. Okay. Sergeant Major Gills, the President of the Sergeant
Major Larry L. Strickland Memorial Fund will present
a check for $4,000. (audience applauding) Good job, okay, now we
take the check back. Take it back, take it back, okay. Now, Ms. Pam Swan will present out honoree with a laptop computer on behalf of Veterans United Home Loans. (audience applauding) Okay, thank you all very much. One more round of applause, please, for our award recipients. (audience applauding) Okay, now I have the honor of announcing the 2019
Dawn Kilpatrick Memorial AUSA Scholarship Award. So the Sergeant Major
Dawn Kilpatrick Memorial AUSA Scholarship Award
is given in the honor of the memory of Sergeant
Major Dawn Kilpatrick. Sergeant Major Dawn Kilpatrick began her public affairs career in 1979. Sergeant Major Kilpatrick’s
most challenging assignments included serving as the newspaper editor of three of the Army’s most
prestigious newspapers; The Hawaii Army Weekly
at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, The Bayonet at Fort Benning, Georgia, and The Paraglide at Fort
Brag, North Carolina. Then, as a special assistant
to the Secretary of the Army, Sergeant Major Kilpatrick served as the Personal Public Affairs Officer for the Secretary of the Army. She was the first
noncommissioned officer ever to serve in that role. Sergeant Major Kilpatrick
was a master parachutist, with more than 650 jumps. She spent two years as a member of the prestigious Golden Knights, the United States Army’s
parachute demonstration team. In 1999, the United States Army and the Association of
the United States Army formed a partnership to honor
Sergeant Major Dawn Kilpatrick and her selfless service
to our army and our nation. The Office of the Chief of Public Affairs established a scholarship in her name, titled The Sergeant Major
Dawn Kilpatrick Memorial Association of United States
Army Scholarship Award. I would ask the following
distinguished guests to join us up here at
the side of the stage; Sergeant Major to the
Army Michael A. Grinston, Sergeant Major Paul Schultz from the Office of the
Chief of Public Affairs and the army’s Public
Affairs Sergeant Major, and Ms. Pam Swan, Director
of Military Relations and Business Development at
Veterans United Home Loans. So the 2019 recipient of the Sergeant Major Dawn
Kilpatrick Scholarship is Master Sergeant Alex Licea, who is currently deployed to Afghanistan, but he’s from Headquarters
and Headquarters Company First Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas. And accepting the award
for Master Sergeant Licea is Command Sergeant Major Robert H. Cobb, Command Sergeant Major
First Armored Division, Old Iron Sides. And of course, we got
Master Sergeant Licea on, there we go, he’s there, he’s
watching, wave to everybody. (audience applauding) Okay, so the SMA’s gonna
present a Bronze Eagle for Master Sergeant Licea
to Sergeant Major Cobb. – [Woman] You want his picture up there on the phone with you. – [Ken] Okay, Ms. Pam Swan will
present our award recipient, okay, with a check for $4000
thousand dollars, the check. (laughing) – This is kinda hard but congratulations. – [Ken] How ’bout it? So Sergeant Major Cobb, this means that you can’t
now keep the check. (laughs) – He already knows this. – [Ken] That’s all right, okay, yeah. Okay, now, Ms. Pam Swan will
present a laptop computer to our award recipient on behalf of Veterans United Home Loans. – [Pam] Congratulations. (people chatting off-mic) – [Ken] Okay, and one more last thing, Master Sergeant Licea’s name
will be permanently displayed in a place of honor in the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, so how about a round of applause
for Master Sergeant Licea? (audience applauding) Thank you all. All right, I would now
ask Command Sergeant Major Retired Bob Winzenried from USAA to please come forward, please, along with Command Sergeant
Major Retired Troy Welch. So USAA has made a large
contribution to AUSA noncommissioned officer
and soldier programs to support our scholarship program for the last three years,
okay, so three years. $50,000 a year, USAA has given to the NCO Soldier Program’s
Scholarship Awards. And I will tell you that this $50,000 is for eight scholarships, all right? So one of those scholarships is $25,000. That’s a scholarship for a
soldier or a family member, and you talk about making a
difference in somebody’s life, but there is a 25,000, a 10, a five, and five $2,000 scholarships in from USAA and I just, for me, I just wanna personally say thanks to USAA and especially my best friend
Command Sergeant Major Retired Bob Winzenried, so let me jump down. (audience applauding) All right, how about one
more round of applause? (audience applauding) Okay, so now, at this time
I’m gonna turn it over to our host for today’s
Professional Development Forum, Sergeant Major of the
Army Michael A. Grinston. (audience applauding) – Okay, if you know anything, you know I’m not gonna
stand up behind a podium. You know, one of the great things you get the opportunity to
do is to recognize soldiers. And all I was thinking, and when I saw this, is what
a great nation we live in. I mean, where the noncommissioned officers can get education and we get recognized and we just keep talking about, wow. You know, we live in a great country where we just take our NCOs and say, we wanna give them a laptop, we wanna make sure they’re educated, and that’s why we’re gonna continuously have the greatest army in the world, is because we got great
people helping us out with all this, and I just wanna say thank you for that. But we also got a great
form, that’s gonna come up. But before I do that. So yesterday, my table, they were chiding me a
little bit they were like, hey, Sergeant Major, why
you gotta PFC up there? I said, “I don’t know,” I
said, “let’s promote him.” And he goes, Sergeant Major,
I don’t have enough time and service, time and grade. And I was like (laughs) “That’s easy.” Come on up. Oh, it is, oh yeah, we’re gonna do this. So this is PFC. And I think if you make it all the way through all those boards and you get to come to the
best warrior competition at the United States Army, you know, you didn’t win but you made it! You won at your level! He got all the way here. We should actually
promote him to Specialist. And I don’t care what
your time in service, time in grade is. Do you all agree? – [Audience] Hooah! (audience applauding) So yeah, let’s do this. Somebody’s got, there you go. – [Announcer] Gotcha. The Secretary of the army
has reposed special trust and confidence in the
patriotism, valor, fidelity, and professional excellence of Private First Class Tyler Jacob Russel. In view of these qualities
and his demonstrated leadership potential and dedicated service to the United States Army, he is therefore promoted
to the rank of Specialist. On this day, the 15th of October, 2019, by order of the Secretary of the Army, signed General James C. McConville, Chief of Staff, United States Army. – Okay and he said he wants
Sergeant Major Abernathy to come up here with him. (men speaking off-mic) – [Announcer] Hooah! (audience applauding) I’m not done yet. (laughs) And then they said, “Hey, Sergeant Major, “what about the Specialist, he did win!” Okay come on let’s promote him too. (shouting) (audience applauding) – [Announcer] The Secretary of the Army has reposed special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, fidelity, and professional excellence of Specialist David Anthony Chambers. In view of these qualities and his demonstrated leadership potential and dedicated service to
the United States Army, he is therefore promoted
to the rank of Sergeant. On this day, the 15th of October, 2019, by order of the Secretary of the Army, signed General James C. McConville, Chief of Staff, United States Army. – Come on First Sergeant, let’s go. – [Announcer] Hooah! (audience applauding) – Okay. As I go through, there’s a lot of great things
I get an opportunity to do. Right there, that was one of them. You know, when you can
give back to the army, that’s the future of the army. That is what is great, again, about our nation and about our army, and the faith that our
officers have to us. Because in the rag it
says the Chief of Staff of the Army is the only
one that can promote without time and service,
time and grade waiver, and it was just this easy. I walk up to the chief last night as we were getting ready
to go to the reception, and said sir, I wanna promote
the soldier to Specialist and I wanna promote the winner
of the soldier to Sergeant. He said, “Too easy.” That was it. There wasn’t a lot of questions. That’s exactly what he said. That’s what I keep talking about. This is my army and that’s
what I love about it, is that we got the confidence and the faith of our officers just to go, okay Sergeant Major, you
just take care of it. Lemme know what I gotta sign. So that is awesome and I’m
really glad we got to do that. So I do have to give one more coin, and so I just figured out. Stand up. Where’s your NCO, where’s he at? – Staff Sergeant Nimery. – Oh, there you are,
you’re hiding in the back. So I just figured out that the winner here is also the sponsor for one of our NCOs. I mean think about, this is my squad, that’s one of my squad
leaders, that he came up to compete in the best
warrior competition, but he had a great example. This is his platoon sergeant. And I just figured, these are the guys that
tried to drown me in Kuwait, by the way, but. (audience laughing) The scuba team, hey Sergeant Major, just swim about 400 meters that way. Oh, okay. But the great thing
about it is, right here, is, you know, a leader
who’s set an example. So as he wins his award, and he has the best warrior
competitor right there, I just wanted to say
I’m really proud of you and everything that you’ve done and I can give you a coin, too, I guess. Well, not that one. (audience laughing) Hopefully there’s one in the pocket that looks like, there you go. – Awesome. – Okay, thank you for what you do. – Thank you, Sergeant Major.
– Okay, thanks. (audience applauding) Okay so I’m gonna turn
it over to the panel, they’ve got some great talking points. We’re gonna make sure we leave it open enough for discussion. And I sat on the panel last year. So no holds barred. When they get up here, you’re gonna throw it at ’em ’cause you threw the kitchen sink at me when I was up there last year. So I’m laying it down now. If you happen to have a good
question on those cards, you need to just, I mean I want you to come at them hard ’cause they got all the answers! And if they don’t, then
we’ll ask SMA Daily. So, without… (audience laughing) And there it is. Without further ado, I’ll
turn it over to John. Thank you for being here today and it’s been a great AUSA so far, and I really appreciate it. (audience applauding) – Hey, thanks, SMA, and to all of you, welcome to the Sergeant Major of the Army’s Professional
Development Forum. This is how it’s gonna go today. Some of you, on your seats, you probably saw a card
before you sat down. Please pass them around to anyone that wants to ask a question. If you got a question at any time, write it down on the card. Sergeant Ortega on my right, Sergeant Serrano on my left, if you raise your hand, they’ll come around and grab your card, we’ll get it up to the podium, and if we follow that fashion, we’ll be able to answer more questions, get better answers as we go along. This is an exciting time for our army. There’s a lot of really important things that are going on. If you were here yesterday
when the Sergeant Major of the Army talked about his initiatives, he talked about, this is my squad, and the importance of that effort, taking ownership for our soldiers. He also talked a little
bit about the ACFT, another important initiative for our army. Many of you are wearing
a new historic uniform. And he talked about the
expert soldier badge. If you think about it, all those things belong to the NCO corps. General McConville said, on 2 May, in his confirmation, he said, “Winning requires unit cohesion, “a cohesion built on a
foundation of trained, “disciplined, and fit
soldiers who treat each other “with dignity and respect.” Those are all NCO corps functions. So I challenge you this morning, as we bring the panel up, and they talk a little bit about what’s going on in their unit, you fill out the card, ask difficult and challenging questions that’ll make you a better
leader in your organization. It’s important to our army. The gentlemen on my left, on your right, represent the senior noncommissioned
officers of our army. I’m gonna introduce them one at a time, they’ll come up on the panel, and then we’ll begin talking a little bit about what’s going on
in their organization. As soon as we finish that,
we’ll open it up to questions. First, I’d like to introduce
Command Sergeant Major Tim Guden, US Army Training
and Doctrine Command. (audience applauding) Command Sergeant Major Kurt Cornelison, US Army Forces Command. (audience applauding) Command Sergeant Major Mike Crosby from US Army Futures Command. (audience applauding) Command Sergeant Major Rodger Mansker from United States Army Materiel Command. (audience applauding) Command Sergeant Major Ted Copeland of the United States Army Reserve. (audience applauding) And Command Sergeant Major John Raines of the United States Army National Guard. (audience applauding) Again, as we move along,
you should be looking at your card, filling it out. When one of the speakers
talks about a question or talks about what’s
going on in their unit, and you’ve got a question, fill it out, we’ll get it up here, so we’re ready to answer questions as soon as we begin. I’ll start with Command
Sergeant Major Tim Guden. – Okay, Mr. Sparks, John, thanks very much, appreciate it. As the SMA said, and as Mr. Sparks said, please give us some tough questions. I guess they’ve all
decided to defer those down to my end of the table
anyway, so, we’ll see. So ask the tough questions. But here’s the other side, SMA, if I may, make
sure that you understand that you’re probably gonna get some tough answers back, okay? Sometimes there’s not gonna be anything that we’re gonna sugar
coat up here either, we’re gonna tell you
what the ground truth is to some of those things. So I’m Tim Guden, Sergeant Major TRADOC, there’s a lot of things
going on in our army. If TRADOC is ever finding
itself standing still, then we’re probably doing something wrong. There’s a lot of moving parts and pieces in TRADOC every single day, and there’s probably millions of questions that every single one of you
have for our headquarters. I’m just gonna stick with a couple of them and hopefully it spurs some questions, and maybe on some other topics also. The first one is no stranger to anybody, and it’s the elephant in
the room wherever I go, and it’s the ACFT. So a couple of things
that I want you to know about the ACFT is that it’s obviously, you know, FY20 is the year that everybody is required to do two not-for-record
ACFTs, basically diagnostics. A couple points on that. It’s really important, and I know that equipment is an issue, and a lot of this hinges
on the ability to test, hinges on equipment, I get it. And we can talk about
that a little bit also, but that’s not the main focus. The thing I wanna present to you is that as soon as you get the equipment, if you don’t already have it, what we really need you to do is we really need you to take that ACFT as soon as possible, so that we can start collecting that data. The data is really
what’s important this FY. We really need to get, ’cause right now we have the
data that’s been collected on the 63 battalions
that did the pilot test. It’s not enough to get a good
sample of the entire army. There’s a lot of things that are still hinging on this data. We have over 60 army policies, manuals, and documents
that need to be updated due to the ACFT. Anything from administrative to promotions and all that, so it’s very important. And the sooner that we
can get a good example, a good slice of the data
from the entire army, the better prepared we’re gonna be. So don’t delay on that first ACFT. The other thing with don’t
delay on the first ACFT is if you haven’t taken it yet, if your units haven’t taken it, you’re gonna be surprised
at, once they do take it, how motivated they are, how
mentally prepared they are, how excited they are,
and how fit and eager they’re gonna wanna be. I did, every month on Fort Eustis, I do a sergeant major PT event, and the one that we did last month was a, I let the NCOs, the sergeant
majors there in charge of it, come up with whatever they want. But we did a circuit drill, and the circuit drill
was ACFT kinda focused, it had a lot of that kind of stuff in it, it was good, and the sergeant
major that was running it, he told me he was like,
you know where I found the idea for this exact circuit? And I said, no, where? He’s like, back in 2010, PRT GTA was printed that
was a PRT-like circuit, and it showed exactly the ACFT
things that we need to do. So we were already doing
this stuff back then. When PRT was introduced in 2009, 2010, it was not received well by the army. If we would have been
on our toes with PRT, we would probably be a lot
better set right now in the army, army-wide for doing the PRT. So, I would just tell
ya, and encourage you, to get those ACFTs completed
as soon as possible, get the data inputted,
and you’re gonna see that your soldiers are
eager and excited to do it. For the soldiers that are sitting here, the soldiers of the year that competed, I sat on the soldier board, and that was the one question that I asked each of
them, was about the ACFT. And you guys know the deal. When you’re sitting on a board, you’re not too excited to
answer questions usually. But whenever I asked any of
them about the ACFT question, their eyes kinda lit up a little bit, and they responded to
it with some eagerness because they knew about it,
they were excited about it, it was something that they liked, plus they just took the darn thing, and so they know about it. That’s what the rest of
our army needs to realize is good about the ACFT. Okay so, that’s the piece
that’s important on the ACFT. Next thing is gonna be ESB. ESB, I’ll say it’s in full effect, it’s not really in full effect right now. We’re just gettin’ ready to
move out with this thing, as a matter of fact, at
today’s Eisenhower luncheon, the SMA is going to award 11 of them, SMA? 11 of the ESB awardees that were involved in
the 2017 pilot at JBLM. As the pilot, we had determined back then that if any of them
actually met the standard and qualified for it,
that we would find a way to present them the awards, and that’s what the SMA’s gonna do today in today’s launching. 7th ID is currently, I
don’t know if they’re done or what, but 7th ID is
running an ESB right now and we’re going to get
some lessons learned and some ideas off of them
as they complete this. I know that there’s other division sergeant majors I talked to, 82nd CSM, and I know that they plan
on sending senior NCOs out and about to understand
and watch EIB testing and to get some of the
lessons learned on ESB. So here’s the one thing I want
you to understand about ESB. ESB is, it’s a good thing for our army because it focuses on the
warrior tasks and battle drills, it focuses on those skill
level one individual tasks that all of us as sergeants, as NCOs, are required to do with individual crew and small team training. So it really hones in on that, but the other thing is, is that it awards excellence
by identifying experts, and that’s what we have to
make sure that we understand, that not everybody is
going to get the ESB. Everybody should train and
everybody should test at the ESB, but not everybody is going to get it because it comes down to
identifying that excellence and identifying those
experts that you have, and awarding them with excellence. So that’s what it comes down to. So open to any questions
that you might have on ESB and the last thing that,
point that I want to bring up, is that we are working right now, initial stages, with M and
RA within the army staff. We are going to come up
with courses of action ideas to present a test, a cognitive
behavioral type of test. The test already been done, we’ve been implementing it for years, recruiters have been. We’re just gonna implement
it at a different stage in a soldier’s career. And the more left we can get to the bang, I think we’re gonna be better because we always wanna be
able to find out ahead of time who’s gonna have the
skills, the attributes, and knowledge to be
recruiters, drill sergeants, platform instructors,
subject matter experts whatever you wanna call it. And so we want to establish this test that’s taken early in a soldier’s career, preferably before BLC,
as they are advancing into that NCO preparatory stage, so that we can tell
them, through the test, and then, that leadership
can look at this test and say, hey based off of this, here’s how we’re gonna
kinda guide your path, and it goes right into
the chief’s people piece on talent management. And we wanna be able to tell
our entire enlisted force at a fairly early stage in their career on how we think that we can
best utilize their talent for the needs of the army. And so I’ll take any questions on that or anything else that you have on TRADOC or anything else that these
guys push down to the right. Thank you very much. – [John] Thank you, Sergeant Major. (audience applauding) Next is Sergeant Major
Cornelison from Forces Command. – Yeah, thank you, John. And I will keep it to
five to seven minutes like you told us to. – Was I not seven minutes? (audience laughing) – No, (mumbles) you were
off, seven and a half. – Did I bust?
– No, you’re good. So it’s great to see everybody today. So Curt Cornelison, Force
Command Sergeant Major, I’ve been in a position
for about 90 days now. And as you know, you should be tracking, Forces Command is responsible for the tactical readiness of the army. And with the amount of a chunk of the army that we have in Forces Command, we’re really responsible for
the entire tactical readiness of the US Army. And one of the great things
about Forces Command, being the Sergeant Major,
is that we have control of our two CTCs, sierra TC and NTC. And of course, that’s one
of the first trips I made out there because I think that’s where you can get a real good feel for the pulse of the tactical readiness of the army. And I’ve been outside Forces Command for about a year and a half when I was over in US Army Central serving as a Army Service Component
Command Sergeant Major. Before that, I was a First
Infantry Division Sergeant Major, so I wanna kinda get out there and see our divisions are doin’. And we’ve made some gains in
our administrative ratings, seen our non-deployable rates come down over the last three years
at a pretty good clip. But you know, when I went out there and started talking to
the OCs, and of course, as the FORSCOM Sergeant Major, I’m looking at small unit discipline and how well and proficient
our small units fight. And in some of the AER comments that I was getting from
OCs were basically the same that you’ve seen before, that I’ve seen back when
I was a platoon sergeant, you know, unit lacking
in the areas of security at halt and defense, construction
in fighting positions, inability to perform
range cards at standards, no load plans, PCCs, PCIs,
ineffective battle drills. And so what I, I’m ,like, okay, really hasn’t changed too
much in what we’re doin’ at the small unit level
since I’ve been away, and really, you know,
now that I’m up here, I’m looking, this has been
going on for a long time and I kinda ask myself,
have we become numb to it? I mean, ’cause you could
really just change the header on the AERs and it’s the same thing. And our units are certainly, you know, our commanders and sergeant
majors and first sergeants, our small unit leaders are good folks. And you know how it gets this way, is the tyranny of time. And we put ’em in a
position where they have to, they really fill, with the
available time they have, they have to start with
collective training over their individual training. So we owe them that, as Forces Command, to carve out more time for them. But I also think there’s an issue with training management
at the small unit level. Again, anecdotal, I’m not
gonna mention any names, but outta JRTC, a brigade out there, as soon as we get out there, like, hey, this brigade’s
doin’ pretty good. One of the main reasons is
they haven’t been deployed in a while, so they’ve been
working at their stuff, they came in, they were able to operate at a higher level of training. And so I told the boss, I’m like, it goes to show you that, really, our brigade and battalion command teams, if you give ’em the time, they’re gonna make lethal units. I was out there talking to
a battalion sergeant major, and askin’ him, hey, what’s
something you could’ve maybe done better or concentrated more on? And he told me, he
goes, well, I worked on, I’m not gonna tell you what type unit was, but it was crew-centric, he goes, we worked on the crews, making them, working their MOS-related
skills as best we could, however, I wish I would’ve worked on, maybe, some warrior
task and battle drills, some of those common tasks. I’m like, what do you mean? He goes, well, if you look over there at that fighting position, that, one, it’s unmanned, it’s
not dug to standard, that in M2 .50 cal on top that vehicle, yeah, I don’t have people
that can operate that. And I said, well, what was
your training methodology, how did you get after that? He goes, well, I told the first sergeants to make sure they carved out time to do that individual training. But he goes, I realize that
my first sergeant maybe didn’t understand how
that should’ve worked. And I’m like, you’re exactly right. So I go back to my
office at Forces Command, I’ve got a representation
of the army there as my Ops and CO and driver,
sergeant first class, and a sergeant, both very good, went through a selection process
to get to where they were, and I was like, okay, sergeant, I want you to tell me how
you would train your team on skill level one task, and sergeants, tell me how you would, sergeant first class, tell me how you would support him doing it. Well, I got a buncha
kinda blink, blink, blink, and they had to think through it and then, (mumbles) okay, go do your
homework and figure out how to do this and come
back and brief me on it so we see where everything’s at. And so I go to my computer,
start looking at our doctrine to make sure I’m blued up on it, and well, they come back,
and what I realize is, our brothers and sisters in TRADOC have kept the doctrine updated. I mean, it’s all out there
in the Army Training Network. What we failed to do in Forces Command is train our subordinates, you know, our junior level sergeants on how to train that skill level one training. And I tell you, and it’s
been this way for awhile but I think we’re the juncture in our army’s history right now, I mean, you’ve got the
Chief of Staff of the Army, if you have not heard him talk, he says, trained,
disciplined, fit, small units. If we have that, everything
else falls into place. My commander, General Mike Garrett, his training guidance, states in there, highly trained squads and platoons are the foundation of
ready units, all right? And you’ve got the SMA
himself right here, saying, focus on the mid-grade development, sergeant staff, sergeant,
sergeant first class, this is my squad. So I think we’re at that
juncture but what we have to do is arm our sergeants, they
have to know how to train when given that time, and then also, in the 7-0 that recently
came out, called Training, all right, Hip-Pocket
Training, Concurrent Training, all right, those are still, Sergeant’s Time Training,
there’re still doctrinal times and techniques to get after
individual team, crew, and squad training in a time
constrained environment. And that’s gonna be, when
I’m out at camp, post, and stations, talking to
our senior NCOs out there, that’s something I’m
gonna be interested in, and I think we can make some
great gains in our army on. John. – [John] Thanks very much, Sergeant Major. Next, is Sergeant Major Mike Crosby from Army Futures Command. – Okay, good morning,
how’s everybody doin’? – [Audience] Hooah.
– All right, good. United States Army Futures Command is one of the newest ACOMs. I’m just gonna give
you some wave top ideas of what we do, and then we
wanna actually hear from you. So about two minutes and I’ll
pass it to my good friend, Command Sergeant Major Rodger Mansker. So Army Futures Command
stood up last year, August 24th, 2018, down in Austin, Texas. The headquarters consists of 500. So 400 civilians, 100 military, and of that hundred military,
22 noncommissioned officers. We got three subcommands that fall underneath the
Army Futures Command. Combat capabilities development command, as you might know, back in the day, was called Research and
Development Command. We have Futures and Concepts,
it’s at Fort Eustis, Virginia. We have the Medical Research
and Development Command that falls underneath us. We kinda have direct reporting for all of the testing facilities across the army. Army Testing and Evaluation Command is a direct report and unit force. We also have the Army Reserves, the 75th Innovation Command. They are considered out tech scouts. We also have, inside of the headquarters, all three components of the army; Army Reserves, Army National Guard. Our mission is not on Futures Command, it’s a persistence transformation of the army modernization
system to provide concepts, capabilities, and organizational structure to put in the war fighters’
hands so we can deploy, win and fight and redeploy. That is our sole mission. People as the number one priority. Soldier touchpoints is another priority. Soldiers are part of the
test, build and design phase, so they can give consistent
feedback to those engineers, to PMs and also the PEOs. All cross-functional teams
are aligned with a corps, just in case you didn’t know; long-range precision fires,
future vertical lift, air missile defense, the
network, soldier lethality, and also synthetic training environment. Soldier lethality we’re gonna nest at with the SMA’s initiative
of this is my squad. Soldier performance monitoring’s
gonna be a call out box where we’re gonna ignite the squad to see how well they’re gonna perform. Army Futures Command is
a compliment of the army, the other army commands, as
Training Doctrine Command, Forces Command Army Materiel Command. And we’re spread across
all three components and we’re nested with the Joint Force. So lookin’ forward to hear from you. Hard questions, we give you
some great feedback, thank you. – [John] Thank you, Sergeant Major. Next is Sergeant Major Rodger Mansker from United States Army Materiels Command. – First of all, good morning, everybody. I just wanna talk about a
few things that’ve happened over the last year, so you understand how Army Materiel Command has changed. First, as you heard Sergeant
Major Crosby talk about, RDECOM moved over to him to be BCCDC. 1 March of this year,
MCOM became part of AMC. FINCOM part of AMC on 1 October this year, And we’ve taken on AMLC which is known as the Army
Medical Logistics Command. So what I just told you is AMC is now collectively in
support of everybody. There is no more gaps or
seams in my view or perception at every camp, post and station. There’re five topics I’d like talk about but I know there is five to seven minutes, but I’m gonna talk. The number one thing I’m
gonna talk about it barracks. We own the barracks. We have to get in the barracks, but I will just tell you, what we’re finding right now is maybe we’re not assessing
the barracks properly. Our Q ratings are not accurate. You have to understand
how money and resources and priorities go for us to palm, if you will, provide money for this. If our ratings are not accurate, what happens is we either
undercut what’s required or we go over and we spend
money in the wrong places. So I ask the ser’ majors,
noncommissioned officers, find out what the Q rating
of your barracks is. And some of you probably don’t even know what the Q rating is. The Q rating is truly an assessment of the whole infrastructure, really, the sustainment
and the restoration and modernization, what’s
required for a barracks. Get in there, appoint
somebody that’s well-educated, we will train them to do the Q ratings. We, AMC, needs your help. ‘Cause we can’t go and
look at every barracks but there’s no reason
why that we find these, I would like to think they’re
surprises or anomalies but I’m kinda finding
they’re not anomalies, when a barracks is rated as
Q1, which is the highest, means we’re gonna spend
very little money in ’em. We’re gonna spend very
little sustainment dollars on them but when you look at the barracks, it requires much more than
sustainment dollars, okay? So I ask you, as noncommissioned officers, we have to get after this. And by the way, our timeline
is very, very short. So by December, we need to have the most
accurate picture we can have. And don’t let anybody tell
you it’s the wrong time of year to submit a Q rating. That’s, I’ll just tell you right now, don’t accept that answer. I about used the word but I didn’t. (audience laughing) Okay? Our soldiers deserve barracks
that are worthy to live in, and it’s our job as leaders to ensure that we have at least
identified the challenges and concerns of those barracks, okay? That’s our job, noncommissioned officers. Second part I’d like to
talk about is housing. You know, we went to our housing crisis, if you will, it was on Valentine’s Day, 14 February this year. I’m just gonna tell you,
the crisis is not over. Don’t take your eye off the ball. We own that, too. Our partners are only part of this. We are the second part of this. It’s a partnership, it’s not a contract. It’s not they have 51, we have 49. It’s actually 50-50. Get in there, it’s pretty alarming, if you’ve been to any town halls, what’s kinda concerning
to me is these town halls are happening for housing, town halls every quarter to installations, and you look at who’s there, and it’s their very senior
leaders and the tenants. And there’s a lot of people
between there and there; squad leaders, platoon
sergeants, first sergeants, battalion and brigade sergeant majors. Hear what your soldiers are living in, and the challenges they’re having. Be part of the solution. It’s very alarming, some of
the stories I’ve heard, okay? And they deserve better. By the way, our partners
have already, to this date, probably in the last 45 days, have committed another
$500,000,000 in investments. That’s whether rebuilding a house, building new houses, tearing down houses, what have you, but it’s
just like the barracks. If we don’t have the assessments right, we’re liable to spend the
money in the wrong places, so help our partners help us. We’ve really changed some, and I’m gonna use some terminology you’re not gonna understand, but MDMs, we’ve gone over all the,
we had a rash of MDMs. So basically, a housing crisis happens, we swing left and we start
repairing and replacing and moving people and
doing all this stuff. Though the MDMs are falling right now to really put the money
back in the right buckets so we can have sustainment dollars to this because, as you know, in this army, it’s more than just owning
it, you gotta sustain it. Next part I’d like to talk about, and I think this’ll be the last talk, ’cause I’m actually timing myself, ACFT. Sergeant Major Guden talked
about it, it’s comin’. But what most people wanna know is, when are we getting our equipment? So I won’t go bore you with everything. The protest is over, we
have done our rock drill, we’re about to start delivery
in January this year. I wanna tell you, there is 35,650 sits getting delivered between
January and April this year. What I can offer to you right now, the things we should be talking about is, where do you want it delivered? Who’s gonna account for it? Where are you gonna store it at? Because it’s all for
nothing if we deliver it and then we can’t find it
four to six months later. So we are gonna provide, AMC is gonna provide
material fielding teams at every single location. It’s gonna unpack it for you,
it’s gonna inventory for you, and you’re deal with accountability, right there on the spot. And then it’s up to the senior
command where we do that at, but I would offer it’s probably LRCs or SSAs ’cause they have forklifts ’cause that stuff gets
a little heavy, okay? But if we try to deliver
to every orderly room, that’s probably not
the right answer, okay? So senior leaders, I ask
you to think about where you want delivered, not when we show up, then we try to figure it out, and then you just stick in
the back of a LMTV or an MTV, and now we don’t know
where it’s at no more. Some other things I need to talk about; A, we’re gonna provide you, at that time, how the ability to order
replacement equipment. I guess my time is up. (audience laughing) We’re gonna provide you
the information you need to understand, if something gets damaged, something gets lost, is how you order it. We’re gonna provide that to you. I would offer to you, do not take that NSN and start ordering new sets. We cannot, well, I can’t
say we cannot afford, that is not the intention of ACFTs, to have every company level currently, it’s battalion level sets. And I just, last thing I’ll just tell you about ACFT equipment; $78,000,000 that we
owe this United States, that we account for,
$78,000,000 in equipment, okay? So that’s it, thanks. – [John] Thank you, Sergeant Major. Next is Command Sergeant
Major Ted Copeland from the United States Army Reserve. – Thank you, John. Good morning.
– Good Morning. – How can the day get better, SMA? A roomful of noncommissioned officers, retired noncommissioned
officers, and our army civilians. What a great day. So what’s the Army Reserve doing? Boy, what aren’t we doing? So in the last two and a half years, we’ve transitioned, really, from a strategic reserve
to an operational reserve, and all the issues that come with that, but we’re working through ’em. So a few things I wanna touch upon is, you know, Sergeant Major
Mansker talked about the ACFT. We have 638 locations in the Army Reserve that the ACFT equipment’s
being delivered, 638. So all that accountability,
who’s that fall on? The noncommissioned officers. So somethin’ to think about. So a few things we’ve done, you know, what has the noncommissioned officers and the Army Reserve done to
support the CG’s intention on our change from
strategic to operational? Quite a few, but one thing that we really have touched on to talk
to people, is we developed what we call a Junior
Leader Validation Program. And I put senior sergeant
majors on this task force, they developed an 18-hour POI to get back to train our young E-5s and E-6s junior NCO leadership skillsets. Some of ’em are as simple
as drill and ceremony. What is drill and ceremony, and how to do drill and ceremony. And how do you affect
your soldiers’ promotions, how are you involved with that? Just those basic leader
skillsets at that E-5, E-6 level that some sergeants know, some don’t. So, if we’re, as the award earlier today, The Sergeant Major Larry
Strickland award said, if you educate, train NCOs,
you educate and train soldiers, so that’s the pivot point. As a lot of my fellow
CSMs up here talk about, squad is the key point. So if that squad leader and
that sergeant team leader don’t know what they should be doing, they’re not gonna get it by osmosis. So it’s really, train, educate, but more importantly, empower
our noncommissioned officers. Empower our noncommissioned officers. If you really look across your formation, we’re very risk adverse. Everybody’s afraid of failure. If you’re one of the more
mature NCOs in this room, that’s how we grew up. Failure’s okay if it’s not, if it’s safe, nobody’s gonna get hurt. Young NCOs and soldiers will
learn better with failure, minor failure, and then you reeducate, and you push ’em through. So that’s one of the main things that we’re really focused on. We’ve been rolling it
out for about a year. In the last six months,
it’s picking up speed, it’s been directed, every
E-5, E-6 will be trained. Obviously, our biggest
commodity in the Army Reserve, just like the National Guard, is time. So that’s been a real challenge. How do we fit it in? But the dividends will pay, will start showing themselves,
probably next year. Good thing, yesterday at the NCO and the soldier award luncheon, the vice talked about
noncommissioned officers being empowered, takin’
back their responsibilities so officers can do what
they’re supposed to do. We come to forums, we
all have YTBs, training, and we all talk about the issues, talk about the problems,
but we admire ’em, and then we turn around
and go out and we’re busy, and whether it’s well intentioned or not, we do not put activity behind what we say. So I really challenge every
noncommissioned officer in this room to look at yourself, look at your formation,
and if you don’t remember ’cause you’re not mature enough, that we used to talk spear of influence. And if you’re young E-5,
you’ve got a small spear, E-6, a little bigger. If you take care of your little piece, that spear of influence, the army will get better
faster and quicker. And it gets easier for every
level noncommissioned officer because the sergeants
below ’em are taking care of their little piece of the pie. I’d be more than happy
talk about the ACFT, more to it if you wanna
ask those questions ’cause we have a very complex
problem in the Army Reserve on just not getting it out, getting it in location, getting it stored, getting it accounted for. Can we take it at our Army Reserve Center? Most Army Reserve Centers
don’t even have grass anymore. It’s a parking lot and a building. So many problems, so
I’d be more than happy to expound on that if
somebody’d like to ask. That’s all I got, John. – [John] Thank you, Sergeant Major. Next is Commander
Sergeant Major John Raines from the United States
Army National Guard. – All right, hey, first, I wanna clear up, I’m not the Army Guard Sergeant Major. The Army Guard Sergeant Major is Sergeant Major John
Sampa, he’s a few doors down, doing another panel
with the boss right now. So I’m sitting in. I am the Mississippi National
Guard Senior Enlisted Leader, and I’m gonna talk a little
bit about where the guard is, and where we stand on
some of the priorities. So the 335,000 members of
the Army National Guard have been busy over
the last 15 plus years. This year was no exception. We currently have over
20,000 soldiers mobilized in a Title 10 status, 2,500 deployed to the southwest border, and over 24,000 have participated in theater security
cooperation engagements around the globe
supporting COCOM commanders with our state partnership program. Our 54 states, territories,
and the District of Columbia are committed and involved
in both our federal and state mission every day. With this commitment, we
realize we must continue to assess our wartime capabilities, and be able to really see
ourselves objectively. I equate the challenge to ‘Bama football which I think is the reason I’m up here, ’cause the SMA’s from ‘Bama, so they figured if I got lost, I can just tell a ‘Bama football story. – Roll tide.
– Roll tide. So our soldiers are used to winning. It’s hard to keep
– Don’t pause. – them focused when they
are cleaning house on teams. They clearly have an
overmatch in all phases. They get complacent. This is our challenge; keeping them focused on the
opposition down the road that is just as well-equipped
and just as talented. In this endeavor, our priorities are the
same as everyone here; people are number one, readiness,
modernization, and reform. What is your National Guard
doing to be able to assess, track, and participate
in these priorities? Several things; for one, we position ourselves
all over the enterprise to include in every office and command represented
on the panel today. This allows us to have someone that understands our unique challenges but also understands our
unique strengths at the table. But even more importantly, with 335,000 guardsmen
working in an infinite number of civilian career
fields around the world, we can find the right citizen soldier with the right experience
level, education level, and motivation to enhance
just about any team. For example, in the priorities
of modernization and reform, we have provided Futures
Command several guardsmen that work across the six
modernization priorities embedded on the eight cross-functional teams helping drive innovation. Another large undertaking
we are involved with is the cornerstone of the
army’s new 21st century talent management system, IPPS-A. The Army National Guard is live right now in a handful of states,
and in a few months, we will be live in the
entire guard nation. We hope we can provide the enterprise with invaluable information, updates, and fixes before rolling it out army-wide. I challenge everyone here, over the next six months to a year, to go see your Army National
Guard counterparts… The state you’re located
in and take a look and take some notes on the things they would have done differently
if they had a chance to do it over again. The other large modernization
effort we are undertaking, which is being discussed currently in another panel going on right now, is our plans to modernize our
Army National Guard posture at the division level. This change will invest
in talent management and development from the team level through the division level of assignment. This change will
accomplish several things; the posture Army National Guard envisions toward large-scale
ground combat operations, better prepare Army
National Guard divisions and lower echelon units for
multi-domain operations, and establish a training association between Army National Guard divisions and doctrinal associated
units and enablers. Lastly, it will establish divisions that are able to align with
army corps and theater commands. All these efforts are great in theory, but we must be able to test them. Forces command provides that opportunity with their commitment to program us for four CTC rotations a year. We’re excited to test
our new division posture through these training associations at our second-to-none training centers. We have already seen improvements, just by increasing the
frequency that our BCTs conduct a Decisive Action Rotation. For example, are you ABCTs,
through trial and error, have settled at a
five-year readiness model. In the past, we were lucky to get two CTCs turns in a career. This new five-year turn
will give us more capable and experienced leaders
across the divisional make up. Coupled with a deployment
every five to eight years, we will remain operational relevant and ready for the next near pure fight. We believe this places
us in that sweet spot that bounces work, work/rest cycles which is a little different from our active duty counterparts because it involves military
work, civilian job work, and then the all-important part of rest while making our families feel
like the number one priority. This is why, during these transitions, we continue to focus on our
number one priority; people. Building cohesive teams and squads by creating a continual
atmosphere that builds trust and recognizes families and employers. People are the single
greatest asset we have. We allow the army to bring
capacity and capabilities on demand without having
the burden of paying for them on a daily basis. However, this is also a
great struggle and challenge. How do you stay relevant and ready with only 39 to 90 days a year? Given our geographic challenges
of having soldiers living and working outside a
reasonable commuting distance at home station, we must find ways to keep every soldier engaged
outside their drill periods and annual training periods. Just updating things, like child births, medical readiness,
dental exams, et cetera, are hard enough when all your
soldiers are in one place, but imagine having ’em
spread across several states. In the guard, there’s
no calling in formation, and a first sergeant or platoon sergeant running down a list of names
that need to get things done. There’s no daily formation to
provide that accountability and motivation to get after fitness. Our in-person touch-points are often only two to four days a month. The answer lies in our full-time manning that is the day-to-day conduit for our traditional
drilling status forces. We have to influence this investment in this full-time force. Currently we are funded at less than 64% of our full-time requirement. Compare this to 100% on
the regular army side, 88% on the U.S. Army Reserve side, 85% on the Air National Guard side. Year in, year out, this
constraint continues to be our single largest challenge to developing effective, cohesive teams and reinforcing that winning attitude. The good news is that most
haven’t noticed this shortage because of the dedication shown daily by our full-time force. I believe this issue to be potentially the
fastest return on investment we could make in terms
of soldier readiness across the Army National Guard. With that said, the Army
National Guard’s committed to the Secretary of the
Army and Chief of Staff of the Army’s priorities, and being the best team members possible. I look forward to any questions, and turn it back over to Mr. Sparks. – Hey, thanks a lot, Sergeants Major, great, great comments. You all are doing a wonderful
job at filling out cards. We’ve got a lot of questions up here. Let me make a pledge to ya. We’re gonna go down the line and we’re gonna answer questions
as quickly as possible. If I miss your question, meet me up front and I’ll take your information, I’ll get the answer to your question, and we’ll get it back to ya. So keep filling out the
cards, keep sending ’em up, and we’ll answer as
many as we possibly can. The panel member’s gonna read the question and answer it as quickly as we can, and we’re gonna try to
get as many of ’em done as we possibly can. The first question is to the SMA. SMA, the floor’s yours. – Okay, I really appreciate this. I think a little quick AAR comment is, next time we go to Facebook Live, and then we could post
the questions in there, and then continue to answer
’em over, maybe, hours. So, whoever’s taking the notes for me, make sure that we get that done. So we can post those on there, we can keep it open for a long time, and get the questions out to ya. So I know we are constrained for time. Next time, that’s, if
we can’t do that today, let’s make sure we get that done. I got two quick questions. Can we wear colored patches
in OCP and garrison, and mandates subdued for field
training and deployments? Okay, TJ, go ahead and stand up. Okay, this is your combat uniform. It’s not, it’s your combat uniform. And the regulation already says that you can wear full colored patches when authorized, when you wanna
do it for a special event. I’m clearly in the Big Red
One at some point in my life and we did, every once in a while, and for ceremonies, wear
full colored patches. Big Red One is actually
an example in the AR 670-1 of the Big Red One and doin’ that. But again, this is your combat uniform. Do you wanna see a full color
patch all the time every day? Wear this! (audience laughing) We don’t wanna make that
uniform this uniform. I want you to wear this uniform! If you wanna see a full color patch, wear this uniform every day! You’ll see it every day. ‘Cause sometimes, what we’re doing, is we’re trying to go, well,
I wanna be fancy in that one. Well, we got a uniform that’s fancy. It’s this one! Wear this one! It’s not the answer, you know. Okay, there you go, that’s one. You gotta love, my you
don’t like my answer, at least you love my passion, right? (laughing) Okay! Currently, female soldiers
are authorized 30 to 60%, 30 to 36% body fat depending on the age, 36 is a lot of body fat. And with the ACFT, any
thoughts on making height and weight standards more stringent? If you’re at the eight
o’clock, nine o’clock, on the bottom of the
slide, maybe slide three, what did it have on there? Anybody read the slide
that actually was posted? – [Man] 3%? – Raise your hand. Who said it? Reduce by, you got a coin? Did he leave? Come on. Okay. So I give you a coin ’cause he did. So my goal is to reduce… So you saw the report. The report was that the
army’s obese by 14.7%. So it’s not a male or a
female thing, in my opinion. It’s a army thing, is I wanna
reduce that obesity by 3%. It was on the slide. How we’re gonna do that,
we’re not there yet. If you saw, also, it’s
ACFT, it’s nutrition, it’s also some sleep. We been talkin’ about
this for a long time, we gotta put some metrics to it. Does that mean we reduce
the body fat? Maybe. Or maybe we just have
better eating habits. But we clearly have to do
something because 14.7, I think, obesity in the
army is probably too much. And I wanna reduce that. And I’m not saying right now we’re gonna reduce the body fat standards, what I’m saying is that we need to reduce obesity in the army. We need to reduce obesity in our nation. This is not just an army
problem, a navy, marines, it’s a nation problem that
we all gotta figure this out. So, we’re not there yet, so I’m not ready to lower the standards for a male or female, I’m
not looking at any one group. It’s as a nation, we’re looking
to reduce obesity, okay? – That question makes no sense. – [John] Thank you, SMA. The first question for the panel goes to Command Sergeant Major Guden from Training and Doctrine Command. – Okay, thanks. The question is, have you considered making the ACFT pass or fail in order to collect the data and relax some of, relieve, I’m sorry,
relieve some of the anxiety of the new test? To answer, yes, we have
considered just the pass, fail. However, that’s not
what we’re going to do, for a couple of reasons. Number one, pass and fail
does not indicate a perception of doing your best. It just gets ya to that
certain level of mediocrity, you’re okay with being a minimalist, as long as I just pass it, I’m okay. We’re about achieving
that band of excellence. And the ACFT, if you haven’t taken it, you’ll know once you take it, it’s about competition. This is fun, it’s about
taking it and gettin’ after it and doing better than
you did the time before. So no, we’re not gonna do that. The other piece of that is, that sometimes with pass, fail, if it gives you those two choices, that means that those two choices, both of them are acceptable. And failure’s not acceptable. So we’re not gonna do it, thanks. – [John] Thanks Sergeant Major. Sergeant Major Cornelison. – All right, the question
I have, again, area’s ACFT. What is the plan to test for
deployed soldiers on the ACFT? Well, so I will tell you
that the ACFT equipment is coming in containerized. And it is deployable, that
was one of the desires we had when we bought the stuff. I can tell you, going way
back when we first started having these discussions, that
was, some of the senior NCOs, the discussion was, what
level we gonna issue it out, how are we gonna keep up and
account for all the equipment? But I will tell ya, right about that time, I was the CJFLCC Sergeant Major under Sergeant Major Ben Jones in Iraq, we had brigade of the 101st underneath us. The 101st, at that time,
this was several years ago, and I don’t know exactly
how they paid for it, but they did, down at the UIC level. They bought a Gym-In-A-Box or a BeaverFit, I don’t know which one it was, and they had brought them all to Iraq. And I tell you what, those
things were signed for by the company commanders,
put on the property book, I mean, that is how we account
for property, it works. And those things went with every company, troop, and battery that was in the 101st. They were up in Mosul
in some tough fighting, and myself and commander, we get off the helicopter to go up there and check those small advising systems, are up there alone and unafraid, and the first thing you’d run into on a perimeter was a
BeaverFit, or a Gym-In-A-Box. And so they were TMR’n that
thing all over up through there, so it was transportable and exportable. I will tell you this, for soldiers that maybe are not at the divisional-type level, I think the Army Service Component Command and whatever theater,
I will tell you this, before I went to USARCENT, didn’t really know what a
Army Service Component Command did, I do now, of course, and I will tell you, in Kuwait and Qatar, there is enough, a battalion’s level worth of ACFT equipment at
both of those ASGs there, and I think that’s kinda
how we get after it. But that stuff is deployable. If Sergeant Major Mankser
wants to weigh in on it, it can be carried anywhere in the world, and we fully expect it to be. – [John] Thank you, Sergeant Major. Next question goes to
Sergeant Major Mike Crosby. – Okay, the question is, as the National Defense Strategy,
other current strategies, and the fighting domain cyber change, what do you foresee as
the biggest challenge for DOTMLPF in a physically
constrained environment? Based off the National Defense Strategy, we have a concept called
a Multi-Domain Operations. It will compete in five areas; land, sea, space and cyber and air. And with this multi-domain,
there’s three tenets to it; it’s called calibrated force posture, also, in a multi-domain
formation and convergence. We’re in an industrial-based society with a information, industrial-based with an information society
that’s moving pretty fast. Anytime we integrate something within the DOTMLPF it’s gonna
be a collaborative effort between Training and Doctrine Command, and also Forces Command,
Army Materiel Command, to have a cohesive unit
to actually integrate it. There’s $8.5 billion across FY ’19 that’s based against the
six monetization priorities. In a physically strained
environment, if there’s a CR, we will have those six
modernization priorities will still be enforced
across the entire domain. – [John] Thank you, Sergeant Major. Next, Sergeant Major Mansker. – Okay, hey, thanks. I’m gonna pile on just a little
bit on the ACFT equipment Sergeant Major Cornelison
just talked about. First of all, you can deploy
it if that’s your choice. You can containerize
it, you could deploy it, but I would offer to you,
that’s not what I would do. The equipment is already in theaters. It is in theaters, and
commanders and sergeant majors and everybody else will make decisions when you take that ACFT, because the more times you move it, first of all, it takes
strategic lift from us, and is another container you have to move around the battlefield,
that’s the first thing. Second thing is accountability’s
right behind it, and then you gotta get it back home because when you come
back from a deployment, you’re gonna have to go right
back into your testing cycle, and it’s probably not
gonna arrive on time. But I just tell you, each
of us have ever deployed, you know there’s plenty
of equipment there, but I want to fast forward, because if you haven’t
been there recently, they’ve actually aggregated that equipment and made ACFT equipment
sets already there. And if the case need be, and I’ll talk to sergeant
majors army about this, but if the case need be, we’ll buy additional
sets just to put there, probably so you don’t deploy it because we don’t need to
take up another rail car, another truck, another distribution point, because it’s already stretched to it’s, that’s my, and obviously,
Sergeant Major Cornelison you have a review on that. So to my question, the question to me is, I don’t think it
necessarily specific to me, it’s called merit-based promotions. Cursory review of the most
recent senior NCO selection, I’m assuming you’re
talking the master sergeant ’cause that’s the only one we’ve done. Seems soldiers in a
secondary zone selected at a higher rate than primary. First, you have to understand, there was no guidance says pick more in secondary zone than the primary zone. But you also have to understand, if they’re getting
selected with the primary, their records are incredible and they’re doing incredible things. So if anybody’s ever been
selected in a secondary zone in your whole army career, you knew you waited ’til
the last to get promoted. That is changed. And we all probably agree, some of those secondary people
were probably better suited, better fitted, ready to go, okay? So I’m hoping it’s not
somebody here that’s offended by somebody got promoted
in secondary zone. That’s our army! We should promote our best, we should select our best, and
we should promote ’em first. And if we’re not about that, then we’re about everybody gets a trophy. And I’ll just tell you, it’s long overdue and it’s a great process
we’re running through. So that’s it, thanks. – [John] Thank you, Sergeant Major. Sergeant Major Copeland. – Question was, I mentioned
about NCO’s fear of failure, we need to empower ’em. What needs to be done to make a change? How does the NCOs take more
empowerment to not fear failure? Good question, our Junior
Leader Validation Program was one of ’em. As I told the team that developed
it when we implemented it, was if those young NCOs walk outta there with nothing else, they felt like, I own this and I can do
this without being told. So that’s the one thing we’re doing, and some of the other things, what we try to do, and
what I try to do is, you know, I’ve done, yeah,
I don’t like technology, but I’ve done Senior NCO Podcast. I’ve done a couple already, talking about noncommissioned officers, where we came from. You know, talking about the Blue Book. You know, Baron von Steuben,
because you’ll be surprised, noncommissioned officers in here, how many mid and senior
grade NCOs don’t know who those people are and
what the Blue Book really is. So I’ve done that, I’ve done
what I call livestreams. And I’ve done it by C2, so I’ll take it to one of
my 22 two-star commands, I’ll go to a brigade headquarters, have a couple hundred
soldiers live that go Facebook with the rest of the units
that are drilling that day on that weekend, so I’ve
had three, 4,000 soldiers on Facebook and I will
give ’em a basic spiel and then I’ll answer questions live to get to a bigger audience. It seems to be successful. I haven’t done it recently but
I’m gonna start ’em back up. Seems that, you know, if
you wanna get the word out, and that’s what this is gonna
take, it’s a culture change, you have to get it down
to where it belongs, so that’s one of ’em. Valid and enforced training schedules that has Sergeant Time
Training back on it. That empowers NCOs if
you do the process right. If you’re a first sergeant
in here or soon will be, a month or two months out, you should already be
being briefed by that NCO on what their class or
topic is in the next month or the following month. So that gets back to empowering and holding the NCOs accountable. And this all goes right in the line with the SMA’s new theme,
this is in my squad. So I’m gonna pull my three BLC academies, some of my ALC, SLC classes, and I’m curious what these
young NCOs think they need. What they think will help them do what we’re wanting them to do. So it’ll be interesting what we get, and I’m not real, I said it once, I’m not really big on technology. I don’t know if I want another app. ‘Cause apps, I’ll just tell you, apps don’t work if nobody
goes to ’em and uses ’em. So you can develop a lot of these things but how do you get ’em to it and how do you get ’em to use it? That’s a key, so those are some things that we’re trying to do, I’d be more than happy to hear
any other good suggestions, but it’s all about that culture change and education and communication. That’s all I got. – [John] Thank you, Sergeant Major. Sergeant Major Raines. – Hey, my question’s on mentorship. I think that’s something that the panel and the audience could talk about all day but in specifics, it is who should mentor junior and mid-grade NCOs and when? So I think it’s about touchpoints. And you hear touchpoints come. So in our formation, the guard, we don’t have the touchpoints,
the daily touchpoints, that everybody else has. So we have to take
advantage of social media, we have to take advantage
of the ol’ smartphone here, we have to take advantage
of any way we can establish those touchpoints, and that’s
where mentorship starts. It starts at touchpoints. So who should mentor? Your first line leaders. I mean, that’s where mentorship starts. And everybody has a first line leader. But then, as you progress
through your career, you get a way, you
establish that touchpoint, and then that person that was over you or that person that was your subordinate, continues those touchpoints
at different intervals. They’re no longer daily,
now they might be monthly, might be at AUSA. So I think the real answer to that is, it’s established at first
line leader level often, and then it continues
on through our careers. – [John] Thank you very
much, Sergeant Major. Before we start the next round, Sergeant Major Mansker’s
gonna add one more point about the ACFT. – YeAh, I missed something
on the ACFT equipment. And most of you wanna know
the answer to this question, is when you’re gonna get your stuff. So with the SMA’s permission, I’m gonna send the slide that
shows when you’re gonna get it to his office and he’ll
distribute it outward. So you’ll know where you’re
at versus bombarding me and asking me when I’m
getting it, so thanks. (audience laughing) – [John] Sergeant Major Guden. – Okay, my next question is in reference to the cognitive behavioral test, is there any projected
timeline that we can look at to see when this is gonna be in the field? So to answer your question, no, there isn’t a timeline established yet because this is, quite honestly, probably within the
last month to two months that this initiative has been going on. But what I can tell you is that this test, at least, okay, so from
the perspective of USAREC, and I think Sergeant
Major Gavia’s in here, but from a perspective of USAREC, they’ve been thinking
about this type of test for recruiters for awhile. We wanted to tap into it and use it, not only for recruiters
but for drill sergeants, for platform instructors, SMEs, OCTs, whatever you wanna kinda
derive out of that, this test should be able to
give you those attributes that we think you’re gonna be success, or the test assess those attributes that are needed for success
in any of those jobs. So when do you implement this test? Well, first of all, the test
has already been developed. It was developed in 2005ish,
implemented in 2009, I think, in all the MEP stations, it’s called the TAPAS test. Some of you may have heard of it. We would basically use the same test but we would format it just
a little bit differently. We would give it a NCO-specific
name and call it the NSAB, the NCO Selection Assessment Battery and, I just pulled that off the top of my head, do you believe that? No, I’m kidding. We’ll call it the NSAB and preferably, I do not, there’s been some discussion about putting this into BLC or ALC. I want it earlier than ALC, I don’t want it to happen at that point, I want it happen before that. And BLC is not the, I don’t wanna input it into BLC, I want it to happen before BLC. If some of you remember, we used to take a test
called the TABE test, and we used to take it
at the Education Centers. That’s my proposal, is that we implement this
test at all local stations at the Education Centers. And TRADOC now does own
all of the counselors that are in the Education Centers. So we can we can
formulate this to be given at those places and require
it to be taken prior to enrollment in BLC. Not that it’s going to
have any effect on BLC or the outcomes of BLC, but just for the simple
fact that it’s done. It’s kinda like the photo, you know, you’re required to take a photo even though people don’t take the photo. It almost should be like,
if photo’s a requirement, and you don’t take it, maybe
shouldn’t get promoted. If the NSAB is a requirement
and you don’t take the NSAB, well, maybe you’re not
gonna see a staff sergeant where we need you to do these jobs, such as recruiter, drill
sergeant and so forth. So that’s kinda the
thought process behind it, and I can expound on that after we’re done if anybody needs, thanks. – [John] Thank you, Sergeant Major. Sergeant Major Cornelison. – All right, my question is dealing with the YMAT stabilization. How do you think stabilizing soldiers either within FORSCOM or TRADOC will impact your organizations either positively or negatively? So it’s kind of a dual question. I will speak from the position of the FORSCOM sergeant major. So I will tell you, I don’t see too many
things negative about it. I was having this discussion with the Sergeant Major
of the Army Grinston. I told him I was a staff
sergeant for five years. I was in my duty position as a
squad leader for three years. First year, kinda got
that solid foundation. Second year, I was able
to kinda perfect my craft, and then third year, I became, I was infantry ‘ments,
weapons squad leaders, where your senior squad leaders go. I was able to attain that position and really, what you are is
an assistant platoon sergeant at that level, so I was
already getting developed for the next level. Of course when I was coming up, the army was a different
army, wasn’t deployed as much, and we were able to do that. And I think it is a prudent and wise move to try to get back to that
as reasonably as we can to phase into something like that. Now I do see, looking at it, surely, from a FORSCOM perspective, but when I open it up a little bit and look at the TRADOC perspective, I realize that if Sergeant Major Guden’s keeping instructors over there longer, that definitely helps him out, and I’ll let him speak to that. But it also kinda slows
those staff sergeants coming back to my organization. So there would have to be
a little give and take. – Yep.
– Thank you, Sergeant Major. Sergeant Major Crosby? – Okay, the question read, where is the human performance
center of excellence? I haven’t heard of that one. That’s a new one, I don’t think there is a center of excellence
for human performance. Unless in TRADOC have
something that I don’t know. Second question, is there a discussion to make human performance a CFT? Inside of the Soldier Lethality, we got the soldier performance model. It’s not called the human performance. We’re not looking to make a
CFT a cross-functional team for soldier performance model. What we’re trying to do is integrate, how do we, what metrics
do we place on the squad to make it more lethal when
it comes to performance? And we doing some work
up at Redmond, Washington with a group of scientists and engineers to give that feedback and
we’re gonna nest that feedback with the SMA’s initiative,
this is my squad. – [John] Thank you, Sergeant Major. As you can all probably tell, we’re just about out of time. This is how we’re gonna proceed; the SMA is gonna give closing comments, and immediately after
that, the panel members are gonna stay up here in the front. So if you have a question that you want an answer right now to, please come forward and
we’ll get the answer for you. If you can wait on me
to research the question and it back to you, come up front, I’ll grab your card, I’ll
write your email address down, I’ll get an answer from
one of the panel members or the SMA, and we’ll get
the question back to you. So thank you very much for
submitting so many questions, thank you for your participation. Sergeant Major of the Army Grinston. Let me get the panel
members a round of applause. (audience applauding) They’ve done a phenomenal job, and they really helped me as a transition, and I really take a lot of their feedback, and they’re friends, they’re good NCOs, and they’ve been able to help drive a lot of the things that we’re
gonna go for with the army, so I really appreciate your
candor and your feedback. My goal next year is just
to, and along with the AUSA, we’re gonna make this bigger. I mean, we’ve already
got some standing room. I just wanna globally
reach as we reach out and we get these cards right
and we can really open this up to a really good, professional forum. And we’re there, we’re
just gonna make it bigger and we’re gonna make it better. So that’s one thing I
just wanna promise you as we go forward with it
’cause this is a well-done and it’s a well-done
from the panel members, and I really wanted to
say thank you to y’all. But I did wanna look at this, this is a really good question,
and I wanna close with it. What can I do as a PFC to
reduce suicide in the army? Isn’t that a great, I mean.
– Yep. – Let’s go with what
I’ve been talking about, this is my squad, and take that and let’s drill down
on what I really mean, ’cause I haven’t said a
lot of essence on that is, what is great about a great squad? What do you do as a squad? As a platoon sergeant,
what were the things that got you here? You did good physical fitness, right? You, yeah, I know, I was out there. Like I said, they really
did try to drown me in the Persian Gulf (mumbles). (man laughing) But that’s, you know, it’s not, you’re thinking specifically
about one point. So since I’ve been in the army,
we’ve had all these points. Let’s go, I mean, I been in
the army for a long time, so, like, 31 years now, so, back when I grew up, and I’ll even go, let’s go back when I grew
up, what was the big issue? It was a lot about race. And then you fast forward and then it was about something else, then
it’s about something else. That’s what I mean, I don’t
wanna play whack-a-mole on the topic, what I want is in great, strong, cohesive teams, that wake up, and you take your unit and you
do a good physical training. And then, after you do that
good physical training, where do you go next? – [Audience] Chow. You go with each other to the chow hall! Or do you send a text to ’em or do you say, hey, we’re gonna meet here and we’re gonna have breakfast together and we’re gonna just talk!? We’re not gonna talk about suicide, we’re not gonna talk about race, we’re not gonna talk about sexual assault, we’re just gonna have a conversation about what we’re gonna
do in this great squad. And then, we’re gonna
go out and we’re gonna do some good training
that’s well-prepared, well-thought after, based in doctrine, where I go out and I
execute it and I’m ready! I don’t sit there and, ah,
what are you waitin’ for? I’m waiting for the man. What are you gonna do? I dunno. ‘Cause you know what you’re doing! So you start off, it’s
well-trained physical fitness, we’re gonna have some breakfast, and then we do a good training
event, it’s well-resourced, I got the time to do it,
and then I execute that, and then, maybe I have an
MRE ’cause we’re still out at the SMART-T or the
EST or out in the field. I’m just with my squad. But we’re sittin’ there together and then we go back through some training and at the end of the day, I talk about, hey, what are you doin’ tonight? That’s actually how we get
after all those things. It’s not, I sent you a text, and hey, go have some lunch together
and you never actually say, how are you doing? I know how you’re doing,
I was with you all day! We had breakfast, we interacted. And we didn’t just interact with a text and social media, we actually
talked to each other. And then we trained really hard. And then, if something went
wrong, I would notice it. I would go, hey, you’re not yourself today ’cause yesterday, when
we were having breakfast, you just didn’t seem the same. That’s actually how you do it. Even as a PFC, you can say, I’m gonna spend time with that person. Hey, we’re finished at the
end of the day, it was great. And do what all good PFC’s do, right? You go back to the… You go where? Specialists, where would you
go, after the end of the day, you got a little time on
your hands, you’re gonna go – [Man] Home. – You go home? Where do you really go? You’re pretty big, guy. You go to the gym, right? ‘Cause traffic’s so bad in D.C., you can’t get home ’til midnight anyway. (audience laughing) (laughs) They’re all laughing, everybody who’s laughing
lives here, right? But you go to the gym! So you go back to the gym,
you have another workout and then, but you notice
something’s goin’ on. You don’t know what it
is but you know (mumbles) and you ask that simple
question of, are you okay? And they go, ah, well, I’m
kinda dealing with something. And you don’t send them to somebody else. What do you do at that po’? You go, come on, let’s go together. – [Man] You right, you right. – We’re gonna go, I’m not gonna send you to the behavioral health,
I’m gonna take you with me because this is my squad and I don’t want anything to happen to ya ’cause I noticed something wrong and I’m gonna physically take
you where you need to go. Not send you, oh, I think, no, let’s go, we’re gonna go together. That’s actually how we do it because we care about each other. So many times, I see, hey,
well, you gotta pain problem, well, I guess, go talk to this one. Anybody seen somebody do that? You see a soldier in there
and it’s a young soldier, he’s talking to the staff
sergeant, sergeant first class, put it on the S1 you’re talking about, and he’s like, I got a pain problem. And, oh, okay, soldier, get out. I know that 42s say, no, Sergeant Major, we would never send that soldier away. (audience laughing) Sergeant Major (laughs),
you were laughing at that. That was funny. But that’s what I mean
is, when we have time and we spend time with each other, I think that’s how that goes. And it’s not one thing, because next year, it may be the next thing. If we build cohesive teams
where winning matters and we train together, we fight together, we’ll notice somethings
wrong and we’ll make sure that we take care of each other, no matter what the situation is. And even in combat. When people are shooting at ya, you’re gonna be there
for ’em, no matter what. That’s what makes our army so great. We just gotta do more of it. That’s what I’m talking about. So it’s not about one entity, it’s that how we build a cohesive team that does all those things together, and if something comes off, we take them, we get that fixed, we don’t chastise ’em, we don’t ridicule ’em, we
don’t think badly of ’em, it’s just a teammate that needs some help with whatever that is,
we fix it and we move on. So that’s a little bit of a
long answer to your question but I thought it was a phenomenal question and it’s tied to, this
is how we act in my unit and we take care of each other that way. So I really appreciate everybody
coming out to this forum, I’ll turn it back over to close this out but I really enjoyed it
and thank you for coming and attending this forum today, thank you.
– Hooah! (applauding) – [John] Thank you SMA. And again, if you have
questions for the panel, please come forward. If you submitted a card
and we didn’t answer it, please come down and give
me your contact information. Thank you all for attending,
thank you to our former SMAs, thank you to the Sergeant Major
of the Army and the panel. This concludes the session.

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