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Wednesday, Sep. 07, 2011

Former Armor, Infantry leaders gather for board

- The Bayonet
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FORT BENNING, Ga. — The inaugural Senior Maneuver Board kicked off today at the Maneuver Center of Excellence.

About 30 retired generals and command sergeants major — all distinguished Armor and Infantry leaders of the past — are at Fort Benning to provide insights into shaping the future Army, conference organizers said. The session will end Friday.

“There’s a lot of historic figures in that group,” said Maj. John Argue of the Commander’s Initiatives Group. “These senior leaders, many of them, have ties here. And (Maj. Gen. Robert Brown) has stewarded a movement for the ‘Spirit of Fort Benning.’ Really, we’re trying to honor some of that lineage.

  • Senior Maneuver Board attendees

    Attendees for this week’s Senior Maneuver Leader Advisory Panel include:

    Retired Gen. B.B. Bell — Served as Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf’s executive officer in the Gulf War as a colonel. He retired in August 2008 after stint as commander of U.S. Forces Korea, the Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command, and the United Nations Command.
    Retired Gen. Edwin Burba Jr. — Culminated more than 30 years of Army service as commander in chief of Forces Command at Fort McPherson, Ga.
    Retired Gen. John Foss — Began his career as an enlisted Soldier in April 1950 before gaining commission from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point six years later. He completed two combat tours in Vietnam, including a stint as commander of the 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry. Retired as TRADOC commander in August 1991.
    Retired Gen. Gordon Sullivan — Served as the nation’s 32nd Army chief of staff from 1991 until his retirement four years later. He entered the service as an Armor officer in 1959.
    Retired Gen. Paul Gorman — Earned the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross and Bronze Star Medal with “V” device for valor (three oak leaf clusters) in the course of a 34-year career. He retired in April 1985 after serving as commander in chief of U.S. Southern Command.
    Retired Gen. Ron Griffith — Led 1st Armored Division during the Gulf War and later served as Army vice chief of staff.
    Retired Gen. William Hartzog — Served more than 35 years, retiring in October 1998 as TRADOC’s commanding general at Fort Monroe, Va.
    Retired Gen. John Hendrix — A former Fort Benning commander, he retired in January 2002 as FORSCOM commanding general at Fort McPherson following 36-year Army career.
    Retired Gen. William Kernan — Entered Officer Candidate School as a staff sergeant and was commissioned an Infantry officer in November 1968. In September 2000, he assumed became the Supreme Allied Commander-Atlantic and commander in chief of U.S. Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va. The general retired from the Army on Dec. 1, 2002.
    Retired Gen. James Lindsay — Recipient of Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star (three oak leaf clusters) and Bronze Star Medal with “V” device for valor (three oak leaf clusters) after multiple tours in Vietnam. The general spent more than 38 years on active duty, retiring in June 1990 as commander in chief of U.S. Special Operations Command (redesignated from U.S. Readiness Command) at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
    Retired Gen. Crosbie Saint — A Silver Star recipient for his service in Vietnam, Saint retired in August 1992 after more than 34 years on active duty. He’s a former commanding general of III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas; and also was commander in chief of U.S. Army Europe and the 7th Army.
    Retired Gen. Louis Wagner Jr. — Served as commanding general of U.S. Army Materiel Command in Alexandria, Va., before retiring in September 1989. He earned the Distinguished Service Cross and Silver Star in Vietnam.
    Retired Gen. William Wallace — A West Point graduate, Wallace completed a tour in Vietnam and also served as V Corps commanding general in Iraq. He retired in January 2009 as TRADOC commanding general.
    Retired Lt. Gen. Fred Brown — Recipient of Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross and Bronze Star Medal with “V” device for valor (five oak leaf clusters) over three combat tours in Vietnam. His last position was commanding general of the 4th Army at Fort Sheridan, Ill. He retired in May 1989.
    Retired Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz — Served as commanding general of Multi-National Corps-Iraq from January 2004 to February 2005. The West Point graduate retired in January 2010 following stint as director of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization in Arlington, Va.
    Retired Maj. Gen. Robert Scales Jr. — A Silver Star recipient for his service in Vietnam, Scales left active duty in November 2000. His last assignment came as commandant of the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
    Retired Brig. Gen. Mike Ferguson — Spent more than 26 years in the Army and retired in August 1986 after serving as deputy chief of staff for development, engineering and acquisition with Materiel Command in Alexandria, Va.
    Retired Brig. Gen. Huba Wass de Czege — Served two combat tours in Vietnam, earning a Silver Star and Bronze Star Medal with two “V” devices for valor (four oak leaf clusters). His final duty position came as assistant commander of the 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Riley, Kan., in a career that stretched nearly 30 years.
    Retired Col. Jack Pryor — A distinguished combat veteran, Pryor once oversaw U.S. drug-control policies in Latin America as director of counter-narcotics for Southern Command. He’s considered one of the Army’s pre-eminent trainers and was involved in the establishment of U.S. combat training centers for heavy maneuver, light Infantry and special operations forces units. Dr. David Johnson — Joined the RAND Corporation in 1998, where he’s a senior researcher. His work focuses on military innovation, joint operations and strategy. He retired as a colonel after a 24-year career in the Army.
    Retired Sgt. Maj. of the Army Julius Gates — Sworn in as the eighth sergeant major of the Army on July 1, 1987. He retired in June 1991 after serving three tours in Germany, two combat tours in Vietnam and a rotation in South Korea.
    Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Joe Ulibarri — Served 27 years on active duty, retiring in May 2009 as command sergeant major of the U.S. Army Infantry Center and Fort Benning.
    Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Ashe — Entered Army in November 1975 and served as command sergeant major of 3rd Army, U.S. Army Forces Central Command and Coalition Forces Land Component Command at Fort McPherson before retiring in May 2008.
    Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Bush — In a career spanning 35 years, he served in a variety of leadership positions, including command sergeant major of V Corps in Heidelberg, Germany. Retired in June 2007.
    Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Carey — Appointed the 15th command sergeant major of FORSCOM in January 2006.
    Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Carl Christian — Served as FORSCOM command sergeant major from October 2001 to November 2005. In that role, the 30-year Soldier advised FORSCOM’s commanding general on all matters relating to enlisted personnel, with emphasis on training and quality of life.
    Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Jake Fryer — Capped off 23-year military career as command sergeant major of the Armor Center and Fort Knox, Ky.
    Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmy Spencer — Enlisted in the Army in December 1961. During 32 years on active duty, he had various assignments with Infantry, Special Forces and Ranger units. He completed two combat tours in Vietnam.
    Retired Command Sgt. Maj. John Stephens — Entered the Army in April 1957 and held positions at every level in more than 33 years on active duty. Served as command sergeant major of the Armor Center and Fort Knox, as well as senior enlisted adviser to the chief of Armor.

“Bringing back some of these guys … it stays on message with making this place a leader magnet, a place where people want to come and serve.”

He said the former leaders are set to discuss key strategic and operational issues facing the Army today. Other major topics on the agenda include the Squad as a Strategic Formation, the Army Learning Concept for 2015, Brigade Combat Team 2020, 21st century maneuver training, and 21st century leader development: How to think, not what to think.

The Training and Doctrine Command is laying the groundwork for the Army of 2020, Argue said. As the U.S. military nears the end of its involvement in Iraq and begins the drawdown in Afghanistan, the Army is approaching a strategic transition. As an institution, leaders must now broaden the focus from winning current fights to preparing for life beyond them.

“We’re getting a group of folks together with professional military judgment,” he said. “They have dealt with many of the issues we’re dealing with today, like budget constraints and revamping what the military is going to look like in 10 or 15 years. … We’re trying to harvest their experiences from similar eras in history.”

The MCoE’s Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate also is expected to brief the panel.

“We’re giving them an update on the initiatives we have here at the Maneuver Center, and see if it sparks conversation and things we can use from their experiences to better our own planning sessions,” he said.

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