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.
“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.