Minutes before military leaders said goodbye to Brig. Gen. Leopoldo A. Quintas, the chief of the U.S. Armor School at Fort Benning said he thinks the Army is facing a transitional period.
“There are decreasing resources available to our organization,” Quintas said before a 3:30 p.m. Friday send-off at Derby Auditorium. “We are facing some very hard decisions whether it is in terms of how we are going to organize, how we are going to equip and how are we going to train.”
For almost a year, the 48th chief of armor and commandant has guided the school with a staff of more than 3,700 to transform civilians into soldiers, noncommissioned officers and officers.
Quintas is headed to Fort Bliss, Texas, where he will serve as the deputy commanding general of the 1st Armored Division. He is switching jobs with his successor, Brig. Gen. Dennis S. McKean, who is expected to arrive at Fort Benning by the end of next week.
Quintas said he thinks decisions will impact the Army and how it fights. “Those decisions, I think will be made in the next year that will have a significant impact on the next fight we will find ourselves in,” he said.
The Armor School chief said it was an honor to serve with Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster Jr., the post commander who recently left the post to serve as director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Eustis, Va., and now Maj. Gen. Scott Miller, the new commander of the Maneuver Center of Excellence.
Quintas recognized the incredible relationship the Army has with the community, one he will surely miss.
“We’ve got an internal community here at Fort Benning so it doesn’t matter if you are the 75th Ranger Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division or whether you work at the hospital or at the Maneuver Center, we all come together and work as a team to accomplish each of our individual mission,” he said.
At Fort Benning, Quintas said the post has a rich environment when it comes to discussions about the future and armed conflict.
“When they want to talk about the future of armed conflict, they come here at Fort Benning,” he said. “They come here from around the country and from around the world. This is the place to be when you want to talk about maneuver, when you want to talk about the future.”
Quintas didn’t want to take credit for anything at the Armor School but said he was part of a team that achieved a lot during his short time at Benning. Using lessons learned from 13 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Quintas said the books on fighting have been rewritten for future conflicts. Changes have been made in training, leader development and reorganizing part of the Army to be a better fighting organization.
Miller recognized Quintas for the Armor School’s reorganization and improving training. The school also hosted the 2014 Sullivan Cup Competition to select the best tank crew in the entire Army. Seventeen crews took part in the competition, including two from Korea, one from the U.S. Marines and two from Canada.