FORT LIBERTY, N.C. — Commanders and command sergeants major from across the U.S. Army Forces Command footprint gathered at Fort Liberty for the FORSCOM Commander’s Forum, Nov. 29-30, 2023. The conference brings together senior leaders from all Forces Command corps and divisions as well as the Army National Guard and Army Reserve for focused training and conversations on leading warfighters on the battlefield.

Gen. Andrew Poppas, FORSCOM commanding general, welcomed the group and explained there was much to cover over the two-days. He continued by explaining his “4-Wins:” Win Trust and Empower Leaders; Win the First Fight; Win the Future Fight; and Win as a Balanced Total Army.

“The framework we’ve laid out is the 4-Wins,” said Poppas. “This is the framework in which we move forward. And I will tell you that at every touchpoint within each one of these domains, I feel we’ve made great success. In the way we are building the team, in the way we’ve embraced it … strengthening the relationships we have and engaged leadership.”

He continued by expressing his vision of a warfighting force and professional warriors. Warriors need the mindset of always moving forward; the warrior spirit to hone yourself to be physically and mentally fit; and training methodology focused on building formations to their greatest capability, he said.

“The strength of that formation is that they rely on each other,” Poppas said. “It’s the person to your left that’s carrying the shield that protects you. It’s the strength of the formation that moves forward.”

Poppas explained the number one priority for the Army chief of staff is warfighting and FORSCOM owns warfighting. As he looked around the room, he acknowledged that the leaders sitting there were in the positions they are in due to their strong backgrounds as leaders, warfighters, and Soldiers.

This year, the 41st Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Randy George, was the guest speaker for the forum. George has served as the Chief of Staff of the Army since Sept. 21, 2023. He began his discussion by acknowledging that world today is a very complex place. The Middle East, Ukraine, Taiwan and Africa were cited as just a few of today’s global hot spots the U.S. Army has interests. In addition to these topics, George recognized challenges with recruiting efforts, equipment and parts delay and budget stability.

As he continued, George shared with the group the questions he asked to his staff at the Pentagon: what can we stop doing or change; how do we adjust our processes; how can we push down authority and funding; and are we making the right trade-offs?

“I generally don’t talk about 2030 because I don’t think we have that much time,” said George. “2030 is too far down the road. We are going to be a lot different before that, I can guarantee you. We are going to be a lot different in the next four years.”

The Army chief of staff continued the conversations, outlining his some of his priorities — such as warfighting, delivering ready combat formations, adjusting the approach to military construction projects, and production of a new mobile app to help inform Soldiers and families of quality of life programs available to them.

Focusing on continuous transformation, George explained that transformation is more than just purchasing new equipment. Transformation also includes changes to processes, training and how Army formations look.

“I want our leaders to decide what our formations will look like, not a bunch of us sitting inside the [Pentagon],” explained George. “I can certainly do that, I definitely have my own opinions on a lot this, but I want everybody involved in what we’re doing.”

The topic of strengthening the profession was saved until last to emphasize the point. George shared an example from his time as a division commander. Underlining how he and other division commanders would share advice and lessons learned with each other to help increase lethality and warfighting capabilities.

“I remember when I was a captain and pulling the drawer open and Armor Magazine and Infantry Magazine were there, and they were very helpful,” said George. “I’m asking for your help in making sure people are writing about our profession. We should be talking about our profession.”

By Adam Luther

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