FORT EUSTIS, Va. — Acting Secretary of the Army Robert M. Speer visited Soldiers assigned to U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command here, March 17, 2017, to assess the needs and demands placed on recruiting, training and retaining forces.
“The future Army doesn’t start when a Soldier gets to a unit; it starts today,” said Speer. “People don’t always realize that you can’t build and sustain an Army into the future unless you’re investing in the institutions that have to recruit and train them.”
Speer discussed initial and advanced training resources and future force development with installation leaders including Gen. David Perkins, TRADOC commander.
“The number one priority is readiness, and we cannot generate that without a well-resourced TRADOC command,” said Speer.
He also toured the Operational Environment Training Support Center, viewed skills training and ate lunch with students from the 128th Aviation Brigade. During lunch, Honorable Speer talked to students about the challenges the tight budget had created.
“The pace and tempo of the last 17 years, coupled with a shrinking budget has put an enormous strain on the force,” said Speer.
During a town hall later in the afternoon, Speer addressed his commitment to the Army’s fight to prevent sexual assault and harassment, referencing current social media events.
“I believe we’ve got the right policies and procedures; we’ve instructed Soldiers and Civilians about the proper use of social media and our expectations are that all people will treat others with dignity and respect,” said Speer.
The Army consistently reviews its policies and training for online conduct updating its Social Media Handbook and ensuring Army Regulations are current.
“While we can’t completely guarantee it won’t happen, there is a zero tolerance when we know there has been misconduct. It’s not acceptable, and we have to police each other and live the Army values.”
Looking to share insight on how the Pentagon has changed since the election, Speer explained that the Army is working with the Office of the Secretary of Defense to conduct the readiness and national strategy reviews that were ordered by the President.
“One of the things that I’m very proud of in this Army is no matter which administration is in charge, the Army continues to operate and accomplish its ultimate mission to win the wars for our nation,” said Speer.