FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — The Army University hosted an education symposium here Dec. 2 and 3, which brought together academic leaders from civilian universities and across the Army to explore ways to improve the educational experience for Soldiers and Department of the Army civilians.
More than 200 people attended from 31 military organizations and 80 civilian colleges and universities with panel discussions covering topics including innovative learning environments, developing world-class faculty, and building a collaborative exchange.
The symposium was one of the first steps in the establishment of the Army University, which is the Army’s initiative to better structure the variety of educational opportunities available to service members and DA civilians.
“This is the most fundamental change in Army education since 1881,” said Lt. Gen. Robert Brown, commanding general of the Combined Arms Center, to symposium attendees during the opening session. Brown also serves as the executive vice chancellor for training and education for the Army University.
Brown told the attendees that the Army trains Soldiers very well, but that there is a difference between training and education. The current transformation in Army education seeks to develop greater critical and creative thinking skills in every soldier and Army civilian.
“It’s about partnering with the greatest university system in the world [the United States’ higher education system],” said Brig. Gen. John Kem, Army University provost.
In a panel discussion, Brown explained that the Army has shifted its command focus from one of command and control to mission command, which empowers leaders at the lowest levels. This change in approach drives the need for Soldiers and civilians at all levels of the Army to be not just trained, but educated.
This mindset allows for an “increased rate of innovation,” Brown said.
Another education conference, planned for June 2016, will expand on the ideas and concepts introduced at this week’s symposium.
Photo credit: Lt. Gen. Robert B. Brown, commanding general of the Combined Arms Center and vice chancellor of Army University, opens the 2015 Education Symposium at Fort Leavenworth. The Symposium brought together educators from throughout the Army and more than 80 civilian colleges and universities to explore how Army University can improve education for Soldiers and Army civilians. (U.S. Army photo by Dan Neal)