HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Lt. Gen. Robert B. Brown, commanding general of U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, chaired the panel “Building leaders who thrive in chaos,” during the second day of the Association of the United States Army 2015 Global Force Symposium at the Van Braun Center here, April 1.
“We can win by shaping the Army as profession, but we must invest in its most valuable resource, its people,” said Brown. “To dominate on the battlefield of the future, the Army must not only invest in long-term technological and equipment solutions, it must also invest in its people as the most agile and adaptive Army resource.”
The panel discussed the framework and challenges of optimizing human performance through innovation and investment in education, training, professionalism, leader development, holistic health and total fitness, talent acquisition and precision talent management.
“To have success, we have to build cohesive, trusted teams that thrive in conditions of uncertainty and chaos; it’s a key part of the Human Dimension concept,” said Brown.
Panel members included: retired Brig. Gen. Peter Palmer, director of EDGE Innovation Network, General Dynamics, Lt. Gen. Patrick J. Donahue II, deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command, Maj. Gen. Jonathan A. Maddux, program executive officer, Simulations, Training and Instrumentation, Dr. Michael D. Matthews, professor of Engineering Psychology, U.S. Army Military Academy, West Point and Donna Orender, chief executive officer, Orender Unlimited.
Donahue provided insight from the FORSCOM perspective.
“FORSCOM really compliments TRADOC by working on the ‘how’ of developing leaders within our organization,” Donahue said. “We do this by adding complexity to training events, and we involve other agencies such as civilian law enforcement and other federal agencies. This reflects the complexity of real world operations.”
Questions to panel included the importance of women in leadership positions. Orender addressed the question with “If you’re going to have the best and the brightest, then you have to access 100 percent of your talent to include all genders and ethnicities as well,” she said.
Another question regarded millennials in the military. The panel agreed that this generation is remarkably talented. Matthews, as a professor at West Point, interacts with this generation on a daily basis.
“The millennials are able to really approach abstract and complex problems and solve them in a unique way,” said Matthews. “Their understanding and use of (electronic) devices really gives them an advantage,” he said.
“We recently had a Captains Solarium, where we brought young captains from across the Army to provide feedback to us about Army issues. It provided a great example that some of the best input you can get is from the ‘bottom up’” Brown said.