Brig. Gen. Gary Brito assumed duties as the Director, Force 2025 and Beyond (F2025B), U.S. Army Capabilities and Integration Center (ARCIC), on June 30, 2014. Prior to this, he most recently served as the Corps Operations Officer (G3) for III Corps, Fort Hood, Texas. In that capacity, he deployed and served as the Deputy Director, Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF) Development, ISAF Joint Command in Kabul, Afghanistan.
TRADOC began the F2025B initiative in October 2013 to investigate overmatch issues that could threaten the future force. As ideas grew and evolved over time, the Army increased emphasis on this effort as a top priority to address future warfighting challenges. Brig. Gen. Brito took time prior to the upcoming 2014 Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) Annual Expo to discuss the opportunities and challenges in shaping the future force.
ARCIC: How does the recent SEC McHugh and GEN Odierno directive, “FORCE 2025 and Beyond – SETTING THE COURSE,” change the way the Army did business in the past?
BG Gary Brito, Director F2025B Directorate: Up front, it acknowledges that the operational environment that we will face in the future is different and – as the memo says – volatile and unstable. There are a lot of unknowns out there, and some things will always be unknowable. But what the memo does, in my opinion, is provide focus for the Army to combat the threats we are going to face in the future, especially those that will threaten U.S. interests.
The memo acknowledges that this will not be without challenges. We have constraints that we will have to work within. The structure of the future Army will be changed as well. But even with that, as the Army continues to adapt and modernize, we are also going to be ready for any fight at any time. We have many threats that may not necessarily be kinetic, but they are threats nonetheless.
The memo also provides focus for the future force development of the Army with emphasis on concepts and capabilities for the Joint force.
This comprehensive effort (Force 2025 and Beyond) will will develop concepts – those good ideas – and develop them into realities, or capabilities that make the Army better. This will be done with close attention to the entire spectrum of DOTMLPF – it’s more than just materiel. And although this may foster change in how the Army does business, it is also complementary to processes that already exist and will continue.
ARCIC: In your own words, what is “Force 2025 and Beyond”? How would you describe the comprehensive nature of this strategy, and how the challenges will underpin movement forward for the Army.
Director F2025B Directorate: Force 2025 and Beyond is a comprehensive effort to adapt our force and ensure it (our Army) is a valuable strategic instrument for the Nation. Building off several strategic documents that feed into the AOC, we have developed to this point 20 first order questions, the answers to which will make us a better, more capable Army. Innovation, concept–to-capability development and all the efforts in between help provide the foundation behind this comprehensive strategy.
Please keep in mind, those challenges will adapt as the operational environment adapts. This establishes a continued running estimate, and part of this strategy is to ensure our senior leaders are involved early and often with the decision making.
ARCIC: How will your newly formed Directorate support this comprehensive strategy?
Director F2025B Directorate: We are part of the ARCIC and TRADOC team, and our primary mission of the Directorate is to be the integration and synchronization engine for all efforts that take place toward our future force development. I would say that is a balanced effort down within the ARCIC organization, working with my fellow Directorates within CDD and CDLD, and having a total awareness of what’s going on in TRADOC itself. For example, efforts in the Human Dimension, or down in the Fires Center.
There are also several governance processes that we will support. The F2025B Directorate – in full support to CG TRADOC – will be the secretariat for several senior leader forums; ensuring the senior leaders across the Army are well informed and part of the decision-making affecting the future force development of the Army.
Additionally, we will help manage or oversee all Force 2025 Maneuvers at large, which is essentially the learning plan for modernizing the Army both intellectually and physically.
ARCIC: As the F2025B Director, what are some of your immediate priorities?
Director F2025B Directorate:Something that started on my first day was, very simply, building the team – receiving the people for the organization, establishing roles and functions, and then determining how to build the ‘connective tissue’ that would reach out to other directorates within ARCIC, other staff agencies within TRADOC, as well as those outside TRADOC.
Secondly, which is an equal priority, has been establishing relationships – within the Pentagon and within TRADOC itself – important to have no daylight between what we do and the rest of the team. I have also found it critical to solidify relationships with the DA staff, and if there was not a relationship, build one. Lastly, I want to ensure we are a valued organization for the Army. That is done by reinforcement of the first two priorities I mentioned, but also to make sure when we package recommendations in a way that makes the information valuable to our senior leaders.
ARCIC: What do you think are the major challenges for your Directorate, as well as the whole future force effort?
Director F2025B Directorate: Business cannot be as it was over the last 10 or 15 years given the focus of the Setting the Course memo and other guidance we have received. This is not insurmountable.
Another is knowing the gaps we may have in our capabilities and how to close those gaps. Of course, one challenge that we cannot control, but must always be cognizant of, is the ever changing operational environment. The Ebola challenge the Army is supporting, for example. My point is, we will always adapt to defeat our threats, even when the threats are currently unknown or unknowable.