Kansas Senator Jerry Moran visited Fort Leavenworth on Friday, April 22. He received a detailed briefing concerning numerous issues on the installation from Lt. Gen. Robert Brown, commanding general of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center.
Other attendees of the meeting were Kirby Brown, deputy of the commanding general of U.S. Army Combined Arms Center; Lt. Gen. Robert Arter (Retired), civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army – Kansas; Maj. Gen. Victor Braden, commanding general for 35th Infantry Division; and Brig. Gen. Eugene LeBeouf, vice provost for Academic Affairs at The Army University.
“I’ve always cared about Fort Leavenworth and what goes on here,” Moran said. “It’s important to the Army, to the military and to the country. We wanted to make a stop today to be briefed by General Brown on the latest developments here. The post is a significant and integral part of Army education, and I wanted to make certain I knew what was going on at Fort Leavenworth and particular wanted to know how I could be of help.”
Moran believes discussions with senior leadership at Fort Leavenworth will assist with his role on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which has responsibility of determining where and how much money is spent on defense issues.
“I’m certainly an advocate for Fort Leavenworth, but I also want to know if there’s ways we can make sure the money is wisely spent, appropriately targeted and that the priorities the leadership here at Fort Leavenworth see as important are reflected in the budget,” Moran said.
Brown discussed the importance of Fort Leavenworth’s role in training and educating Army personnel. He emphasized the changing battlefield and challenges the Army face in a complex world full of uncertainty.
“In the past, it was complicated on the battlefield, but today it is complex because the battlefield has no boundaries,” Brown said. “Future military leaders need to contemplate the new unseen threats and be able to adapt and react faster than our adversaries.”
“It was reaffirmed to me today the importance of making sure we invest in the intellectual leadership and capabilities of those you serve our country,” Moran said. “World conditions have changed over time in such a way that simple training is no longer sufficient to be successful in our military efforts around the globe. We now need to help individuals who serve our country be more capable, more qualified and better able to meet the variety of circumstances that they are now going to experience.”
The Army University – a concept launched last year that encompasses all U.S. Army Training and Command schools – was one of the topics discussed during the visit.
“With the creation of The Army University we hope to provide Veterans with more options whenever they leave the military,” Brown said.
“There are a number of aspects to the university here at Fort Leavenworth,” Moran said. “One is to make certain those who serve our country have the necessary tools to perform their jobs. Secondly, our country desperately needs leaders and this will help ensure those individuals are available to both the public and private sector — to the military and the business sector. Additionally, it’s an opportunity for us to make certain that those who serve our country have the necessary certification and educational background to have successful, meaningful careers if – and when – they leave the military.”
Moran is known for spending a lot of his time working on Veteran issues, making sure the Department of Veteran Affairs is meeting the needs of those they serve. He sees The Army University educating Soldiers while they serve as a way to reduce the heavy work load shouldered by the VA.
“When it comes to employment, it seems to me that if we adequately and appropriately train and educate our military men and women, when they fulfil their service we’ll have less of a challenge to the Department of Veteran Affairs in helping those individuals get a skill set that allows them to be employable,” Moran said.
After receiving the briefing on The Army University, Moran said he believes this institution could provide an ideal solution to this issue.
“(The Army University) is a great development,” Moran said. “It’s a necessity due to the changing nature of the threats we face in this world, but it also is an investment in people, which is most important aspect of defending our country.”
He was also impressed with the idea of The Army University providing credentials to service member when they transition to the civilian sector.
“In my view, we’re taking care of the defense needs of our country, but we’re also investing in the individual Soldier so he or she has a bright future when they leave the Army,” Moran said. “You shouldn’t have to be recertified to do a career you’ve pursued in military life. You ought to have your credentials follow you into the private sector.”
Moran went on to say he is sponsoring legislation to allow Veterans the option to use their G.I Bill education benefits to assist in starting a business in lieu of education.
“If Veterans don’t need the money for an education they should be able to use it towards starting a business,” Moran said.Since Fort Leavenworth is home to the U.S. Army Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Academy – the only one of its kind in the military, it was another major topics discussed during the visit. Moran said he pays a lot of attention to domestic violence issues while serving in Congress and as a member of the Board of Visitors for the Air Force Academy.
“I was pleased to receive the briefing today on SHARP,” Moran said. “In both the public and military sectors, I’ve had concerns about the threat and instances of assault. It is pleasing to me to see the emphasis this program is receiving – not just here at Fort Leavenworth, but – throughout the military. It’s clear to me this is not just some program created to try to get the focus off of the issue. It’s a program created – and expertise developed – to actually rid us, as best we can, of the assaults that occur.”
After the briefing, Moran shared his excitement as a Kansas Senator the for increasing role Fort Leavenworth and the Command and General Staff College are playing across the military and civilian sectors in providing leaders for the nation.
“Obviously this is good for our country and our military,” Moran said. “But as a Kansan, I’m proud this is occurring in our state and I see significant potential. Fort Leavenworth is a place that’s going to grow – increase its importance within the Pentagon. As we try to make certain that good things happen in Kansas, Fort Leavenworth has become one of those shining examples where something exceptional is occurring that will benefit not only our State, but the nation.”