One of the Blog’s loyal readers sent me the link for the CG’s Town Hall meeting of 12 Feb 12 which you can find at: http://www.dvidshub.net/video/137361/fort-bragg-town-hall-meeting#.Tz2kr7QdB8F.
First of all I give the Command a lot of credit for making the video available to anyone who can find it.
I thought it would be worthwhile for me to watch it and report my observations. The CG spoke for about twenty minutes then he turned the platform over to CSM Dale R. Blosser who spoke for another twenty minutes or so. The CSM addressed NCO issues such as leadership, NCOES, knowing your soldiers – all good stuff which I’m not going to comment on. Q&A followed.
First, some top level observations.
1. The CG is CA centric. He seems to be much more comfortable talking about CA and its units than MISO. Several comments gave me this impression not the least of which was his comment that the CA proponency was a 25 meter target while MISO was the 50 meter target.
2. When talking about the ‘divorce’ from SOCOM, it seems very clear that the CG felt “we were never SOF”.
3. The CG seems very comfortable with the philosophy that we are conventional forces and support conventional forces. Of course this does not preclude RC personnel supporting SF forces if the need arises and doesn’t address the issues of the normally reinforcing nature of AC and RC MISO forces.
4. The CG seems to feel that it was inappropriate for an SF schoolhouse to be the proponent for ‘conventional forces’.
5. The CG indicated that the proponency decision will be made by the Secretary of the Army and that the CA decision would come first and would, defacto, be the MISO/PSYOP decision as well.
6. The CG is keen on first line leaders taking responsibility for their troops and using tools of the 21st century like Facebook to help them in that task.
7. Training needs to be improved – however, the practical means of accomplishing this in the face of growing tasks such as the Sustained Readiness Program are making this more difficult. This is especially true for collective tasks.
The CG picked up on PT and addressed the remote management challenge of getting soldiers fit. The CG urged the use of Facebook and Cell phones by first line leaders to reach out and touch that soldier to make sure they are doing what they need to do.
First question to the CG dealt with the IT network. Sounded like an unfortunate gap due to the ‘divorce’ and seemed to confirm the fact that the USARC doesn’t regard CAPOC as a very high priority so CAPOC is expending its own resources to make ‘it’ work. Long term solution is to move on to the USAR network and “we’re working on it”.
Second question dealt with the delay in enlisted promotions – E5/E6. If you’re interested, it’s about 40 minutes into the talk. However, it does seem like APFT and Height Weight flags are a problem – so what else is new?
Third question asked about HHC soldiers getting on deployment so that they can get promoted. CAPOC is now deploying individual soldiers so this is possible and given the optempo, everyone will be deployed sooner or later.
Next question came from the Internet: what about the name change for USACAPOC – of course PSYOP is now MISO so there will be a change when the Army Institute of Heraldry changes the name of the POGs, the CAPOC name will be changed, but not any time soon.
Second question from the field – do you foresee the future of CAPAOC as active as in the past decade and do you see the Optempo increasing? CG answered: The CG of USARC and I see increased requirements for support. Involuntary mobilization is possible for unnamed peacetime operations. DOD has increased access to the reserve force. CG sees a continuing high optempo even after we’re out of Afghanistan. He felt the difference is that these mobilization and support missions will be more predictable (He probably felt this was so because we’re supporting conventional forces which are, in theory, ore predicatable.) Count on being mobilized 1 year out of every 5.
Do you See CAPOC used to support SF missions? We are not SOF we are not going to support SOF. CG cited the AC CA as the example. There will be a continuing demand for CA and MISO support for conventional forces. We will be supporting Combatant CDR around the world.
A deployed soldier asked about the AC MISO force developing a selection process. CG hasn’t heard anything – but I believe that there is work under way by SWC to do so. He then went on about CA.
CG felt that ‘we’ shouldn’t be so selective any way because we have a tough time finding soldiers who meet even the Army standard.
How can we shift G1 acting as a first line leader back to the field? Key is Company CDR and 1SG.
CG: Formations needs to show the accountability with team leaders where they are supposed to be. The sign in document is for pay not accountability.
CG felt the biggest promotion leap is from E4 to E5 because you go from follower to leader.
Next question was from a CSM in the audience about property accountability.
Question about the Presidential campaign. CG indicated you cannot do so in uniform or while on duty. Cannot give the impression that the Army supports a particular candidate. (There was an Army Reserve soldier who was at a Ron Paul rally and came up on stage in uniform.)
One more question from the Internet – as we draw down in Afghanistan do you see opportunities for CA soldiers to become PRT CDR. “Train has left the station an we’re not going to get it back in.”
The CG closed by praising the quality of the soldiers and noting that CAPOC has 7% of RC soldiers’ and account for 11% of deployment – we have a high optempo.
Photo source: http://www.usacapoc.army.mil/command-cg.html