The Army’s top officer wants soldiers to be able to remain in duty stations longer. When they do move, permanent changes of station would take place at times of the year that place the least burden possible on their families.
“We’re not going to have the soldier moving in March and the kids are getting pulled out of school,” Gen. James McConville, the Army chief of staff, told an audience at an Oct. 15 town hall by the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) at its annual meeting and exposition.
Before any specific changes take place, McConville said he would have his senior leaders seek input from their soldiers. McConville also said he sees no reason why standards of the service’s talent-management system and his intent to lengthen tours should be incompatible.
“Part of the future that we see in the talent management system is we do look at preferences – where you want to go and what you want to do. If we can accommodate that, why shouldn’t we?” McConville told the AUSA audience.
A day earlier, McConville stressed his desire to place each soldier in a job he or she would have the best chance to succeed.
“No matter how much technology we develop, soldiers will always remain the centerpiece of our Army. We equip people, we don’t man equipment, and that philosophy will not change,” McConville said.
McConville also provided some details about the service’s plan to hold Defender Europe 2020, and a similar exercise in the Pacific. Both would be the largest endeavors of their kind in more than 25 years. He said he intends for the exercises to put the Army’s modernization priorities into play.
“We find ourselves once again facing threats of great-power competition and the specter of large-scale conflict,” McConville said. “America’s Army will never be outgunned, it will never be outranged, and it will never be overmatched.”