the noted author and historian Stephen Ambrose recently offered as his nominee for man of the century -- none other than the American G.I. Others have made similar pronouncements about the important role American
G.I.s played in the 20th century, including General Colin Powell, who has described them as the "embodiment of the American spirit of courage and dedication." Just think of all the famous names who didn't get their votes
- Marie Curie,
- Martin Luther King, Jr.,
To name a few, all great in their own rights. But, given the turmoil of the 20th century, I think they've got it about right -- the American g.I.
No one, and I do mean no one, has contributed more to our well being in the 20th century -- either as a nation or as the global village -- than the American G.I. 100 years from now, some other historian will look back and wonder who should be recognized as the most notable person of the 21st century, a century which stretches out before us today -- so full of promise; so full of uncertainty. My guess is that the American G.I. Will again earn a nomination. Today's diversity of threats, the greater volatility and uncertainty we see in the strategic environment ahead of us, and the range of asymmetric dangers confronting even the powerful -- yes, American G.I.s, and more specifically American soldiers, will again find a place in history.
The attack against the USS Cole in Aden last week reminds us about how speed and surprise in the calculus of asymmetry can produce devastating results. Our thoughts and prayers are with the navy and the sailors and families of the uss cole. As we grieve with them, we will redouble our commitment to prepare now to fight and win the nation's wars and to dominate missions at every point on the spectrum of military operations.
American soldiers enabled us to finish the 20th century with unprecedented credentials -- lead nation in the world, the world's strongest economy, and the world's most respected and most feared military force, by friends and adversaries, respectively. As a result, our nation enjoys power, prestige, and influence of a quality previously unknown. Even as we marvel at our good fortune, we must wonder what it will take to retain those credentials. Will the U.S. be able to close out the 21st century the way it will close out the 20th -- with its power, prestige, and influence intact, undiminished and perhaps even enhanced?
For 40 years we strove to be the best army in the cold war, and we succeeded. Then, we validated that achievement in the gulf war. But over the last ten years, the change in the strategic environment has required us to flex to meet additional demands. The agility and versatility inherent in our cold war formations have been stretched beyond design limits.
It's not so much a question of whether two MTWs -- Major Theater Wars -- still works or whether one mtw plus some number of smaller scale contingencies or some other equation provides a better measure of strategic prowess. As far as the American soldier is concerned, it's all the above it's about the responsibility of global leadership. We either accept it or we acknowledge, as a nation, our willingness to end to the 21st century differently from the way we will end the 20th.
If we are going to embrace the responsibilities of global leadership, we must then accept preparing now -- organize, equip, and train -- to enable our national command authorities -- whoever they may be -- to have the capabilities needed to make the tough decisions that this century will demand -- when the book of isaiah asks, "who will go for us"? The American soldier answers, "here am i, send me!" And make no mistake, when called upon, we will respond. We will fight, and we will win. There is no better fighting force in the world today -- fully manned, well-equipped, highly motivated, and competently led. Our soldiers are the finest Americans you will find anywhere -- dedicated, disciplined, proud, tough, and compassionate. They are on point for the nation around globe, and in the
face of significant challenge, they are training hard every day to be ready to fight and win our nation's wars. But they are not organized or equipped for the greater complexities in today's strategic environment. And in responding to those complexities for the past ten years, the American soldier has provided us far more readiness than the nation has paid for.
Providing that intensity of full spectrum readiness has taken significant effort by the army and unusual commitment by its soldiers and families. It has been the heart of the American soldier and the devotion of family members that has kept us in the hunt.
For this reason, a year ago, secretary caldera and I unveiled the army vision at this very conference, from this very podium -- a vision that talked about people, readiness, and transformation -- a vision in which the army would become more strategically responsive and dominant at every point on the operational spectrum. It will take a more responsive, more deployable, more versatile, more agile, more lethal, more survivable, and yes, more sustainable army. We are going to deliver on transformation --
our soldiers are counting on it.
We have made great strides this first year towards transformation. We benefited from a $3.2 billion plus-up from congress this year. We have gained momentum, and we are beginning our march towards the objective force and the fielding of fcs -- the future combat system. More than a platform or two, it is a system of integrated capabilities -- air, ground, direct and indirect. We have moved out, and here's what we've done. We've established a cooperative effort with darpa, the largest service effort in
darpa's history, to mine those technologies in the key areas of lethality, survivability, and c4isr -- crucial to the successful development of any future combat system. This effort alone is about a billion dollars. Two key milestones govern the DARPA/Army program -- one in 03, when we will select the best technologies and concepts to go into the next phase, which will be detailed design and demonstration. We review s&t performance monthly at my level to assess return on investments. We will make the tough calls to shift resources to the most promising technical solutions. In addition to this near-$1 billion DARPA/Army S&T effort through '05, we have focused about $3 billion over the POM on future combat system-related technologies in our army labs that will contribute to the fcs effort.
The second milestone is entering into EMD, engineering manufacturing development, in FY06. We will program additional dollars for our competitive strategy in emd of the future combat system in the 03 pom build, which begins shortly. To ensure that we meet those milestones of technology readiness in '03 and emd in '06, we will stand up a general officer led future combat system task force, beginning 1 November.
Our intent is to accelerate the transition to research and development, by collapsing the timelines radically. We will be in production in 08 and moving to first unit equipped by the end of the decade. Is this too ambitious? Well, that's what everyone said last year. It is ambitious, and it will take bold and decisive action to sustain and build on the momentum we have already generated this past year with solid bipartisan congressional support. But it is that kind of bold and decisive action that will fan interests and deliver for the nation irreversible momentum.
We are beginning to see that kind of momentum with the formation of the interim force. The brigade combat teams of that interim force bridge the gap in our current operational shortfall between early-arriving light forces and later arriving heavy ones. Additionally, and more importantly, it will serve as the vanguard of the objective force. We have funded six IBCTs -- Interim Brigade Combat Teams -- out through FY06, and we are standing up the first of those ICBTs at Fort Lewis, Washington for a DEC '01, target IOC, initial operational capability. The second IBCT will be fielded as soon as possible thereafter. We are in the final stages of downselecting the principal component of the ibct -- the interim armored vehicle -- and we will make those announcements shortly. In addition, one of the six ibcts will be a national guard formation. Out of these six interim brigades we will create an interim division concept.
We are in the midst of a strategic transition -- one that we must master, just as we master transitions at the tactical and operational levels of warfighting. Army transformation represents the strategic transition we will have to undergo to shed our cold war designs in order to prepare ourselves now for the crises and wars of the 21st century. It is also a test of our institutional agility and our heart as an army. To master this strategic transition, this army transformation, we must focus on the other two components of the army vision: people and readiness.
First readiness. The legacy force, that magnificent army we see busily deployed abroad today, will remain the force of choice should this nation go to war anytime in the next 15 years. Its readiness to fight is paramount if we are going to have the luxury of time and investment to get
The objective force right. To more accurately measure army readiness, we are developing a new reporting system that reflects active and reserve component capability to meet the requirements of today's strategic environment. We will put that system into full use by FY02.
For several years now, soldiers have sensed that the army is too small for the missions it carries and under resourced for the operational tempo that it executes.
A year ago, we faced two significant personnel challenges: the first was recruiting, and the second was unit manning. So we've spent the past year validating those concerns and quantifying our requirements. Across the army, our personnel shortfalls had been so deftly distributed throughout our formations that there was little discernible pain, no issue of inadequate endstrength -- but soldiers felt it. The vast majority of active component formations then were undermanned. At the same time, we had missed our active component recruiting mission of 74,500 by about 6,300 inductees and our army reserve recruiting mission by some 10,000.
Our recruiting situation was simply unacceptable. So we rolled up our sleeves and went to work -- I'm a recruiter; the secretary's a recruiter; sma is a recruiter; so are Generals Keane and Schwartz, Abrams and Meigs, Coburn and Hendrix, Franks and Kernan, Smith and Valenzuela, and all their leadership. Thanks to our full court press from the Secretary of the Army down to every officer and noncommissioned officer in the force and every recruiter in USAREC, and the leadership of the national guard and reserve, be blew the lid off of recruiting this year -- a 22,000 recruit turnaround in a 12 month period! Incredible proof that this army can do anything it sets its mind to and that the spark of service and patriotism still burns in the hearts of young Americans. Well done, army -- well done. We've got to do it again this year -- so get back out there, reconnect with our communities, get the message out about the opportunities we offer through pay$, through ged+, through college first and university online, and through our college bonuses. Tell them -- we are about leadership and that we offer opportunity. We are going to make recruiting again this
year and fill the force with quality soldiers.
And as we fixed recruiting last year, we also attacked our second personnel challenge -- unit manning. We decided to fill our Active Component Divisions and Cavalry Regiments to 100%. In completing this 100% manning initiative, we achieved higher readiness in these units and concentrated our personnel shortfalls in the institutional army -- that's where the burden and the pain were felt. We can now show our need for additional endstrength. In our next 5-year budget submission we will make our case for an endstrength increase.
This lack of endstrength has subjected our active component to unacceptably high turbulence and operational tempo. To counter these impacts, we increased the use of the reserve component to augment the active force on operational missions. Well, we just saw the return of the 49th Armored Division HQ and the 3rd ACR from Bosnia, where their teamwork was magnificent. The reserve component will continue to see duty in the balkans. A year ago, we committed to integrating the force, to determining the strength of each component, and to leveraging those contributions. We have come a long way in ac/rc integration thanks to the leadership in all components -- but we are not fully there yet. We will continue our work with the cincs to mission our reserve component, especially our national guard units for appropriate tasks in their warplans. And in about 10 weeks, we are going to march into the new millennium as the army.
My travels around the Army, this past year, provided insights about the state of training and leader development. FM 25-100, was a landmark in Army doctrine. We are indebted to General Vuono for its insights. Its requirement is as relevant today as it was 15 years ago; however, changes are necessary. We will build on the legacy of 25-100 as we define the standards by which we will measure readiness in the 21st century.
Every day in the army we do two things: we train soldiers and we grow them into leaders. All of our missions are subordinate to that imperative. Yet in my travels around the army, I encountered many units challenged to train by our doctrine. Good leaders were developing their own procedures. They have tried to improvise and adapt to meet their training requirements. They have done their best to balance readiness and well being. We must improve our leader development programs and declare war on the operating pace of the army.
This is really all about the human dimension of our profession -- and the human component of the strategic transition we intend to master. It's our duty to develop soldiers and leaders who have the skills necessary to succeed today and in the future.
I've talked to you about transformation; i've talked to you about readiness. Now I want to talk about people. The army vision begins by talking about people, and it ends talking about people because soldiers -- not equipment -- soldiers are the centerpiece of our formation. The army is people -- soldiers and civilians -- active and reserve -- retirees, veterans, and families.
For the past ten years, soldiers and their families have withstood the hardships of separation, inadequate barracks and family housing, the pay gap, the cumbersome health care system, and the challenges of moving from one school district to another. It is time to reestablish the balance by reducing turbulence and enhancing well being.
Soldiering is an affair of the heart. Those who stay with us do so because they believe in this profession -- it is a noble one; because they believe in our service -- it is just; and because they believe in our people -- we are about trust, soldier to soldier, leader to led, unit to unit, the
army and the American people. Those who have chosen to stay in the face of a booming economy, deserve better. We are not going to put them in a position of having to choose between an army they love and the well being of the family they love.
Earlier this month, congress approved a defense authorization bill that provides a 3.7 % pay raise effective January 1st. Under that bill, new pay tables will provide increased basic pay for non-commissioned officers by July 1st next year. We are committed to bringing our soldiers' barracks to the 1+1 standard by 2008. In addition, we will bring overseas family housing to the dod standard by 2010, with conus housing meeting the standard by 2014.
Long overdue improvements in tricare will be implemented that affect both the active and reserve component as well as retirees, who will be offered continued health care after they become eligible for medicare.
In another area, this year marked the end of an 18 month study of high school children of military families. Senior leaders from nine military communities are poised to sign a comprehensive memorandum of agreement that will address the study's top ten issues. That memorandum of agreement, created by the strong partnership between superintendents, school boards and the military, will serve as the model for other states and communities.
These initiatives will lead to reciprocal agreements between different school districts, meaning that courses, tests, and other school work, including graduation prerequisites completed at one school will be acceptable at another. No more taking three versions of state history. The goal of this program, begun by denny and mary jo reimer, is to ease the transition from one school district to another and ensure that every student has every opportunity to reach his or her potential -- academically, athletically, and socially.
We must take care of our people if we expect to succeed. But we must also empower and assist them to grow toward self-reliance. We will continue to improve training and volunteer programs designed to foster leadership and teamwork among families so that we can grow generations of leaders for all of our communities. Family well being is inextricably linked to army readiness. And soldiering is an affair of the heart.
Last week, I had the privilege of officiating at the change of command ceremony for the US Army Special Operations Command. I had the opportunity to thank the men and women of those proud units, whose accomplishments are legendary and whose capabilities are unmatched anywhere. Their agility, deployability, and strategic responsiveness are due in part to their organizational structure and equipment. But more significant is their adaptiveness, which keeps them always ready to take on any mission, anytime, anywhere. And as I stood looking at those formations, I was reminded of the special significance that the beret has come to symbolize for the united states army.
It is time for the entire Army to accept the challenge of excellence that has so long been a hallmark of our Special Operations and Airborne units. As another step towards achieving the capabilities of the objective force, effective 14 June 2001, the first army birthday of the new millennium, the army will don its new headgear. The black beret will become the Army standard. Special Operations and Airborne units will retain their distinctive berets. But starting next june, the black beret will be symbolic of our commitment to transform this magnificent army into a new force -- a strategically responsive force for the 21st century. It will be a symbol of unity, a symbol of army excellence, a symbol of our values.
When we wear the black beret, it will say that we, the soldiers of the world's best army are committed to making ourselves even better. Regardless of rank, regardless of branch, regardless of component, every soldier who meets the standard will wear the army beret. I will task SMA Tilley to lead the effort to craft implementing guidelines and establish standards that all soldiers will meet. Once that plan is approved, we will don the black beret and move out.
We have made great strides this past year. We seized the initiative. But we must continue to build on it if we are to achieve irreversible momentum. We've come a long way in a short time, but there is more work to be done. We must remain vigilant and steadfast in our commitment to preparing for the future. If you don't understand transformation, now's a good time and place to get on board. The Army -- with AUSA's help -- has gone to great lengths to lay out the logic. If you choose not to get on board, that's ok, but then get out of the way. The Army's on the march. We will not put our soldiers on point unprepared.
When the fault lines of ethnic and ideological tension collide in the 21st century, who will carry the load? When hostile regimes invade peaceful neighbors to steal oil or to "cleanse" the region for resettlement, who will carry the load? When an unstable government collapses creating chaos, violence, and potential human disaster, who will carry the load? American soldiers will -- just as they did during the last century.
My name is Shinseki and I am a soldier. Thank you.