Gen. Martin Dempsey, President Obama’s pick for the next U.S. Army chief of staff, wants the service to focus on mastering a few skills in the coming postwar era.
“What do you do with this magnificent Army of ours when Iraq and Afghanistan are in the rear view?” Dempsey asked Feb. 10, the final day of a weeklong war game.
The Army needs to decide which five things — not 55 things — its soldiers are going to master, the four-star told the audience at Unified Quest, an annual Army exercise held at a Booz Allen facility in McLean, Va.
He indicated that if he is confirmed as chief, he will try to focus the Army’s skills and, in doing so, hopes to prepare the service for whatever mission it is given. The Army does not want soldiers who are jacks-of-all-trades and masters of none, he said.
“If we make leaders skilled in a few areas, they’ll have the confidence to adapt when we inevitably get the future wrong,” Dempsey said. “But if you’re not a master of anything, you have no confidence in anything. I’m a passionate believer in that.”