Magazine article Army

The Pace of Army Transformation and Its Continuing Relevance

Magazine article Army

The Pace of Army Transformation and Its Continuing Relevance

Article excerpt

The exchange between Maj. Gen. Edward B. Atkeson, U.S. Army retired, and Maj. Bob Krumm that appeared in ARMY Magazine in February and May is entertaining but not as enlightening as it should be. There are a number of reasons for this, but the basic reason is that Maj. Krumm's argument is not consistent nor is it constant.

One must look at Maj. Krumm's January letter in the Naval Institute's Proceedings to understand the source of the miscommunication that follows. In that piece, Maj. Krumm asserts that "the Army's leadership has led [the Army] down the path to irrelevance." The solution proposed later in that piece is to "line up behind" the Secretary of the Army and the Army Chief of Staff and follow whatever transformation choices they make. Is it any wonder that readers will be confused as to whom Maj. Krumm attributes the irrelevance of the Army?

In the same letter, Maj. Krumm cites two examples of personal experience which color his view that "the leadership" has somehow failed to do what needs to be done-that is, failed to adapt. While his examples of a procurement issue and a readiness issue may have merit as problem areas that should have had a better solution, the instances cited do not clearly fall into the "transformation" realm. Thus, it is easy to misread his point. Throw in his poor word choice ("We get to watch the Marines perform Army missions" and "Does it bother anyone else that the Marines are the first regular forces in Afghanistan?"), and one can get the sense that there is an interservice jealousy at work here. Maj. Krumm cavalierly dismisses Gen. Atkeson's observation that the commander in chief (CINC) used the Marines because they were available and capable. Why the CINC used the Marines is something we can only know with certainty from the CINC, but to assert that the task in the vicinity of Kandahar was an Army mission is parochial and wrong-headed. …

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