FORT BELVOIR, Va. – Senior leaders from across all of U.S. Army Medical Command converged for a leader forum at Fort Belvoir Oct. 11, 2018. The priority of the leader forum is MEDCOM’s way forward during a time of significant transformation in the overall Army.
“There’s an evolution of our Army and we’re evolving right along with it,” said Lt. Gen. Nadja West, commanding general, U.S. Army Medical Command, and the U.S. Army Surgeon General “Remember, it used to be fight, outnumber and win, that was the strategy back then. Now it’s win in a complex world.”
“Our Army is looking to increase our lethality,” said West. “It’s all about our readiness and our lethality. It’s about our ability of overmatch against our adversaries.”
HOW WE GOT HERE
Before fully understanding the changes taking place within Army Medicine as well as the Military Health System and Defense Health Agency, MEDCOM leaders must gain a baseline understanding of where Army senior leaders see the future of the Army.
Lt. Gen. James Richardson, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Futures Command briefed the medical leaders on what exactly Futures Command is doing, how they’re doing it, what it means for the total Army, and MEDCOM’s role within that change.
“We want to put reliable equipment in the hands of the warfighter faster,” said Richardson.
Army Medicine is important to the Army’s mission continued Richardson. “You’re an integral part of what we’re going to do.”
What’s important to understand is that this transformation is happening in all major commands, not just Army Medicine, said Jim Rabon, senior advisor on Strategies and Organizational Structure, Army Medical Command.
“As you look at the things that are happening, put yourself in the shoes of the person who is responsible for looking at the big [Army] enterprise,” said Rabon. “It costs a lot of money to build lethality. It costs a lot of money to deliver benefit or readiness. But we don’t want to increase risk; we don’t want to drive up risk. They want to either maintain the current level of risk or what they’d really like to do is drive it down.”
THE WAY FORWARD
The bottom line reality of the transformation within the Army Medicine stems from the realignment within the total Army creating a modern, lethal force to win in a multi-domain operational environment. MEDCOM leaders know it is their responsibility to refocus the MEDCOM mission toward modernization and reform.
“We have to optimize everything we have at Army Medicine to support the warfighter,” said Lt. Col. John Taylor, plans officer, Office of the U.S. Army Surgeon General. “It is a completely different dynamic operating environment than we have seen. We must fundamentally look at ourselves and determine exactly what we need to take care of the warfighters.”
“It’s an opportunity for our leaders,” said Taylor. “Look for those opportunities in the operational force and how to make yourself a better leader for the Army at large.”
or. “Look for those opportunities in the operational force and how to make yourself a better leader for the Army at large.”