No matter the challenges that lie ahead, the United States Army is prepared to respond “with the same courage and resolve with which it has responded over the past 235 years,” said Gen. Martin Dempsey, who was confirmed as the next Army chief of staff by the Senate last month and officially took over yesterday.
But even as Dempsey, a former deputy and acting commander of U.S. Central Command, extolled the virtues of stability and continuity, Defense Secretary Robert Gates also had another quality in mind when he nominated Dempsey: the ability to shake up the status quo.
Dempsey impressed Gates with his “keen mind, strategic vision, quiet confidence and the energy he brings to every assignment,” the defense secretary said, according to an American Forces Press Service report.
Before his role at Centcom, Dempsey served as the commander of the 1st Armored Division in Baghdad in 2003 and helped stand up Iraqi army and police brigades.
Most recently, he headed the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command where he “spread the gospel of adaptation in a world, where, as he is fond of saying: ‘Uncertainty is the only certainty in life in this century,’” Gates explained. “He has pushed the Army to become more versatile and decentralized, and overhauled its approach to war-fighting, publishing a new capstone concept that elevates adaptation to an institutional imperative.”
In remarks yesterday Dempsey laid out a goal for developing a shared vision of the Army in 2020, and, by June, Dempsey said he will publish “a document that charts our way ahead including a portfolio of initiatives that chart our way ahead to deliver on the themes.”