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Harvey lauds 10th Mountain's transformation during wartime

By Staff Sgt. Carmen Burgess

FORT DRUM, N.Y.(Army News Service, June 1, 2005) – Secretary of the Army Francis Harvey said Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division here are leading the way in the Global War on Terrorism and in transforming to a modular force.

His comments came during his speech at an Association of the U.S. Army dinner at Fort Drum during his visit to the installation May 25.

“No one has shown more courage in the Global War on Terrorism than the Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division,” he said. “No one has shouldered more of the burden of fighting this war than you and your families.”

Harvey pointed out that since the unit’s reactivation in 1985, they have deployed for more real-world missions than any other division in the Army.

“Through it all,” he said, “the 10th Mountain Division has gained a much-deserved reputation for rapid deployability, adaptable and flexible leaders and units, and the ability to accomplish the toughest missions.”

While enduring this intense pace, the 10th Mountain Division has led the Army in transformation by recently forming two brigade combat teams and restructuring numerous organizations into support units of action.

“There’s no doubt that transforming the Army into the modular design - while we simultaneously conduct operations in two theaters, maintain our worldwide security commitments and continue to secure the homeland – is very challenging,” Harvey said, “but it is also absolutely critical to meeting the requirements of the 21st Century security environment.”

Earlier in the day, the secretary emphasized the needs of the Army to brigade leaders from the installation. He shared with them his focus on developing leaders who are adaptive, think creatively and are culturally astute.

“I believe that Army leaders, both civilian and military, must be multi-skilled leaders,” he said. “Our Army needs to be relevant and ready to the 21st Century. I think that you are doing that here.”

The secretary also attended the opening of the Language and Cultural Awareness Center where Army linguists can sustain and improve skills in the four languages taught and where non-linguists can become familiar with phraseology and regional cultural awareness.

Although the facility is housed in a temporary structure, when complete it will be the most state-of-the-art language facility in the Army.

The Army’s top official said that one aspect of providing relevant and ready land force is to provide cultural awareness and language skills to its Soldiers.

“We’re adding another dimension to getting Soldiers ready for deploying on the leading edge of the war,” Harvey said. “It is another challenge we are meeting in ensuring our Soldiers are ready and equipped.”

“After the ground combat phase of an operation, it’s our job to win the hearts and minds of people,” he said. “At the end of the day it’s the post-combat operations that will win the war.”

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