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Chief of Staff Shares Vision, Gets Feedback

Apr 19, 2007
BY Mr. Chris Rasmussen

FORT JACKSON, S.C. (Army News Service, April 19, 2007) - The Army's top-ranking officer paid a visit here Tuesday, touring the installation a week after taking over the Army's top uniformed position.

Gen. George W. Casey Jr., who replaced Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker on April 10 as the 36th chief of staff of the Army, said the visit was a chance to share initiatives he will implement and receive feedback on the challenges the Army faces in the future.

"What I am doing now with these visits is trying to calibrate whether these are the right initiatives and whether we have the emphasis in the right places," he said. "These initiatives are largely driven from the field."

His initiatives include accelerating the growth and size of the Army; increasing the quality of support to Soldiers, Civilians and their Families; maintaining the momentum of modernizing the Army; and completing the transition of reserve components.

Gen. Casey's visit to Fort Jackson began at the 120th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception) where he received a briefing and toured the facilities. Next, he went to Company E, 187th Ordnance Battalion, to observe the 09L Interpreter/Translator Course, which trains Arabic-speaking people to act as interpreters and translators in support of the war on terror.

"I must say I was moved by the dedication and the commitment of these men and women whose country of birth is not the United States, but are seeking to be citizens," Gen. Casey said. "Their desire to support our country is phenomenal."

Next, Gen. Casey went to two of the installation's training areas where he observed Basic Combat Training Soldiers at Omaha Beach and Drill Sergeant School candidates training at Anzio Range.

Gen. Casey's presence was a surprise to some of the Army's newest Soldiers.

"I can't believe I just met the chief of staff of the Army," said Pvt. Scott Yunik, Company E, 3rd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment. "I feel so proud. We were told there would be a general out here today, but we didn't know who."

Gen. Casey, who is currently touring U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command installations, visited Georgia's Fort Benning and Fort Gordon before stopping here.

"This is General Casey's opportunity to go out firsthand and get feedback from the force and convey ideas which his transition team has identified as challenges," said Lt. Col. Gary Kolb, public affairs advisor for the Army chief of staff. "We are on a pretty heavy schedule for the next few months."

Before leaving Fort Jackson, Gen. Casey met with the installation's senior leaders to discuss his initiatives.

After visiting TRADOC installations, Gen. Casey will next visit Fort Bragg, N.C., to continue to share his initiatives with Soldiers and to capture feedback from across the Army.

(Mr. Chris Rasmussen writes for the Fort Jackson "Leader.")

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