Ground Combat Army’s #1 Priority- Gen Mark Milley

Ground Combat Army’s #1 Priority- Gen Mark Milley

It would appear that the Army finally got it right- the newest Army Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley has made it clear that his #1 priority as the Army’s top leader is to defend against a “hollow army”.

Milley is absolute in his conviction.

“To me, the greatest sin that I can commit is for me to send soldiers into harm’s way that are not ready, that they are undermanned, underequipped, not properly trained, poorly led, and that will result in soldiers being killed or wounded. I cannot look myself in the mirror with that.”

Milley states that one of the keys to success for his goals is predictable funding, a rarity at the moment given the fact that the Obama administration vetoed the NDAA earlier this week.

“The budget is very, very concerning.”

Unfortunately every time the Army faces a budget cut the first things to be put on the chopping block are reductions of readiness, modernization, or strength.

It’s a breath of fresh air to have a leader who understands just what’s at stake when it comes to war- “[war] is a crucible of combat that is unforgiving, and if you are unready, you are going to suffer enormous casualties. I cannot allow that. None of us can.”

Milley’s goal isn’t just to enhance a single aspect of the modern day warfighter, but to help mold a better prepared, more able fighting force for the rigors of 21st century combat.

Why such a premium on performance in combat during a time when “ drawdown” the word of the time?

It probably has something to do with Milley’s background- the General currently holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Princeton, and a Master of Arts in international relations from Columbia University, additionally he also holds a Master of Arts in national security from the U.S. Naval War College.

Having earned his commission as an Armor officer in 1980, Milley spent a majority of his career in Special Forces or Infantry assignments. The 39th Chief of Staff has served as Commanding General, US. Forces Command, Commanding General of III Corps, Commander of 10th Mountain, and has also held positions within 101st Airborne, 7 ID, 5 SFG, 2 ID, and 25 ID.

Currently, Milley holds a CIB (2 awards), an EIB, the Master Parachutist Badge, the SF tab, a Ranger tab, a SCUBA badge, and French jump wings.

Milley comes to his new position as qualified as one can. It is of my personal belief that if leadership at all levels had the same amount of dedication and conviction this man does, readiness wouldn’t be a problem within the Army.  

About the author: Andrew Farquharson is an Iraq Campaign veteran and an ex-cavalry scout currently living the dream in Newport, Rhode Island as a college student. Aside from writing for 11Bravos his hobbies include mountain climbing, shooting guns and convincing women they should date him. Comments or hate mail can be sent or, follow him on Instagram @Lord_Farquharson