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NEWS | July 13, 2023

Army chief nominee cites warfighting, recruiting as top priorities

By C. Todd Lopez DOD News

Preparing the Army for future war fights and meeting recruiting challenges are among the top priorities for Army Gen. Randy A. George, who was nominated to serve as the 41st chief of staff of the U.S. Army. 

George, who now serves as the vice chief of staff of the Army, today testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee about what his priorities would be if he is confirmed. 

"My No. 1 focus will be on warfighting so that our Army is always ready to respond when our nation calls. ... Second, I will work to ensure that we are continually improving to stay ahead of our potential adversaries. As the war in Ukraine has shown us, we are in a rapidly changing strategic environment. We can't afford not to evolve."
The general also said an area of focus, were he to be confirmed, will be to ensure the Army has the industrial and sustainment base — along with the soldier and family support infrastructure needed — to project forces across the globe.

"Finally, I'll continue to strengthen the Army profession and build cohesive teams, which starts with fixing recruiting, so that we remain an army of the people and for the people — a formidable team of all-volunteer warriors," he said. 

George said he believes that recruiting may be one of the top challenges for the Army that awaits him as chief of staff. 

"I think it's the No. 1 challenge that we face and the one thing that we have to be focused on," George said. "I will tell you that every leader in the Army, and I have been as the vice, is completely focused on this."

Part of the Army's focus there, George told lawmakers, is on how the Army chooses recruiters; where it places recruiters; the command and control structure of the recruiting enterprise; and Army marketing. 

"We're reviewing every aspect of that," George said. 

The general also told senators that while the Army isn't going to lower standards, it is helping soldiers meet standards. Part of that involves the Future Soldier Prep Course, a pilot program underway at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. As part of that program, the Army helps some soldiers meet weight standards so they can move on to basic training. The program has a 95% success rate, he said. For other soldiers, the Army helps them improve scores on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. 

The Army is also facing a perception problem, George said, which means fewer young people want to enlist in the military.

"I think that the big perception is [they're] putting their life on hold ...," George said. But he also said he thinks that service in the Army does just the opposite. 

"I remember that and was basically told ... [the Army is] going to accelerate your life," he said. "I still use that ... because it has. And I think we need to get that word out. And we're working very hard to do that."

Lawmakers also asked George what lessons the Army has learned from Ukraine. He said one lesson is the importance of allies and partners. The general also mentioned the importance of long-range fires, logistics and counter-unmanned aerial systems.

Senate Considers Nominee for Chief of Staff of the Army