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West Point Supe, USARCENT leaders talk leader development PDF Print E-mail
Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr., the superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point, along with members of the school’s athletic department, paid a visit to U.S. Army Central during the Memorial Day weekend. 
 
Caslen said the visit allows him to engage with graduates, specifically recent graduates, to see first-hand what the West Point program is doing to prepare them for their future as Army leaders. The visit also provides feedback from senior leaders about the type of officers graduating from the academy and how they are performing in the early stages of their careers. 
 
West Point graduates spoke candidly with Caslen and asked his advice at a number of engagements, ranging from physical training to meals. The superintendent shared thoughts on topics ranging from leader development to training. 
 
“First, be a leader of character, because if you are very competent but you fail in character, then you fail in leadership,” said Caslen. “So character is the most important aspect of leadership. Get to know your Soldiers, love them, train them, hold them to high standards. They will want to follow you because of your proven ability to lead.” 
Caslen said leaders need to develop a relationship with the leaders above them because the ability to understand your boss and your higher headquarters is very important. 
 
“Be a developer of future leaders,” said Caslen. “Spend time with your junior noncommissioned officers and prepare them to become senior noncommissioned officers. Take time with your lieutenants and help them to be future company commanders. You do that by giving them training opportunities and allowing them to attend professional military education and civilian education.” 
 
DoD opening new office in Cambridge PDF Print E-mail
The Department of Defense is hoping to tap into the East Coast’s cutting-edge technology by opening a new office in Cambridge.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement Tuesday the new office will create a hub for collaboration between the Defense Department and innovative companies to identify and develop pioneering technologies and business practices.

Carter says the office, known as a Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, or DIUx, will complement the work of a similar unit established last summer in Silicon Valley.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker says the decision to locate the office in Massachusetts reflects what he calls the state’s competitive climate and dedication to academic and industrial innovation.

Massachusetts is already home to six military installations with $13 billion in economic activity.
 
Army chief reveals latest laser weapons tests PDF Print E-mail
By 2023, the US Army says it will be able to blast drones out of the sky using lasers. 
 
In a step towards that goal, It recently conducted an early trial of a truck-mounted laser cannon at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Soldiers used the laser system, also known as HELMTT, to successfully destroy a quadcopter drone, completely melting its casing and internal circuit. 

'We did a lot of preparation…seeing if we could track the airborne targets among ground clutter,' Adam Aberle, the program manager in charge of the High Energy Laser Mobile Test Truck, or HELMTT, said. 'We absolutely blew lots of stuff up.'
 
The team also used the laser to 'completely destroy' a laptop as a demonstration of how the system might be used to disable enemy command and control systems.
'It melts all the plastic, fractures the screen, and basically renders the laptop unusable,' said Aberle.  
 
HELMTT includes a 10-kilowatt laser - equivalent to about 10 million handheld laser pointers.
 
 
The story behind the ‘American Dream’ photo PDF Print E-mail
As 2nd Lt. Alix Schoelcher Idrache stood at attention during the commencement ceremony at West Point, N.Y., on Saturday, he was overcome with emotion. Tears rolled down both cheeks, but his gloved left hand held firm on his white, gold and black “cover,” the dress headgear that Army cadets wear.

The photograph of Idrache, by Army Staff Sgt. Vito T. Bryant, was published Tuesday on the Facebook page of West Point’s U.S. Military Academy, and it almost immediately went viral. Part of that is Idrache’s background: He worked his way through one of the nation’s most prestigious military schools after immigrating to the United States from Haiti, earning his citizenship and serving for two years as an enlisted soldier with the Maryland Army National Guard, according to Army records.

“I woke up this morning and found my face all over Facebook and with it myriad of amazing comments about my accomplishments,” Idrache wrote Tuesday on Facebook. “I am humbled and shocked at the same time. Thank you for giving me a shot at the American Dream and may God bless America, the greatest country on earth.”
 
Fanning takes oath as 22nd Secretary of Army PDF Print E-mail
Eric Fanning was sworn in, May 18, as the 22nd secretary of the Army during a small Pentagon ceremony.

Fanning was confirmed, May 17, by the U.S. Senate. He was nominated by President Barack Obama for the position, Nov. 3, and served briefly as acting secretary of the Army until voluntarily stepping aside in January until the nomination process could be completed.

"It has been a long process to get here," Fanning said, "one that I don't think even the writers from 'House of Cards' could have scripted if they tried."

"But it's worth it," he continued. "This is a tremendous honor for me -- not just the appointment, but the opportunity to be secretary of the greatest Army in the history of the world."

As secretary of the Army, Fanning has overall responsible for organizing, training and equipping Army forces.

"It's a responsibility I take seriously," Fanning said. He defined his job as making "sure you're recruiting the best, that you're training them properly and then equipping them with what they need to do the job right and to get them home."
 
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