To the Soldiers, civilians and Family members of Fort Bragg
I am thrilled to be back at Fort Bragg to command such a great unit as the XVIII Airborne Corps. I began my career at this post as a young platoon leader in the 82nd Airborne Division. I have been back at Fort Bragg for five months now and a lot has changed since my first tour here. One thing that has not changed is the fact that Fort Bragg is still home of the airborne and our Army’s most versatile and finest fighting forces.
I have published and shared with all corps, division and installation leaders, Policy Letter 1, which is my commander’s intent and leadership philosophy.
I have written this policy to share my intent and vision for the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg to achieve. This is my primary policy letter and the foundation for all training guidance, directives and policies for the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg. In the absence of a specific policy in a particular area, leaders will find guidance in Policy 1 that will enable them to act within my intent in any situation.
This week, I want to share with you the first part of Policy 1, my commander’s intent/vision for this corps and installation. The second part is my philosophy on soldiering and leading, which I will share with you in a future Paraglide letter from the commander.
The overarching guidance that applies to all of my policies is as follows:
The XVIII Airborne Corps is America’s Contingency Corps and Fort Bragg is the Home of the Army’s Airborne and Special Operations Forces. When crisis comes and America needs her armed forces in a hurry, the first phone call comes to Fort Bragg. We will be ready around the clock.
We are one team. I expect units, commanders and directorates to think, speak and operate as such.
If it’s dumb, it ain’t our policy! Policies are usually emplaced for good reason. Sometimes these reasons are less obvious with the passage of time. Leaders should question policies that don’t make sense on the surface, but try to find out the original “why” behind the policy before you do.
In all cases, use your best judgment and take action. I expect you to use disciplined initiative and take action rather than wait for instructions or follow orders that no longer fit the situation.
I will involve commanders in all decisions that will have significant impact on their units. When the staff brings me a proposal, my first question will be, “what do the commanders think?” Before I decide, you can expect me to seek your input. I expect you to do the same.
Commander’s intent. My commander’s intent or vision for the corps and the installation is as follows:
The XVIII Airborne Corps is America’s Contingency Corps and Fort Bragg is the Home of the Army’s Airborne and Special Operations Forces. The corps, the Army’s strategic response force, is skilled, tough and ready around the clock to deploy, fight and win.
The troopers of the XVIII Airborne Corps are skilled, tough, ready, alert and confident warriors who act with disciplined initiative. We live Army Values and Warrior Ethos. We dominate our surroundings, the situation, the enemy.
The leaders of XVIII Airborne Corps are agile, decisive and lead from the front by personal example … adaptable in thought … unafraid to take measured risks … act confidently in the absence of orders or when orders don’t fit the situation.
Fort Bragg is the Army’s flagship power projection platform … where tough, realistic training, readiness, rapid deployment and taking care of corps and SOF Soldiers and their Families are top priorities.
As corps and installation commander, I also have four enduring priorities. They are as follows:
Readiness. If not deployed on operations, the first duty of every Army leader is to train their formation for war – all else is secondary. My Number 1 priority is maintaining the readiness of the XVIII Airborne Corps to deploy rapidly, on short notice, to deter, shape, fight and win and to preserve the readiness of Fort Bragg to generate, deploy and sustain units.
Leader development to strengthen the profession of arms. Be and develop the leaders we all want to be led by – alert, calm, approachable, competent and committed leaders of character who lead by personal example. Confident, agile, adaptable and decisive professionals, who foster trust, teamwork, cohesion and unit esprit de corps; leaders who know how to conduct tough, realistic training. They are trusted professionals who are doctrinally sound and foster a positive command climate and lead with a philosophy of disciplined initiative and mission command.
Installation and community support. Maintain a world-class Army installation and community that is focused on training, readiness rapid deployment and taking care of Soldiers and Families. Continue to develop and enhance readiness and power projection capabilities for the future.
Risk management. Our missions will involve risk, sometimes danger, even in training. We cannot completely avoid risk, but must accept and manage prudent risk to accomplish the mission and protect the force. We must teach our junior leaders to do the same.
Until otherwise modified or rescinded, all other standing corps and installation policies and procedures remain in effect.
I am proud to Soldier alongside you as part of America’s Contingency Corps and the Home of the Army’s Airborne and Special Operations Forces. All the Way!