Tagged: sign

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The US military wants AI to dream up weird new helicopters

AI can already dream up imaginary celebrities[1], so perhaps it can help the Army imagine revolutionary new engine parts or aircraft, too.

That’s the goal of a new project from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)[2], the research wing of the US Defense Department. DARPA wants entrants to rethink the way complex components are designed by combining recent advances in machine learning with fundamental tenets of math and engineering.

AI is increasingly being used to imagine new things, from celebrity faces[3] to clothing[4] (see “The GANfather: The man who’s given machines the gift of imagination[5]”). The systems being used to conjure up new ideas are still in their early stages, but they show a path forward.

Machine learning is also already used in some areas of design and engineering, but the DARPA project aims to apply it more broadly, and to the crucial task of determining function and form. “We are using very few computational tools,” says Jan Vandenbrande, the DARPA program manager in charge. “It’s very artisan.”

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One project selected for funding by DARPA is D-FOCUS, from researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and PARC, the research company spun out of Xerox.

D-FOCUS doesn’t come up with new designs from scratch but offers up alternatives to existing designs. If the early phase of the design process is automated, a human designer can explore more design options and compare trade-offs with each option before committing to a potentially very expensive plan, says Johan de Kleer, the PARC lead on the project.

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Under the DARPA challenge, software has to come up with designs for machines that can solve classic engineering questions, like how to transport water uphill.

Using hard-coded laws of physics along with functional requirements provided by a human designer, D-FOCUS can explore potential design concepts. For the moving-water-uphill problem, for instance, the system suggested using the Leidenfrost effect—a phenomenon where water droplets on a very hot surface create a thin layer of vapor beneath themselves, causing a repulsive force that makes the water hover above the surface. The researchers admit that this concept is largely impractical, but it is the type of out-there thinking that can push designers to come up with innovative designs.

DARPA has a long history of backing early technologies. The DARPA Grand Challenge[7] was the first long-distance competition for driverless cars, back in 2004, and it kicked off the current boom in self-driving technology. More recently, DARPA funded an Explainable AI (XAI)[8] program to develop new AI systems that were easier for humans to understand.

Mike Haley, Autodesk’s senior director of machine intelligence, says AI could expand design beyond boundaries imposed by the bias and groupthink that humans can succumb to. “We are going to think beyond our brains and come up with ideas that we would have never come up with before,” Haley says. “It’s like having the world’s most wonderful mentor.”

References

  1. ^ dream up imaginary celebrities (www.technologyreview.com)
  2. ^ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) (www.darpa.mil)
  3. ^ celebrity faces (www.technologyreview.com)
  4. ^ clothing (www.technologyreview.com)
  5. ^ The GANfather: The man who’s given machines the gift of imagination (www.technologyreview.com)
  6. ^ Manage your newsletter preferences (www.technologyreview.com)
  7. ^ DARPA Grand Challenge (www.darpa.mil)
  8. ^ Explainable AI (XAI) (www.darpa.mil)
0

Milley: Army is pushing to get two-thirds of its brigades ready to deploy at any minute

The Army is working to pull itself out of a readiness crisis after almost two decades of continuous combat, coupled with waves of build-ups and drawdowns[1].

“That is not to say we’re where we need to be,” Milley said.

Gen. Mark Milley, Army chief of staff, listens to questions from the press at Walter E. Washington Conference Center in Washington in October. On Thursday, he told lawmakers the Army should achieve readiness goals in about three to four years. (Spc. Bree-Ann Ramos-Clifton/Army)

Gen. Mark Milley, Army chief of staff, listens to questions from the press at Walter E. Washington Conference Center in Washington in October. On Thursday, he told lawmakers the Army should achieve readiness goals in about three to four years. (Spc. Bree-Ann Ramos-Clifton/Army)

Gen. Mark Milley, Army chief of staff, listens to questions from the press at Walter E. Washington Conference Center in Washington in October. On Thursday, he told lawmakers the Army should achieve readiness goals in about three to four years. (Spc. Bree-Ann Ramos-Clifton/Army)

The goal is to get 66 percent of the active Army’s BCTs to the highest level of readiness, he said, and the Reserve and National Guard’s teams to 33 percent, in the next three years. He didn’t say how many BCTs have achieved that level, but indicated in response to a congressman that it is more than five.

“Units aren’t built just overnight, and their readiness isn’t built overnight, as you know,” he said.

Part of that push will include bringing back headquarters elements from train-advise-assist missions in the Middle East and replacing them with Security Force Assistance Brigades, so that BCTs can work on boosting lost combat readiness.

“If the international environment stays the way it is this minute, we think with the glide path we’re on, we’ll achieve our readiness objectives – complete – somewhere around the 2021-22 time frame,” Milley said.

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Aviation in “pretty good shape”

Multiple members of the committee asked Milley and Army Secretary Mark Esper about Army aviation, and particularly, the Army’s budget request for next year.

Rep. Martha Roby, R-Alabama, whose district includes the Army’s aviation headquarters at Fort Rucker, pointed to a billion-dollar difference between the Army’s fiscal year 2017 aviation budget and its request for fiscal year 2019.

In fact, Esper said, the Army had asked for $3.6 billion in 2017 but received $4.7 from Congress, so this year’s $3.6 billion request is a natural progression.

“So it’s not a planned decrease by the service,” he said. “We find at this point that because of the investments we made in previous years, the bump up in ‘17, that Army aviation cross the board is in pretty good shape.”

Milley echoed that sentiment on the topic of manning, as the Army in recent years has faced a shortage of aviators.

“What I’ve seen is not so much a retention issue as a production issue,” Milley said. “We are short pilots, but we’re at 94 percent on warrant officer pilots for rotary wing aircraft. We’re actually not in that bad of shape.”

That is still several hundred pilots, he added.

To fix that, the service has looked to not only retention bonuses, but to increased funding at flight school to get more students through training.

“We’re filling all of the scheduled seats and we’re monitoring that very, very closely,” Milley said.

References

  1. ^ build-ups and drawdowns (www.armytimes.com)
  2. ^ The Army is bringing back pilot retention bonuses (www.armytimes.com)
0

Some soldiers may not be able to handle new pace of training, Guard chief says

The head of the National Guard Bureau says he believes the increased training days with the Army National Guard 4.0[1] initiative are sustainable but predicts some soldiers might need to make changes.

Gen. Joseph Lengyel, speaking Monday at an Association of the United States Army forum, said the 4.0 initiative focuses on certain units that need to deploy faster[2].

These high-priority units[3] include heavy armored brigade combat teams and Stryker brigade combat teams.

“We are changing the operational deployment tempo and the training tempo of the Army National Guard,” Lengyel said.

Beginning this year, four brigades — instead of two — will train at combat training centers each year, according to bureau spokesman Lt. Col. Wes Parmer. By fiscal 2019, seven brigades will participate in war-fighter staff exercises and exportable CTC rotations every year.

For example, the Tennessee National Guard’s 278th Armored Brigade Combat Team will complete a rotation at Fort Irwin’s National Training Center this spring. The soldiers will deploy overseas later this summer in support of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence mission, Parmer told Army Times via email.

Although many Guardsmen will stick to the traditional commitment of 39 training days a year, Lengyel said that’s not the case for all Guard soldiers.

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The number of days a unit trains depends on where it falls within the sustainable readiness model, Parmer said.

The sustainable readiness model for certain units has 39 days in the first year, 48 days in the second year, 60 days in the third year and 51 days in the fourth year, Lengyel said.

Select high-priority units have already transitioned to this four-year collective training cycle, Parmer said.

Lengyel said this training model should be sustainable for most Guardsmen, but he anticipates some soldiers will have to make changes.

“We’re in cycle one of this … the trick for us is to see how are we going to be able to do this in cycle two and three and beyond,” he said. “Is this sustainable? We tend to think it is, but I predict there will be some changes.”

Some soldiers’ civilian lives might not be able to tolerate the increased training, he said.

These soldiers might have to cross train to do another job that doesn’t require so many training days away from their civilian jobs and lives.

“Some of these people will be able to adapt, and they’ll do it,” he said. “As we recruit new people into the bottom of the organization, they won’t know any different, and it will be the new way the Army National Guard works.”

Lengyel said one way for Guard units to be ready faster is to increase the number of full-time support personnel.

About 16 percent of the Army National Guard is full time, and adding to that would help the Guard maintain equipment better and get more training down, he said.

“The only reason you have full-time people in the Army National Guard is to train part-time folks,” Lengyel said. “Without the full-time force there to do it, we’re not going to be able to maintain that.”

References

  1. ^ Army National Guard 4.0 (www.armytimes.com)
  2. ^ deploy faster (www.armytimes.com)
  3. ^ high-priority units (www.armytimes.com)
  4. ^ 3-star: More training days for the Guard as the Army struggles with readiness (www.armytimes.com)
0

Some soldiers may not be able to handle new pace of training, Guard chief says

The head of the National Guard Bureau says he believes the increased training days with the Army National Guard 4.0[1] initiative are sustainable but predicts some soldiers might need to make changes.

Gen. Joseph Lengyel, speaking Monday at an Association of the United States Army forum, said the 4.0 initiative focuses on certain units that need to deploy faster[2].

These high-priority units[3] include heavy armored brigade combat teams and Stryker brigade combat teams.

“We are changing the operational deployment tempo and the training tempo of the Army National Guard,” Lengyel said.

Beginning this year, four brigades — instead of two — will train at combat training centers each year, according to bureau spokesman Lt. Col. Wes Parmer. By fiscal 2019, seven brigades will participate in war-fighter staff exercises and exportable CTC rotations every year.

For example, the Tennessee National Guard’s 278th Armored Brigade Combat Team will complete a rotation at Fort Irwin’s National Training Center this spring. The soldiers will deploy overseas later this summer in support of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence mission, Parmer told Army Times via email.

Although many Guardsmen will stick to the traditional commitment of 39 training days a year, Lengyel said that’s not the case for all Guard soldiers.

Sign up for the Army Times Daily News Roundup
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The number of days a unit trains depends on where it falls within the sustainable readiness model, Parmer said.

The sustainable readiness model for certain units has 39 days in the first year, 48 days in the second year, 60 days in the third year and 51 days in the fourth year, Lengyel said.

Select high-priority units have already transitioned to this four-year collective training cycle, Parmer said.

Lengyel said this training model should be sustainable for most Guardsmen, but he anticipates some soldiers will have to make changes.

“We’re in cycle one of this … the trick for us is to see how are we going to be able to do this in cycle two and three and beyond,” he said. “Is this sustainable? We tend to think it is, but I predict there will be some changes.”

Some soldiers’ civilian lives might not be able to tolerate the increased training, he said.

These soldiers might have to cross train to do another job that doesn’t require so many training days away from their civilian jobs and lives.

“Some of these people will be able to adapt, and they’ll do it,” he said. “As we recruit new people into the bottom of the organization, they won’t know any different, and it will be the new way the Army National Guard works.”

Lengyel said one way for Guard units to be ready faster is to increase the number of full-time support personnel.

About 16 percent of the Army National Guard is full time, and adding to that would help the Guard maintain equipment better and get more training down, he said.

“The only reason you have full-time people in the Army National Guard is to train part-time folks,” Lengyel said. “Without the full-time force there to do it, we’re not going to be able to maintain that.”

References

  1. ^ Army National Guard 4.0 (www.armytimes.com)
  2. ^ deploy faster (www.armytimes.com)
  3. ^ high-priority units (www.armytimes.com)
  4. ^ 3-star: More training days for the Guard as the Army struggles with readiness (www.armytimes.com)
0

Some soldiers may not be able to handle new pace of training, Guard chief says

The head of the National Guard Bureau says he believes the increased training days with the Army National Guard 4.0[1] initiative are sustainable but predicts some soldiers might need to make changes.

Gen. Joseph Lengyel, speaking Monday at an Association of the United States Army forum, said the 4.0 initiative focuses on certain units that need to deploy faster[2].

These high-priority units[3] include heavy armored brigade combat teams and Stryker brigade combat teams.

“We are changing the operational deployment tempo and the training tempo of the Army National Guard,” Lengyel said.

Beginning this year, four brigades — instead of two — will train at combat training centers each year, according to bureau spokesman Lt. Col. Wes Parmer. By fiscal 2019, seven brigades will participate in war-fighter staff exercises and exportable CTC rotations every year.

For example, the Tennessee National Guard’s 278th Armored Brigade Combat Team will complete a rotation at Fort Irwin’s National Training Center this spring. The soldiers will deploy overseas later this summer in support of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence mission, Parmer told Army Times via email.

Although many Guardsmen will stick to the traditional commitment of 39 training days a year, Lengyel said that’s not the case for all Guard soldiers.

Sign up for the Army Times Daily News Roundup
Don’t miss the top Army stories, delivered each afternoon
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The number of days a unit trains depends on where it falls within the sustainable readiness model, Parmer said.

The sustainable readiness model for certain units has 39 days in the first year, 48 days in the second year, 60 days in the third year and 51 days in the fourth year, Lengyel said.

Select high-priority units have already transitioned to this four-year collective training cycle, Parmer said.

Lengyel said this training model should be sustainable for most Guardsmen, but he anticipates some soldiers will have to make changes.

“We’re in cycle one of this … the trick for us is to see how are we going to be able to do this in cycle two and three and beyond,” he said. “Is this sustainable? We tend to think it is, but I predict there will be some changes.”

Some soldiers’ civilian lives might not be able to tolerate the increased training, he said.

These soldiers might have to cross train to do another job that doesn’t require so many training days away from their civilian jobs and lives.

“Some of these people will be able to adapt, and they’ll do it,” he said. “As we recruit new people into the bottom of the organization, they won’t know any different, and it will be the new way the Army National Guard works.”

Lengyel said one way for Guard units to be ready faster is to increase the number of full-time support personnel.

About 16 percent of the Army National Guard is full time, and adding to that would help the Guard maintain equipment better and get more training down, he said.

“The only reason you have full-time people in the Army National Guard is to train part-time folks,” Lengyel said. “Without the full-time force there to do it, we’re not going to be able to maintain that.”

References

  1. ^ Army National Guard 4.0 (www.armytimes.com)
  2. ^ deploy faster (www.armytimes.com)
  3. ^ high-priority units (www.armytimes.com)
  4. ^ 3-star: More training days for the Guard as the Army struggles with readiness (www.armytimes.com)
0

Some soldiers may not be able to handle new pace of training, Guard chief says

The head of the National Guard Bureau says he believes the increased training days with the Army National Guard 4.0[1] initiative are sustainable but predicts some soldiers might need to make changes.

Gen. Joseph Lengyel, speaking Monday at an Association of the United States Army forum, said the 4.0 initiative focuses on certain units that need to deploy faster[2].

These high-priority units[3] include heavy armored brigade combat teams and Stryker brigade combat teams.

“We are changing the operational deployment tempo and the training tempo of the Army National Guard,” Lengyel said.

Beginning this year, four brigades — instead of two — will train at combat training centers each year, according to bureau spokesman Lt. Col. Wes Parmer. By fiscal 2019, seven brigades will participate in war-fighter staff exercises and exportable CTC rotations every year.

For example, the Tennessee National Guard’s 278th Armored Brigade Combat Team will complete a rotation at Fort Irwin’s National Training Center this spring. The soldiers will deploy overseas later this summer in support of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence mission, Parmer told Army Times via email.

Although many Guardsmen will stick to the traditional commitment of 39 training days a year, Lengyel said that’s not the case for all Guard soldiers.

Sign up for the Army Times Daily News Roundup
Don’t miss the top Army stories, delivered each afternoon
Thanks for signing up!

The number of days a unit trains depends on where it falls within the sustainable readiness model, Parmer said.

The sustainable readiness model for certain units has 39 days in the first year, 48 days in the second year, 60 days in the third year and 51 days in the fourth year, Lengyel said.

Select high-priority units have already transitioned to this four-year collective training cycle, Parmer said.

Lengyel said this training model should be sustainable for most Guardsmen, but he anticipates some soldiers will have to make changes.

“We’re in cycle one of this … the trick for us is to see how are we going to be able to do this in cycle two and three and beyond,” he said. “Is this sustainable? We tend to think it is, but I predict there will be some changes.”

Some soldiers’ civilian lives might not be able to tolerate the increased training, he said.

These soldiers might have to cross train to do another job that doesn’t require so many training days away from their civilian jobs and lives.

“Some of these people will be able to adapt, and they’ll do it,” he said. “As we recruit new people into the bottom of the organization, they won’t know any different, and it will be the new way the Army National Guard works.”

Lengyel said one way for Guard units to be ready faster is to increase the number of full-time support personnel.

About 16 percent of the Army National Guard is full time, and adding to that would help the Guard maintain equipment better and get more training down, he said.

“The only reason you have full-time people in the Army National Guard is to train part-time folks,” Lengyel said. “Without the full-time force there to do it, we’re not going to be able to maintain that.”

References

  1. ^ Army National Guard 4.0 (www.armytimes.com)
  2. ^ deploy faster (www.armytimes.com)
  3. ^ high-priority units (www.armytimes.com)
  4. ^ 3-star: More training days for the Guard as the Army struggles with readiness (www.armytimes.com)
0

Some soldiers may not be able to handle new pace of training, Guard chief says

The head of the National Guard Bureau says he believes the increased training days with the Army National Guard 4.0[1] initiative are sustainable but predicts some soldiers might need to make changes.

Gen. Joseph Lengyel, speaking Monday at an Association of the United States Army forum, said the 4.0 initiative focuses on certain units that need to deploy faster[2].

These high-priority units[3] include heavy armored brigade combat teams and Stryker brigade combat teams.

“We are changing the operational deployment tempo and the training tempo of the Army National Guard,” Lengyel said.

Beginning this year, four brigades — instead of two — will train at combat training centers each year, according to bureau spokesman Lt. Col. Wes Parmer. By fiscal 2019, seven brigades will participate in war-fighter staff exercises and exportable CTC rotations every year.

For example, the Tennessee National Guard’s 278th Armored Brigade Combat Team will complete a rotation at Fort Irwin’s National Training Center this spring. The soldiers will deploy overseas later this summer in support of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence mission, Parmer told Army Times via email.

Although many Guardsmen will stick to the traditional commitment of 39 training days a year, Lengyel said that’s not the case for all Guard soldiers.

Sign up for the Army Times Daily News Roundup
Don’t miss the top Army stories, delivered each afternoon
Thanks for signing up!

The number of days a unit trains depends on where it falls within the sustainable readiness model, Parmer said.

The sustainable readiness model for certain units has 39 days in the first year, 48 days in the second year, 60 days in the third year and 51 days in the fourth year, Lengyel said.

Select high-priority units have already transitioned to this four-year collective training cycle, Parmer said.

Lengyel said this training model should be sustainable for most Guardsmen, but he anticipates some soldiers will have to make changes.

“We’re in cycle one of this … the trick for us is to see how are we going to be able to do this in cycle two and three and beyond,” he said. “Is this sustainable? We tend to think it is, but I predict there will be some changes.”

Some soldiers’ civilian lives might not be able to tolerate the increased training, he said.

These soldiers might have to cross train to do another job that doesn’t require so many training days away from their civilian jobs and lives.

“Some of these people will be able to adapt, and they’ll do it,” he said. “As we recruit new people into the bottom of the organization, they won’t know any different, and it will be the new way the Army National Guard works.”

Lengyel said one way for Guard units to be ready faster is to increase the number of full-time support personnel.

About 16 percent of the Army National Guard is full time, and adding to that would help the Guard maintain equipment better and get more training down, he said.

“The only reason you have full-time people in the Army National Guard is to train part-time folks,” Lengyel said. “Without the full-time force there to do it, we’re not going to be able to maintain that.”

References

  1. ^ Army National Guard 4.0 (www.armytimes.com)
  2. ^ deploy faster (www.armytimes.com)
  3. ^ high-priority units (www.armytimes.com)
  4. ^ 3-star: More training days for the Guard as the Army struggles with readiness (www.armytimes.com)
0

Vice chief: Women serve in every BCT battalion, but sexual …

Since the service lifted the final ban on women in direct-combat units[1] in 2016, more than 600 women have joined infantry and armor units[2], Gen. James McConville told an audience at the Army Women’s Summit on Capitol Hill.

“Every single infantry, armor and artillery battalion in every single active-duty brigade combat team has women assigned,” he said.

The Army is still tracking percentages as a gauge of its success with its Leaders First integration initiative, which transferred female officers and noncommissioned officers into the 82nd Airborne Division and 1st Cavalry Division, ahead of accepting graduated one-station training graduates last summer.

Hundreds of women have joined the Army's infantry and armor units, but those who do step up still face discrimination from their fellow soldiers, says Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville.

Hundreds of women have joined the Army's infantry and armor units, but those who do step up still face discrimination from their fellow soldiers, says Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville.

Hundreds of women have joined the Army’s infantry and armor units, but those who do step up still face discrimination from their fellow soldiers, says Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville.

And, he added, 10 of those women are sporting Ranger tabs, since the course opened to women in 2015, with seven more in training now.

“I’d like to see the day in the near future where we no longer need to count percentages of individuals,” he said.

But women who do step up still face discrimination and, at the extreme, sexual assault from their fellow soldiers, and multiple audience members took the microphone to ask McConville about the Army’s efforts to prevent violence and mistreatment.

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McConville’s three children are active-duty soldiers, he said, including his daughter.

“She says it’s better than it used to be, but it’s no where near where it needs to be,” he said.

McConville encouraged survivors, men and women, to report, to give the Army an opportunity to prosecute predators to the fullest extent of the law.

“But they have to report, or we’re not going to fix it, as we go forward,” he said.

McConville likened sexual assault to friendly-fire negligence on the job, and suggested that commanders treat it the same way.

“If you’re on a range and you accidentally shot someone, and you hurt them, we would hold you accountable,” he said. “And we’d go through this whole process, and your fellow soldiers would look at you and say, ‘How could you do this to our fellow soldiers?’”

To combat assault and harassment within units, organizations need to start looking at them in the context of unit cohesiveness, he added.

“Sexual harassment and sexual assault is worse, because it’s intentional. It’s intentional fratricide,” he said. “Why would you commit intentional fratricide against one of your fellow soldiers?”

Similarly, the service’s Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention program should focus less on instilling fear of consequences in soldiers.

“What we have to do is get people to think beyond that,” he said. “What we need in the Army is cohesive teams of trusted professionals.”

Harassment and assault should be treated as readiness issues, he said.

“If you don’t treat them with dignity and respect, if you’re harassing them and assaulting them, what kind of organization are you going to have?” he said. “You’re an American soldier. You treat everyone with dignity and respect because that is the right thing to do.”

The Army has been encouraged by an increase in reporting numbers but a decrease in incidents over recent years, though conviction rates for both assaults and whistleblower retaliation remain low.

“We’re not there yet. We’ve got a long way to go,” McConville said.

References

  1. ^ direct-combat units (www.armytimes.com)
  2. ^ infantry and armor units (www.armytimes.com)
  3. ^ Congress advances new sexual assault, harassment rules for the military (www.armytimes.com)
0

Vice chief: Women serve in every BCT battalion, but sexual …

Since the service lifted the final ban on women in direct-combat units[1] in 2016, more than 600 women have joined infantry and armor units[2], Gen. James McConville told an audience at the Army Women’s Summit on Capitol Hill.

“Every single infantry, armor and artillery battalion in every single active-duty brigade combat team has women assigned,” he said.

The Army is still tracking percentages as a gauge of its success with its Leaders First integration initiative, which transferred female officers and noncommissioned officers into the 82nd Airborne Division and 1st Cavalry Division, ahead of accepting graduated one-station training graduates last summer.

Hundreds of women have joined the Army's infantry and armor units, but those who do step up still face discrimination from their fellow soldiers, says Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville.

Hundreds of women have joined the Army's infantry and armor units, but those who do step up still face discrimination from their fellow soldiers, says Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville.

Hundreds of women have joined the Army’s infantry and armor units, but those who do step up still face discrimination from their fellow soldiers, says Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville.

And, he added, 10 of those women are sporting Ranger tabs, since the course opened to women in 2015, with seven more in training now.

“I’d like to see the day in the near future where we no longer need to count percentages of individuals,” he said.

But women who do step up still face discrimination and, at the extreme, sexual assault from their fellow soldiers, and multiple audience members took the microphone to ask McConville about the Army’s efforts to prevent violence and mistreatment.

Sign up for the Army Times Daily News Roundup
Don’t miss the top Army stories, delivered each afternoon
Thanks for signing up!

McConville’s three children are active-duty soldiers, he said, including his daughter.

“She says it’s better than it used to be, but it’s no where near where it needs to be,” he said.

McConville encouraged survivors, men and women, to report, to give the Army an opportunity to prosecute predators to the fullest extent of the law.

“But they have to report, or we’re not going to fix it, as we go forward,” he said.

McConville likened sexual assault to friendly-fire negligence on the job, and suggested that commanders treat it the same way.

“If you’re on a range and you accidentally shot someone, and you hurt them, we would hold you accountable,” he said. “And we’d go through this whole process, and your fellow soldiers would look at you and say, ‘How could you do this to our fellow soldiers?’”

To combat assault and harassment within units, organizations need to start looking at them in the context of unit cohesiveness, he added.

“Sexual harassment and sexual assault is worse, because it’s intentional. It’s intentional fratricide,” he said. “Why would you commit intentional fratricide against one of your fellow soldiers?”

Similarly, the service’s Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention program should focus less on instilling fear of consequences in soldiers.

“What we have to do is get people to think beyond that,” he said. “What we need in the Army is cohesive teams of trusted professionals.”

Harassment and assault should be treated as readiness issues, he said.

“If you don’t treat them with dignity and respect, if you’re harassing them and assaulting them, what kind of organization are you going to have?” he said. “You’re an American soldier. You treat everyone with dignity and respect because that is the right thing to do.”

The Army has been encouraged by an increase in reporting numbers but a decrease in incidents over recent years, though conviction rates for both assaults and whistleblower retaliation remain low.

“We’re not there yet. We’ve got a long way to go,” McConville said.

References

  1. ^ direct-combat units (www.armytimes.com)
  2. ^ infantry and armor units (www.armytimes.com)
  3. ^ Congress advances new sexual assault, harassment rules for the military (www.armytimes.com)
0

Vice chief: Women serve in every BCT battalion, but sexual …

Since the service lifted the final ban on women in direct-combat units[1] in 2016, more than 600 women have joined infantry and armor units[2], Gen. James McConville told an audience at the Army Women’s Summit on Capitol Hill.

“Every single infantry, armor and artillery battalion in every single active-duty brigade combat team has women assigned,” he said.

The Army is still tracking percentages as a gauge of its success with its Leaders First integration initiative, which transferred female officers and noncommissioned officers into the 82nd Airborne Division and 1st Cavalry Division, ahead of accepting graduated one-station training graduates last summer.

Hundreds of women have joined the Army's infantry and armor units, but those who do step up still face discrimination from their fellow soldiers, says Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville.

Hundreds of women have joined the Army's infantry and armor units, but those who do step up still face discrimination from their fellow soldiers, says Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville.

Hundreds of women have joined the Army’s infantry and armor units, but those who do step up still face discrimination from their fellow soldiers, says Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville.

And, he added, 10 of those women are sporting Ranger tabs, since the course opened to women in 2015, with seven more in training now.

“I’d like to see the day in the near future where we no longer need to count percentages of individuals,” he said.

But women who do step up still face discrimination and, at the extreme, sexual assault from their fellow soldiers, and multiple audience members took the microphone to ask McConville about the Army’s efforts to prevent violence and mistreatment.

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McConville’s three children are active-duty soldiers, he said, including his daughter.

“She says it’s better than it used to be, but it’s no where near where it needs to be,” he said.

McConville encouraged survivors, men and women, to report, to give the Army an opportunity to prosecute predators to the fullest extent of the law.

“But they have to report, or we’re not going to fix it, as we go forward,” he said.

McConville likened sexual assault to friendly-fire negligence on the job, and suggested that commanders treat it the same way.

“If you’re on a range and you accidentally shot someone, and you hurt them, we would hold you accountable,” he said. “And we’d go through this whole process, and your fellow soldiers would look at you and say, ‘How could you do this to our fellow soldiers?’”

To combat assault and harassment within units, organizations need to start looking at them in the context of unit cohesiveness, he added.

“Sexual harassment and sexual assault is worse, because it’s intentional. It’s intentional fratricide,” he said. “Why would you commit intentional fratricide against one of your fellow soldiers?”

Similarly, the service’s Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention program should focus less on instilling fear of consequences in soldiers.

“What we have to do is get people to think beyond that,” he said. “What we need in the Army is cohesive teams of trusted professionals.”

Harassment and assault should be treated as readiness issues, he said.

“If you don’t treat them with dignity and respect, if you’re harassing them and assaulting them, what kind of organization are you going to have?” he said. “You’re an American soldier. You treat everyone with dignity and respect because that is the right thing to do.”

The Army has been encouraged by an increase in reporting numbers but a decrease in incidents over recent years, though conviction rates for both assaults and whistleblower retaliation remain low.

“We’re not there yet. We’ve got a long way to go,” McConville said.

References

  1. ^ direct-combat units (www.armytimes.com)
  2. ^ infantry and armor units (www.armytimes.com)
  3. ^ Congress advances new sexual assault, harassment rules for the military (www.armytimes.com)