Not Just a Word

By Brig. Gen. John D. Thomas Jr.

     I’ve selected a few topics to talk to you about in this issue of the Journal: Consideration of Others Program, Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Spring Symposium, and Task Force Panama.

     Consideration of Others Program is a relatively new initiative that I’m very energized and committed to. Let me explain. The objective of the program is to create an organizational environment within INSCOM where leaders, soldiers and civilians learn and practice respect and consideration for others. The program includes three distinct aspects. First there is the education phase — maintaining a dynamic education and training program. Second there is the enforcement phase — ensuring violations of the principles of consideration of others are not tolerated. Third there is the ownership phase — the establishment of a mechanism that validates the education process. This is not a "touchy feely" program, nor should it be thought of as such. Every soldier and civilian of our INSCOM team has the right to be treated with respect and consideration, and given every opportunity to develop professionally. Bottom line, it’s a way of proceeding into a mission oriented environment with the basic fundamentals of how we should, and will be treated.

     Shifting into an operations focus, for a moment, I want to tell you about the AUSA Spring Symposium, which I attended in Los Angeles. The theme of the symposium was "The Information Age Army: Emerging Results and Tomorrow’s Opportunities." Many senior Army and industrial leaders were present, discussing a wide range of issues focused on information age technologies and on the digitized force. Across the board, speakers and representatives embraced the concept and the importance of information and its role in the next century. One of the highlights for me was listening to the Task Force XXI Advanced Warfighting Experiment (AWE) Panel chaired by the III Corps Commander, Lt. Gen. Thomas H. Schwartz. Of the many successes and shortcomings of the Experimental Force (EXFOR) and their experiences during the AWE, I believe that intelligence has proven itself very capable of depicting a timely and accurate picture of the enemy situation to the ground force commander — national to tactical. There is much work to do, and there always will be. INSCOM was an important part of the AWE and moving the Army toward the 21st century. Know that those of you who participated, both directly and indirectly, contributed to the success of that effort.

     Next, I want to give you an update regarding the evolving effort in the U. S. Army South theater of operations. As you know, the 470th MI Brigade (-) recently inactivated. Continuing the support into that theater are the elements of Company D, 202nd MIBattalion and Company D, 204th MIBattalion, both of the 513th MIBrigade. These elements compose Task Force Panama. The missions of Task Force Panama are a continuation of the operational support to U. S. Army South with our efforts in analysis, counterintelligence and airborne reconnaissance. A fine job was done by all in providing an uninterrupted flow of operations support to the theater commander. As the foundation for Force Projection Brigade evolves for the 513th MI Brigade and as we all move from contemporary force structures (TDA) into future elements (modular TOE), it is critical to move through the "battlefield" aggressively, but also with an eye focused on the future "fight." Execute the transition while maintaining committed to the current mission.

     I will close by saying that INSCOM is, and always will be, a unique and integral part of our Army’s total force. It always will be because soldiers and civilians like you are committed to the mission. It is through your collective efforts, by teaming, and by treating each other with respect and dignity that our organization is capable of providing the intelligence support recognized as superior by senior Army leaders worldwide. INSCOM .... Information Superiority for America’s Army!

                         Brig. Gen. John D. Thomas Jr.
                         Commander, INSCOM

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   Last Updated: July 02, 1997