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Top Army Officer Addresses Bonuses, Stability Operations

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 11, 2007 – Army officials will continue to monitor manning and may offer bonuses to mid-level officers and noncommissioned officers if needed, the Army chief of staff said here today.

Gen. George W. Casey Jr. told reporters that the service needs to come up with incentives for mid-range officers and NCOs to ensure the leadership is in place for the force of the future. He also spoke about changes to the Army as a result of experiences in the war on terror.

Casey said active duty and reserve-component personnel are meeting retention objectives. In recruiting, the active force and the Army National Guard are making their goals. The Army Reserve is missing its goal, but is expected to make it for the year.

“We will still monitor the situation,” Casey said. While incentives will be partially monetary, other aspects – such as funding graduate school – will be considered.

Casey said the 1990s outlook in the military against “nation building” has changed. He said soldiers accept the move toward stability operations and reconstruction because of what they see in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“They recognize it is an integral part of counterinsurgency strategy,” Casey said. “It’s not just the military (that wins counterinsurgency efforts), but it’s political and economic and information.”

The next step is whether the Army should organize units solely for stability operations and reconstruction. “I’m not sure yet,” Casey said.

He said these really are not part of the core competencies of the Army, which is still configured to fight and win the nation’s wars. He said these competencies normally lie in other federal agencies.

“The question really is can we change the culture in the other departments so their folks can participate in areas like Iraq,” or whether that’s simply too hard and the mission should fall to the military, he said.

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Gen. George W. Casey Jr., USA

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