By Cheryl Pellerin
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, March 28, 2015 – Secretary of Defense Ash Carter is kicking off a national discussion on building "the force of the future" and what the Department of Defense must do to change and adapt to maintain its superiority well into the 21st century, a Pentagon spokesman announced today.
Building the force of the future requires the department to bring in the best technology, the best ideas from industry, and -- above all -- the best people to defend the nation, said Army Col. Steve Warren, who noted Carter will embark March 30 on a two-day domestic trip that will focus on the future force theme.
Warren said the first day of the trip will take Carter back to Philadelphia, where he attended Abington Senior High School.
There, Warren said, the secretary will deliver an important speech on his vision for how the department must prepare for the force of the future and continue to attract the best and brightest from all communities.
Attracting New Generations
During his first week at the Pentagon as defense secretary, Carter spoke urgently about building the force of the future being one of his top priorities.
“We must be open to change to operate effectively in an increasingly dynamic world,” Carter told the Defense Department’s workforce during his first all-hands meeting at the Pentagon, “to keep pace with advances in technology and to attract new generations of talented and dedicated Americans to our calling.”
Next, Carter will travel to Fort Drum, New York, where he wants to hear first-hand from soldiers and their families, Warren said. Many of the fort’s soldiers have deployed time and again over the last several years, he added, and the secretary wants to talk to them about ways the military can retain its best people and their battle-tested skills.
On his final stop, Carter will visit Syracuse University, where he will hold a roundtable discussion with members of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families. The topic will be transitioning service members back into society.
Afterward, Warren said, the secretary will make remarks and conduct a question-and-answer session with Syracuse students.
Carter will return to Washington on March 31.