What is it?
During the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) semi-annual Senior Leaders Conference (TSLC) TRADOC leaders discuss emerging issues and chart the way ahead. Now for the first time, TRADOC will make the conference transparent and seek public interaction by allowing anyone to follow the conversation, contribute comments and ask questions via a Small Wars Journal (SWJ) discussion board. At the August 18 to 20 conference, two editors and a moderator from SWJ will blog live, providing readers observations and ongoing commentary about the proceedings.
What has the Army done?
TRADOC conducts these conferences to facilitate seminal discussion among senior Army leaders, but now you don't have to be general officer to get a front-row seat. The inclusion of social media in this year's TSLC provides a near real-time interactive public dialogue that offers an opportunity for the outside community to understand and even participate in the conversation by reading and writing on the SWJ discussion board. Also, TRADOC Public Affairs will guide followers through the many planned conference events using Twitter, Facebook, blog posts via TRADOC Live, and web updates.
The "Next Battles" conference theme emphasizes the future as our Army returns to a 1:2 BOG/DWELL (Boots on the Ground dwell time in unit rotations out of theater to home-station). This TSLC will address institutional adaptation; synchronizing and aligning the TRADOC Campaign Plan (TCP), merging the TCP with the Army Enterprise effort, and replicating the complexities of combat in Army training.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
TRADOC envisions far more interaction between everyday people and senior Army leaders; and social networking tools make this possible. Public feedback from this TSLC will help drive the discussion forward and shape future TSLC events that will include more military bloggers, an expansion of TRADOC Live active-duty contributors, and a Facebook fan page devoted to TSLC issues. Soon, the Army will implement a new social networking policy, formally opening the door to even greater transparency and interaction between the Army and the public.
Why is this important to the Army?
The participation and interaction with the social media community allows the Army and TRADOC the opportunity to tell its story in a transparent, thoughtful manner, while offering the public community a stake in the future of their Army.