Kelly: 'We make American Soldiers'

By Tom Byrd, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

Trying to predict what Fort Jackson will look like in the future is anyone’s guess. However, it is possible to set the conditions to shape and influence what we want Fort Jackson to look like.

Brig. Gen. Jason E. Kelly, Fort Jackson’s commanding general, has some ideas and released a white paper on how he envisions Fort Jackson’s role in shaping our Army of 2030 and beyond.

“We make American Soldiers at Fort Jackson,” Kelly said. “The leaders and Soldiers that we provide are our legacy.”

Kelly sees the white paper as an intellectual framework to drive decisions, inform and educate internal and external audiences, and create incremental modifications that accumulate into significant changes over time.

Kelly said Army readiness starts at Fort Jackson. Since 1917 Fort Jackson has trained Soldiers for the nation’s defense and has served as the portal to the Army for more than five million Soldiers.

Fort Jackson continues to be the gateway to the Army for over half of all Soldiers and their Families every year.

Fort Jackson also produces every Army drill sergeant. In addition, all human resource professionals, finance professionals and Army chaplains begin their Army journeys at Fort Jackson.

As we work to build the future of Fort Jackson to continue providing a direct strategic contribution to our Army, we have the opportunity now to ensure Fort Jackson remains the largest platform for transforming civilian volunteers into Soldiers.

Kelly identified the actions and priorities, outlined in our four lines of effort, we must focus on in order to maintain and improve the trust and confidence Army senior leaders and the American public place on Fort Jackson.

Some key focus areas from each of the four LOEs will keep us trained today and relevant tomorrow.

As we keep people first, we must build positive command climates at every echelon. With a positive command climate, we will continue to find ways to prevent harmful behaviors.

Holistic Health and Fitness will help us to maximize the human potential of our Soldiers and Department of the Army Civilians.

By emphasizing talent management, we can recruit the talent we need to keep building our Army of 2030. Leaders must mentor and coach our teammates with the goal of what is best for the individual and for our Army.

Basic Combat Training will remain the core component of what we do at Fort Jackson. Leaders must innovate to meet the demands of the Army of 2030.

Providing training and broadening opportunities to our cadre and staff are essential to ensuring our Soldiers leave Fort Jackson more competitive in their career fields than when they arrived here.

We want Fort Jackson to be an assignment Soldiers and their Families are excited about. Focusing on quality of life will prove Fort Jackson is truly a destination of choice and is essential to our success as an organization.

Our relationship with the community is outstanding and we are a proud member of our South Carolina family. We will continue to highlight the positive impacts we have on South Carolina and our Army.

Although we have no idea what the future will hold for Fort Jackson, we know we can confidently say Fort Jackson will continue to make a direct strategic contribution to Army readiness for many years.

“We will never lose sight of what we do here,” Kelly said. “We make American Soldiers.”

To read the full white paper visit