By Nina Borgeson, TRADOC Communication Directorate
JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va – Gen. Paul E. Funk II, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, commanding general, was the guest speaker at the Hampton Roads Chapter of The ROCKS, Inc. luncheon held May 3 at the Fort Eustis Club.
The ROCKS Inc., named in honor of its late founder, Gen. Roscoe C. Cartwright, was established in 1974 at Fort Leavenworth. The organization is comprised primarily of military veterans seeking to strengthen the officer corps through providing young officers with mentorship, leadership development, scholarships, and networking opportunities.
The Hampton Roads Chapter of the ROCKS, Inc., established in 2001, focuses on local Historically Black Colleges and Universities to provide support and professional development to ROTC cadets, encouraging them to look into the opportunities the United States Armed Forces has to offer.
The luncheon provided a chance for Funk to discuss the Army’s priorities with the local ROCKS chapter in order to better understand how the two organizations might work together toward a common goal: developing diverse future Leaders.
“It’s important we have these kinds of discussions with local organizations so we can ensure we’re supporting each other the best way we can,” he stated. “Organizations like yours [ROCKS] that provide mentorship and outreach are a key part of the Army team.”
Funk stressed the importance of educating the younger generation on the many paths the U.S. Army can offer, including careers in cyber operations, intelligence, infantry, armor, aviation, and the medical field.
“Companies are looking for leadership skills, and the Army will provide that experience,” he stated.
He said regardless of the path chosen, the Army provides valuable skills that Soldiers take with them throughout their military and civilian careers.
Organizations such as ROCKS, Inc. are a valuable asset in continuing to achieve the Army’s goal of maintaining a diverse force through the mentorship they provide to young officers and cadets. Having a supportive group of Active Duty, Reserve, and retired officers to mentor them can help encourage junior officers to continue working towards an even more diverse Army.
“Our people are our greatest strength, and we have the privilege of leading America’s most precious treasures. Together, we can leave the jersey in a better place than we found it,” Funk said.