DoD 101

American Forces Press Service — Deputy Welcomes Civilian Leaders to “DoD 101” Introduction

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz welcomed civilian business, academic and local government leaders from throughout the nation to the Pentagon today to kick off a weeklong schedule that will offer a firsthand look at the military at work in the war on terror.

“At times of stress like this, the performance of our military really shines,” Wolfowitz told participants in the 2004 Joint Civilian Orientation Conference. The group is slated to travel to sites throughout Europe to learn about U.S. service members, their equipment and capabilities and national defense strategies.

Following their meeting with Wolfowitz, the group received briefings about how the military works and toured the Pentagon, including the National Military Command Center.

The group will leave later in the day for a whirlwind visit to military sites supporting the war on terror. During the trip, participants will fly on military aircraft, experience aircraft landings and launches from Navy ships and observe amphibious landings, urban area combat techniques, special operations assaults and other warfare demonstrations.

“You will learn a great deal about issues that confront us as a department as we work to support America’s security in a dangerous world,” the deputy told the group before their departure.

But one of the most important opportunities, he said, will be to meet “these incredible young men and women in uniform” as they carry out their missions in defense of freedom. “They are Americans like you … a cross-section of this country,” Wolfowitz said. “They are the best-trained, best-equipped force in the world. They’re incredibly brave — and they have to be.”

This is a terrific idea. Like the idea of embedding reporters with troops during the maneuver phase of the Iraq War, this will give much-needed perspective to people who would otherwise have no contact with the military.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.