When Gen. McConville took office last year as the Army’s 40th chief of staff, he made it his priority to put people first. For him, altruism is a philosophy – “when we take care of our people and treat each other with dignity and respect, we will have a much stronger, and more committed Army.” After all, he says, “people are our most important weapons system.”
This philosophy is reflected throughout the policies Gen. McConville has implemented since becoming the US Army’s 40th chief of staff. A day before his appointment, the Secretary of the Army, Ryan D. McCarthy, announced an action plan that prioritised the army’s people and their teams. It built on initiatives that Gen. McConville initiated over the past years. Namely, upgrading the Army’s talent management system, which included stipulations on how officers are selected for promotions. This is all a part of his signature initiative – The Army People Strategy.
Dr Aron D’Souza, Secretary of The Chief of Staff Association, agrees with the General’s prioritization of people – “it is so great to see an Army chief of staff who is focused on improving the lives of his soldiers and their families and creating a culture that produces great people. Since the end of the first Gulf War, there has been such a tremendous focus on smart weapons systems that I think people forget that WWII was won because of exceptional people. Even in the post-war years, it was returning soldiers who drove the economic boom.”
Work by Gen. McConville and his colleagues to enact people-first policies has contributed significantly to the Army’s elevated state of readiness. Gen. McConville applauds the role the armed forces has played in recent times – “the performance of our National Guard, [Army] Reserve, and our active-duty forces this year has been phenomenal.”
Unselfishly, he attributes this success to first and foremost, “the hard work of our people”.