USA — Official Cites Need for Collaboration in Solving DOD Issues

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2011 — Col­lab­o­ra­tion is key to solv­ing some of the Defense Department’s tough­est issues, whether it’s build­ing resilience in ser­vice mem­bers and their fam­i­lies or keep­ing the best and bright­est in the department’s ranks, the Pentagon’s top per­son­nel offi­cial said today.

“We try too often to do it our­selves. … There are a lot of smart peo­ple out here in this world, but we tend not to receive them or see them because of our own bias­es,” Clif­ford L. Stan­ley, under­sec­re­tary of defense for per­son­nel and readi­ness, told atten­dees of the Defense Cen­ters of Excel­lence for Psy­cho­log­i­cal Health and Trau­mat­ic Brain Injury’s 2011 War­rior Resilience Con­fer­ence in Arling­ton, Va. 

Whether it’s rank or reli­gion, posi­tion or gen­der, mov­ing beyond bias­es will help to fos­ter an envi­ron­ment open to the new ideas and effec­tive solu­tions ser­vice mem­bers and their fam­i­lies deserve, Stan­ley said. 

“Our war­riors, our men and women who serve in uni­form, deserve our very best,” he added. “They deserve more than we can give them in this lifetime.” 

Stan­ley encour­aged the audi­ence to keep coop­er­a­tive efforts in mind as they moved for­ward with the con­fer­ence, intend­ed to increase lead­ers’ aware­ness of Total Force Fit­ness. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, cre­at­ed the ini­tia­tive to fos­ter a holis­tic approach to well-being that keeps the indi­vid­ual, fam­i­ly and orga­ni­za­tion in mind. 

Resilience plays a key role in well-being, but the trick is deci­pher­ing what makes some peo­ple resilient and oth­ers less so, Stan­ley not­ed. Some peo­ple can weath­er extreme cir­cum­stances and come out unscathed, and oth­ers may crum­ble, he said. 

Stan­ley cit­ed his own life as an exam­ple. His wife was shot in a sniper attack in 1975, he said, and is par­a­lyzed as a result. They’re cel­e­brat­ing their 40-year anniver­sary in June, their daugh­ter is a Navy nurse prac­ti­tion­er, and they’ve had their “bumps” as well, he added. 

“Each of us expe­ri­ences sim­i­lar kinds of things in life,” he said, “and those things help us become bet­ter, and some of us crum­ble. … Some of us have chal­lenges as a result.” 

Every­one is going to take some flak from oth­ers, Stan­ley not­ed. “Some­body is not going to like what you have to say,” he told the group. “They’re not going to love you back.” 

The ques­tion, he said, is how to bounce back when bumps in the road occur. Work­ing togeth­er, he added, peo­ple can find answers to that ques­tion and more. 

A lack of trust can be a bar­ri­er to build­ing resilience, and well-being, Stan­ley said, acknowl­edg­ing that tough times and cir­cum­stances can make it hard for peo­ple to trust oth­ers. But this lack of trust, he told the group, can pre­vent peo­ple from the kinds of col­lab­o­ra­tions that will breed solutions. 

Stan­ley cit­ed the gov­ern­ment as an exam­ple, not­ing that peo­ple with­in the gov­ern­ment don’t always work or com­mu­ni­cate togeth­er well. This hin­ders hir­ing reform, he said, pos­ing an ongo­ing challenge. 

“I can’t bring the peo­ple in fast enough,” he said, not­ing that gov­ern­ment presents a bar­ri­er to bring­ing the best peo­ple in quick­ly. And then, he added, the chal­lenge becomes keep­ing them once they’re on board. 

“Pick­ing the best peo­ple is tough busi­ness,” he said. “We’ve done very good at pick­ing good peo­ple, but we can do better.” 

If peo­ple accept things as they are, Stan­ley said, progress is impos­si­ble. “My ori­en­ta­tion in life, in gen­er­al, is … we should always be look­ing, look­ing, look­ing for the next edge,” he said. “Poli­cies that we put in place, it’s not just about right now, but lat­er on. Tak­ing care of our peo­ple is so fun­da­men­tal­ly basic — and it’s about love. I can’t make it any sim­pler than that.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →