* CMDCM Shaun Brahmsteadt, USN, Senior Enlisted Leader, Defense Logistics Agency
* CSM Christopher Kepner, USA, Command Sergeant Major of the Army National Guard
* CMSgt Sandra Scott, USAF, Traffic Management Career Field Manager, Headquarters Air Force
* SgtMaj Anthony Spadaro, USMC, Senior Enlisted Leader, Indo-PACOM
CMSgt Caruso set the stage by telling the audience that improvement was needed to keep up with current challenges. "We must know that our adversaries are now highly advanced and they can easily challenge us in many mission areas. For us in the transportation business, it is a national imperative that we maintain our ability to deliver on time, anywhere around the globe at a time and place of our choosing. But we must be humble and honest with ourselves as we assess our own readiness in determining if we can deliver and sustain the force and decisively win a future conflict."
Paraphrasing Defense Secretary James Mattis, Caruso continued by saying that DOD must not lose sight of the fact they have no God-given right to victory on the battlefield. "Victory for our country takes hard work and determination, it takes a strategic approach to looking at ourselves and determining where we must improve, evolve, invest, grow, mature, advance our capability, but most importantly, we have to grow and evolve our people and our workforce."
CMSgt Caruso then referenced the National Defense Strategy (NDS) which he said guides an understanding of where our nation's advisories can meet us head on, and what the future will require from our military forces to ensure victory and maintain our American competitive advantage. He recommended everyone in the room get the summary, read through it, and pull out their own American responsibilities to help support its vision.
The NDS, he explained, covers three large focus areas: 1) Building a more lethal force, 2) strengthening our allies and attracting new partners globally, and 3) reforming the department for greater performance and affordability. The panel was focused on lethality and how to ensure our workforce is prepared to meet tomorrow's challenges. The NDS points out that the workforce of tomorrow--which includes both military and its industry partners--must be improved and shaped deliberately.
"We have to prepare for a complex environment," he said. "Our people in logistics and mobility must be more agile, they have to be more educated, they have to be skilled and increasingly...