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 Fort Eustis Club.
The ROCKS Inc., named for its late founder, General Roscoe C. Cartwright, was established in 1974 at Fort Leavenworth. The organization is made up primarily of veterans who seek to strengthen the officer corps by providing young officers with mentorship, leadership development, scholarships and networking opportunities.
The Hampton Roads Chapter of ROCKS, Inc., established in 2001, focuses on local Black historic colleges and universities to provide support and professional development to ROTC cadets, encouraging them to look into opportunities that the U.S. Armed Forces have to offer.
The lunch allowed Funk to discuss Army priorities with the local ROCKS chapter to better understand how the two organizations could work together toward a common goal: developing diverse future leaders.
“It’s important that we have these kinds of discussions with local organizations to make sure we support each other in the best way possible,” he said. “Organizations like yours [ROCKS] who provide mentorship and education are a key part of the Army team.
Funk stressed the importance of educating the younger generation about the many avenues the U.S. military has to offer, including careers in cyber operations, intelligence, infantry, armour, aviation and medical. .
“Companies are looking for leadership skills, and the military will provide them with that experience,” he said.
He said whichever path you choose, 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 support group of active duty, reserve, and retired officers to mentor them can help encourage junior officers to continue working for an even more diverse military.
“Our people are our greatest strength and we are privileged to lead America’s most precious treasures. Together we can leave the jersey in a better place than where we found it,” Funk said.