Local News

Army Secretary Makes First Visit To Fort Bragg

Posted August 3, 2001

— Fort Bragg got a special visit Thursday from the Army's top brass. Secretary of the Army Thomas White, visited the post to talk about improving life for soldiers, and to look at Fort Bragg's future in a changing Army.

White has been secretary of the Army for just two months. In his first visit to Fort Bragg, he made it clear that the post has a future, and said that the chance to talk with soldiers and staff was the reason he came.

"He was concerned about the welfare of soldiers, living conditions, training, how we perceive the military," said Sgt. Jason Woodson.

With a proposed list of base closures heading to Congress tomorrow, Thomas White's words were not suprising, but still good for the Fort Bragg community to hear.

"I think this place is a natural treasure. It's the bedrock of the Army and I can't imagine the Army without Fort Bragg," said White.

The secretary of the Army served in uniform for more than 30 years.

The Vietnam War Veteran believes if the Army's current strategy and operational tempo are to continue, 40,000 additional soldiers are needed.

"We have worn the force out and we can't keep doing that," said White.

But the Army can continue its transformation to become a more strategically mobile force, and White says North Carolina soldiers will play a major role.

"The 82nd and 18th airborne corps are the most strategically mobile assets, and our transformation in regard to them will be to beef up their lethality," said White.

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