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NEWS | Feb. 27, 2018

TRADOC top two reflect on leading the ‘architect of the Army’

By Michael Vernon Voss U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Public Affairs

U.S. Army Gen. David G. Perkins, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command commanding general, will pass the TRADOC colors to Gen. Stephen J. Townsend March 2 marking the completion of Perkins’ nearly four-year assignment leading the Army’s major training command.

In a separate ceremony on March 1, TRADOC deputy commander Lt. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland will also bid farewell as he retires after 37 years of Army service.

Following Perkins’ retirement March 9, TRADOC and the Army will have lost a combined 75 years of experience between the two leaders.

Perkins took command of the storied organization March 14, 2014, and since that time has led the charge for Solider and civilian employee development, education and training at all levels.

“After coming out of more than a decade of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, we wanted to recognize there are lessons to be learned from that experience,” Perkins explained to the World Affairs Council in 2014. “But we should not be blinded by that same experience.”

Following that presentation, the West Point graduate ushered in multiple changes to the organization he describes as the ‘architect of the Army’. Those changes have included working diligently for Army modernization, the Army Operating Concept, re-examining the recruiting process, and championing a joint service approach to warfare known as Multi-Domain Battle.

On May 15, 2017, TRADOC welcomed a familiar ally to Perkins when MacFarland assumed responsibilities as the organization’s deputy commanding general. Throughout the last 10 months, both generals and their staffs have advocated for better officer, civilian and noncommissioned officer training and education.

MacFarland has been known to explain the United States was built on the shoulders of the Soldiers of the Army, and that Soldiers are crucial to the survival of the nation.

While their departures from TRADOC will be challenging, both are confident the Army is in a great place for the future.

“As I near the end of my career, it is evident to me that our country and our Army is in good hands because of the professionalism, education and commitment of our Soldiers,” MacFarland said.


The TRADOC Change of Command ceremony between Gen. David G. Perkins and Gen. Stephen J. Townsend will be held at 10 a.m. in the Jacob’s Theater. The ceremony will be livestreamed at the TRADOC website,