FORT MOORE, Ga. (WRBL) — Over the next three days, Fort Moore will look toward the future of the Army. From Sept. 12 to 14, the installation is holding its annual Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE) Warfighter Conference.

The conference began at 8:45 a.m. on Sept. 12 with remarks from MCoE Commander Maj. Gen. Curtis A. Buzzard, followed by an hour-long information session led by acting Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Randy A. George and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael R. Weimer.

“I truly believe we are at an inflection point, only a miscalculation away from combat,” said Buzzard, setting the tone for the conference which considers Army- and warfighting changes for the next decade and beyond.

George and Weimer zeroed-in on the changing nature of warfare and its impact on Army training and technology. This included discussions of unmanned systems use, the future of close combat, recruitment strategies and more.   

Over the next decade, George said he expects unmanned systems will see widespread use across Army units.

“I see every formation that we have, not just Infantry and Armor formations, but every formation is going to have to use unmanned systems for reconnaissance, for targeting – you name it,” said George to the crowd which filled McGinnis-Wickham Hall’s Marshall Auditorium.

Despite this prediction, George and Weimer maintained close-combat warfighting techniques are likely to remain integral. The officials explained future Army tasks may require close-combat forces assisted by unmanned systems.

“Anybody who thinks … close combat is going to go away and that war is going to be quick and there’s gonna be a couple strikes and it’s going to be over, I think is misinformed and really hasn’t been following what’s happened historically,” said George.

In recent years, the Army has also faced challenges with recruitment. George and Weimer agreed fortifying Army membership will require adaptations in marketing strategy and technology use.

According to Weimer, the Army is transitioning to a recruiting approach he predicted will be sustainable long-term through any domestic-, international-, economic- or other developments. Weimer and George noted, within the coming weeks, the Army plans to announce a number of changes expected to benefit recruiting.

In addition, George encouraged soldiers to talk with people in their communities about their Army experience. He explained personal anecdotes can have a profound positive impact on recruiting, adding it was a veteran’s story which inspired him to join the Army.

“Do not assume that America knows the Army that we know,” said Weimer.

He acknowledged the Army became closed off from local communities post-9/11. Weimer hopes rebuilding community ties on a personal level will redefine how people view the Army and its servicemembers.