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General Stephen Townsend to Deliver the Annual Kermit Roosevelt Lecture 2018
His speech, ‘The Return of Conflict at Scale and the Bonds of Victory,’ will focus on the endurance of the US-UK partnership, reflections on leadership, the current operating environment, and the increased prevalence of multi-domain operations in future military operations.
General Stephen J. Townsend assumed command of the United States Army's Training and Doctrinal Command (TRADOC), March 2, 2018. Headquartered at Fort Eustis Virginia, TRADOC executes its mission through six subordinate commands: Army Capabilities Integration Center, Combined Arms Center, Center for Initial Military Training, Combined Arms Support Command, U.S. Army Recruiting Command, and U.S. Army Cadet Command. TRADOC also oversees the Army’s 32 schools and eight Centers of Excellence. These Centers train over 500,000 service members annually.
General Townsend has led and commanded troops at every echelon from platoon to corps and combined joint task force. He has served on multiple operational and combat deployments, including OPERATIONS URGENT FURY, JUST CAUSE, and IRAQI FREEDOM. General Townsend also served five combat tours to Afghanistan during OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, culminating in Commander, 10th Mountain Division (Light). Prior to assuming command of TRADOC, General Townsend led all U.S. and multi-national troops fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as Commander, Combined Joint Task Force – OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE. General Townsend has also held numerous key staff positions. At U.S. Army Pacific Command, including the J-5 Strategy and Plans Officer for China, and Special Assistant to the Commander. At U.S. Central Command, he was the Executive Assistant to the Commander. On the Joint Staff, he served as Director of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Coordination Cell.
General Townsend holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from North Georgia College, a Master of Military Art and Science from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and a Master of Social Science in Strategy from the U.S Army War College.
The Kermit Roosevelt Lecture is an exchange of lecturers between the militaries of the United States and the United Kingdom, which first took place in 1947 and this year will be the 72nd of the programme. The initiative for exchanges originated with Mrs Kermit Roosevelt, whose husband Kermit – the son of President Theodore Roosevelt – served in both the British Army and US Army across the two World Wars, and died while on active duty in 1943. Her ideas were set forth in correspondence to General George C Marshall dated 17 June 1944:
‘My husband, Kermit Roosevelt, ...attempted to carry out in his own life his conviction that the development of a closer relationship between individual English and Americans, and a better understanding between the military forces of the United States and the United Kingdom would contribute in large measure to the preservation of world peace. In view of this conviction of his, it seems appropriate... to set up this Memorial.’
The exchange was originally funded by Mrs Roosevelt and through to 1969 by grants from the Rockefeller and McCormick Foundations. In 1970, it was mutually agreed that the series would continue officially supported by the governments of the United Kingdom and United States, and since then senior military officers have conducted annual exchanges, lecturing at several military and academic institutions on both sides of the Atlantic.