Senior Officers from the Army War College return

c-AWC-March1

The Peters Township Public Library will welcome senior military officers from the U. S. Army War College for a panel discussion on Tuesday, March 1 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. The topic for discussion will be The Modernization of the Military while Maintaining Talent. Based on the unknown future of warfare and the rise of near-peer global competition, the United States military has begun an investment strategy in modernization efforts while seeking to maintain the best talent across both the active and reserve component. The panel will discuss the ongoing current initiates and seek to drive a discussion on those points.

Registration is required at ptlib.org/AWC to receive the Zoom meeting invitation.

Topics for this discussion will include:

* United States Army Talent Management initiates that include the Talent Alignment Process enabling officers preference and unit choice in the assignment process, the Talent Based Career Alignment that seeks to retain top-talent Officers beyond their mid-career, and the use of the Command Assessment Program before lieutenant colonel and colonel critical leadership positions filled by the Army.

* United States Navy Human Resources enterprise modernization efforts to improve service delivery to Sailors, their families, and future recruits to sustain the highest level of readiness.  These efforts include personnel and pay modernization, recruiting transformation, curriculum and training delivery, authoritative data environment, human resources service and sailor experience/interface, and detailing and marketplace.

* United States Army National Guard divisional leader development strategy.

*United States Army long-range precision fires and leader development towards implementation.

*The effort to recruit and retain cyber professionals that have significant earning potential in the civilian sector.

* United States Army modernization efforts have accelerated with the establishment of Army Futures Command (AFC) in 2018.  AFC leads numerous cross-functional teams across six modernization priorities: Long-Range Precision Fires, Next-Generation Combat Vehicles, Future Vertical Lift, The Network, Air and Missile Defense, and Soldier Lethality.


Our featured speakers will include:

Colonel Kevin J McCullaghColonel Kevin J. McCullagh is a member of the Academic Year 2022 Army War College class. He is originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin, and was raised in Streator, Illinois. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army in 1999 as an Infantry Officer from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. Upon completion of a Branch Detail to the Infantry, he transitioned to the Signal Corps where he has served for the last
20 years.

His assignments include Platoon Leader in the 4th Battalion of the 31st Infantry Regiment (Polar Bears), Training Officer in the 2d Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Company Executive Officer, and Assistant Operations Officer of the 10th Signal Battalion, Force Modernization Officer of the 35th Signal Brigade (Airborne), Company Commander of Alpha Company of the 51st Signal Battalion (Airborne), Transformation Officer in the Force Design Directorate under the Army Capabilities Integration Center, Brigade Signal Officer of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Stryker) of the 2d Infantry Division, Brigade Signal Observer Coach Trainer and

Chief Communications Officer for Operations Group at the National Training Center, Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps (SROTC) Professor of Military Science for the Pony Express Program hosted at Missouri Western State University, and the Battalion Commander for the 30th Signal Battalion (Strategic) supporting the Hawaiian
Islands and Kwajalein Atoll. COL McCullagh’s most recent assignment was as the Signal Officer Branch Chief within the Officer Personnel Management Directorate at Army Human Resources Command.

His military education includes the completion of Airborne school, the Infantry Basic Officer Leaders Course, the signal Officer Branch Qualification Course, the Signal Officer Captain Career Course, the Combined Arms Services Staff School, the Battalion and Brigade Signal Officer Courses, the Army Force Management School, and the Command General Staff College (Intermediate Level Education). His civilian education includes a Bachelor of Business Administration from St. Norbert College and a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University.

His assignments and educational opportunities have allowed him and his family to be assigned to Fort Benning (Georgia), Fort Drum (New York), Fort Gordon (Georgia), Fort Bragg (North Carolina), Fort Leavenworth (Kansas), Joint-Base Lewis-McChord (Washington), Fort Irwin (California), Missouri Western Status University (St. Joseph, MO), Wheeler Army Airfield (Oahu, Hawaii), and Fort Knox (Kentucky). COL McCullagh is married with children who have enjoyed adventures throughout their assignments.


LTC Jonathon GengeLieutenant Colonel Jonathon Genge is currently a United States Army War College student. He received his commission as an Armor Officer from the United States Military Academy in 2001. He is a graduate of the Armor Officer Basic and Armor Captains Career Courses, the Airborne Course, Cavalry Leaders Course, the Army Force Management School, and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

Prior to his arrival at Carlisle Barracks, he was assigned to Operations Group, the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, CA, where he served as the Senior Brigade Trainer and Senior Cavalry Trainer.

Previous non-command assignments include service as a Mechanized Infantry Platoon Leader, Armor Platoon Leader, Battalion Scout Platoon Leader, and Armor Company Executive Officer in the 1st Infantry Division at Rose Barracks, Vilseck, Germany; where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II; Brigade Assistant Operations Officer-Training in the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Camp Hovey, Republic of Korea (ROK); CJ35 Operations Planner, ISAF Joint Command, Kabul, Afghanistan; where he deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom; G3 Maneuver Planner, U.S. 1st Corps, Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM), WA; Squadron Executive Officer and Operations Officer, 8th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, JBLM, WA; and as a Special Assistant to the Director of the Army Staff in the Executive Communications and Control Directorate at the Pentagon, Washington D.C.

His command assignments include 12 months as Commander, B Troop, 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Hovey, ROK; 11 months as Commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Hovey, ROK; 24 months as Commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, US Army Garrison-Hohenfels, Hohenfels, Germany; 22 months as Commander, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, TX; where he deployed to Kuwait and Syria in support of Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve.

Lieutenant Colonel Genge holds a Master of Arts degree with an emphasis on International Relations from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Science degree in Russian and German from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device, Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC), the Meritorious Service Medal with 4 OLC, the Army Commendation Medal with 2 OLC, the Army Achievement Medal with OLC, Afghanistan, Inherent Resolve, Iraq, and Kosovo Campaign Medals, Korean Defense Service Medal, and the NATO Medal; the Army Staff Badge, the Combat Action Badge, the Parachutist Badge, the Expert Infantryman Badge, and German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (Gold).


LTC Matt JohnsonLieutenant Colonel Matt Johnson is a United States Army War College student. He received his commission as an Infantry Officer from Colorado State University in 2001. He is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Airborne School, Air Assault School, Command and General Staff College, and the Acquisition Basic Course.

Prior to his arrival at Carlisle Barracks, he was assigned as the Product Manager for Bradley Fighting Vehicle Systems in Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems located in Warren, MI.

LTC Johnson’s operational assignments include Bradley platoon leader in 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry, Republic of Korea; Battalion Adjutant and later a Company Executive Officer in 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry, Fort Drum, New York, including a deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom; Brigade Assistant Operations Officer, 1st Infantry Division; and Brigade Assistant Operations Officer, 1st Armored Division.

His command assignments include Commander of A Company, 2nd Battalion, 70th Armor, later reflagged to 1st Battalion, 63rd Armor including a deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; and Product Manager, PEO GCS.
LTC Johnson’s Acquisition assignments include Assistant Product Manager, PEO Soldier, including a deployment to Afghanistan; Systems Technical Manager for Dismounted Systems, CCDC; Test Officer, then Division Chief, Network Test Division, Operational Test Command; and Division Chief for Light Combat Systems, Maneuver Center of Excellence.

LTC Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Colorado State University and a Master of Science in Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

LTC Johnson’s awards and decorations include the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (5 OLC), Army Commendation Medal (3 OLC), and the Army Achievement Medal (1 OLC).


Commander Taber is a student at the United States Army War College. He received his commission from the Navy’s Officer Candidate School in 2007 and was designated as a Naval Aviator in 2010.  In 2014, he was re-designated as a Human Resources Officer.  He is a graduate of the Navy’s Basic and Advanced Leadership (Executive Officer) Courses; Aviation Preflight Indoctrination School; Primary Flight Training and Advanced Flight Training programs; Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) School; Human Resources Introductory Course; Naval Post Graduate School’s Distance Learning program; and the Air Command and Staff College’s Distance Learning program for Joint Professional Military Education Phase I.

Prior to his arrival at Carlisle Barracks, he was assigned to Navy Talent Acquisition Group Pacific. He served as the Officer in Charge of Talent Acquisition Onboarding Center (TAOC) Gold Coast. Previous shore assignments include service as the Satellite Operations Branch Officer and Mission Operations Officer for Naval Satellite Operations Center, Point Mugu, California; Officer in Charge, Personnel Support Detachment, Port Hueneme, California; and Executive Officer of Naval Technical Training Center Meridian, MS.

His sea-duty assignments include 36 months as a P-3C Orion pilot with Patrol Squadron (VP) 10, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, deploying in 2011 to the U.S. 5th Fleet in support of Operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom. There he was also an Aviation Electrician’s Mate Branch Officer, Aircrew Training Officer, and aircraft maintenance Quality Assurance Officer.

Commander Taber holds a Master of Human Systems Integration degree from the Naval Post Graduate School and is a certified professional in Human Resources.  His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards) and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2 awards), as well as various other personal and unit awards.


Lieutenant Colonel Shawn Plankinton received his commission from the Officer Candidate School. He is a graduate of Signal Officer Basic, Field Artillery Captain’s Career Course, Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College. Prior to his arrival at Carlisle Barracks, he was assigned to Joint Forces HQ-Kansas where he served simultaneously as the Deputy G3 for his state National Guard and battalion commander for the 2nd Battalion 130th Field Artillery. Previous non-command assignments include service as a Signal Platoon Leader, Battery Executive Officer, Battalion Signal Officer, Readiness Analyst, and Assignments Officer. He served on the Army Staff as the Collective Training Branch Chief and Reserve Component Integrator within the Collective Training Division and also as the Training Strategy and Policy Branch Chief for the National Guard Bureau. His command assignments include 16 months as Commander, Bravo Battery 1-161 FA in Paola, KS, and 17 months as Commander, 2nd Battalion 130th Field Artillery in Hiawatha, Kansas. Lieutenant Colonel Plankinton holds a Master in Business Administration from Baker University and a Master of Strategic Studies from the Army War College. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with 3 OLC, the Army Commendation Medal with 1 OLC, the OIF Medal, and the Combat Action Badge.

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