Commandant's Hatch

by COL Lee Quintas
Commandant, U.S. Army Armor School

“The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its wars fought by fools”-Thucydides

The battle handover from BG Paul Laughlin is complete, and I am extremely honored and excited to be taking the reins here at the Armor School as the 48th Chief of Armor! As my family and I settle into Fort Benning, we are humbled by the hospitality that Fort Benning and surrounding community have shown us. I look forward to building and expanding the camaraderie and teamwork among the Maneuver Center, Infantry School and the Armor School as we continue to train, educate and develop agile and adaptive leaders for America’s Army.

This edition of ARMOR celebrates its 125th anniversary. First published in March 1888 as The Journal of the United States Cavalry Association, the journal debated the advantages of the saber vs. the revolver while mounted on horseback. Though technology has changed since 1888, the fundamentals employed by Armor and Cavalry have not. British MG J.F.C. Fuller’s “War and the Future” asserted in 1953 that the horse enabled armies to “reconnoiter, charge, [assault], reinforce and pursue,” in addition to the traditional raiding and screening operations that were the foundation of Cavalry units. These fundamental tasks remain essential on today’s battlefield, and the Armor and Cavalry Force continues to provide commanders the “power of surprise, [to] therefore attack an enemy morally as well as physically.” ARMOR also continues as an essential resource to understand and apply these fundamentals in an ever-changing environment.

Dedication to professional development of our Armor and Cavalry Soldiers reverberates through the 125 years of this publication. President Ronald Reagan, in a letter to ARMOR during its 100th anniversary, wrote, “Since its first issue … rolled off a small steam press at Fort Leavenworth, [KS], 100 years ago, your publication has provided a much needed channel for the exchange of ideas and information in the service of military readiness. The accelerating pace of change in heavy armor and armored cavalry requires more than ever that officers [NCOs and Soldiers] keep abreast of new developments in equipment, strategy and tactics. ARMOR continues to serve that vital purpose with distinction.”

The 125-year history of this magazine is a testament to the commitment of our Armor and Cavalry Soldiers and leaders towards professional growth. Leaders responsible for the welfare of subordinates cannot sit idly by and allow the lessons that they and others have learned, sometimes at great loss, to be forgotten. While Armor and Cavalry Soldiers and leaders may find themselves temporarily out of the fight, publications like ARMOR have allowed the branch to stay informed. These valuable insights and lessons continue to ensure our Soldiers are best prepared to face the rigors of combat and prevail against our adversaries.

In closing, I cannot overstate what an honor it is to be selected as the 48th Chief of Armor. As this issue commemorates the 125th anniversary of ARMOR, and enlightens tankers and scouts as to the lessons of history, I look forward to this publication continuing to provide insightful and informative discussion for future Armor and Cavalry Soldiers and leaders.

Forge the Thunderbolt!

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