Commandant's Hatch - Developing and Integrating Capabilities at the Armor School

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

The Armor School is off to a fantastic 2014! The momentum gained in 2013 certainly sets the stage for a productive, prosperous and inspired new year. As we orient on the strategic goals of the Army of 2020, leaders across the Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE) recognize an enduring element: that our future success within unified land operations rests on our Soldiers’ and leaders’ expertise to conduct combined-arms maneuver and wide-area security in a complex environment and against a dynamic and sophisticated hybrid threat.

Accordingly, the Armor School continues to improve our ability to integrate all our efforts toward delivering first-class training and leader development. We optimize the execution of our courses through a broadly collaborative effort that includes the Infantry School and MCoE, other centers of excellence and across the force. The relevance, rigor and thoroughness of each of our courses ensures Soldiers and leaders have the requisite skills and development to understand and master their critical competencies as members of the combined-arms team.

The Armor School acknowledges its unique role in our collective responsibility to educate, train and inspire America’s Armor and Cavalry Soldiers and leaders for a lifetime of service to the nation. From the new Soldiers and lieutenants who volunteer and compete to join our formations, to our battle-hardened veterans, the Armor School provides the foundation of initial and functional training as well as leader development. As the Army continues to adapt to an ever-changing fiscal and security environment, the Armor School, as part of the MCoE, plays a key role in developing, evaluating and integrating capabilities in support of the operating force. Through this transition, we continue to provide well-trained Soldiers and leaders to populate our Armor and Cavalry formations. As we evolve the force to improve its capabilities, I ask for your continued support to provide your best and brightest to the home of Armor – to properly invest in our future, especially as we navigate this challenging period.

I’d like to highlight my guidance for ARMOR’s further development (and hopefully improvement). As you read this edition, you will notice several changes to the publication. My intention, as we continue to make adjustments to the magazine, is to enhance reader experience while providing a forum that shares information and best practices, proposes new ideas and presents alternative and adaptive approaches. ARMOR will spark frank, open and energetic discussion on issues that matter to our profession – not only within the context of the magazine, but also among all of our community. Also, each edition will center around a theme that captures Armor and Cavalry subjects while remaining focused on promoting dialogue.

This publication is Cavalry-based with a theme of “developing, evaluating and integrating capabilities.” Following are the focus and theme for our upcoming editions of 2014:

  • March-April (Armor focus, “transitioning to an Army of preparation / decisive-action training environment” theme);
  • May-June (Cavalry focus, “6x36 scout formation” theme);
  • July-August (Armor focus, “mobile protective firepower” theme);
  • September-October (Cavalry focus, “regional force alignment and reconnaissance and security echelons above brigade” theme);
  • November-December (Armor focus, “Armor in Operation Enduring Freedom” theme).

As the Army continues to transform, it is important that our professional publications like ARMOR propose different viewpoints, exchange ideas and share lessons-learned and best practices. We want you to enter the discussion on our most controversial topics!

The magazine will also feature a number of recurring columns. As always, Thunderbolt 7 and I will use Commandant’s Hatch and Gunner’s Seat to share current ideas and initiatives relevant to the combined-arms team. We will also feature “From the Screen Line” to highlight emerging Cavalry topics, as well as “From the Boresight Line” to capture the latest from the Bradley and tank master-gunner schools. The “Saddles and Sabers” column will provide a historical perspective of Armor and Cavalry, while “Battle Analysis” will provide a detailed and thorough look into a conflict to highlight and reinforce enduring lessons for the force.

Starting in the next edition, we will present a tactical vignette titled “What’s Your Next Move?” Many readers will remember tactical vignettes that were very popular in ARMOR in the 1990s. Given the unique situations in the past decade, and our emphasis on adaptive leadership, tactical vignettes provide an exceptional tool to exercise and practice our tactical acumen. Along with your proposed solutions, I also encourage you to submit your own challenging and thought-provoking scenarios to the community. With each tactical vignette, we will publish the author’s solution in addition to “A Way: The Reader’s Best Solution” in follow-on editions.

ARMOR will provide a vibrant, relevant and interactive medium for the Armor and Cavalry community. As with all ideas, there will be dissenting views. I encourage them! If you disagree with a viewpoint, present your case to the rest of us. There are a number of ways you can submit your thoughts, comments and concerns. We will continue to publish letters to the editor, as we did in this edition, when we receive feedback or alternative views on a previously published article. There are various on-line sites dedicated to facilitating correspondence. Each of the articles published on eARMOR ( provide space for you to capture your thoughts and respond to other opinions. Log onto the eARMOR Facebook page ( to see updates, read recent articles and share. And of course, you can email me directly as well.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Forge the Thunderbolt!

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