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Through a Soldier's Eyes: How the U.S. Army Prepares Personnel and Their Families for Deployment

Date & time

Oct 15, 2008, 5:00-7:00 pm EDT


Betty Ford Classroom, 1110 Weill Hall 735 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI

Speakers are Ford School MPP student Jeff S. Barnes, Former U.S. Army Captain and Ground Cavalry Troop Commander during the Iraq War; Taryn Barnes, Former U.S. Army Captain, Air Cavalry Reconnaissance Pilot and Platoon Leader during the Iraq War; P. Onni Hynninen, Former U.S. Army Captain, Troop Executive Officer, Scout Platoon Leader during the Iraq War; and Johnnie Farmer, Former Operations Sergeant Major during the Iraq War. Ambassador Melvyn Levitsky, Lecturer at the Ford School and Senior Fellow at International Policy Center will serve as moderator.

As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have gone on, the United States has had to grapple with difficult and complex issues around troop levels, recruitment challenges, and the imposition of extended tours of duty.

But how do those sorts of high-level military policy decisions impact the lives of soldiers and their families? How does the military prepare units, individual soldiers, and military families for deployment? What sort of a time commitment goes into preparing for and transitioning from a typical tour of duty? What do the early days of a deployment entail for soldiers and their families?

This panel discussion is designed to help future policymakers and others understand the mechanics of military operations and the impact of those mechanics on the people who are involved. Panelists will draw on their own experiences to 'walk the dog,' taking attendees through the full process involved with a deployment, all the way from the train-up to patrolling the streets of Baghdad.

The presenters will also speak briefly about conducting operations, refining intelligence estimates at the battlefield level, and how those intelligence estimates drive future operations. But rather than addressing personal views towards the war or staging a recruitment campaign, speakers will seek to shed light on the on-the-ground mechanics of military operations, military preparedness, and deployment activities.