Blue Ribbon Special

By Kate Brannen / July 6, 2009 at 5:00 AM

The Army is very proud of the Blue Ribbon Panel it hosted last month to solicit ideas for its new ground combat vehicle effort.

Speaking at a Pentagon briefing last week, Lt. Gen. Stephen Speakes, the Army’s deputy chief of staff for programs (G-8), said the panel "illustrates the holistic nature of this effort, and the commitment we all have to get it right, to get popular support and to seek a variety of views about how it is that we're proceeding."

In a fairly uncharacteristic move, the service has even created a Web site for the one-day event, which lists logistical information for the event itself, news coverage, supporting documents -- and now a fancy new video.

The video (with soundtrack!) is really more of a a photo slide show of the event's participants, including Speakes and other Army generals dressed down for the occasion. It's narrated by Brig. Gen. Michael Harrison, director of joint and futures in the Army's G-8.

The panel was "designed to be people, who are acting in their role as private citizens, to come together to give us their personal advice about what they think we ought to integrate into our designs for the future, with the focus on the ground combat vehicle," said Speakes.

"The view here is, this is the not the Army going off in isolation, but rather, the Army is a part of a group of interested citizens who all have their views about what the Army ought to do, and ought to have learned and ought to be integrating into its future designs," he added.

The panel's executive committee, made up of service officials, is set to meet July 16 to discuss the effort's findings.

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