As a young enlisted Solider, Maj. Wesley Ward saw both good and bad commanders. Seeing both led him to want to become an officer himself.
“I had one company commander when I was enlisted that would fight as hard as any other soldier and place himself at risk alongside of his soldiers,” Ward said. “That truly inspired me. I have also served under a few battalion commanders who have taught and demonstrated that the Army — when run correctly — is a job of service.”
“I also had a company commander who I wasn’t that thrilled with,” Ward said. “I think soldiers deserve a warfighter, someone willing to lead them in front of danger, and that’s what inspired me to go and do the transition to become an officer.”
Ward is now the lead planner in the Field Experiments Division at the U.S. Army Joint Modernization Command at Fort Bliss, Texas. Ward’s desire to be at Fort Bliss is how he first learned of JMC.
“I learned about JMC through my assignments officer as a way to get here to Bliss,” Ward said. “It was a good transition back into the real Army. I had been working for four years at the Captain’s Career Course. I saw this as an opportunity to, one, look at the Army from a different angle than your typical company to battalion to brigade type of thing. To learn more about the larger picture. And two, it was a good way to get to a duty station that I really wanted to come to.”
JMC has tasked Ward with integrating Multi-Domain Operations-focused future concepts, capabilities, and formations into JointWarfighting Assessment 20 and Defender 20. In Army Futures Command, concepts are pre-doctrine ideas on how the Army will fight in the future, and capabilities are the equipment needed to fight in the future. JMC is a subordinate command of AFC.
JWA 20, planned for April 25 to May 15, 2020, in Germany and Poland, is the Army’s largest annual live, multinational experiment, focused on MDO.
JWAs focus on refining concepts, capabilities and formations through soldier and leader feedback at live experiments.
JWA 20 is nested with the 37,000-strong Defender 20 exercise. About 20,000 U.S. service members will deploy from the continental U.S. to Europe for the exercises, including active-duty units from multiple Army divisions, National Guard units from 11 states, and seven U.S. Army Reserve units, making Defender 20 the largest deployment of U.S.-based Army forces to Europe in 25 years.
Ward will spend the coming months assisting JMC Field Experiments Division system managers and team leaders, who are responsible for managing individual systems, with information requests to and from U.S. Army Europe to prepare for JWA 20 and Defender 20. He will also conduct general staff functions and answer information requests from the various system’s sponsors.
Ward said he originally enlisted in the Army go find some direction in his life, and his time at JMC has helped propel his Army career forward.
“My time at JMC has made me a better leader by enabling me to work in a non-standard environment and apply problem solving skills at a larger level,” Ward said. “I have been able to further my ability to solve complex problems and help, in at least a small part, the direction the Army will go in the future.”
Ward and his wife, Regina, have been married for 16 years, and they have two children. Ward said they are enjoying the culture of El Paso and love the sunny weather, which allows them to spend time playing baseball and driving in their JEEP.