Gen. Hartzog, digital battlefield backer, to retire

Gen. William Hartzog, commander of the Army’s Training and Doctrine
Command, will retire in October after 35 years of military service.


Lt. Gen. John Abrams, deputy TRADOC commander, will receive a fourth star
when he replaces Hartzog. Hartzog has been the chief advocate for the Army’s
Force XXI battlefield digitization effort.


The Army showcased the modernization effort during the March 1997 Task Force XXI
Advanced Warfighting Experiment at Fort Irwin, Calif.


Soldiers in the exercise used notebook computers, called appliques, in more than 1,000
vehicles. The computers were paired with Global Positioning System devices to
automatically update the location of enemy and friendly forces.


The Army contends that digitization will increase its ability to operate on the
battlefield while reducing friendly fire casualties.


Hartzog helped map the Army’s digital battlefield for the 21st century. The
service plans to field the first digitized division—the 4th Infantry Division at Fort
Hood, Texas—by 2000, using many of the tools demonstrated during the March AWE.


The new digital applications led Hartzog to reduce the size of heavy divisions from
18,000 to 15,700 soldiers.


Now that the Army is reorganizing its heavy divisions, restructuring the light
divisions is the next step, Abrams said at last month’s Defense Artillery Commanders
Conference at Fort Bliss, Texas.


When asked about retirement plans, Hartzog said he wanted to “sleep for three
days,” a TRADOC public affairs officer said. 

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