Under Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy outlines his priorities for Army modernization, and how the new Futures Command slots into the plan.
At last year’s AUSA meeting, the Army announced their efforts to modernize Army tech. Now, on the University of Texas campus in Austin, Army Futures Command is taking its first steps. Under Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy oversees the effort to stand up Futures Command. At AUSA 2018, Colby Hochmuth sat down with McCarthy to discuss how the command’s first few years will play out. “You will see relationships forged within academia. What are the types of institutes of robotics and artificial intelligence? Strengthening our relationships with the academic community so that [they’re] aligning their research with our interests and developing capabilities together. Obviously, we’ll see much more there,” said McCarthy. One way that Futures Command is looking to leverage academia and industry is through “accelerator hubs.” These offices, placed throughout the country, will act as a conduit between the tech world and military world. “The first time I went down to the Capital Factory in Austin, Texas, and you hear techno music playing and people had Chewbacca t‑shirts on. I walk in with all my staff wearing dress blues. And you see small businesses sitting next to large and medium size businesses that have signs over their desks like Apple or GE next to a small entrepreneur,” McCarthy told Government Matters. “The idea of being embedded into these accelerator hubs is that we become much more accessible for all businesses, and we sit there and work through problems.”