FORT EUSTIS, Va. — Gen. Paul E. Funk II, the commanding general of Army Training and Doctrine Command, wants TRADOC to join him in Funky Town.
“I like to think of my command as the P-Funk All Stars, bringing the ’70s and the rest of the Cold War back,” Funk said during a recent interview. “Funk’s Rule #71 is things were better in the ’70s.”
“It’s on target,” he added. “In the ’70s, the Army forgot about Vietnam and developed Air-Land Battle. Today, the Army is literally deleting the lessons learned from Iraq and Afghanistan and developing Multidomain Operations. I get to lead that effort, which is truly an honor. I’m living the dream.”
“Live the dream is Funk’s Rule #89.”
Funk is hopeful that his efforts will prepare the Army for all possible future wars.
“Counterinsurgency is my number four priority. It’s high up there,” Funk said. “But I have 17 number-one priorities. And we’re in a severely resource constrained environment, our defense budget right now isn’t even a trillion dollars. So I realistically expect to fire everyone who could help us succeed in a counterinsurgency campaign. If we need them in the future we will hire them back as contractors.”
“Contract it out is Funk’s Rule #73.”
For Funk, the most exciting part of his job is the retro hardware he gets to work with. “Most of the major weapon systems in the Army date from the ’70s,” he says. “The Big Five, the Abrams tank, the Apache and Blackhawk helicopters, all that stuff, started in the fiscal year 1976 budget.”
“We were looking at doing a new Big Five but I decided you can’t replace the classics. They’re just phenomenal. So we’re just going to keep all of the 1970s systems in service indefinitely. Trust the classics. That’s Funk’s Rule #42.”