Executive Mosaic is honored to present Gen. John Murray, commanding general of Army Futures Command, as an inductee into the 2020 edition of the Wash100 Award for leading the Army’s modernization efforts and improving relations with small businesses.
This marks Murray’s second consecutive Wash100 Award. He was confirmed by the Senate in August 2018 to serve as head of the new command tasked with addressing the Army’s six modernization priorities: next-generation combat vehicles, future vertical lift, long-range precision fires, soldier lethality, air-and-missile defense and network capabilities.
In July of last year, Murray announced the transition to full operational capability of AFC, which is headquartered in Austin, Texas. He told reporters during a media day that another aspect of the command’s modernization push is the “early and often integration of soldier feedback into what we're working on, which is another thing we [as an Army] did not used to do very well.”
Months prior to that announcement, the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command joined AFC and changed its name to Combat Capabilities Development Command. The move is part of the service’s effort to transform its approach to modernizing critical core capabilities that will provide warfighters and allies a decisive edge in battle.
"As we wind down and come out of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan the message is very, very clear, we need to re-focus on large-scale, ground combat and we need to re-focus on the future," Murray said during the transition ceremony.
In May last year, Murray laid out his priorities and targets for improvement at an Association of the United States Army event. Those include the need for adaptable growth in future systems, the push for the multidomain operations concept and the need for the Army to change its culture of risk aversion.
He mentioned the importance of having military-to-civilian and military-to-industry conversations about the uses and threats of artificial intelligence. “AI is coming to the battlefield, it’s not a question of if, it’s when and who,” he added.
Murray has repeatedly emphasized the importance of small businesses in advancing the Army’s modernization priorities. “Small businesses are key to our success,” he said during a press briefing.
He also acknowledged some of the lessons learned and challenges faced by the service branch when it comes to working with small businesses. “We’ve gotten better, but we’re nowhere near where we need to get in terms of working with small businesses and startups. And you’re dealing with a lot of culture and a lot of bureaucracy that kind of makes us move slow — a lot slower than we need to be,” he said at the Austin Startup Week in September.
Murray cited the need for the Army to change its budgeting process to help meet the needs of small businesses. “The way we do budgeting, [program objectives memorandum] POM cycles and all that — a small business can’t survive. We’re going to have to prove to small businesses that we can adjust our POM cycles to meet their needs,” he said at a Defense News conference.
Executive Mosaic congratulates the Army and Gen. John Murray on his 2020 Wash100 Award selection. Gen. Murray’s commitment to modernize the Army’s capabilities and improve relations between the service branch and small businesses, the civilian sector and industry will make him a top executive in GovCon for years to come.
The Wash100 Award, now in its seventh year, recognizes the most influential executives in the GovCon industry as selected by the Executive Mosaic team in tandem with online nominations from the GovCon community. Representing the best of the private and public sector, the winners demonstrate superior leadership, innovation, reliability, achievement and vision.
Visit the Wash100 site to learn about the other 99 winners of the 2020 Wash100 Award. On the site, you can submit your 10 votes for the GovCon executives of consequence that you believe will have the most significant impact in 2020.