WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army has nominated a new leader for Futures Command — Lt. Gen. James Rainey — nine months after its first commander Gen. Mike Murray retired, the service’s undersecretary said Sept. 7 at the Defense News Conference.
Lt. Gen. James Richardson, Murray’s deputy, has served as acting commander since the first commander’s retirement in December 2021.
The Army command that oversees the requirements process for modernization had been without a confirmed four-star leader for more than nine months after officials worried the front-runner for the job would not receive congressional approval because he allegedly had reservations about deploying the National Guard during the Jan. 6 attacks on the Capitol.
Several current and former Army personnel, speaking on background because they were not authorized to discuss personnel matters, told Defense News that Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt was considered for the position. But Army leaders worried the controversy over how Piatt was portrayed in the lead-up to deploying the National Guard would hinder his chances of earning a Senate confirmation.
Defense News first reported Sept. 6 that the Army was likely to nominate Rainey, the G-3/5/7 chief in charge of Army strategic operations at the Pentagon, to lead Army Futures Command.
“The entire Army team has been fully behind getting a new commander to AFC as soon as we possibly could, and I think we’ve said that pretty consistently for the last couple of months,” Gabe Camarillo told Defense News at the conference.
Rainey “brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that I think would be fantastic for the role if he’s confirmed. Having served as the G-3/5/7, he’s got a lot of experience in the Pentagon on the Army’s operational needs and capabilities. He understands the budget, having worked those issues for the last several years in the Pentagon as well. And I would also note he’s got a lot of operational experience as well to draw back,” Camarillo added. “But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that he was the former commander of the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth — the CAC — and that is a tremendous asset, I think, and background and experience that I think he’ll be able to take into the job if he’s confirmed by the Senate Armed Services Committee.”
The CAC at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, is central to Training and Doctrine Command’s doctrine creation. The Army is close to transforming its multidomain operations concept into doctrine by the end of this year.
“So we look forward to his prompt and speedy consideration for confirmation,” Camarillo said.
Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.