Tail-to-Tooth At 20 banner

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

11:00 AM – 3:00 PM EST

Join BENS for a public forum on the 20th anniversary of our Tail-to-Tooth Commission, which in 2001 convened defense and business leaders to devise over a dozen recommendations focused on reducing excessive Pentagon overhead and inefficient large-scale functions that took away from the resources available for U.S. warfighters.

This virtual public forum will bring together BENS members and former Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries, and other Defense officials and experts to celebrate the legacy of the Tail-to-Tooth Commission. The forum will also take this opportunity to analyze and advance the next decade of transformations that will assist the DoD in adapting to geostrategic competition in an environment of burgeoning defense and budgetary challenges.

Click to Register

Program Details

11:00 AM - 11:15 AM EST   —  WELCOME

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM EST   —  FORMER SECRETARIES OF DEFENSE PANEL 

Moderated by General Joseph Votel
Panelists:

  • The Honorable Ashton B. Carter, 25th Secretary of Defense
  • The Honorable Mark T. Esper, 27th Secretary of Defense
  • The Honorable Leon E. Panetta, 23rd Secretary of Defense

12:30 - 1:30 PM EST   —  FORMER DEPUTY SECRETARIES / UNDER SECRETARIES OF DEFENSE PANEL

Moderated by Denis A. Bovin
Panelists:

  • The Honorable Gordon R. England, former Deputy Secretary of Defense and former Secretary of the Navy
  • The Honorable Frank Kendall, former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
  • The Honorable Robert O. Work, former Deputy Secretary of Defense

1:45 - 2:45 PM EST   —  BUDGET & REFORM PANEL

Moderated by Francis A. Finelli
Panelists:

  • John A. Bonsell, fmr Staff Director, Senate Armed Services Committee – Minority Committee Staff
  • Alexander B. Gray, fmr Deputy Director for the Defense Industrial Base
  • Peter K. Levinefmr Deputy Chief Management Officer of the Department of Defense
  • Elaine A. McCusker, fmr Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)

2:45 - 3:00 PM EST   —  CLOSE


Additional Background

The Department of Defense is at an inflection point. Much as it was 20 years ago – when defense leaders looked to realize post-Cold War paradigms and the realities of non-state enemies – the Pentagon today is in the midst of a transformation. Geostrategic competition from an ambitious Chinese Communist regime, coupled by an emboldened Russia, is forcing the Pentagon to shed the ideas of past conflicts and look forward to new, more innovative answers to today’s challenges – all at a time when federal coffers are strained and continued growth in military spending is unclear. Today’s defense solutions will require not only consideration of how to deter or defeat future foes, but how to deter or defeat America’s enemies under fiscal constraints.

In 2001, a group of business leaders, led by former U.S. Senator Warren Rudman and former Chairman and CEO of ADP Inc., Josh Weston, helped to usher-in fresh thinking within the Pentagon. The aptly named ‘Tail-to-Tooth Commission’ offered more than a dozen best business practices that joined a wave of positive reform over the following two decades that refocused the U.S. military toward combat readiness and effectiveness – improving the tail-to-tooth ratio from 70:30 in 2001 to 55:45 today.

BENS National Office | 1030 15th Street NW, Suite 200 East | Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: (202) 296-2125 | Fax: (202) 296-2490 | Email: bens@bens.org

© 2021 Business Executives for National Security | Privacy Policy | Donor Privacy Policy