WASHINGTON -- In 1998 then-Col. Richard Formica first mentored Robert “Bo” Dyess when both officers were assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division.
The pair would go on to leave a lasting mark on Army force management, eventually paving the way for modernization efforts and laying the foundation for Army Futures Command.
More than two decades later, the former Soldiers reunited once more in Washington, D.C., as the Army inducted them into the Army Force Management Functional Area 50 Hall of Fame at the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes Monday afternoon.
Formica became instrumental in building the Army of today by formulating a plan called “Grow the Army.” The guidance helped build the force by adding an additional 64,000 Soldiers for active duty, 8,200 for National Guard and 1,000 for the Army Reserve.
The plan led to more than 70 modular brigade combat teams and about 220 support brigades with enabling combat support and service support structures.
Under Formica’s leadership, the Army developed a model to more effectively allocate and categorize forces, leading to the service effectively establishing a more efficient, modular operating force structure. Formica retired in 2013 as a lieutenant general after about 40 years in service.
“It's an honor and a privilege to be inducted,” Formica said. “There are lots of great military and civilian managers working hard for us every day. We benefit from their work and to be recognized and to be inducted into the hall of fame here in the Hall of Heroes is even more special.”
Formica and Dyess became the 17th and 18th members inducted into the hall, which requires that members have significant and lasting contributions that enhance the practice of Army force management.
As commander of Army Forces Strategic Command, Formica and Dyess, then the director of force development, G-8, worked together to help transition the Army to the modular forces that deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Formica and Dyess also served together in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, helping rebuild the Afghan National Security Forces.
“They undeniably paved the way for force managers serving now and in the future,” said Brig. Gen. Michael McCurry, director of force development, G-8.
Formica and Dyess became among the few in their career field to reach the general officer rank. Dyess retired as a major general in 2018 after his final assignment as deputy director and chief of staff of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, or ARCIC, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
After graduating from the U.S. Military Academy, Dyess led Soldiers at multiple levels including as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division and as a tactical officer at the Army School of the Americas in Panama. Dyess deployed on several combat operations, notably during Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada in 1983.
“He's a phenomenal Soldier, and expert force manager and genuine leader, and I'm proud to be inducted alongside him here today,” Formica said of Dyess.
During Operation Enduring Freedom, Dyess continued to successfully make recommendations and equipped the force during the first year of sequestration when funding was cut from Army procurement accounts.
During the second half of his 36-year Army career, he served as a strategic force manager developing warfighting capabilities, including three years as the director of the Requirements Integration Directorate at the ARCIC.
“It's a great honor to be inducted in the hall of fame,” he said. “I think it's a continued indication that the Army places the things that happen in the institutional Army in high regard. The manning, training, equipping and stationing of the Army are such important tasks.”