The ADS Warrior East Expo started Thursday in Virginia Beach, and retired U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey was the keynote speaker to kick off the two-day affair.

Screen Shot 2017 07 13 at 11.26.09 AM - Gen. Martin Dempsey talks leadership in the digital age at ADS' Warrior East Expo

(Melissa Leon/American Military News)

Dempsey is a decorated Four Star general, former Army Chief of Staff and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was named one of “TIME” Magazine’s 100 most influential leaders in 2015.

Dempsey spoke to a large crowd at the Virginia Beach Convention Center about leadership, which he said is built on trust – trust in the person leading, trust in the mission, and trust in the equipment, among other things.

Screen Shot 2017 07 13 at 3.54.54 PM - Gen. Martin Dempsey talks leadership in the digital age at ADS' Warrior East Expo

(Melissa Leon/American Military News)

Leadership in today’s era is different because we live in the era of “digital echoes,” or information passed from person to person any time, anywhere – like on a cell phone, he said.

While digital echoes are “neutral,” Dempsey explained, they can be either really good or really bad; you can find things about fighting ALS on the internet, and you can also find ISIS.

However, “the opportunity to lead in this era is greater than the vulnerability,” he added.

Warrior East is is presented by ADS, Inc., a company that provides equipment, procurement and support solutions to the defense, military and law enforcement markets.

Screen Shot 2017 07 13 at 4.02.36 PM - Gen. Martin Dempsey talks leadership in the digital age at ADS' Warrior East Expo

The Expo is intended to bring customers and companies together to be able to “touch, try and train,” according to ADS, which also describes the event as the “equal sign” between consumers and products. There are also opportunities to take educational courses during the Expo.

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