For some time, the Army used the terms Unit of Employment (UEy or UEx), Unit of Action (UA), and Support Unit of Action (SUA) to describe constituent elements of its modular redesign. These terms were intended for conceptualization only, not long-term use. Once the new modular unit designs were substantially complete, it was time to replace these conceptual terms with names that Soldiers will use. Naming conventions should reinforce the Modular Initiative while preserving as many hallowed lineages as possible and minimizing turbulence.
The Army has decided how the units of the modular force will be designated, and how their lineages and honors will be perpetuated. A "Blue Ribbon Panel" composed of distinguished military leaders reviewed several courses of action for naming conventions and recommended one. This recommendation was adapted as follows:
- Armies. The units of employment (UEy) will become the Army component of a Joint Major Command and will be referred to geographically. These Army headquarters will be capable of assuming the duties of a Joint Task Force (JTF) or a Joint Force Land Component Command (JFLCC) – with augmentation from other Services – and controlling operations. Soldiers assigned to one of these commands will wear the patch of a traditional numbered army and perpetuate its lineage and honors.
- Corps and Divisions. The unit of employment (UEx) will become three-star and two-star headquarters of about 800 and 1,000 Soldiers each and are capable of functioning as a JTF and a JFLCC. The three-star UEx will have greater capabilities than our current corps headquarters, and will perpetuate the lineage and honors of a historical corps. The two-star UEx will have greater capabilities than our current division headquarters, and will perpetuate the lineage and honors of an historical division.
- Brigade Combat Teams. The unit of action (UA) will become a Brigade Combat Team (BCT), and will perpetuate the lineage and honors of a divisional brigade or separate brigade. The unit designs formerly known as Support Units of Action (SUAs) will now be organized into five types of Support Brigades.
- Combat Aviation Brigades will perpetuate the lineages and honors of historical divisional or separate aviation brigades.
- Fires Brigades will perpetuate the lineages and honors of historical separate artillery brigades.
- Battlefield Surveillance Brigades will perpetuate the lineages and honors of historical military intelligence brigades, or other appropriate units.
- Combat Support Brigades (Maneuver Enhancement) will feature an entirely new lineage and patch effective upon activation.
- Sustainment Brigades will perpetuate the lineages and honors of the sourcing historical division support commands, corps support commands, and support groups.
- Battalions. The constituent battalions for brigade combat teams will continue the lineage and honors of Army Regimental System’s battalions – as they have for nearly 50 years. The special-troops battalion of each BCT will perpetuate the lineage and honors of the headquarters company of the brigade being perpetuated by the BCT. Battalions subordinate to the support brigades will also continue the lineage and honors of Army Regimental System battalions.
The designation decisions reached in 2005 will be applied to units of the Army Modular Force as they are activated or converted in accordance with the modular force conversion schedule.
These headquarters and units are essential to the Army Modular Force Conversion because it allows the Army to operate with fewer levels of headquarters during deployments and still accomplish the mission. The unit naming conventions enable the Army to maintain its long standing heritage with virtually all of the current active regiments and divisions and pass the associated proud traditions along to today’s Soldiers while transforming to the expeditionary Army of the future.