Foreword | Executive Summary | 1.America's Army | 2.A Changed Army | 3.Resources | 4.Balancing Priorities | 5.Into the 21st Century | Acronyms

Executive Summary

America's Army is the world's premier land combat force, serving the nation every day both at home and abroad. The Army is America's force of decision - a force with the decisive capabilities essential to compel enemies, deter potential foes, reassure and lend stability to our allies, and, in times of emergency, lend support to our communities at home. The Army serves as the nation's contingency force, ready to deploy on short notice to anywhere in the world, and ready to conduct missions across the full spectrum of military operations - from humanitarian assistance, to peace operations, to fighting and winning major regional conflicts.

Its capabilities for full spectrum dominance and its increased role in responding to crises demonstrate the Army's continuing role in meeting America's security requirements. Army capabilities are crucial to an increasing number of missions. The majority of the personnel our nation commits to various crises around the globe, such as in Bosnia, Haiti, Kuwait, Rwanda, and Somalia, are U.S. Army soldiers. The Army provides a visible, sustained overseas presence, and is well-suited to supporting international engagement. Since the majority of the world's military forces are armies, military engagement with them most often calls for army-to-army contact.

Successful military operations require the complementary capabilities of all the services, but control of the land is essential to America's ability to prevail. History shows that the face of war is the face of humanity, and that wars are won on the ground. It is the Army that provides the nation with the unique capabilities to conduct sustained land combat and to control land, resources, and populations. Soldiers on the ground are our nation's strongest signal of resolve and are the ultimate expression of American will. As evidenced in Bosnia and Haiti, often only a sustained presence on land drives desired change.

America's Army provides a full spectrum force of decision. Full spectrum dominance requires a balance, however, between precision engagement and dominant maneuver - the ability to link maneuver and fires to project combat power. We must be able to operate on a variety of battlefields and be capable of defeating an enemy armed with machetes and rifles as well as those armed with tanks, planes, and weapons of mass destruction. Both dominant maneuver and precision engagement are essential to our nation's ability to successfully fulfill its security requirements. It is through their joint application that we achieve decisive results.

The Army has changed significantly to ensure decisive results in today's complex global environment. Executing missions across the full spectrum of military operations requires a strategically mobile Army that can be deployed rapidly to wherever needed, that has sufficient forces to establish control in any environment, and that can be sustained for as long as the mission requires. To meet these challenges the Army has redistributed its forces, closed and realigned bases, improved integration of active and reserve components, and reorganized and redistributed its equipment pre-positioned overseas. We have transformed the Army from a forward-deployed force in the Cold War to a capabilities-based force. The Army has the necessary capabilities to protect U.S. interests and can project power worldwide, although it is stationed largely in the United States.

One of the Army's toughest challenges is operating in an environment of constrained resources. The Army leads the way with the majority of forces achieving America's objectives in places such as Bosnia, the Sinai, and Macedonia while receiving less than one-fourth of the nation's defense budget. It takes significant resources to train and maintain an Army that is capable of projecting America's power worldwide in the event of a major regional conflict, while simultaneously conducting diverse missions with our allies. Since 1989, the Army's buying power has declined 39 percent in constant dollars.

The Army continues to strive to make the best use of available resources. We continue to pursue innovative ideas for increasing efficiency. Fundamental changes in business practices, such as streamlining operations, adopting appropriate commercial practices, and reorganizing processes and programs, are producing a more cost-effective Army.

The Army is also making fundamental changes in the way it develops, acquires, and fields new capabilities. Acquisition reform allows the Army to make the most of resources, resulting in significant savings that can be applied to developing a 21st century force. Through streamlining and reengineering acquisition programs, almost $9 billion in cost reductions has been identified in various modernization programs. But even with its successes so far, constrained resources leave the Army with a continuing challenge to balance appropriately readiness, modernization, endstrength, and quality of life while executing missions across the full spectrum of military operations.

The Army's highest priority is to maintain readiness. America's ability to respond rapidly to crises worldwide requires a trained and ready Army, and that requires high-quality people; tough, realistic, mission-focused training; and competent leaders. High-quality people, both soldier and civilian, are the defining characteristic of a full spectrum force capable of producing decisive results. Missions across the full spectrum of military operations call for skilled, well-trained, and well-led soldiers capable of adapting to complex, dangerous, and ever-changing situations.

Readiness requires tough, realistic training, which the Army conducts primarily at home station and reinforces at our world class combat training centers. These centers provide soldiers with the most realistic and demanding training short of combat by virtue of professional staffs, battlefield instrumentation, wargames against opposing forces, and feedback to participating units. The Army also participates in numerous joint and combined training exercises to enhance its ability to operate as a member of a joint team with the other services and coalition forces. Investment in simulations and simulators enhances unit capabilities, and information-age technology will be used in the Army's distance learning program to bring the classroom to the students.

Modernization is a continuous process essential to maintaining the Army's ability to respond successfully to America's security needs now and in the future. During the drawdown, relatively more funding was cut from modernization than from other accounts to ensure sufficient funds to take care of our people - soldiers, civilians, and families. The risk in modernization was acceptable for a short time because the end of the Cold War had reduced the threat, but to ensure future readiness and maintain our technological edge, modernization can no longer be deferred.

Among the services, the Army has the lowest percentage (15 percent) of the Department of Defense budget for research, development, and acquisition is only 15 percent. The Army's modernization strategy emphasizes integrating new technology, especially technology that enhances information dominance, and upgrading existing systems in order to preserve its scientific and technological edge. We are buying a limited number of new, high pay-off weapons, and working to extend the lives and capabilities of many existing systems by adding information technology to them. Still, the point will be reached where further improvements to systems will provide only marginal benefits. New weapons systems and equipment will have to be developed and procured for the force of the future. Today's modernization is tomorrow's readiness; without it, we risk sending soldiers into the next war without the technological edge required to obtain decisive victory with minimum casualties.

The Army is committed to maintaining an endstrength commensurate with its increased role in supporting national security. Smaller than at any time since before World War II, today's Army is nevertheless being called upon to conduct an increasing number of missions around the world. In the 40 years between 1950 and 1989, the Army conducted 10 major operational deployments; in the seven years since 1990, 25 have been conducted. The force is being stretched by commitments that require soldiers to be deployed away from their home stations and families much more frequently. The Army has more than 100,000 soldiers and 28,000 civilians stationed around the world, and on any given day during the past year, more than 35,000 soldiers were deployed from their home stations to conduct operations or participate in exercises in more than 70 countries.

The strain of downsizing the Army and increasing operational deployments has not only reduced the modernization budget but also required greater sacrifices from soldiers, who spend longer periods deployed away from home. Increasingly, our people are feeling the uncertainty of continued or rumored reductions and increased missions. Because of the increased demands on soldiers, the size of the Army does matter; mission requirements must be met without placing such heavy demands on individuals that they leave the Army. There is a limit to how small the Army can become without losing its ability to meet the needs of the nation. Given current requirements and the geostrategic landscape of the world we live in, an Army of 495,000 active soldiers appears to be the minimum size needed to meet the current national military strategy.

In light of the sacrifices service members make, enhancing quality of life for both married and single soldiers is a top priority of the Army. Quality of life programs are critical if the Army is to continue to attract and retain the quality people necessary to maintain a quality force. The Army is committed to providing a standard of living comparable to that found in civilian life by ensuring its personnel receive adequate health care, pay, housing, and retirement benefits.

Joint Vision 2010 -- an operationally based template for guiding the transition of the U.S. Armed Services into the 21st century -- is our guidepost for the future. Joint Vision 2010 seeks to achieve full spectrum dominance through the application of four operational concepts: dominant maneuver, precision engagement, full dimensional protection, and focused logistics. Army Vision 2010 is the blueprint for the Army's contributions to the operational concepts identified in Joint Vision 2010. It is the conceptual template for how the United States Army will channel the vitality and innovation of its soldiers and civilians and leverage technological opportunities to achieve new levels of effectiveness as the land component member of the joint warfighting team.

Joint Vision 2010 provides a coherent view of the future and the implications for joint operations expressed in terms of emerging operational concepts. Army Vision 2010 focuses on the implications of that environment for the fundamental competency the Army contributes to joint operations - the ability to conduct prompt and sustained operations on land throughout the entire spectrum of military operations. It identifies the operational imperatives and enabling technologies needed for the Army to fulfill its role in achieving full spectrum dominance.

Force XXI is the Army's comprehensive process for modernizing and preparing for the challenges of the 21st century. Force XXI projects our soldiers into the 21st century and provides them the necessary doctrine and organizations, the most realistic training, and the best equipment and weapons systems that our nation can provide. The Force XXI process uses rigorous evaluations and advanced warfighting experiments to evaluate information age technology. The Army is using this process to redefine how it fights, organizes, trains, and commands.

The product of the Force XXI process will be Army XXI - a versatile force with the capabilities to win the nation's wars, prevent conflict, and sustain operations. Army XXI is characterized by high-quality people using advanced technology gleaned from numerous battle laboratory evaluations and advanced warfighting experiments. Army XXI will use digital technology to optimize the flow of information and enhance situational awareness. Commanders and soldiers will have a much clearer picture of where friendly and enemy forces are located. This will improve command and control, reduce fratricide, and allow the synchronization of combat power at critical times and places. We intend to fully develop Army XXI as fast as resources will allow while simultaneously remaining trained and ready.

At the same time that we are fielding Army XXI, the intellectual energy of the Army is also focused on the Army After Next. While Army XXI is a product improved Army, the Army After Next is a totally different Army. We know it must be more strategically and tactically mobile, more versatile, more lethal, and logistically unencumbered. It must also be manned by quality people and built upon our solid foundation of selfless service to the nation and the values we hold dear. Our intent is to pull this forward as quickly as we can. The lessons learned in developing Army XXI combined with continuing technological leaps will require an entirely different force far in the future. The Army After Next will be a force with the capabilities to conduct simultaneous, continuous, and seamless operations across the full spectrum of military operations.

In many ways, the 21st century began for America's Army in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall. The collapse of communism has brought many challenges to the Army, and will continue to do so in the years ahead. The Army's evolution into a 21st century force with the capabilities for continued full spectrum dominance is intended to meet head-on the warfighting and

affordability challenges of the next century. The Army of the future will provide American soldiers with unprecedented technological advantages while acknowledging that, even in the information age, warfare will not be remote, bloodless, or risk-free. It will still be war, and wars ultimately are won by those "tired, dirty, magnificent soldiers" - the force of decision.

Foreword | Executive Summary | 1.America's Army | 2.A Changed Army | 3.Resources | 4.Balancing Priorities | 5.Into the 21st Century | Acronyms

last updated: 19970317