Chapter 2:
The Strategic Environment and Army Organization

The National Security Environment
National Military Strategy Formulation
National Military Objectives
The Army's Statutory Obligations
The Army Vision
The Army Mission
The Organization of the Army

Our Nation’s cause has always been larger than our Nation’s defense. We fight, as we always fight, for a just peace, a peace that favors human liberty. We will defend the peace against threats from terrorists and tyrants. We will preserve the peace by building good relations among the great powers. And we will extend the peace by encouraging free and open societies on every continent.

President George W. Bush

2-1. The United States possesses unprecedented and unequaled strength and influence in the world. Sustained by faith in the principles of liberty and the value of a free society, this position comes with unparalleled responsibilities, obligations, and opportunities. The Nation's leaders have decided to use this strength to promote a balance of power that favors freedom both at home and abroad.

2-2. This is a time of opportunity and challenge for America. The Nation will work, both at home and internationally, to translate this moment of influence into decades of peace, prosperity, and liberty. The National Security Strategy is based on a distinctly American internationalism that reflects the union of the Nation's values and interests. Its aim is to help make the world not just safer but better.

2-3. To shape the international environment, the United States wields strength and influence through the instruments of national power-diplomatic, informational, military, and economic. The National Security Strategy articulates how the President intends to use these instruments to accomplish three goals in pursuit of making the world safer and better:

Together these national security goals provide the foundation of U.S. national security policies.


2-4. Globalization and the information revolution continue to change the way the Nation engages the international environment. Combined with the compression of time and distance, these phenomena affect all instruments of national power. The world's open economic system of interdependent global markets, global communications systems, and ubiquitous media presence have broadened security responsibilities beyond military concerns. Both national and international security require integrating many nonmilitary disciplines, including such areas as economic and political health. To a greater degree than ever, diplomatic, informational, and economic factors affect national security. At the strategic level, an adversary's power is no longer reckoned only in terms of its military capabilities. It is now assessed more comprehensively, in terms of its interconnected political, military, economic, social, informational, and infrastructure systems.

2-5. The end of the Cold War did not make the world more stable. Instead, it exposed points of stress worldwide where American interests might be threatened. Threats to American security and interests have become more varied. They are harder to anticipate and more difficult to combat than ever before. A growing number of borderless threats complicate the strategic environment, making its challenges less predictable. Some of these threats are sponsored or given passive support by states. They include extremist movements, narcotics trafficking, and organized crime. Typically, they are long-term, continuous threats that cannot be eliminated in short, limited actions. Instead, they require continuous engagement and the extended application of all instruments of national power.

2-6. Today the Nation is fighting the War on Terrorism. In this war, adversaries are not only foreign states but also extremists employing irregular means. These adversaries seek to erode American power, influence, and resolve. They threaten the security of American society, endangering its freedoms and way of life. This war is fueled by an ideology that promotes intractable hatred of the democratic ideal, especially in its Western manifestations. It is likely to endure in some form for the foreseeable future.

2-7. The Army is at war in this uncertain, unpredictable environment. It is prepared to conduct sustained operations throughout a period of protracted conflict in which the familiar distinction between war and peace does not exist. More notably, this war is the first severe, long-term test of the all-volunteer Army. The need to conduct sustained operations over a number of years may be the most significant aspect of the early twenty-first century security environment.

2-8. In the aftermath of 11 September 2001, it is inadequate to focus defenses only on threats by other states and known enemies. The strategic environment requires the Army to respond to unconventional and asymmetric threats too. The most prominent are followers of extremist ideologies. The protection afforded by geographic distance has decreased, while the potential for attacks on civilian, military, and economic targets has increased. The threat of an attack with weapons of mass destruction or other means of causing catastrophic effects adds urgency to operations against these enemies. The current trend toward regional and global integration may render interstate war less likely. However, the stability and legitimacy of the conventional political order in regions vital to the United States are increasingly under pressure.

2-9. New adversaries, methods, and capabilities now challenge the United States, its interests, and its partners and friends in strategically significant ways. Persistent and emerging challenges to the United States include the following:

In many operations, these challenges may overlap, occur simultaneously, or offer no easily discernible transition from one to another.

2-10. The National Security, National Defense, and National Military Strategies recognize traditional threats from other states and known adversaries. However, old security and deterrence concepts based on advanced warnings developed through traditional intelligence approaches do not fit the new strategic environment. In today's security environment, the Nation's overwhelming conventional and nuclear military superiority does not deter many emerging threats, especially followers of extremist ideologies who are willing to destroy themselves to achieve their aims.

2-11. Certain threats are nonstate entities, loosely organized networks of independent cells bound by beliefs or criminal activity rather than a hierarchical structure. They have a minimal physical presence, are difficult to target, and feel no moral obligation to limit collateral damage. These enemies often employ irregular methods-such as, terrorism, insurgency, and civil war-to erode U.S. power. Some seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction or other means of causing catastrophic effects. Because the United States can dominate conventional combat, some adversary states have allied themselves with terrorist and criminal groups that use more elusive, asymmetric methods. These include using unconventional means of coercion against friendly civilians and multinational partners rather than attempting traditional challenges against U.S. forces.

2-12. Nonstate threats are elusive. They may seek to undermine the American technological advantages by concealing themselves in complex environments. Multidimensional geography (natural, man-made, or subterraneous) and a society (with its associated social and political domains) can provide a convenient operational base and safe haven for adversaries. Complex environments degrade the conventional military advantages of speed and knowledge. They hinder development of an accurate, comprehensive intelligence picture and may preclude standoff precision strikes. They may limit Army commanders' ability to freely determine the time and place for engaging adversaries. Successful operations in such environments require integration and simultaneous application of multiple governmental and nongovernmental capabilities.

2-13. Traditional strategic threats (those possessing nuclear weapons or pursuing breakthrough technological capabilities) have not disappeared. Threats from nuclear armed states and states with large, modernizing conventional forces remain. Some of these are in Asia, where they can threaten neighbors and supply others with nuclear weapons. Breakthrough technologies include such advanced capabilities as cybernetic warfare, directed-energy weapons, and genetically engineered pathogens and toxins. These weapons are asymmetric in that they are difficult to engage militarily and can produce major disruptive and catastrophic effects. To preempt such challenges, the Army is developing and maintaining favorable relationships with armies of regional powers. Such relationships facilitate mutual understanding of issues and values. While they do not preclude misunderstandings, such relationships provide a basis for resolving differences. They reduce the likelihood of competitors becoming adversaries.

2-14. These diverse threats require combatant commanders to shape the security environment to a greater extent than ever. The Army's ability to conduct stability and reconstruction operations provides an important tool for doing this. The Army plays a vital role in terms of security cooperation and engagement. These operations are both military and humanitarian in nature. Around the world, Army forces are cooperating with the armies of established and emerging democracies to create a better and more secure future. Simultaneously, they are meeting current threats and preparing for future challenges.

2-15. In order to counter these challenges, the Army is increasing its versatility and flexibility, pursuing iterative solutions, and developing a sophisticated understanding of the new environment and its implications. Army forces are committed to global requirements beyond those associated with the War on Terrorism. They are operating to counter challenges ranging from the traditional to potentially catastrophic. Army forces provide the bulk of the landpower component of the military instrument of national power. They deter potential adversaries, reassure allies and friends, and assist when disaster strikes. The versatility of Army forces and their readiness to deploy on short notice make them relevant throughout the range of military operations.


This nation can afford to be strong-it cannot afford to be weak. We shall do what is needed to make and to keep us strong.

President John F. Kennedy

2-16. The President is responsible for national security. The National Security Council helps the President determine how best to employ the instruments of national power to achieve national goals. The National Security Council coordinates the efforts of all governmental agencies to execute a synchronized strategy that most effectively uses all the instruments. The Department of Defense-under the leadership of the Secretary of Defense-prepares the National Defense Strategy. It synchronizes Defense Department support of the National Security Strategy.

2-17. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the principal military advisor to the President, National Security Council, and Secretary of Defense. The chairman prepares the National Military Strategy in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and combatant commanders. The National Military Strategy contains the advice of the chairman and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the role of the Armed Forces in implementing the National Security and National Defense Strategies. The chairman, on behalf of the Secretary of Defense, directs combatant commanders to develop theater security cooperation plans as well as war and contingency plans.


2-18. The Armed Forces of the United States execute the National Military Strategy within the context of the National Security and National Defense Strategies. The National Military Strategy establishes the following interrelated military objectives:

These objectives guide military contributions to national defense and ultimately to the accomplishment of the national security goals.

2-19. Executing the National Military Strategy requires military forces with an expeditionary capability. It stresses fast, flexible power projection to eliminate threats before they reach the United States. It relies on versatile military forces able to deal with the breadth and scope of the security environment's challenges. The National Military Strategy also requires significant actions to shape the security environment to support achieving the national security goals. These actions include engagement, deterrence, and security cooperation operations. Ultimately, however, achieving the national security goals requires the Armed Forces to deter-and, if necessary, defeat-adversaries on land, in space, in the air, and at sea. Success in these endeavors requires landpower.


The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;.
  • To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
  • To provide and maintain a Navy;
  • To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
  • To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
  • To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States,.

Constitution of the United States, article 1, section 8

2-20. Under its Constitutional responsibility to raise and support armies, Congress establishes statutory obligations governing the roles and responsibilities of the Department of the Army. These are contained in Title 10 of the United States Code. (See figure 2-1.)

Subject to the authority, direction, and control of the Secretary of Defense.the Secretary of the Army is responsible for.the Department of the Army, including the following functions:

  • Recruiting.
  • Organizing.
  • Supplying.
  • Equipping (including research and development).
  • Training.
  • Servicing.
  • Mobilizing.
  • Demobilizing.
  • Administering (including the morale and welfare of personnel).
  • Maintaining.
  • The construction, outfitting, and repair of military equipment.
  • The construction, maintenance, and repair of buildings, structures, and utilities, and the acquisition of real property..









Title 10, U.3S. Code, Section 3013 (b)

Figure 2-1. Title 10 functions

2-21. More specifically, Department of Defense Directive 5100.1 lists the primary statutory functions of the Army: organize, equip, and train forces for the conduct of prompt and sustained combat operations on land. Additionally, it requires Army forces to be capable of conducting air and missile defense, space and space-control operations, and joint amphibious and airborne operations. Army forces are also required to support special operations forces, operate land lines of communication, and conduct other civil programs prescribed by law.

2-22. Title 10 charges the Army with administrative control (ADCON) of Army forces assigned to combatant commands. ADCON entails providing administrative (legal, personnel, and finance) and logistic support to these forces. When designated an executive agent, the Army also enters into inter-Service, interagency, and intergovernmental agreements for certain responsibilities. These may include-

Title 10 also includes combatant commanders' responsibilities and authorities. Two of these overlap the military departments' Title 10 functions: joint training and directive authority for logistics. Title 10 functions and the diverse set of missions assigned by the President and combatant commanders link the Army's enduring roles to its vision and mission.



2-23. The Army vision expresses how the Army intends to meet the challenges of the security environment. (See figure 2-2.)

Relevant and Ready Landpower in Service to the Nation

The Nation has entrusted the Army with preserving its peace and freedom, defending its democracy, and providing opportunities for its Soldiers to serve the country and personally develop their skills and citizenship. Consequently, we are and will continuously strive to remain among the most respected institutions in the United States. To fulfill our solemn obligation to the Nation, we must remain the preeminent land power on earth-the ultimate instrument of national resolve; strategically dominant on the ground where our Soldiers' engagements are decisive.

Dr. Francis J. Harvey
Secretary of the Army
April 2005

Figure 2-2. The Army vision

2-24. The organization and training of its forces, innovation and adaptability of its leaders, and design and practices of its institutional support structures will keep the Army relevant to the challenges posed by the complex global security environment. The Army will be ready to promptly provide combatant commanders with the capabilities- principally well-led, well-trained, and well-equipped forces-required to achieve all operational objectives. To realize this vision, the Army is positioning itself for the security environment in which it will operate for the foreseeable future. It is transforming its mindset, capabilities, effectiveness, efficiency, training, education, leadership, and culture. Throughout this transformation, the American Soldier will remain the Army's primary focus-the centerpiece of Army organizations. Chapter 4 describes how the Army will achieve its vision.



It is the intent of Congress to provide an Army that is capable, in conjunction with the other armed forces, of-
  1. preserving the peace and security, and providing for the defense, of the United States, the Territories, Commonwealths, and possessions, and any areas occupied by the United States;
  2. supporting the national policies;
  3. implementing the national objectives; and
  4. overcoming any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United States.

Title 10, U.S. Code, Section 3062 (a)

2-25. Title 10 of the United States Code states the purpose of Congress in establishing the Army and its guidance on how the Army is to be organized, trained, and equipped. Title 10 states that the Army includes land combat and service forces, and organic aviation and water transport. Army forces are to be organized, trained, and equipped primarily for prompt and sustained combat incident to operations on land. The Army is responsible for preparing the land forces necessary to effectively prosecute war except as otherwise assigned. It is also responsible, in accordance with integrated joint mobilization plans, for its expansion to meet the needs of war.

2-26. The Army exists to serve the American people, protect enduring national interests, and fulfill the Nation's military responsibilities. Specifically, the Army mission is to provide to combatant commanders the forces and capabilities necessary to execute the National Security, National Defense, and National Military Strategies. Army forces provide the capability-by threat, force, or occupation-to promptly gain, sustain, and exploit comprehensive control over land, resources, and people. This landpower capability compliments the other Services' capabilities. Furthermore, the Army is charged to provide logistic and other executive agent functions to enable the other Services to accomplish their missions. The Army is organized to accomplish this mission.


Battles are won by the infantry, the armor, the artillery, and air teams, by soldiers living in the rains and huddling in the snow. But wars are won by the great strength of a nation-the soldier and the civilian working together.

General of the Army Omar N. Bradley

2-27. Soldiers are the centerpiece of Army organizations. Professional Soldiers- warriors well trained, well equipped, and well led-serve as the ultimate expression of what the Army provides to the Nation and the joint force. They are the engine behind Army capabilities. However, the Army is more than a collection of individuals. It is a complex institution comprising many diverse types of organizations. Its Soldiers are both "full-time" Regulars and Reserve Component citizen-Soldiers. Army civilians are members of the force as well, serving in leadership and support functions at all levels. The Army is all these people and organizations, united by a common purpose in service to the Nation. In addition, civilian contractors augment Army organizations, providing specialized support that sustains readiness and operations.

2-28. Army forces are engaged in the Nation's numerous global commitments of today and preparing for the uncertainties of tomorrow. Nearly half the Soldiers on active duty are deployed or forward-stationed in more than 120 countries. They are accompanied by Army civilians and contractors. In addition to conducting combat operations, these Soldiers secure the homeland by deterring aggression and supporting friends and allies. The Army's organization supports mobilizing, training, deploying, and sustaining Soldiers at home and abroad.


2-29. Soldiers and Army civilians serve in two functionally discrete entities known as the institutional Army and the operational Army.

Institutional Army

2-30. The institutional Army exists to support accomplishing the Army's Title 10 functions. Institutional organizations provide the foundation necessary to design, raise, train, equip, deploy, sustain, and ensure the readiness of all Army forces. (See figure 2-3.) For example, institutional organizations include the training base that provides military skill development and professional education to Soldiers, members of the other Services, and multinational students. The institutional Army includes the schools, Soldier training centers, and combat training centers that develop and maintain individual and collective skills. These centers and schools also preserve the doctrine, research, and learning activities of the Army's professional knowledge base.

  • Accessions.
  • Training.
  • Doctrine development.
  • Human resource management.
  • Medical support and health sustainment.
  • Civil engineer and infrastructure support.
  • Acquisition and procurement activities.
  • Organic industrial facilities.
  • Laboratories and research centers.
  • Hospitals and clinics.
  • Corps of Engineers districts.







Figure 2-3. Sample institutional Army functions and facilities

2-31. The institutional Army provides the infrastructure and capabilities needed to rapidly expand the Army and deploy its forces. It synchronizes Army acquisition and force development efforts with the national industrial capabilities and resources needed to provide equipment, logistics, and services. It also manages reach-back resources, capabilities at home station that deployed units access to support their operations. These include everything from databases and staff support to contracted services. Reach-back capabilities reduce strategic lift requirements and the size of intheater logistic operations (the "footprint"). The institutional Army provides vital support to joint campaigns and Army operations.

Operational Army

2-32. The operational Army provides essential landpower capabilities to combatant commanders. For most of the twentieth century, the operational Army was organized around the division. Field armies and corps were groups of divisions and supporting organizations. Brigades, regiments, and battalions were divisional components. This structure served the Army and the Nation well. However, to remain relevant and ready, the operational Army is transforming from a division-based to a brigade-based force. This more agile "modular force" is organized and trained to fight as part of the joint force. Modular organizations can be quickly assembled into strategically responsive force packages able to rapidly move wherever needed. They can quickly and seamlessly transition among types of operations better than could their predecessors. Modular organizations provide the bulk of forces needed for sustained land operations in the twenty-first century. In addition to conventional modular forces, the Army will continue to provide the major special operations force capabilities (both land and air) in support of the U.S. Special Operations Command's global mission.


2-33. In addition to functional distinctions, the Army is described in terms of components. Each component is characterized by the source and role of its units and people. There are three components: the Regular Army and two Reserve Components, the Army National Guard and Army Reserve. All components include Army civilians as well as officers, noncommissioned officers, and enlisted Soldiers.

Regular Army

2-34. The Regular Army is a federal force consisting of full-time Soldiers and Army civilians. Both are assigned to the operational and institutional organizations engaged in the day-to-day Army missions. Congress annually determines the number of Soldiers the Army can maintain in the Regular Army.

Army National Guard

2-35. The Army National Guard has a dual mission that includes federal and state roles. In its federal role, the National Guard provides trained units able to mobilize quickly for war, national emergencies, and other missions. In its state role, it prepares for domestic emergencies and other missions as required by state law. National Guard Soldiers serve as the first military responders within states during emergencies. National Guard units are commanded by their state executive (usually the governor) unless they are mobilized for a federal mission. Members of the National Guard exemplify the state militia traditions of citizens answering the call to duty. Their selfless service, like that of Sergeant Christian P. Engeldrum described in the following vignette, reflects America's values and inspires others to the noble calling that serves freedom.


Citizen Soldier—Selfless Service

In 2004, Sergeant Christian P. Engeldrum deployed to Iraq with B Company, 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry, New York Army National Guard. This was not the first time Engeldrum had fought in Iraq; he had served there with the 82d Airborne Division during Operation Desert Storm. After leaving the Regular Army, Engeldrum became a New York City police officer and later a firefighter.

Engeldrum experienced 11 September 2001 first hand. As a member of the New York City Fire Department, he was a first responder to the attack on the World Trade Center. His organization, Ladder Company 61, arrived as the first tower collapsed. Later, he helped raise the first flag at Ground Zero on a lamp post. Engeldrum had completed his military service obligation but was outraged by the attacks of 11 September and joined the Army National Guard.

On 29 November 2004, B Company was attacked while engaged in a convoy in the northwest part of Baghdad. Engeldrum’s vehicle detonated an improvised explosive device, which destroyed the vehicle and killed Engeldrum and two other Soldiers. This citizen-Soldier, four times the volunteer, had given his life for his country. By his example of selfless service, Sergeant Christian Engeldrum demonstrated what it means to answer the call to duty.


Army Reserve

2-36. The Army Reserve is the Army's primary federal reserve force. It is a complementary force consisting of highly trained Soldiers and units able to perform a vast range of missions worldwide. Their primary role is to provide the specialized units, capabilities, and resources needed to deploy and sustain Army forces at home and overseas. The Army Reserve is also the Army's major source of trained individual Soldiers for augmenting headquarters staffs and filling vacancies in Regular Army units. The Army Reserve provides a wide range of specialized skills required for consequence management, foreign army training, and stability and reconstruction operations. Many of its Soldiers are civilian professionals.


2-37. Army civilians and contractors support the Army's ability to mobilize, deploy, employ, and sustain Army forces at home and abroad. In recent years, an increasing number of Army civilians and contractors have been supporting Soldiers on the battlefield, employing their technical expertise under hazardous conditions. They provide critical capabilities that supplement Soldier skills.

Army Civilians

2-38. Army civilians are full-time federal employees with skills and competencies that encompass many functional areas and occupational series. Army civilians perform technical and administrative tasks that free Soldiers for training and for operational and institutional missions. Army civilians are integral, vital team members of all three components.


2-39. Civilian contractors work to support Army forces in garrison locations and on the battlefield. Unlike Army civilians, contractors are hired for specific tasks and for a specific duration. They provide professional skills and perform technical and administrative tasks that allow Soldiers to focus on their primary missions. They are an important part of the Army team.


2-40. The challenge of serving a Nation at war highlights the importance of providing for the physical, material, mental, and spiritual well-being of Soldiers, Army civilians, and their family members. Their welfare is linked to readiness and the Army's sustained viability as an all-volunteer force. Army leaders will never take for granted the personal sacrifices made by Soldiers and their families. These include facing the hardships of war and extended periods of separation. In the case of Reserve Component Soldiers, they include concerns over continued employment and advancement in their civilian jobs as well. Additionally, the Army recognizes the importance of civilian employer support of Reserve Component Soldiers. Employers make sacrifices to support mobilized citizen-Soldiers. Their continued support is essential to the immediate and long-term readiness required to win the War on Terrorism.

2-41. Ultimately, the Army is a team comprising many people: Soldiers and Army civilians, regular and reserve; the citizens who support them; retirees, veterans, and family members. All are vital to the Army's success. These team members are drawn together by shared values and experiences, sacrifice, and selfless service to the Nation. All subordinate their own welfare to a higher calling. Dedicated, well-prepared people-Soldiers and those who support them-provide the leadership and skills necessary to ensure success in any complex military operation. It is they who translate the Army vision into decisive capabilities.


2-42. Today the Nation is at war, facing enemies that endanger its freedoms and way of life. At the same time, the Army is also undergoing its most profound transformation since World War II. The War on Terrorism will likely continue in some form for the foreseeable future. This protracted conflict against implacable enemies is occurring in a security environment that is dangerous, volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. To meet today's challenges, the Army is engaged in a continuous, adaptive cycle of innovation and experimentation informed by experience. This effort is improving the forces and capabilities the Army is providing today and ensuring that it is well postured for tomorrow.

2-43. America is strong and a bastion of freedom. Its citizens are a free people and, to a great extent, its strength flows from that freedom. America has abundant resources and a dynamic and productive population. It wields enormous political power and has the world's largest economy. But without a strong military to protect its enduring interests, America's freedom would be at risk. National power remains relative and dynamic. Because of this, the military provides the President with flexible forces that can operate across the range of military operations.

2-44. The Army's commitment to the Nation is certain and unwavering. All members of the Army-the Soldiers and Army civilians of all components-serve to accomplish the Army mission and meet its vision. They are guided by the compelling requirement to defend America's Constitution and way of life. The Army has defended the Nation and served the cause of freedom against all enemies and various forms of extremism for well over two centuries. It will continue to remain vigilant in these fundamental tasks.