From the Army Leadership:
President Bush told us that this war will
be unlike any other in our Nation's history. He was right. After
our initial expeditionary responses and successful major combat
operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, those operations have become
protracted campaigns where we are providing the conditions of security
needed to wage a conflict-a war of ideas. This is not simply a fight
against terror-terror is a tactic. This is not simply a fight against
al Qaeda, its affiliates and adherents-they are foot soldiers. This
is not simply a fight to bring democracy to the Middle East-that
is a strategic objective. This is a fight for the very ideas at
the foundation of our society, the way of life those ideas enable,
and the freedoms we enjoy.
The single most significant component of our
new strategic reality is that because of the centrality of the ideas
in conflict, this war will be a protracted one. Whereas for most
of our lives the default condition has been peace, now our default
expectation must be conflict. This new strategic context is the
logic for reshaping the Army to be an Army of campaign quality with
joint and expeditionary capabilities. The lessons learned in two
and a half years of war have already propelled a wide series of
changes in the Army and across the Joint team.
This learning process must not stop. Although
this article outlines the strategic context for the series of changes
under way in our Army, its purpose is not to convince you or even
to inform you. Its purpose is to cause you to reflect on and think
about this new strategic context and what it portends for our future
and for the Nation. All great changes in our Army have been accompanied
by earnest dialogue and active debate at all levels-both within
the Army and with those who care about the Army. As this article
states, "The best way to anticipate the future is to create
it." Your thoughtful participation in this dialogue is key
to creating that future.
Acting Secretary of the Army
General Peter J. Schoomaker
Chief of Staff, US Army
Serving a Nation
at War: A Campaign Quality Army with Joint and Expeditionary Capabilities
"The first, the supreme, the most far-reaching
act of judgment that the statesman and commander have to make
is to establish . . . the kind of war on which they are embarking;
neither mistaking it for, nor trying to turn it into, something
that it is alien to its nature. This is the first of all strategic
questions and the most comprehensive." - Clausewitz, On War
America is a Nation at war. To win this war,
we must meld all elements of our national power in a determined
and relentless campaign to defeat enemies who challenge our way
of life. This is not a "contingency," nor is it a "crisis."
It is a new reality that Soldiers understand all too well: since
9/11, they have witnessed more than a battalion's worth of their
comrades killed in action, more than a brigade's worth severely
wounded. Their sacrifice has liberated more than 46 million people.
As these words are written, the Army is completing the largest rotation
of forces in its history, and all 18 of its divisions have seen
action in Bosnia, Kosovo,Afghanistan, or Iraq. We have activated
more than 244,000 Soldiers of the Army National Guard and Army Reserve
in the last two years, and more than a division's worth of Soldiers
support homeland security missions. Over 300,000 Soldiers are forward-deployed.
Like our Nation, we are an Army at war.
For any war, as Clausewitz pointed out, it
is essential to understand "the kind of war on which [we] are
embarking." Although the fundamental nature of war is constant,
its methods and techniques constantly change to reflect the strategic
context and operational capabilities at hand. The United States
is driving a rapid evolution in the methods and techniques of war.
Our overwhelming success in this endeavor, however, has driven many
adversaries to seek their own adaptive advantages through asymmetric
means and methods.
Some enemies, indeed, are almost perfectly
asymmetric. Non-state actors, in particular, project no mirror image
of the nation-state model that has dominated global relationships
for the last few centuries. They are asymmetric in means. They are
asymmetric in motivation: they don't value what we value; they don't
fear what we fear. Whereas our government is necessarily hierarchical,
these enemies are a network. Whereas we develop rules of engagement
to limit tactical collateral damage, they feel morally unconstrained
in their efforts to deliver strategic effects. Highly adaptive,
they are self-organizing on the basis of ideas alone, exposing very
little of targetable value in terms of infrastructure or institutions.
To better understand such a war, we must examine the broader context
of conflict, the competition of ideas.
A cursory examination of the ideas in competition
may forecast the depth and duration of this conflict. The United
States, its economy dependent on overseas markets and trade, has
contributed to a wave of globalization both in markets and in ideas.
Throughout much of the world, political pluralism, economic competition,
unfettered trade, and tolerance of diversity have produced the greatest
individual freedom and material abundance in human history. Other
parts of the world remain mired in economic deprivation, political
failure, and social resentment. Many remain irreconcilably opposed
to religious freedom, secular pluralism, and modernization. Although
not all have taken up arms in this war of ideas, such irreconcilables
comprise millions of potential combatants.
Meanwhile, not all former strategic threats
have vanished. In the Far East, North Korea's nuclearization risks
intensifying more than 50 years of unremitting hostility, and many
others pursue weapons of mass destruction. We confront the growing
danger that such weapons will find their way into the hands of non-state
groups or individuals. Armed with such weapons and with no infrastructure
of their own at risk, such "super-empowered individuals"
could be anxious to apply them to our homeland.
On the international landscape the significance of American dominance
in world affairs has not been lost on other states. Many are envious,
some are fearful, and others believe that the "sole superpower"
must be curbed. This presents fertile soil for competitive coalitions
and alliances between states and non-state actors aimed at curtailing
US strengths and influence. Such strategic challenges have the potential
to become strategic threats at some point in the future.
At the same time, in a globalizing world, military-capable
technology is increasingly fungible, and thus potential adversaries
may have the means to achieve parity or even superiority in niche
technologies tailored to their military ambitions. For us and for
them, those technologies facilitate increasingly rapid, simultaneous,
and non-contiguous military operations. Such operations increasingly
characterize today's conflicts, and portend daunting future operational
We must prepare for the future, then, even
as we relentlessly pursue those who seek the destruction of our
way of life, and while waging a prolonged war of ideas to alter
the conditions that motivate our enemies. Some might equate these
challenges to the Cold War, but there are critical distinctions:
- Our non-state adversaries are not satisfied
with a "cold" standoff, but instead seek at every turn
to make it "hot."
- Our own forces cannot focus solely on future overseas contingencies,
but also must defend bases and facilities both at home and abroad.
- Because some of our adversaries are not easily deterred, our national
strategy is not "defensive" but "preventive."
- Above all, because at least some current adversaries consider
"peaceful coexistence" with the United States unacceptable,
we must either alter the conditions and convictions prompting their
hostility-or destroy them outright by war.
That is not the strategic context for which
we designed today's United States Army. Hence, our Army today confronts
the supreme test of all armies: to adapt rapidly to circumstances
that it could not foresee.
Change in a Time of War
The Army always has changed and always will.
But an army at war must change the way it changes. In peacetime,
armies change slowly and deliberately. Modern warfare is immensely
complex. The vast array of capabilities, skills, techniques, and
organizations of war is a recipe for chaos without thoughtful planning
to assure interoperability, synchronization, and synergy. Second-
and third-order effects of a change in any part of this intricate
mechanism are difficult to forecast, and the consequences of misjudgment
can be immense.
Peacetime also tends to subordinate effectiveness
to economy, and joint collaboration to the inevitable competition
for budgets and programs. Institutional energies tend to focus on
preserving force structure and budgetary programs of record. Resource
risk is spread across budget years and programs, including forces
in the field.
Today, that measured approach to change will
not suffice. Our current force is engaged, and in ways we could
not perfectly forecast. Our immediate demands are urgent, and fielding
capabilities in the near term may outweigh protection of the program
of record. We will shift resource risk away from fighting Soldiers.
To be sure, this urgency does not excuse us
from the obligation to prepare for the future, for the prolongation
of this conflict as well as the possible outbreak of others we cannot
predict. But it does significantly blur the usual dichotomy between
the current and future force. We must ensure that we apply lessons
learned from today's fight to those future force programs, even
if that means adjusting their direction and timing. In short, change
in a time of war must deal simultaneously with both current and
It must also pervade our entire institution. The Army cannot restrict
change solely to its operating forces. The same Soldiers and leaders
who adapt, learn, and innovate on our battlefields also drive our
institutional Army. We must match our success on the battlefield
with successful adaptation of the Army at home. Such adaptation
already is under way in the expansion and retailoring of our combat
training centers, the establishment of a Futures Center in Training
and Doctrine Command, reformulation of the Army Campaign Plan, and
a wide range of consolidation and reorganization initiatives in
Army major commands.
Fundamental to this adaptation will be our
rapid evolution to a campaign-quality Army with joint and expeditionary
An Expeditionary Mindset
The Army is no stranger to expeditionary operations.
World War I saw deployment of the American Expeditionary Forces,
and World War II the Allied Expeditionary Force. Throughout its
history the Army has executed a wide array of deployments. But many
today no longer perceive the United States Army to be expeditionary.
Some might argue that the primary distinction of an expeditionary
operation is its short duration. Neither history nor strategic guidance-which
calls for expeditionary forces capable of sustained operations-confirms
such a definition. Others view expeditionary as speed of responsiveness,
but this perception, too, is not complete. In the Cold War, the
United States was committed to reinforce Europe with ten divisions
within ten days, but no one perceived that responsiveness as expeditionary.
The reason for this is significant: in the Cold War we knew where
we would fight and we met this requirement through prepositioning
of units or unit sets in a very developed theater. The uncertainty
as to where we must deploy, the probability of a very austere operational
environment, and the requirement to fight on arrival throughout
the battlespace pose an entirely different challenge-and the fundamental
distinction of expeditionary operations.
This challenge is above all one of mindset,
because decades of planning and preparation against set-piece enemies
predisposed American Soldiers to seek certainty and synchronization
in the application of force. We have engaged repeatedly in conditions
of uncertainty and ambiguity, to be sure, but always viewing such
operations as the exception rather than the rule. That can no longer
be the case. In this globalized world, our enemies shift resources
and activities to those areas least accessible to us. As elusive
and adaptive enemies seek refuge in the far corners of the earth,
the norm will be short-notice operations, extremely austere theaters
of operation, and incomplete information-indeed, the requirement
to fight for information, rather than fight with information. Soldiers
with a joint and expeditionary mindset will be confident that they
are organized, trained, and equipped to go anywhere in the world,
at any time, in any environment, against any adversary, to accomplish
the assigned mission.
A Joint Mindset
The touchstone of America's way of war is combined
arms warfare. Each of our armed services excels in combining a wide
array of technologies and tools in each dimension-land, air, sea,
and space-to generate a synergy of effects that creates overwhelming
dilemmas for our opponents. Today, that same emphasis on combinations
extends beyond each service to joint operations. No longer satisfied
merely to deconflict the activities of the several services, we
now seek joint interdependence.
Interdependence is more than just interoperability,
the assurance that service capabilities can work together smoothly.
It is even more than integration to improve their collective efficiency
and effectiveness. Joint interdependence purposefully combines service
capabilities to maximize their total complementary and reinforcing
effects, while minimizing their relative vulnerabilities. There
are several compelling reasons for doing so:
- First, modern technology has extended the
reach of weapons far beyond their "dimensions of origin."
For example, land-based cruise missiles threaten ships at sea, and
land-based air defenses pose challenges to air-, sea-, and even
space-based capabilities. Merely defeating the mirror-image threat
within a service's primary dimension of interest can no longer suffice.
- Second, in addition to achieving daunting supremacy within the
air, maritime, and space dimensions, our sister services are developing
increasingly powerful capabilities that can influence land combat
- Finally, the nature of expeditionary operations argues for leveraging
every potential tool of speed, operational reach, and precision.
By projecting coordinated combinations of force unhindered by distance
and generally independent of terrain, we can achieve maximum effect
for the Joint Force Commander without regard to the service of origin.
At the strategic level, interdependence has
long pervaded the Army's thinking. Lacking organic strategic lift,
we can neither deploy nor sustain ourselves without the support
of the other services. But our commitment to interdependence has
not always extended to the tactical level. Constrained by the tyranny
of terrain, ground forces operate in a world of friction and position.
Command and control are fragile, the risk of surprise is omnipresent,
and our mobility advantage is relatively limited vis-à-vis
our adversaries. Once committed, we must prevail. The decisive nature
of land combat underscores a preference for organizational autonomy
and redundancy, and tends to predjudice Soldiers against relying
on others for essential ingredients of tactical survival and success.
In the past, moreover, that prejudice too often has prompted interservice
rivalries reflecting concerns far removed from the practical imperatives
of the battlefield.
A nation at war cannot afford that indulgence.
War relentlessly exposes theories built upon prejudice rather than
proof, and Iraq and Afghanistan have been no different. The air-,
sea-, or land-power debates are over. Our collective future is irrefutably
joint. To meet the challenges of expeditionary operations, the Army
can and must embrace the capabilities of its sister services right
down to the tactical level. In turn, that will require us to develop
operational concepts, capabilities, and training programs that are
joint from the outset, not merely as an afterthought.
The prerequisites of a commitment to interdependence
are broad understanding of the differing strengths and limitations
of each service's capabilities, clear agreement about how those
capabilities will be integrated in any given operational setting,
and absolute mutual trust that, once committed, they will be employed
as agreed. At the same time, the Army requires a similar commitment
from its sister services. The ultimate test of interdependence is
at the very tip of the spear, where the rifleman carries the greatest
burden of risk with the least intrinsic technological advantage.
No concept of interdependence will suffice that does not enable
the frontline Soldier and Marine.
The same logic and spirit that informs joint
interdependence also underscores the role of interagency and multinational
operations. In a sustained conflict that is a war of ideas, all
interagency elements of our national power must work in concert
with allies and coalition partners to alter the conditions that
motivate our adversaries.
A Campaign-Quality Army
While our recent combat employments in Afghanistan
and Iraq were models of rapid and effective offensive operations,
they also demonstrate that neither the duration nor the character
of even the most successful military campaign is readily predictable.
Especially in wars intended to liberate rather than subjugate, victory
entails winning a competition of ideas, and thereby fundamentally
changing the conditions that prompted the conflict. Long after the
defeat of Taliban and Iraqi military forces, we continue to wage
just such campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The campaign quality of an Army thus is not
only its ability to win decisive combat operations, but also its
ability to sustain those operations for as long as necessary, adapting
them as required to unpredictable and often profound changes in
the context and character of the conflict. The Army's preeminent
challenge is to reconcile expeditionary agility and responsiveness
with the staying power, durability, and adaptability to carry a
conflict to a victorious conclusion no matter what form it eventually
"Are You Wearing Your Dog Tags?"
Does that question surprise you? It might if you view peace as our
default condition, and war the exception. But our new reality is
- A conflict of irreconcilable ideas.
- A disparate pool of potential combatants.
- Adaptive adversaries seeking our destruction by any means possible.
- Evolving asymmetric threats that will relentlessly seek shelter
in those environments and methods for which we are least prepared.
- A foreseeable future of extended conflict in which we can expect
to fight every day, and in which real peace will be the anomaly.
This new reality drives the transformation
under way in the Army. It is the lens that shapes our perception
and interpretation of the future, and governs our responses to its
challenges. It is the logic for a campaign-quality Army with joint
and expeditionary capabilities. Are you wearing your dog tags?
Changing for Conflict
The Center of Our Formations. Our core competencies
remain: to train and equip Soldiers and grow leaders; and to provide
relevant and ready landpower to the Combatant Commander and the
joint team. Therefore even in a time of profound change, the American
Soldier will remain the center of our formations. In a conflict
of daunting complexity and diversity, the Soldier is the ultimate
platform. "Delinkable" from everything other than his
values, the Soldier remains the irreplaceable base of the dynamic
array of combinations that America can generate to defeat our enemies
in any expeditionary environment. As the ultimate combination of
sensor and shooter, the American Soldier is irrefutable proof that
people are more important than hardware and quality more important
Making that Soldier more effective and survivable
is the first requirement of adaptation to a joint and expeditionary
environment. However much the tools of war may improve, only Soldiers
willing and able to endure war's hardships can exploit them. Their
skills will change as the specialization characteristic of industrial-age
warfare gives way to the information-age need for greater flexibility
and versatility. What will not change is their warrior ethos.
That ethos reflects the spirit of the pioneers
who built America, of whom it rightly was said, "The cowards
never started. The brave arrived.
Only the tough survived." It is a subtle,
offensive spirit based on quiet competence. It is an ethos that
recognizes that closing with an enemy is not just a matter of killing,
but rather is the ultimate responsibility reserved for the most
responsible and the most disciplined. Only the true warrior ethos
can moderate war's inevitable brutality.
Just as the post-9/11 operational environment
has fundamentally changed, so too should the expectations of the
Americans entering Army service. We will seek individuals ready
and willing for warrior service. Bound to each other by integrity
and trust, the young Americans we welcome to our ranks will learn
that in the Army, every Soldier is a leader, responsible for what
happens in his or her presence regardless of rank. They will value
learning and adaptability at every level, particularly as it contributes
to initiative: creating situations for an adversary, rather than
reacting to them. They will learn that the Army's culture is one
of selfless service, a warrior culture rather than a corporate one.
As such, it is not important who gets the credit, either within
the Army or within the joint team; what's important is that the
nation is served.
Organizing for Conflict
Confronting an adaptive adversary, no single
solution will succeed, no matter how elegant, synchronized, or advanced.
Its very "perfection" will ensure its irrelevance, for
an adaptive enemy will relentlessly eliminate the vulnerabilities
that solution seeks to exploit and avoid the conditions necessary
for its success. Instead, the foundations of Army Transformation
must be diversity and adaptability. The Army must retain a wide
range of capabilities while significantly improving its agility
and versatility. Building a joint and expeditionary Army with campaign
qualities will require versatile forces that can mount smaller,
shorter duration operations routinely-without penalty to the Army's
capability for larger, more protracted campaigns.
Modular Units. A key prerequisite to achieving
that capability is developing more modular tactical organizations.
The Army's force design has incorporated tailoring and task organization
for decades, but primarily in the context of a large conventional
war in which all echelons from platoon to Army Service Component
Command were deployed. This presumption of infrequent large-scale
deployment encouraged the Army to centralize certain functions at
higher echelons of command, and implicitly assumed that deployment
would largely be complete before significant employment began. Moreover,
presuming peace to be the default condition, the Army garrisoned
the bulk of its tactical units to optimize economic efficiency and
management convenience rather than combined-arms training and rapid
deployability. Above all, the Army designed its capabilities to
satisfy every tactical requirement autonomously, viewing sister
service capabilities as supplementary.
These presumptions no longer apply. Near-simultaneous
employment and deployment increasingly characterize Army operations,
and those operations are increasingly diverse in both purpose and
scope. Tailoring and task-organizing our current force structure
for such operations renders an ad hoc deployed force and a nondeployed
residue of partially disassembled units, diminishing the effectiveness
of both. The premium now is on employed combined-arms effectiveness
at lower levels vice efficiency at macro levels. Peace will be the
exception, and both tactical organizations and garrison configurations
must support expeditionary deployment, not simply improvise it.
Force design must catch up with strategic reality.
That strategic reality is the immediate need
for versatile, cohesive units-and more of them. Increasingly, ownership
of capabilities by echelons and even by services matters less than
how those capabilities are allocated to missions. Although divisions
have long been the nominal measure of the Army's fighting strength,
the Army also has a long history of deployment and employment of
multifunctional brigade combat teams. In addition, the Army has
a broad array of reinforcing capabilities-both units and headquarters-but
we can significantly improve their modularity. In the future, by
shifting to such brigade combat teams as our basic units of action,
enabling them routinely with adequate combat, combat support, and
sustainment capabilities, and assuring them connectivity to headquarters
and joint assets, we can significantly improve the tailorability,
scalability, and "fightability" of the Army's contribution
to the overall joint fight. At the same time, the inherent robustness
and self-sufficiency of brigade combat teams will enhance their
ability to deploy rapidly and fight on arrival.
Being expeditionary is far less about deployability
than about operational and tactical agility, including the ability
to reach routinely beyond organic capabilities for required effects.
If in the process the Army can leverage our sister services' mobility,
reach, and lethality to satisfy some of those mission requirements,
all the better. To achieve that, we must expand our view of Army
force design to encompass the entire range of available joint capabilities.
At the end of the day, squads and platoons will continue to win
our engagements, but no one can reliably predict-particularly in
the emerging operational environment-which squads or platoons will
carry the decisive burden of the fight. In an expeditionary army,
small units must be so well networked that whichever makes contact
can leverage all joint capabilities to fight and win.
Such joint interdependence is not unidirectional.
The more modular the Army's capabilities, the better we will be
able to support our sister services, whether by the air defense
protection of an advanced sea base, compelling an enemy ground force
to mass and thereby furnish targets for air attack, or exploiting
the transitory effects of precision fires with the more permanent
effects of ground maneuver.
Modular Headquarters. The transformation of
our headquarters will be even more dramatic than that of our units,
for we will sever the routine association between headquarters and
the units they control. At division level and higher, headquarters
will surrender organic subordinate formations, becoming themselves
streamlined modular organizations capable of commanding and controlling
any combination of capabilities-Army, joint, or coalition. For that
purpose, the headquarters themselves will be more robust, staffed
to minimize the requirement for augmentation. They will employ separable,
deployable command posts for rapid response and entry; link to Home
Station Operation Centers to minimize forward footprints; and be
network-enabled organizations capable of commanding or supporting
joint and multinational as well as Army forces.
Trained, cohesive staffs are key to combat
effectiveness. Today, because our tactical headquarters elements
lack the necessary joint interfaces, we have to improvise these
when operations begin. That must change. Major tactical headquarters
must be capable of conducting Joint Force Land Component Command
(JFLCC) operations. Major operational headquarters must have enough
permanent sister-service staff positions to receive and employ a
Standing Joint Force Headquarters (SJFHQ) plug, enabling them with
equal effectiveness to serve as an Army Service Component Command,
Joint Task Force, or JFLCC headquarters.
Stabilizing the Force. Paradoxically, an Army
that seeks maximum flexibility through modularity must simultaneously
maximize unit cohesion where it counts, within our companies, battalions,
and brigades. Again, our altered strategic context is the driver.
In the past, our approach to unit manning reflected the industrial
age in which our forces were developed. Processes treated people
as interchangeable parts, and valued their administrative availability
more highly than their individual and team proficiency. At the unit
level, manning and equipping reflected a "first-to-last"
strategic deployment system. Peace was the default condition, allowing
late-deploying units to fill out over time, typically by individual
replacements, during the expected prolonged transition from peace
At a time when protracted conflict has become
the norm, during which we will repeatedly deploy and employ major
portions of our Army, such an approach to manning will not work.
Instead, units will need to achieve and sustain a level of readiness
far exceeding the ability of any individual manning system. The
effects we seek are broad: continuity in training, stability of
leadership, unit cohesion, enhanced unit effectiveness, and greater
deployment predictability for Soldiers and their families.
To achieve these effects we are undertaking
the most significant revision in manning policy in our Army's history.
It entails four key changes:
- First, we will shift the logic of our force
structure from a scenario basis to a capability basis. We will need
an adequate level of capability not only for employment, but also
rotation for training, refitting, and rest. This does not preclude
the requirement or the capability to surge for crisis response,
but sustained commitment and rotation will be the expected requirement.
- Second, we must abandon tiering unit readiness by "early"
and "late" deployers. There will be no "late deployers,"
merely "future deployers" who are at different stages
of their rotation cycle.
- Third, we must synchronize our Soldiers' tours with their unit's
rotation cycles. While accidents and casualties will preclude eliminating
individual replacement altogether, we must minimize routine attrition
of deployed units.
- Finally, we must stabilize the assignment of Soldiers and their
families at home stations and communities across recurring rotations.
As any personnel manager would tell you, "This
changes everything." And so it should. Today's individual Soldier
and leader development programs, for example, do not accommodate
force stabilization. They will change. Current command tour policies
do not accommodate force stabilization. They will change. There
have been many previous attempts to experiment with force stabilization,
but those attempts always focused narrowly on only a few portions
of the Army and invariably failed as a result. The Army will undertake
a comprehensive policy redesign to stabilize the force.
Adjusting the Total Force Mix
Changes in our reserve component organizations
will match those in the active component. Reserve component forces
are a vital part of the Army's deployable combat power. The National
Guard will continue to provide strategic and operational depth and
flexibility; the Army Reserve will still reinforce the Army with
skill-rich capabilities across the spectrum of operations. But with
reserve component forces constituting an indispensable portion of
our deployed landpower in this protracted conflict, an industrial-age
approach to mobilization no longer will suffice. The model will
shift from "alert-mobilizetrain-deploy" to "train-alert-deploy."
Reserve component mobilization must take less time and allow maximum
mission time and more flexibility in managing individual and unit
readiness, mobilization and demobilization, deployment and redeployment,
and post-deployment recovery.
We will adjust the active/reserve mix so that
active component forces can execute the first 30 days of any deployment.
For that purpose, some high-demand, low-density capabilities currently
found only in the reserve components must be reincorporated in the
active force. At the same time, while we will not expect reserve
component units to deploy in the first 30 days, they will employ
forces within hours for security operations within our homeland.
As with the active forces, the need to build predictability into
reserve component deployments will require increasing the proportion
of high-demand, low-density units in the reserve components. Finally,
the shift to rotation-based unit manning rather than individual
replacement will apply to the reserve components also. As with the
active forces, therefore, we must find a way to account for unit
mobilization, training, and deployment with a realistic personnel
Training and Education
To change the mindset of an Army, few tools
are as important as its programs of training and education. The
US Army has long set the standard across the world in its commitment
to Soldier and leader development. This strong legacy is our fulcrum
on which to leverage change. We train for certainty while educating
for uncertainty. Today's conflict presents both.
Individual Training. The certainty confronting
today's Soldiers is overseas deployment and probable combat. Some
will enter combat within weeks or months of their basic and advanced
individual training. Thrust into a conflict in which adversaries
far outnumber their comrades, our Soldiers must believe and demonstrate
that quality is more important than quantity, and that people are
more important than hardware. On the battlefields we face, there
are no front lines and no rear areas; there are no secure garrisons
or convoys. Soldiers are warriors first, specialists second.
Therefore Soldier training will be stressful,
beyond the comfort zone. We will adapt our training programs to
generate the stress necessary to change behavior and increase learning.
Training will accurately represent the rigors and risks of combat.
It will last longer than in the past and will put teams and Soldiers
through the exhausting, challenging, and dangerous tasks of fighting.
Soldiers will fight in body armor and will wear it in training.
The safe handling of loaded firearms must be second nature, live-fire
training routine. For a conflict of daunting ambiguity and complexity,
training must imbue Soldiers with a fundamental joint and expeditionary
mindset; an attitude of multifunctionality rather than specialization,
curiosity rather than complacency, and initiative rather than compliance.
Above all, training must build the confidence that our Soldiers
will prevail against any foe.
Collective Training. Our Combat Training Centers
(CTCs) drive the tactical culture of the Army. They are the linchpin
of our extraordinary battlefield success over the past two decades.
Given that every Army employment presumes a joint context, we will
reinforce this key condition throughout our collective training.
Therefore we have begun introducing joint,
interagency, and multinational components into our key training
experiences at both the CTCs and our Battle Command Training Program
for division and corps headquarters. We also support establishment
of the Joint National Training Capability and have begun routinely
incorporating joint effects in our home-station training. All these
efforts will make Soldiers expert in the application of joint capabilities
at every organizational level. At the same time, at both CTCs and
home stations, we have transformed training environments to reflect
the more complex and ambiguous threats confronting our deployed
forces. The ability to develop and disseminate actionable intelligence
must be a key training focus.
Integrated with force stabilization cycles,
CTC rotations will be the capstone experience for forces preparing
to deploy. But the heart of the Army's training remains the training
conducted at home stations by junior officers and noncommissioned
officers (NCOs). To empower them, we must shake a legacy of planning-centric
rather than execution-centric training. We need battle drills rather
than "rock drills," free play rather than scripted exercises,
and Soldiers and units conditioned to seek out actionable intelligence
rather than waiting passively to receive it.
Professional Education. Just as training must
reflect the hard certainties of the conflict before us, individual
Soldier and leader education must address its uncertainties. George
C. Marshall once said that an Army at peace must go to school. Our
challenge is to go to school while at war. The need to teach Soldiers
and leaders how to think rather than what to think has never been
clearer. To defeat adaptive enemies, we must out-think them in order
to out-fight them.
Technology can enhance human capabilities,
but at the end of the day, war remains more art than science, and
its successful prosecution will require battle command more than
battle management. We can have "perfect" knowledge with
very "imperfect" understanding. Appreciation of context
transforms knowledge to understanding, and only education can make
that context accessible to us. Only education informed by experience
will encourage Soldiers and leaders to meet the irreducible uncertainties
of war with confidence, and to act decisively even when events fail
to conform to planning assumptions and expectations.
As we improve leaders' skill and knowledge,
we can rely more heavily on their artful application of leader knowledge
and intuition. Planning will be iterative and collaborative rather
than sequential and linear, more a framework for learning and action
than a rigid template. Adapting our military decisionmaking process
will allow us to capitalize on the American Soldier's inherent versatility,
our growing ability to acquire and process information, and the
increased rapidity with which we can disseminate, coordinate, and
transform planning adjustments into effective action.
To that end, the Army will continue to refocus
institutional learning, shifting Center for Army Lessons Learned
collection assets from the CTCs to deployed units. Similarly, recognizing
that a learning organization cannot afford a culture of information
ownership, we must streamline the flow of combat information to
assure broader and faster dissemination of actionable intelligence.
At the individual level, finally, there is
no substitute for experiential learning, and today's Army is the
most operationally experienced Army in our history. There are tremendous
opportunities to leverage experience through our well-developed
culture of After Action Reviews, Lessons Learned, the great experience
of the serving officers and NCOs, and the links from joint and Army
operational analyses to formal learning-distributed and in the classroom.
At the same time, some of the best battlefield lessons result from
tragic but honest mistakes. We cannot allow a zero-defects mentality
to write off those who make such mistakes, and we will review our
leader evaluation systems to ensure they are leader development
tools and not mere management sorting tools.
Leader Development. The Army has always prized
leader development, and in peacetime has been willing to accept
some personnel turbulence to broaden career experience. That is
not acceptable for an army at war. Effective collective training
requires the participation of the entire team, and units are not
merely training aids for commanders. If we are serious about developing
more versatile junior leaders, we must avoid too rapid a turnover
of those leaders in the name of career development.
The problem is somewhat less acute for middle-
and senior-grade officers, whose fewer numbers in any case make
greater assignment mobility unavoidable. Even in their case, however,
the growing complexity and political sensitivity of joint and expeditionary
operations urges leaders to seek assignments that inherently involve
interpreting complex requirements and implementing sophisticated
solutions. Our legacy system of leader development will certainly
evolve, with the alteration of some current career roadmaps or the
accreditation of a greater variety of substitute experiences.
Just as we subordinate individual leader development
to mission requirements, so too must we subordinate institutional
leader development to joint requirements. Army training and education
should produce imaginative staffs and commanders who understand
how to interact with other service leaders and how to get the most
out of the full set of joint capabilities. To produce leaders who
reach instinctively beyond their own service for solutions to tactical
and operational problems, Army leader development must routinely
incorporate joint education and experience. In the end, we seek
a bench of leaders able to think creatively at every level of war,
and able to operate with equal comfort in Army, joint, interagency,
and multinational environments. And if achieving that requires submitting
our internal educational institutions to joint oversight, we should
not shrink from it.
Doctrine, Materiel, and Sustainment
Doctrine. The Army rightfully views itself
as "doctrine-based." In the 1970s and 1980s, doctrine
was the engine that transformed the post-Vietnam Army into the victor
of our post-Cold War engagements. That doctrine, however, reflected
the strategic environment dominated by a singular adversary, and
an opposing army in symmetric contrast to our own. Although the
challenge of developing doctrine for a joint and expeditionary environment
is different, it is no less essential.
In any era, doctrine links theory, history,
experimentation, and practice. It encapsulates a much larger body
of knowledge and experience, providing an authoritative statement
about how military forces do business and a common lexicon with
which to describe it. As it has evolved since the Cold War, Army
doctrine portrays military operations as a seamless and dynamic
combination of offense, defense, stability, and support. Now we
must extend it to address enemies who deliberately eschew predictable
To deal with such asymmetric opponents, doctrine
must reflect the associated uncertainties. Uncertainty is in some
measure inseparable from the nature of warfare. Asymmetry merely
increases it. Doctrine cannot predict the precise nature and form
of asymmetric engagements, but it can forecast the kinds of knowledge
and organizational qualities necessary to cope with them.
Such a doctrine, however, cannot simply prescribe
solutions. Rather, it must furnish the intellectual tools with which
to diagnose unexpected requirements, and a menu of practical options
founded in experience from which leaders can create their own solutions
quickly and effectively. Its objective must be to foster initiative
and creative thinking. Such a doctrine is more playbook than textbook,
and like any playbook, it is merely a gateway to decision, not a
The US military enjoys an immense array of
capabilities that are useless if we overlook their prerequisites
and limitations. Doctrine can help frame those capabilities in context,
while not prescribing their rigid application in any given case.
A doctrine intended for our emerging strategic context must underwrite
flexible thought and action, and thereby assure the most creative
exploitation of our own asymmetric advantages. It must also account
for the inherently joint character of all Army operations.
Most important in today's environment, doctrine
must acknowledge the adaptive nature of a thinking, willful opponent
and avoid both prediction and prescription. It is not the role of
doctrine to predict how an adversary will behave. Rather, its function
is to enable us to recognize that behavior, understand its vulnerabilities
and our own, and suggest ways of exploiting the former and diminishing
the latter. It will be useful only to the extent that experience
confirms it, and its continuous review and timely amendment therefore
Materiel. Materiel development is a special
challenge for an army at war, because we must not only anticipate
and address future needs, we must meet pressing current demands.
There is, however, a constant first priority: equipping the individual
Soldier. In the past, the Army reserved the best individual equipment
for units most likely to fight; in an expeditionary army, one cannot
forecast such units. Every deployed Soldier needs the best individual
equipment available. In an expeditionary environment, moreover,
we can no longer continue to treat equipment as permanently owned
by the units to which it is assigned. In a rotation-based force,
equipment ownership will be the exception. We will increasingly
separate Soldiers from their carriers and equipment, tailoring the
materiel mix for the mission at hand.
Being most amenable to adaptability, speed,
and flexibility, aviation assets will be key to an expeditionary
force. The lessons learned after two and a half years of war have
provided our Army the opportunity to reassess near-term aviation
requirements. We will fundamentally restructure our aviation program
to ensure the entire Army aviation fleet remains a key tool of maneuver,
with better command-and-control connectivity, manned-unmanned teaming,
extended operational reach, and all-weather capability.
Equally vital is the continued development of more rapidly deployable
fighting platforms. The Future Combat System (FCS) remains the materiel
centerpiece of the Army's commitment to become more expeditionary,
and will go far to reconciling deployability with sustainable combat
power. We will remain a hybrid force for the foreseeable future,
and we will seek ways to improve the deployability of the platforms
we already own.
Meanwhile, neither current platforms nor the
FCS will satisfy expeditionary requirements without significant
improvement in the ability to develop actionable intelligence and
increase communications bandwidth at corps level and below. The
Army, together with the joint community, must relentlessly address
the architectures, protocols, and systems of a redundant, nonterrestrial
network capable of providing the focused bandwidth necessary to
support mobile Battle Command and joint Blue Force tracking. Lessons
learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom
continue to highlight the successes and potential of network-enabled
operations. The operational advantages of shared situational awareness,
enhanced speed of command, and the ability of forces to self-synchronize
are powerful. In this light, we must change the paradigm in which
we talk and think about the network; we must fight rather than manage
the network, and operators must see themselves as engaged at all
times, ensuring the health and operation of this critical weapons
Logistics. The Cold War Army designed its logistical
structure for operations in developed theaters with access to an
extensive host-nation infrastructure. Expeditionary operations promise
neither. Simultaneity and complexity compound the eternal constraints
of decreased time, vast distances, and limited resources, creating
a pressing demand for a logistics system that capitalizes on service
interdependencies. We must operationally link logistics support
to maneuver in order to produce desired operational outcomes. We
will realize such "effects-based logistics capability"
only when all services fully embrace joint logistics, eliminate
gaps in logistics functions, and reduce overlapping support. We
require a distribution-based sustainment system that provides end-to-end
visibility of and control over force-support operations; one that
incorporates by design the versatility to shift logistical support
smoothly among multiple lines of operation and rapidly changing
At the tactical level, that means eliminating
today's layered support structure, instead bridging the distance
from theater or regional support commands to brigade combat teams
with modular, distribution-based capabilities packages. We intend
to use the resources from current-day corps and division support
commands (COSCOMs and DISCOMs) to create joint-capable Army Deployment
and Sustainment Commands (ADSCs). These ADSCs will be capable of
serving as the foundation for a joint logistics command and control
element at the Joint Task Force (JTF), and capable also of simultaneously
executing the full range of complex operations-from theater port
opening to employment and sustainment-required in the emerging operational
Finally, it is clear that the physical security
traditionally associated with the rearward location of logistical
facilities no longer can be assumed. On today's battlefields and
tomorrow's, we must make explicit provision for the protection of
logistical installations and the lines of communication joining
them to combat formations. And the Soldiers conducting sustainment
operations must be armed, trained, and psychologically prepared
to fight as well as support.
Installations. Installations are an integral
part of the deployed force from home station to the foxhole. Operational
deployments and rotational assignments across the globe mean installation
capabilities will transcend more traditional expeditionary support
requirements associated with mobilizing, deploying, and sustaining
the force. More than a jump point for projecting forces, installations
serve a fundamental role in minimizing their footprint through robust
connectivity and capacity to fully support reach-back operations.
Installation facilities must readily adapt
to changing mission support needs, spiraling technology, and rapid
equipment fielding. Installation connectivity must also support
en-route mission planning and situational awareness. Education and
family support will use the same installation mission support connectivity
to sustain the morale and emotional needs of our Soldiers and their
The changes ahead are significant. But they
are neither reckless nor revolutionary. On the contrary, they reflect
years of Army study, experimentation, and experience. We have delayed
this transformation repeatedly, fearing that we could not afford
such change in a time of turbulence and reduced resources. Now we
realize that what we cannot afford is more delay. The 3rd Infantry
Division is reorganizing today to a prototype redesign that converts
its combat structure from three brigades to four brigade combat
teams. Other divisions will soon follow.
The best way to anticipate the future is to
create it. The Army is moving out, and this is merely the beginning.
Our incentive is not change for change's sake. Our incentive is
effectiveness in this protracted conflict. If necessary to defeat
our adaptive adversaries, the changes described here are a mere
down payment on changes that will follow.
But our challenge is to measure ourselves
not against others, but against our own potential. It is not enough
that we are changing. The real question is, "Are we changing
enough?" Our brave Soldiers and adaptive leaders constitute
the best Army in the world, but we can be even better. It is inside
of us and it is what the Nation expects. The future as we know it-our
lives, the lives of our families, this country, everything we love
and cherish-all depend on our success in meeting this challenge.
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