At War & Transforming
Strategic Environment
The Army, Serving Today
Realizing the Army Vision
A Commitment to the Future
Download Print Version
The 2003 United States Army Posture Statement


The Objective Force

The Army is actively engaged in global operations supporting Combatant Commanders today, but it is our obligation to prepare for the future, as well. The Objective Force is The Army’s future full-spectrum force that will be organized, manned, equipped and trained to be more strategically responsive, deployable, agile, versatile, lethal, survivable and sustainable than we are today – across the full spectrum of military operations as an integral member of a cohesive joint team.
Conceptual  - Objective Force Warrior, Okinawa, Japan
Conceptual - Objective Force Warrior

The Nation will continue to face adaptive, asymmetric threats that capitalize on the power of information. To dominate and maintain superiority over these emerging challenges, The Army is changing the way we fight – a paradigm shift more significant than the 20th Century’s introduction of the tank and the helicopter. The Army is changing from sequential and linear operations to distributed and simultaneous operations. The Objective Force – characterized by networks of people enabled with systems that provide actionable information and decision superiority – will dissuade, deter or decisively defeat our adversaries anytime, anyplace, and anywhere.

The Objective Force will consist of command structures scaled to meet Joint Force Commander requirements and modular combined-arms units tailored according to each situation. Objective Force integrated, mobile, air-ground teams will conduct mounted and dismounted operations and employ both manned and unmanned platforms to achieve decisive victories. Capable of forcible entry and operations in austere environments to address the spectrum of military operations – from humanitarian assistance to warfighting – the Objective Force will conduct simultaneous combat and stability operations and master transitions between phases of operations. It will be an offensively oriented, multi-dimensional force enabled by advanced information technologies that give Soldiers real-time intelligence and actionable information.

The Objective Force will arrive in theater combat capable – deployment will be synonymous with employment. The Objective Force will be strategically responsive and rapidly deployable on the U.S Air Force family of inter-theater and intra-theater aircraft. An Objective Force Unit of Action (UA) will deploy on approximately one-third the number of aircraft required to deploy a heavy brigade combat team today. It will be operationally deployable and capable of operational maneuver over strategic distances by air, land, or sea. Soldiers will overcome anti-access and area denial strategies and environments through precision maneuver and decision superiority.

Equipped with new systems designed to meet the needs of The Army’s future fighting formations, the Objective Force will be a networked system of systems. This system of systems includes Soldiers equipped with the Land Warrior system; a family of 18 integrated, synchronized, manned and unmanned Future Combat Systems (FCS); and critical complementary systems such as the Comanche and the Future Tactical Truck System. The components of the FCS are being synchronously developed and fielded as a complete family to achieve the warfighting capabilities the Nation requires to defeat adaptive, asymmetric conventional and unconventional adversaries.

Soldiers are the centerpiece of The Army’s formation – not equipment. And Soldiers of the Objective Force will leverage dominant knowledge to gain decision superiority over any adversary. They will seamlessly integrate Objective Force capabilities with the capabilities of joint forces, Special Operations Forces, other federal agencies, and multinational forces. The Objective Force Soldiers will enable the United States to achieve its national security goals in a crisis, rather than simply inflict punitive strikes on an adversary. Employing FCS capabilities in formations called Units of Action (UA) and Units of Employment (UE), Objective Force Soldiers will provide campaign quality staying power – that means precision fire and maneuver to control terrain, people, and resources, without having to resort to indiscriminate collateral damage. The Land Warrior system will integrate individual Soldiers in the network while providing them increased protection and lethality. And FCS will give Soldiers the capability to destroy any adversary in any weather and environment with smaller calibers, greater precision, more devastating target effects, and at longer-ranges than available today.

Joint C4ISR – a network-centric information architecture nested within the Global Information Grid (GIG) – will connect the Objective Force’s system of systems. Capitalizing on the synergistic power of the information network enterprise, every Objective Force Soldier and platform will be capable of sensing and engaging the enemy while maintaining situational awareness of friendly forces. Advanced information technologies and C4ISR decision tools and assets will enhance the Common Relevant Operating Picture (CROP). The Objective Force will identify, locate, and engage critical targets with lethal or non-lethal affects and assess battle damage on those targets. The joint C4ISR linkages will enable the attack of targets with whatever joint or Army assets are available for immediate employment, whether the force is in contact or out of contact. Similarly, enhanced situational awareness will facilitate multi-layered active and passive defense measures – including both offensive and defensive counter air against air and non-air breathing, manned and unmanned aerial vehicles.

The CROP and Network centric operations will enhance sustainability of the Objective Force through multi-nodal distribution networks that reach forward to the area of operations or reach back to the Home Station Operations Center. Increased reliability through equipment design and commonality among the FCS family of systems will enhance sustainability while reducing logistics demands. Advanced technologies will enable robust Objective Force operations while shrinking the logistics footprint and lift requirements of deployed forces.

The FCS is a transformational approach to meeting this Nation's requirements for the Objective Force. We designed and will field the FCS family in a carefully balanced manner to avoid optimizing a component at the expense of sub-optimizing the overarching capabilities of Objective and joint forces. The acquisition and requirements development processes are being updated to accommodate the Department of Defense’s (DoD) direction to field a networked system of systems rapidly through spiral development and an open architecture that allows maturing technological insertions as they occur.

The Army embraces the ongoing DoD and Joint Staff Capabilities and Acquisition processes reform efforts to achieve revolutionary capabilities in the fielding of a new generation of equipment. This collaborative DoD and JCS effort enables The Army to design new information-age capable organizations holistically, use evolutionary acquisition strategies to equip those organizations, and see the Objective Force fielded before the end of this decade.


Back to Operational Army
Continue to Science and Technology - Moving Toward the Transformed Army