Executive Summary

America's Army today is the best land force in the world. It has won victory in Panama and Southwest Asia, provided assistance to Americans who suffered the devastation of floods and hurricanes, fed starving people in Somalia, and upheld democratic principles in Haiti. Now it is upholding peace in war-torn Bosnia. Today's Army serves America capably around the world. It is prepared to answer the nation's call in peace, in crisis, and in war to accomplish any task necessary for the protection of American interests.

The Army is a good investment in national security. Although smaller than at any time since before World War II, the Army is being called upon to conduct an increasing number of missions around the world. America has committed its forces in response to crises nearly 40 times since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The majority of the personnel committed to diverse operations - such as counterdrug, noncombatant evacuation, nation assistance, and humanitarian and disaster relief - are soldiers. For less than one-quarter of the defense budget, America's Army leads the way in achieving national objectives in places like Haiti, Rwanda, and now Bosnia. Since 1989, the Army has experienced a 300 percent increase in operational deployments. While the Army has successfully met that challenge, constraints on defense resources make it more difficult to balance operational requirements, readiness, modernization, and quality of life programs.

American leadership is essential in today's world. Ethnic, religious, territorial and economic tensions, held in check by the pressures of the Cold War's bipolar global competition, erupted when those constraints dissolved. Today's threats are more diverse, more unpredictable, and more numerous than at any other time in our nation's history.

The Army's senior leadership recognizes the inherent unpredictability of today's global environment and is adapting to the requirements mandated by a changing world. As we approach the 21st century, the Army must transition from a Cold War, threat-based force to a capabilities-based force that can successfully meet any challenges that lie ahead. The responsibility we share with Congress is to accommodate these changes while conducting operations, preserving the Army's readiness, modernizing for the future, and sustaining the quality of life of our soldiers and their families.

The Army's fundamental purpose is to fight and win the nation's wars. It also conducts other operations as required by our country's leadership. The employment of the Army is the ultimate symbol of American will. The sight of an American soldier on the ground symbolizes our nation's determination to prevail in any situation. Combined with air and naval forces, the Army provides the nation with the ability to employ its military might in support of national policy. However, America's ability to impose its will ultimately depends on its ability to control the land, if necessary, through prompt and sustained land-combat operations. The application of military force on land is an action an opponent cannot ignore. The Army is the nation's force of decision.

The Army is organized to compel, deter, reassure and support. When all else fails, the Army compels adversaries to yield to our nation's will, as evidenced by recent operations in Panama, Kuwait, and Haiti. The Army deters others from actions counter to our interests by maintaining a trained and ready force, as demonstrated by our long-standing presence in Europe and the Pacific. The Army reassures friends and allies. We are a visible symbol of U.S. commitment to stand firm against any external threat to their sovereignty, as demonstrated in the Sinai, Macedonia, and many other places around the world. Finally, the Army supports communities within the United States. For decades, the Army has provided military support to civil authorities during natural disasters, civil disturbances, and other emergencies.

Our National Security Strategy is one of engagement and enlargement. The National Military Strategy, in supporting the National Security Strategy, calls for flexible and selective engagement. As the nation's land force and the strategic core of joint military operations, the Army is critical to the successful execution of the National Military Strategy. The strategy involves a broad range of activities and capabilities to address and influence events in the evolving international environment. Its objectives are to promote stability and thwart aggression, through overseas presence and power projection.

The Army is committed to maintaining a robust overseas presence. We maintain 125,000 soldiers forward-stationed in Europe, the Pacific, and Panama. At the same time, on any given day, an average of over 21,500 soldiers are deployed from their home stations to countries around the world.

America's Army is a ready, versatile force, capable of projecting power. The Army may be called upon to win major regional conflicts, conduct peace operations, or deliver humanitarian assistance. As a mostly U.S.-based force, it must be a power-projection army, capable of rapid response, trained and ready to deliver decisive victory. Our Army provides national leaders the ability to respond to crises with forces tailored to the mission.

As we move towards the 21st century, America's Army confronts three key challenges: maintaining readiness, gaining stability in the force, and becoming more efficient.

First, to maintain readiness, we must make difficult decisions and identify trade-offs. We make those decisions by balancing six fundamental imperatives: quality people, doctrine, force mix, training, modern equipment, and leader development.

Quality people are the defining characteristic of a trained and ready Army. They are the single most important requirement for the Army's success today and in the future. Quality people are versatile enough to respond rapidly to unforeseen situations. They are critical to successful mission accomplishment.

Our doctrine provides guidelines for the conduct of military operations. It establishes the intellectual and theoretical foundation for our disciplined evolution to the future.

We must have the appropriate force mix of heavy, light, and special operations units, their supporting elements, and sustaining base activities. A proper force mix ensures the Army's ability to project a tailored, sustained land combat capability worldwide.

Training ensures that soldiers, leaders, and units are prepared to fight and win. The Army has set the training standard for armies everywhere. Our demanding training and high standards are absolute requirements for a ready force.

Modern equipment takes advantage of our nation's technological strengths. Modernization is essential as we prepare to enter a new century. A smaller army requires increased lethality, and obsolete equipment must be replaced. The Army's modernization objectives - project the force, protect the force, win the information war, conduct precision strikes, and dominate the maneuver battle - serve to focus our modernization efforts.

Leader development, the sixth imperative, is key to Army success in peacetime as well as in combat. Today's soldiers are tomorrow's leaders. They take time to develop, but the development of confident, competent, and professional military and civilian leaders is our most enduring contribution to the future of the Army and the nation.

The Army's second challenge is to gain stability in the force. The personnel drawdown, base closures and realignments were anticipated, but increased operational commitments have added to recent turbulence. In order to forge a 21st century Army, we must gain a level of stability in personnel, quality of life, installations, and funding.

The Army's most important resource is its people. As General Abrams said, the Army is not made up of people; the Army is people. In order to continue attracting and retaining the quality people vital to the Army's success, we must stabilize the force and ease personnel turbulence. No amount of training or technologically superior equipment will suffice if we do not have enough quality people to accomplish what the nation demands. Numbers do matter. The force is being stretched by commitments that require soldiers in operational units to deploy away from home station and family for 138 days a year, on average. We are concerned that we may have reached the limit on how small the Army can be and still credibly accomplish assigned missions. The Army must remain of sufficient size, strength, and capability.

The quality of life of our soldiers, civilian employees, and family members is an important factor in ensuring we attract and retain quality soldiers. It is vitally important to their commitment and to Army readiness. We are committed to ensuring they receive adequate pay, stable retirement benefits, health care, and housing. We also are working to remedy those issues unique to Reserve Component soldiers and Army civilian employees who we call on to deploy with the force.

The Army is making a concerted effort to reengineer our installations. We are converting our installations into power projection bases capable of moving and sustaining a force anywhere in the world while continuing to provide an adequate living and working environment. Under the Army's strategy for guiding the transformation of installations, we have instituted numerous programs that will improve both efficiency and capability.

The Army also needs stability in its budget. Maintaining and modernizing the world's premier Army costs money. The dollars on which the Army depends have steadily decreased in real terms. Since 1989, our budget has decreased by 38 percent in constant dollars. Sustaining a high quality force within the Army's current dollar constraints will require choices between today's operational readiness and the needed investment in modernization and future readiness.

Today, Army modernization is badly in need of more resources. Scarce modernization resources are one of the Army's toughest challenges and require that we execute a strategy of buying a limited number of new weapons, while extending the lives and improving the capabilities of existing systems. But ultimately, the modernization necessary to maintain the technological edge that allows us to dominate the battlefield can only occur with additional resources. We continue to search for ways to overcome shortfalls, but if modernization remains underfunded, the Army's long-term readiness and quality of the future force may be at risk.

The third major challenge confronting America's Army is becoming more efficient. We intend to garner savings to pay for a force structure commensurate with operational commitments, to increase investment in essential modernization programs, and to increase spending on quality of life programs. The Army is emphasizing financial stewardship at every level and is aggressively seeking to get the most out of scarce resources by fundamentally changing our operating practices. All reasonable avenues to avoid costs and generate savings are being explored. These include reviewing business practices, revising policies, and proposing organizational changes.

The Army, widely acknowledged as setting the standard for financial management reform within the Defense Department, continues to implement governmental initiatives designed to make government work better and cost less. These initiatives include the National Performance Review, the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, and the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993.

The Army is developing an Army-wide efficiency strategy. We will use comparable industry efforts as benchmarks for the Army's business operations. Processes, programs, and organizations are all under review. Our goal is to generate significant savings by driving down the cost of doing business, husbanding constrained resources, and continuing to adopt sound business practices.

Equally important is the fundamental redesign of our institutional forces. We will reduce the number of major army commands, divest the Army of those functions that are not absolutely essential, and reallocate resources to support our core capabilities. At the same time, we are conducting comprehensive reviews of all our headquarters field operating and staff support agencies. We expect to reduce significantly the number of headquarters agencies, and we will explore every opportunity to privatize or out-source a number of administrative support functions.

Several cost-saving programs and initiatives already instituted by the Army are now coming to fruition. Examples are Total Asset Visibility, which enables the Army to continuously track the flow of equipment and supplies from factory to foxhole, and Integrated Sustainment Maintenance, which maximizes the Army's sustaining base repair capability and provides a focused logistics effort. Additionally, the Army has streamlined and reengineered several acquisition programs. Each of these efforts makes the Army a more efficient, productive, and cost-effective organization today, and they each promise to generate increased savings in the years ahead.

As we look to the future, the 21st century holds unprecedented challenges and opportunities for America's Army. The nature of warfare is changing as we enter the information age. The principles and root causes of war, however, will not change, nor will the consequences of being unprepared to fight and win. Our adversaries will be spread across the continuum of conflict, from irregular forces - such as ethnic militias, terrorists, and drug cartels - to the standing armies of foreign powers armed with weapons of mass destruction.

In anticipation of the coming millennium, the Army is transitioning from an industrial-age, threat-based, Cold War Army to an information-age, capabilities-based Army - a ground force with the capabilities necessary to conduct simultaneous and seamless operations across the spectrum of conflict. Force XXI is our comprehensive approach to this transformation. Simply stated, Force XXI projects our quality soldiers into the 21st century and provides them the right doctrine, organization, and training; and the best equipment, weapons, and sustainment our nation can provide. The product of our Force XXI process will be a versatile army with the capabilities that America needs for the next century - Army XXI. Our civilian and military leadership is committed to forging a 21st century Army organized, equipped, and manned to maximize the potential of the information age.

America's Army has changed significantly in the past five years - in the way it thinks, in the way it operates, and in the way it conducts business. Today, the Army is a technologically enhanced Total Force composed of outstanding soldiers and civilian employees, ready to meet the challenges of an uncertain world. That world has required an increased operational commitment, the pace of which is not likely to abate. To ensure the quality of the future force, we must ensure that sufficient resources are provided to meet those operational requirements, to maintain readiness, to conduct essential modernization, and to improve quality of life programs for the world's premier land force - America's Army.

Soldiers are our Credentials

Return to Table of Contents