Action Plan to Prioritize People and Teams

By U.S. ArmyOctober 13, 2020

From L to R: Ryan D. McCarthy, Secretary of the Army; James C. McConville, General, United States Army; Michael A. Grinston, Sergeant Major of the Army
From L to R: Ryan D. McCarthy, Secretary of the Army; James C. McConville, General, United States Army; Michael A. Grinston, Sergeant Major of the Army (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON -- People are our greatest strength, our most valuable asset, and our most important weapon system. The Army is a team of teams-an interconnected network of teams that stretches from the vehicle crew to the infantry squad, to the logistics team, to the highest level staff element. Our Army's success depends on bringing talented Soldiers together in teams built on competence, resilience, discipline, and trust; to ensure every Soldier can say with confidence and pride, "This is My Squad."

The Army invested significant resources and leadership into restoring readiness and modernizing our Army. However, our readiness focus resulted in an unsustainable operational tempo (OPTEMPO) and placed significant demands on units, leaders, and Soldiers and Families and stress on the force. Therefore, we are prioritizing People as the #1 Army priority. We will strive to reduce OPTEMPO, adjust policies to prioritize People, and reduce requirements to provide leaders additional time to invest in their People.

To reduce requirements, we will implement several significant changes. ln the coming months, we will implement the Army's new Regionally Aligned Readiness and Modernization Model (ReARMM). This model will better balance OPTEMPO with dedicated periods for mission, training and modernization. HQDA G-31517, in coordination with FORSCOM, will determine the level of Total Army readiness necessary to meet operational requirements. Next, we are pursuing options, in coordination with DoD and the Joint Staff, to reduce our current continual heel to toe deployment rotations of Brigade Combat Team-sized formations to task-organized battalion task forces.

To protect our leaders' time while also building collective readiness, Commanders will leverage high-quality, multi-echelon training exercises such as Command Post Exercises (CPXs), Tactical Exercises Without Troops, and Fire Support Coordination Exercises to train battalion and brigade staffs. Highly trained, disciplined and fit Soldiers, squads, platoons and companies are the foundation of our readiness. Commanders will prioritize proficiency at company and below levels. Units will train above the company level as time allows.

We are also re-evaluating Combat Training Center (CTC) rotations. CTC rotations are the gold standard of training and provide tremendous learning environments that develop units and leaders into lethal warfighting teams. However, we must be pragmatic with our assignment of CTC rotations and properly balance training opportunities and the resulting OPTEMPO. To reduce OPTEMPO, we will minimize gated training requirements and eliminate the requirement to conduct brigade and battalion Live Fire Exercises and Field Training Exercises prior to a CTC rotation. To further reduce the demands of training for and supporting CTC rotations, not all Brigade Combat Teams will deploy all of their battalions into "the box". Select rotations will consist of a heavy/light task organization or include CPXs to reduce the burden on divisions while maintaining the CTC leader and staff development opportunities. Additionally, units scheduled for non-combat rotational deployments may not require a CTC rotation, especially those units deploying to theaters where they can conduct similar collective training.

The Army is changing policies to reinforce our focus on People. ln the coming weeks, HQDA will publish guidance on absent Soldiers to clarify that when one of our teammates fails to report for duty, we will consider them missing and take immediate action to find them. The Army Staff, in coordination with the ACOMs, will identify other necessary changes through a holistic review process. This will include a review of readiness policies (how we evaluate, track, and report readiness), maintenance policies, manning policies (particularly mid-grade NCOs), adequacy of resources for small-unit training, borrowed military manpower, and Soldier and Family programs to support our People. The Army will align resources for Fiscal Year 2023-27 to support the Army Priorities of People, Readiness, and Modernization.

As we implement these policy changes, Army Staff and ACOMs will identify simple, yet specific metrics to measure progress. Divisions and Brigades will routinely inspect unit systems that focus on their People including pay, awards, counseling, barracks/quarters, and physical/mental/spiritual health to ensure our focus on caring for our Soldiers and Families remains constant. Army Senior Leaders will track progress and provide guidance through routine updates.

These changes are aimed at achieving trust throughout the chain of command. We trust Commanders and Leaders at every level to prioritize and focus your units and Soldiers.

From ready People we will create a ready Army!

Michael A. Grinston

Sergeant Major of the Army

James C. McConville

General, United States Army

Ryan D. McCarthy

Secretary of the Army