Putting the Army on a Sustainable Strategic Path
America’s Army remains prepared to fight and win our Nation’s wars as a member of the Joint Force, and we continue to serve as the Nation’s premier response force to protect Americans, our Allies, and our interests when unexpected crises arise at home and abroad. We thank Congress for providing the funding that allowed us to deliver highly-trained forces for a broad spectrum of challenges, including continued COVID-19 response efforts in local communities, unprecedented natural disasters, the largest non-combatant evacuation operation in U.S. military history, and now support to NATO in response to Russia’s unprovoked invasion into Ukraine.
As the Army continues its most significant transformation in over 40 years, our priorities continue to be people, readiness, and modernization. Building upon those priorities, the Army further defined six objectives to guide the force towards a vision of the Army of 2030. First, we are ensuring the Army continues down a sustainable strategic path that allows us to transform to face new challenges without sacrificing our readiness to answer our Nation’s call anytime, anywhere. Second, we must ensure the Army becomes more data-centric and capable of operating in contested environments in order to prevail on the modern battlefield. Third, we must continue our efforts to be resilient in the face of climate change, adapting our installations, acquisitions programs, and training to remain ready to operate in a changing environment. Fourth, we are building positive command climates at scale across all Army formations. Fifth, we must reduce the harmful behaviors that hurt our soldiers and break trust with the American people, including sexual harassment and assault, racism and extremism, and domestic violence. Sixth, we must strategically adapt the way we recruit and retain our Nation’s best talent to sustain the All-Volunteer Force.
This year’s budget request supports these priorities and objectives, enables us to maintain momentum on our six modernization portfolios, and aligns the Army with the strategic ways of the 2022 National Defense Strategy (NDS): Integrated Deterrence, Campaigning, and Building Enduring Advantages.
Army Support to Integrated Deterrence
Integrated deterrence is a whole-of-government effort across multiple domains, theaters, and the spectrum of conflict to ensure that the Joint Force—in close coordination with the U.S. interagency, and our Allies and partners—makes the costs of aggression so clear to our adversaries that they refrain from hostile behavior altogether. The Army’s role is to provide combatant commanders with combat-credible ground forces capable of fighting and winning in large scale combat operations. We are the backbone of the Joint Force in the Indo-Pacific, our priority theater for responding to China as our pacing challenge. In Europe, the Army remains the tip of the Joint-Force spear in responding to Russia as an acute threat and reassuring our NATO Allies.
Combat-credible ground forces for deterrence. To echo the Secretary of Defense, our support for Ukraine is unwavering, and our commitment to defend every inch of NATO territory is ironclad. In recent months, we have collectively witnessed a return on multiple investments that Congress and the Army have made over the past several years, especially the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI) and Army Prepositioned Stocks (APS). The U.S. Army has over 45,000 troops committed to reassuring our NATO Allies and supporting our Ukrainian partners, including those assigned to U.S. Army Europe-Africa, which we elevated to a four-star command in 2020. Our deployed forces now include two Corps—the XVIII Airborne Corps and our newly re-activated V Corps—two Divisions—the 82nd Airborne Division and 1st Infantry Division—six Brigade Combat Teams, and two Combat Aviation Brigades. Three of the six brigades we have committed in Europe are Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs): 1st ABCT, 1st Infantry Division; 1st ABCT, 3rd Infantry Division; and 3rd ABCT, 4th Infantry Division. In addition to the large-scale deployments to NATO’s eastern flank, as of April 2022, U.S. Army Special Operations Command has hundreds of personnel supporting 38 missions with Allies and partners across 17 different European countries.
Never before has the U.S. Army moved so many forces so quickly. It took less than one week after receiving deployment orders for an armored brigade to deploy from Savannah, Georgia and be on the ground in Germany starting live-fire exercises with tanks drawn from APS in Europe. That is a testament to years spent investing in our alliances and partnerships, and to maintaining strong relationships that enabled the Army the access and presence needed to bolster NATO deterrence. This also demonstrates the importance of setting the European theater over the past several years to deter conflict, and responding quickly to fight and win should deterrence fail. It also speaks to the Army’s collective readiness—not just the tactical readiness of our combat units, but the strategic readiness of our logisticians, mobilization force generation installations, and power projection platforms required to equip, transport, and project those units.
Rapid crisis response at scale across the globe. Rapid crisis response capabilities to defend our interests and protect our citizens across the globe is another component of integrated deterrence. Last year in Afghanistan, the Army deployed elements from the 82nd Airborne Division, 10th Mountain Division, Army Special Operations Forces, Minnesota and Vermont National Guard, the Army Reserve’s 936th Forward Resuscitative Surgical Detachment, and multiple sustainment and military police enablers to Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) to support an extraordinarily difficult and dangerous non-combatant evacuation operation. Working hand-in-hand with the Marine Corps and Air Force, Army soldiers helped to evacuate more than 124,000 American citizens, Allies, partners, and Afghans who fought for our values over the past 20 years. At the height of operations, 17,000 soldiers across the NORTHCOM, EUCOM, and CENTCOM areas of responsibility supported Afghan Special Immigrant Visa application and family relocation efforts. Working closely with interagency partners, more than 8,000 soldiers from all components supported Operation Allies Welcome, relocating more than 76,000 Afghans to the continental United States.
Contributions to Homeland Defense. Integrated deterrence begins at home with domestic resilience against strategic attacks. By integrating the Army’s Homeland Defense capabilities with the Joint Force and federal, state, and local partners, the Army enables the Nation’s rapid response for disaster relief, as well as critical infrastructure attacks. Nowhere is that more apparent than in our Army Reserve and National Guard. Over the last year, the Army Reserve and National Guard have been the backbone for our Defense Support to Civil Authorities, responding to everything from hurricanes, tornadoes, and winter storms to wildfires, floods, and the Southwest Border. The National Guard has made an invaluable contribution to the Nation’s COVID-19 response, deploying 16,670 soldiers across 44 states, 3 territories, and the District of Columbia. Their missions included everything from COVID screening, testing, and contact-tracing to vaccine storage, transport, and distribution. The National Guard also provided vital healthcare facility assistance for some of the country’s most vulnerable populations.
Maintaining the Modernization Momentum toward the Army of 2030
Modernization is future readiness, and we remain firmly committed to the six modernization portfolios we defined to Congress in 2018: Long Range Precision Fires, Next Generation Combat Vehicle, Future Vertical Lift, the Network, Integrated Air and Missile Defense, and Soldier Lethality. By the end of fiscal year (FY) 2023, we will deliver 24 of our signature modernization efforts into the hands of soldiers, either for experimentation, testing, or fielding. We could not achieve this rapid development without congressional support and authorities. Middle Tier Acquisition authorities and Other Transaction Authorities are helping the Army to reduce bureaucracy, streamline decision making, and accelerate the development of systems in order to field capabilities more quickly. The Army has also forged partnerships with non-traditional industries, academia, and others to accelerate innovative, game-changing materiel solutions. As we build the Army of 2030, we are laying the foundation for the Army of 2040 and beyond.
Long Range Precision Fires (LRPF). In FY 2023 we will field the first batteries for hypersonic missiles and our ship-sinking Mid-Range Capability, in addition to fielding our Precision Strike Missile capability. Our Multi-Domain Task Forces (MDTFs) will provide Command and Control (C2) of long range precision fires and effects through intelligence, information, cyber, electronic warfare, and space capabilities. MDTFs will enable the Joint Force to penetrate enemy air defenses while establishing our own. We are standing up three new MDTFs in addition to the two currently supporting the Indo-Pacific and European theaters. Together, they will offer multiple options to combatant commanders and complicate decision-making for potential adversaries.
Next Generation Combat Vehicles (NGCV). We have begun fielding the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) as an adaptable and more survivable multi-variant vehicle. The AMPV replaces the M113 family of vehicles to provide ABCT combat support and enabler elements the capability to move at the pace of attack formations, as well as incorporate anticipated future technologies. We are testing prototypes of Mobile Protected Firepower, a lighter, more deployable armored combat vehicle that will provide large-caliber, long-range direct fires in support of Infantry BCTs. Robotic Combat Vehicles (RCVs) will provide unmanned platforms that will augment the mobility, lethality, survivability, and situational awareness of our formations. The RCVs will undergo increasingly rigorous experiments and capability demonstrations with a decision to procure by the end of FY 2024. Finally, the Army remains committed to developing the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle as the primary replacement for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. We are currently in the initial design phase and plan to award up to three contracts for prototyping in FY 2023.
Future Vertical Lift (FVL). The Army remains committed to developing our Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) and Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA). We are scheduled to down select FLRAA to a single vendor in the coming months and are on track to have both systems begin fielding by FY 2030. The Army starts fielding its family of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in FY 2024 to provide air-launched effects with an array of payloads and networks. This will provide the next generation of UAS platforms for multiple echelons: front-line troops, operational formations, and theater commands.
The Network. Data is as important as ammunition on the future battlefield. That is why the network is the key to maintaining overmatch as a combined, joint force through decision dominance, the ability to make better decisions faster than our adversaries. It is not enough to develop new interoperable systems with open systems architecture. We must also develop a data fabric that facilitates information sharing more seamlessly across the Army, Joint Force, and our Allies and partners. Project Convergence is the Army’s campaign of learning and annual series of experiments to inform development of Joint All-Domain Command and Control capabilities, Multi-Domain Operations (MDO), and the Joint Warfighting Concept. Last fall, our second iteration of Project Convergence (PC21) expanded to nearly 1,500 participants from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Space Force, becoming the largest Joint Force experiment in 15 years. This year’s PC22 will incorporate key Allies—during the main experiment or for testing in our Joint Systems Integration Lab at Aberdeen Proving Ground—to address the challenges of operating as a combined, joint force across vast distances in the Indo-Pacific and Europe.
The Army is building a more resilient network by modernizing Global Position System receivers to meet current and emerging threats with the help of advanced Assured Position, Navigation, and Timing systems. Our implementation of cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-supported data analytics aims to ensure that data is shared and acted upon by those who need it. XVIII Airborne Corps, I Corps, U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC), and U.S. Army Europe-Africa (USAREUR-AF) have already trained in cloud and data-enabled, mission-command exercises. Future experimentation and pilot exercises will incorporate commercial satellite services into cloud-enabled, command-post exercises.
Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD). IAMD capabilities will protect combined, joint forces from adversary aircraft, missiles, and drones. The Army is fielding the IAMD Battle Command System while developing new radars to expand coverage and streamline sensor-to-shooter linkages that will enable us to more efficiently target incoming threats. We are increasing Patriot Missile Segment Enhancement interceptor capacity and growing an additional Patriot battalion by FY 2029 to enhance our defenses of theater base clusters. We are developing an Indirect Fire Protection Capability (IFPC) to protect forward C2 and logistics nodes. There are six IFPC battalions programmed to begin fielding to our MDTFs in FY 2025. New formations like the Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) battalions provide mobile air defense for tactical maneuver formations. Fielding began for four divisional M-SHORAD battalions in FY 2020.
The growing threat posed by UAS is emerging as the next big challenge for IAMD, with both defense and homeland security implications. We established the Joint C-sUAS Office (JCO) as the executive agent for Counter small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-sUAS) in February 2020. The JCO leads Department of Defense development of integrated plans, technologies, training concepts, and doctrine to focus resources and minimize redundancies across the department and interagency. Operationally, our combat training centers are preparing our combat formations to counter and defeat ubiquitous sUAS threats, and our budget includes funding to field C-sUAS sets for multiple divisions.
Soldier Lethality. The Army seeks continued congressional support for the rapid prototyping, development, and procurement of the Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW), Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), and the Synthetic Training Environment (STE), among others. In FY 2023, the Army will equip the first unit with the NGSW, as well as its higher-caliber ammunition. Thanks to iterative soldier-to-industry feedback, we will equip the first unit with initial IVAS prototypes by 4th Quarter, FY 2022. The STE—which uses a combination of hardware and software to enable soldiers, units, and commands to train in virtual or constructive environments—is due to reach Initial Operational Capability in the 4th Quarter, FY 2023. An example of the payoff to the soldiers comes from the 82nd Airborne Division, which last August used One World Terrain to create a three-dimensional representation of HKIA that gave commanders on the ground the ability to identify massing crowds and emerging vulnerabilities.
Organic Industrial Base (OIB) and Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM). As the Army undergoes its greatest transformation in more than 40 years, we have an opportunity to simultaneously review the entire OIB for modernization. This includes addressing facilities, equipment, people, information technology, cybersecurity, and energy requirements. Our support to Ukraine has reinforced that we need an OIB that can successfully meet current Army demands, while providing the capabilities and capacities to surge and sustain large scale combat operations. Our OIB modernization effort also has a resilience component, which seeks to reduce single points of failure in the supply system and decrease reliance on foreign supply chains and resources. In close consultation with and support from Congress, the Army is using a 15-year phased approach to modernize the OIB for the 21st century through collaboration across the entire Army enterprise, coupled with industry engagements, while ensuring projects are tied directly to the Army’s signature modernization efforts. The Army will also modernize facilities to upgrade the infrastructure to support the workload in our depots, arsenals, and ammunition plants.
Managing supply chain risk requires a whole-of-government approach, and SCRM is integral to the Army’s acquisition and sustainment processes. Managing supply chain risk early in a weapon system’s life cycle is critical to ensuring affordability and mitigating risk before a weapon system is fielded. The Army has already begun using commercially available tools to assess and identify risk in our supply chains. The Army also recognizes and uses the authority granted by the President in the Defense Production Act. The Army will publish an SCRM policy in the 3rd Quarter of FY 2022 and conduct a series of tests in December 2022 to apply the best supply chain risk tools and assess the skills, knowledge, and abilities needed to empower our logisticians and other personnel supporting supply chain activities.
Modernizing the unit lifecycle model. Last October, the Army adopted its new unit lifecycle model, the Regionally Aligned Readiness and Modernization Model (ReARMM), and it is projected for Full Operational Capability by January 2023. This new model aims to harmonize historically conflicting Army priorities. ReARMM facilitates modernization by giving units dedicated windows to integrate new equipment, reorganize formations, and train on new doctrine. Adopting this model is transitioning the Army from small, incremental, evolutionary modernization of platforms to large-step modernization of our formations across the Total Force. Regional alignment enables units to develop additional knowledge of the terrain, culture, and people where they are most likely to operate. Joint Force commanders also gain by leveraging habitual, trusted relationships between Army formations and Allies and partners. It takes care of people by reducing operational tempo and maximizing predictability and stability to commanders, soldiers, and families. Finally, units aligned to ReARMM recently validated the model by successfully participating in Operation Allies Welcome both in the United States and abroad without excess loss to readiness or the need for major process realignments.
Army Campaigning in Support of the Joint Force
A key dimension of the Army’s transformation is the need to strengthen and expand—where possible—our work with Allies and partners to actively campaign against coercive and revisionist Chinese and Russian activities. The Army’s access, presence, and influence around the world supports dynamic, day-to-day military activities that bolster Allies and partners while frustrating our competitors. The Army’s security assistance enterprise annually executes more than 6,100 foreign military sales cases with 135 countries to build and strengthen Allied and partner capacity.
Security Force Assistance Brigades – the leading edge of campaigning. Our six new Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFABs), the last of which activated in 2020, are aligned with each geographic combatant command and are strengthening relationships with Allies and partners through training, advising, and assistance. In AFRICOM over the past year, 2nd SFAB deployed 38 advisory teams to nine African countries, including Djibouti, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Somalia, Tunisia, and Uganda, in addition to partnering with Senegalese units for a rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center. In CENTCOM, 3rd SFAB has supported Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, and the entire CENTCOM area of responsibility. After supporting the Afghan advise-and-assist program, 3rd SFAB was instrumental in coordinating the planned withdrawal from Afghanistan. In FY 2022, up to 10 teams will deploy to the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Kuwait, and Iraq to advise partner land forces on interoperability through persistent presence. In EUCOM during FY 2021 and FY 2022, 4th SFAB deployed advisory teams to 10 nations in support of field exercises: Albania, Bosnia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, North Macedonia, Poland, and Romania. Additionally, 4th SFAB advisory teams are currently training with several multinational partners to assess and enhance their integration into forward-deployed NATO battlegroups. In INDOPACOM during FY 2021 and FY 2022, 5th SFAB has deployed 40 advisory teams to 14 nations, including: Bangladesh, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Papua-New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Thailand.
USARPAC: Backbone of the Joint Force in the Indo-Pacific. The Army in the Indo-Pacific provides the Joint Force with decisive, integrated land power required to succeed in competition, rapidly transition and respond during crisis, and prevail in low-intensity and large-scale conflict. Exercising regularly with our Allies leads to enhanced capacity and greater interoperability in the event of a contingency. USARPAC’s Operation PATHWAYS (OP) annually projects thousands of Army forces and equipment sets into the region to execute a series of international exercises that strengthen Joint Force integration and promote interoperability with Allies and partners. It also allows USARPAC, as the Theater Army, to prepare, rehearse, and validate training for strategic movement, operational maneuver, and tactical employment of land forces across extended distances west of the International Date Line.
The Army continues to signal its deep commitment to the Indo-Pacific through the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI). For FY 2023, the Army has committed $1.4 billion of investments and activities that support the tenets of PDI. The Army is leveraging PDI to improve forward posture inside the first and second island chains, increase conventional deterrence, and support and enable the Joint Force. The Army is also developing the intellectual, conceptual, and technical tools necessary to guide our transition to an MDO-capable force with an emphasis on the Indo-Pacific.
USAREUR-AF: Tip of the spear in Europe. USAREUR-AF’s role in the midst of Europe’s most significant military crisis in a generation demonstrates how European Deterrence Initiative (EDI) investments built U.S. Army muscles to rapidly flow forces into Europe and coordinate NATO’s defense. Thanks to the support of Congress, the initiative supports five lines of effort: Increased Presence; Exercises and Training; Enhanced Prepositioning; Improved Infrastructure; and Building Partnership Capacity. Total Army EDI funding in FY 2022 was $2.4 billion.
The Army supports increased presence to EUCOM through the rotation of a Division Headquarters Forward, an ABCT, and other enablers. This force package ensures a U.S. presence across Eastern Europe, including the Baltic States, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. USAREUR-AF’s premier exercise series in Europe—DEFENDER—continues to enhance the capacity and interoperability of Allies and partners to deter adversaries, transform operational mission commands, build readiness, and strengthen the NATO Alliance. In 2021, DEFENDER integrated approximately 28,000 multinational forces from 26 nations to conduct near-simultaneous operations across more than 30 training areas in 12 countries.
Through EDI, the Army continues building a division-sized set of prepositioned equipment, with corps-level enablers, that will contain two ABCTs, two fires brigades, and air defense, engineer, movement control, sustainment, and medical units. Additionally, EDI funding diversifies capabilities by providing access to Army National Guard and Army Reserve units for NATO training objectives. The FY 2022 EDI budget supports an average strength of 9,450 Army Compo 1, 2, and 3 personnel deployed in the EUCOM theater. The Army also funds facility improvements for Joint Reception, Staging, Onward-movement and Integration, as well as Mission Partner Environment network enclaves, including in the Baltics and Eastern Europe.
Building Enduring Advantages by Investing in People and Resilience
People are our greatest strength and most important weapon system, including soldiers across the active Army, Guard, and Reserve, their families, our Army civilians, and our soldiers for life—our veterans and retirees. We ask much of our people, and taking care of them is both a sacred obligation and essential to sustaining the All-Volunteer Force. Prioritizing people means modernizing our talent management systems, taking care of families through our quality of life initiatives, and most importantly, building cohesive teams that are highly trained, disciplined, and fit, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and that are ready to fight and win.
Recruiting high-quality talent. The All-Volunteer Force is in a competition for talent, and the Army is strategically adapting the way it recruits and retains talent to reflect the Nation. We have established an Army Recruiting Tiger Team to holistically assess the Army’s recruiting and accessions enterprise. COVID-19 impacted recruiting operations at all levels and across all Services, with a high percentage of high schools and colleges limiting in-person access from March 2020 through March 2022. As pandemic conditions improve, the Army is getting its recruiters back into America’s high schools, colleges, and communities. As of April 2022, the Army has 1,721 Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) programs across the country, whose purpose is to instill in high school students the value of citizenship, service to country, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment. Thanks to congressional support, the Army is strategically growing this powerful youth program to reach new communities and better connect America to its Army. In FY 2022, the Army expanded JROTC to 25 new schools in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, District of Columbia, Ohio, Nevada, California, Washington, Alabama, Georgia, and Texas.
The Army is using improved analytics to more precisely tailor incentives and place recruiters. The Army appreciates congressional efforts to sustain military service as a competitive choice by ensuring their earnings are at the top of the 80th-percentile with comparable civilians, and higher percentiles for junior soldiers and junior officers. The Army is strategically deploying recruiters to communities across the country based on demographics, ethnicity, race, and gender. The Army is working with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness to improve how it tailors career options and incentives to increase new-recruit job satisfaction. The Army is also allowing recruits to choose from select installations as their duty station of choice. Over 2,000 enlistees have taken advantage of this benefit in FY 2022. The Army is also on track to meet its directed level of 5,800 officer commissions while increasing diversity representation within the combat arms branches (25% in FY 2021 to 27% in FY 2022). While these immediate efforts are having a positive impact on current accessions, we continue to adapt our recruiting strategy to posture for emerging societal, demographic, and geographical shifts.
Developing tech talent in the ranks. The Army knows that it must develop new talents within its ranks so soldiers can thrive in a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics-saturated operating environment. The Army has implemented eight of the nine authorities (§501-506, 513, 518) granted in the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). These authorities allow expansion of opportunities to increase the talent pool and fill critical shortages in technical fields based on unit demand signals. The Army’s Cyber branch is a dynamic effort that is having success attracting highly-talented soldiers (their average vocational test scores are top-tier and 25% have a bachelor’s degree) and officers from top-rated universities. The Army is also using direct commissions for specific technical talents, as well as incentive pay and bonuses to retain high-value talent. In FY 2020-2021, Army Futures Command (AFC) began piloting AI and Agile Software Development Workforce initiatives within the AI Integration Center and Army Software Factory, where cohorts develop software and data science-enabled solutions to address problems sourced from across the Army. The Army Reserve’s 75th Innovation Command is AFC’s link to unique expertise in the private sector, facilitating a diverse tech-talent pipeline that is instrumental to the Army Software Factory’s success.
Modern talent management systems to satisfy and retain talent. The Army has several initiatives underway to give soldiers and officers enhanced flexibility to shape their careers. With the Assignment Interactive Module (AIM) for officers, and now Assignments Satisfactions Key-Enlisted Module (ASK-EM) for Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs), the Army has created an assignment process and marketplace which empowers officers and NCOs to make informed preferences. From a talent management perspective, AIM and ASK-EM help the Army get the right people in the right places through algorithmic matching and market clearing for greater assignment satisfaction. Additionally, the Army is creating more options for Regular Army warrant officers and officers to continue service in the Army Reserve. The Army is also exercising officer options for brevet promotions to fill critical requirements, as well as options to compete for promotion and command.
Data system modernization is as critical for effective talent management as it is for successful combat operations. The Integrated Personnel and Pay System–Army (IPPS-A) is the Army’s flagship Human Resources (HR) modernization effort, and will be implemented across the Active Duty, Army Reserve, and National Guard by the end of 2022. IPPS-A delivers a secure, comprehensive, and data-rich HR talent management system that consolidates the systems previously required by separate components, as well as giving transparency to soldiers right from their mobile device.
Quality Infrastructure for taking care of our soldiers. Providing quality housing, barracks, childcare, and services for our soldiers and their families is a key factor for retaining talent. The Army is committed to sustaining quality housing conditions. Residential Community Initiative (RCI) companies are planning to invest $3 billion in housing over the next 10 years. Seventy-five percent of RCI housing are new builds, major, or medium renovations. Seventy-two percent of government-owned Army Family Housing (94% of which is overseas) is rated Q1 (good) or Q2 (adequate), while the Army has programmed $1.5 billion in family housing construction and maintenance over the FY 2023-2027 period to improve its inventory. Seventy-five percent of Army barracks are rated in good or adequate condition as well, with $4.2 billion programmed for FY2023-2027 to improve conditions for unaccompanied soldiers.
Taking care of our families—and taking care of our children, especially—increases the readiness of our force. The Army is addressing access to childcare by increasing and sustaining childcare infrastructure, recruiting and retaining quality childcare staff, incentivizing Family Child Care, providing Army Fee Assistance, and exploring new initiatives and partnerships. Childcare staffing continues to be a challenge across the country. In June 2021, the Army increased compensation for direct care staff and we continue to monitor the childcare labor market accordingly.
Positive command climates—an essential component of cohesive teams. Positive command climates at scale are the foundation of a combat-effective Army, and positive command climates begin with good leadership. Selection for battalion and brigade command are two of the most important personnel decisions the Army makes, and the Army continues to expand its generational change to the way it selects these leaders. The Army started its Battalion Command Assessment Program in January 2020, which is designed to assess a candidate’s cognitive, psychometric, physical, and communication attributes, culminating in a double-blind interview with a panel of senior Army leaders. Over the last two years, the Army has expanded its Colonel Command Assessment Program to assess potential leaders for O-6/GS-15 commands as well. Since 2020, the two command assessment programs have assessed over 3,400 candidates. Now the Army is expanding the program to the NCO corps, launching a Sergeant Major Assessment Program to assess the readiness of brigade command sergeant major candidates to lead and coach the junior NCOs and soldiers in their formations.
Positive command climates are also built on infusing professional development across the ranks. In the last few years, the Army has instituted Project Athena at resident professional military education courses for officers, warrant officers, NCOs, and civilians. Project Athena provides rising leaders with assessments, feedback, and development resources to turn insights into action. To date, these rising leaders have completed over 161,000 assessments. Expansion to Army Reserve and National Guard resident courses is slated for FY 2023-2024. The Army has also fielded a standardized Individual Development Plan for people to map their personal and professional goals, supported by an Interactive Leader Development Guide to aid an individual’s self-assessment and development. To improve our company commanders’ doctrinal fluency, technical knowledge, and leadership skills for MDO, the Army has undertaken the most significant redesign of its Captains Career Course since 2005.
The Army is also exploring ways to better assess command climates. The Army tested a comprehensive organizational climate assessment through the deployment of a Cohesion Assessment Team (CAT) and, based on the results, will institutionalize the capability no later than January 2023. CATs use survey results, focus groups, leader interviews, and observations to provide commanders better knowledge of the organizational climate of their units. In FY 2021, CATs supported five brigades. Future assessments will be based on institutional metrics to identify units that could benefit from expert input on soldier programs and unit climate. The Army is also using a new Counseling Enhancement Tool (CET) for developmental counseling sessions. The CET assists junior leaders and soldiers by requiring them to reflect on past performance before a formal dialogue, and providing guidance for interactive, collaborative, and meaningful discussions.
Reducing harmful behaviors to cultivate healthier soldiers. The Army is placing greater emphasis on finding ways to prevent harmful behaviors and generate healthier, more resilient soldiers. Prevention begins with equipping leaders with better visibility tools to monitor and shape soldier health and resilience. The Army is developing individual and unit assessment tools such as Azimuth Check, Behavioral Health Pulse surveys, and Commander’s Risk Reduction Toolkit to provide a more holistic and comprehensive picture of both individual soldier and unit-risk history.
From prevention to response, the Army is fully committed to implementing the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military’s recommendations, as directed by the Secretary of Defense. Building on existing expertise, the Army is developing a full-time prevention workforce to enable a holistic approach to preventing harmful behaviors. As part of a year-long pilot program, the Army launched Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Prevention Fusion Directorates across six installations and an Army Reserve command to integrate existing response functions and empower survivors with a multitude of resources. All reports of sexual assault and harassment will be thoroughly investigated and offenders will be held appropriately accountable based on the unique circumstances of each allegation. With support from experienced Sexual Assault Response Coordinators and Victim Advocates, all survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence will be fully supported through compassionate, quality care.
Part of improving our response is augmenting our investigative and prosecutorial functions. In FY 2022, the Criminal Investigative Division (CID) is adding investigative specialists at all field offices and aggressively exercising direct-hire authorities to add another 99 experienced criminal investigators. CID has realigned itself into geographic field offices, akin to the standard federal law enforcement model. Three highly-experienced civilian special agents-in-charge have been selected to run the field offices at Fort Hood, Fort Carson, and Fort Bragg. The FY 2022 NDAA instituted the most significant change to the Uniform Code of Military Justice in over 70 years by requiring trained, experienced prosecutors, outside of the chain of command, to make prosecutorial decisions in cases of sexual misconduct, domestic violence, child abuse, and homicide. In accordance with these reforms, the Army is creating regional circuit Offices of the Special Trial Counsel, staffed by experienced criminal litigators, to integrate prosecution with victim services and provide legal expertise, longevity, transparency, and consistency across the force.
Climate Resilience for a changing operational environment. In addition to investing in people, the Army is taking important steps in alignment with the NDS to build enduring advantage through climate resilience. The Army’s core mission of fighting and winning our Nation’s wars remains unchanged. Climate change, however, makes this mission more challenging not only for the Army, but the entire Joint Force. The Army must proactively adapt to climate change impacts and respond to climate risks to maintain its strategic edge in a climate change-impacted world. The Army Climate Strategy (ACS), which was released earlier this year, and the ACS Implementation Plan, scheduled to be released this summer, will synchronize our efforts to: increase capability; enhance installation resiliency; prepare for new hazards and operating environments; and modernize processes, standards, and infrastructure while reducing operational energy demands and greenhouse gas emissions.
The Army requires resilient, efficient, and affordable installation energy and water infrastructure to support the Army’s ability to deploy, fight, and win. Army installations provide secure and sustainable facilities and infrastructure that support commander priorities, enable missions, and maintain soldier and unit readiness. The Army must increase installation energy and water resilience to anticipate and withstand future threats, including climate change-driven increases in extreme weather, and man-made kinetic and cyber threats that increase the risk of extended power and water disruptions.
The ACS has set a goal to achieve a 50% reduction in Army net greenhouse gas pollution by 2030, shift to carbon pollution free electricity by 2030, and attain net-zero Army greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in order to build a resilient and sustainable Army that can operate in all domains. The ACS drives increased resiliency and capabilities of the force. The Army is moving out to install a micro-grid on every installation by 2035 to ensure installation resiliency as we face a contested homeland and an environment of increasingly severe weather. By 2040, we aim to achieve enough renewable energy generation and battery storage capacity to self-sustain critical missions across the Army. We are also on schedule to field an all-electric, light-duty, non-tactical vehicle fleet by 2027 and an all-electric, non-tactical vehicle fleet by 2035, reaping cost and resource efficiency, and adding to the resilience of Army transportation in spite of climate and energy challenges.
The Army takes pride in stewardship of our lands and resources for the American people. The Army is reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate its contributions to climate change and act as good environmental stewards to further protect the American people. We are including climate change threat mitigation into all land management decisions and incorporating the latest climate and environmental science into stationing, construction, and fielding decisions.
“This We’ll Defend” has been the proud motto of the U.S. Army since 1775. It captures the resolve, resilience, and readiness of generations of American soldiers and citizens who have answered the Nation’s call and picked up arms in her defense. Today is no different. When the Nation calls, we send the Army we have—and the Army we have is the world’s greatest fighting force. With timely, adequate, predictable, and sustained funding, we will remain ready to fight and win our Nation’s wars as a member of the Joint Force, reassure our Allies and partners, take care of our people, and pursue our greatest transformation in over 40 years.