CDIDs: The Backbone of Army Transformation

By Matthew Murch and Futures and Concepts CenterMarch 3, 2023

During a Project Convergence 22 sustainment experiment on Oct. 13, 2022, on San Clemente Island, California, the Joint Precision Air Drop System (JPADS) comes in for a landing. The JPADS allows military commanders to receive sustainment even in...
During a Project Convergence 22 sustainment experiment on Oct. 13, 2022, on San Clemente Island, California, the Joint Precision Air Drop System (JPADS) comes in for a landing. The JPADS allows military commanders to receive sustainment even in remote areas. During PC22, all U.S. military services, as well as multinational partners are experimenting with distributed sustainment over extended distances in a maritime environment.

(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Collin MacKown) (Photo Credit: Spc. Collin MacKown)

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. —To transform the Army, several organizations work together under the United States Army Futures Command (AFC) to design the Army of 2040 and deliver the Army of 2030. Under AFC, there is the Cross Functional Teams (CFTs), Futures and Concepts Center (FCC), and the Capability Development Integration Directorates (CDIDs); a Futures and Concepts subordinate organization, that also work alongside the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Centers of Excellence (CoE).

Each organization works together to provide different aspects of AFCs efforts to transform the Army. One of the crucial pieces of this network is the CDIDs.

In 2006, TRADOC leveraged the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) to create several different CoEs. At the same time, TRADOC recognized that it needed a different set of organizations to serve another function and designed the CDIDs. The TRADOC commanding general approved a common, but not standard, model of organization to consolidate the functions of concept development, requirements determination, and experimentation into a single organization at the CoE level, ensuring support to execute the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS).

After creating AFC as the Army's newest major command in 2018, the task of providing future warfighters with the concepts, capabilities, and organizational structures they need to dominate a future battlefield fell to the newly designated FCC. At that time, the CDIDs would directly report to FCC with the same mission.

“CDIDs have four core functions that match FCC’s core functions,” said Lt. Col. Deborah Chen, “concept development, requirements determination, and development, experimentation, and integration. While the manning and structure of each CDID is unique and varies from supported CoE to CoE, CDIDs generally have a division or two assigned to execute each function.”

The concepts division of the CDIDs works to support the development of Army and Joint Operating Concepts. The requirement division focuses on requirements determination, development documentation, and approvals. CDID Battle Labs; element under a CDID,  focus on the experimentation aspect of the CDID mission. For example the Sustainment CDID (S-CDID) supported Project Convergence 22 experiment for Sustainment Warfighting Function (SWfF) tech submissions and made requirements for mobile maintenance, Army water craft, cargo and many others. Later when these technologies need to be integrated S-CDID will help integrate all of the materiel solutions in the force at large. The S-CDID also took the lead in writing the Joint Concept for Contested Logistics (JCCL) of the Joint Warfighting Concepts.

The battle lab plans, designs, and executes experiments. These experiments will refine concepts and requirements and help provide recommendations for doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities (DOTMLPF-P). Lastly, for many CDIDs, their Army Capability Managers act as the integration division assessing gaps in the Army’s current capabilities, providing user representatives for operational testing, and integrating DOTMLPF-P of fielding systems.

“CDIDs, CFTs, and CoEs all have to work together to transform the Army to ensure war-winning future readiness,” said Chen. “CDIDs provide general support to their co-located functional CoE. There is one CDID to support each of the nine CoEs, and the tenth CDID is Chaplain CDID, which supports its COE equivalent.”

CFTs were created to address Army Modernization Priorities, and not all of them align with a specific CDID or a CoE. The Fires CDID, for example, works with both the Long Range Precision Fires CFT and the Air and Missile Defense CFT, while the Sustainment CDID works with all of the CFTs as there is no equivalent to the Sustainment CDID in any of the CFTs at this time.

FCC CDIDs: Aviation, Chaplain, Fires, Maneuver, Sustainment, Maneuver Support, Mission Command, Intel, Medical, and Cyber, are spread nationwide. Each CDID has a unique mission and, as such, is set up expressly for that. While each is configured differently, the broad strokes of the organizations and responsibilities are the same. Throughout the year, FCC will conduct a deep dive into the functions of each one of the CDIDs. Follow this link for the first story in the series on the Fires CDID.