Maintaining Our Combat Edge

Thursday March 24, 2011

What is it?

Beginning in 2012 we anticipate having about as many Brigade Combat Teams available that are not earmarked for Iraq and Afghanistan as we will have deploying. It will be imperative that the Army remains focused on tough, demanding training at home station and at the training centers to ensure that our Soldiers and units maintain their combat edge. This training must be accomplished at an appropriate tempo while meeting the unique challenges associated with increased time at home. Those units who are not deploying to Iraq or Afghanistan will undergo full spectrum training and be available to combatant commanders for security cooperation engagements, exercises and other regional requirements as well as fulfilling requirements for a Global Response Force and domestic Consequence Management Response Force.

What has the Army done?

The Army is revitalizing home station and leader development programs in order to challenge our young, combat-seasoned leaders who will lead the Army into the second decade of this century and beyond. Another aspect of maintaining our combat edge involves codifying our experience and lessons learned. Institutionally, we are refining our doctrine and warfighting concepts. While our understanding of Full Spectrum Operations has matured, we continue to clarify how we define and how we conduct Full Spectrum Operations across the spectrum of conflict from stable peace to general war.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

As units have more time at home, we will continue to train against the wider range of threats and in a broader range of environments. We will then use these experiences, acquired through both combat and training to drive the continued adaptation of the Army.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Nation continues to be faced with persistent and ruthless foes that maintain a clear intent to attack us on our soil. Entering the future under these conditions, the Army remains a resilient but stretched force - one that has performed superbly while simultaneously transforming in the midst of a war. The high demand we have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan will likely recede over the next few years, but other demands will surely arise. Our Soldiers and Civilians will have more time at home, and that will necessitate a different type of leadership at our garrisons between deployments. Given this future, the Army's challenge in the second decade of the century is to maintain our combat edge while we reconstitute the force, and build resilience for the long haul. For more on maintaining our combat edge, see the 2011 Army Posture Statement .


2011 Army Posture Statement





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"We remain in an era of persistent conflict. In order to prepare for an uncertain future and an increasingly complex strategic environment we must maintain the combat edge gained during the last decade of war, reconstitute the force and continue to build resilience into our formations and people. These efforts will ensure that we continue to prevail in the fights we are in today and are prepared for new challenges in the future."

- Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh and Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr.

Letter from the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Army


"For me, it's a stress relief. For one thing, you have to concentrate on what you're doing. You can't daydream while you're riding a motorcycle. The Army, we have our rules and regs. But for me, it gives you that free spirit, being out in the wind. It's calming."

- Command Sgt. Maj. Glen Vela, senior enlisted advisor, Fort Hood, leads the columns of riders who are taking the Motorcycle Mentorship Ride, a 50-mile motorcycle mentorship ride dedicated to safety.

'Sons of Anarchy' actors ride with troops to promote motorcycle safety

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