How to Fix the Army

Marauder06

Intel Enabler
Verified SOF
Joined
Sep 9, 2006
Messages
11,209
Location
CONUS
I found a couple of "How to Fix the Army" articles in Foreign Policy that I thought might generate some interesting conversation. Here's the first in the series:



http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/11/16/how_to_fix_the_army_in_66_easy_steps_i

Philosophy
  • CSA position needs to be Commandant-like, commanding the Army, not just directing the Army staff, assigning Generals or formulating the Army budget. Army structure should empower him to do so.
  • Don't be afraid to admit mistakes, acknowledge that the institution made a mistake and then fix it, even if it means going back to the way something was in the past or even getting a black eye.
  • Do not, I say again, do not, have a regulation/policy/or law that you are unwilling or reluctant to enforce; examples, enforcement of the height/weight program, or the prohibition of cell phone use in moving autos. To do less is to violate the first principle of leadership and makes a mockery of the institution. Enforce unilaterally, not out of convenience. Perfect example is the inability to enforce the Army height/weight standards in order to maintain force structure manning for deployments. Cynics develop over things like that.
  • Eliminate NCO business or NCO time as an institutional mantra. It becomes Army business or all our business, focused on one solution and focus.
  • Do nothing in the Army that does not build soldiers' and officers' confidence in themselves and their units.
 

0699

Verified Military
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
3,549
Location
NoVa
I found a couple of "How to Fix the Army" articles in Foreign Policy that I thought might generate some interesting conversation. Here's the first in the series:



http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/11/16/how_to_fix_the_army_in_66_easy_steps_i

Philosophy
  • CSA position needs to be Commandant-like, commanding the Army, not just directing the Army staff, assigning Generals or formulating the Army budget. Army structure should empower him to do so.
  • Don't be afraid to admit mistakes, acknowledge that the institution made a mistake and then fix it, even if it means going back to the way something was in the past or even getting a black eye.
  • Do not, I say again, do not, have a regulation/policy/or law that you are unwilling or reluctant to enforce; examples, enforcement of the height/weight program, or the prohibition of cell phone use in moving autos. To do less is to violate the first principle of leadership and makes a mockery of the institution. Enforce unilaterally, not out of convenience. Perfect example is the inability to enforce the Army height/weight standards in order to maintain force structure manning for deployments. Cynics develop over things like that.
  • Eliminate NCO business or NCO time as an institutional mantra. It becomes Army business or all our business, focused on one solution and focus.
  • Do nothing in the Army that does not build soldiers' and officers' confidence in themselves and their units.


A lot of good ideas here. To focus on what I've bolded; I'd agree with that statement, but let NCOs solve problems at their level that can be solved there. The OIC/CO doesn't need to solve every problem.

I was a big fan of the Force Preservation Program at Camp Lejeune in the 06-08 time frame (not sure if they still do it). Effectively, for Marines identified as high-risk while off duty like Marines with DUIs and such, the CO (formally, in an authorization letter) delegated the authority to his NCOs to restrict privlidges such as going off-base, after-hours liberty, and wearing of civilian clothes. Put the authority to make decisions at the level they belong.
 

TLDR20

Verified SOF
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
5,591
Last time I checked our "broken" army is fighting two wars, while effectively maintaining a global presence and deterrent. Seems to be working. I don't like the title as it implies something is seriously broken!
 

goon175

Ranger
Verified SOF
Joined
Dec 27, 2010
Messages
1,803
Location
Jedi Center of Excellence
SSMP
SOF Mentor
It is not broke, but there are many areas that can be improved on. Maintaining the current standards and enforcing them would be a great start - Ht/Wt, APFT, malingering, etc.

Also, I believe if we make BCT a challenge again instead of an easy check the block that it has turned into, it will do a lot for overall confidence and morale.

We also need to retain and promote those who are constantly striving to be the best (whatever there job or duty position may be), and kick those to the side who are just along for the ride.

If we want to make the Army more expeditionary, than why do we not expand the amount of Airborne units we have? That is the most rapidly deployable expeditionary force in the military. I would be in favor of one brigade per Division being airborne and rapidly deployable, along with being Jumpmaster qualified for promotion to Sr. NCO ranks regardless of MOS.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
SOF Support
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
16,464
Location
Not Afghanistan
If we want to make the Army more expeditionary, than why do we not expand the amount of Airborne units we have? That is the most rapidly deployable expeditionary force in the military. I would be in favor of one brigade per Division being airborne and rapidly deployable, along with being Jumpmaster qualified for promotion to Sr. NCO ranks regardless of MOS.

Airlift is the killer.
 

DA SWO

SOWT
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 18, 2007
Messages
9,695
Location
San Antonio Texas
It is not broke, but there are many areas that can be improved on. Maintaining the current standards and enforcing them would be a great start - Ht/Wt, APFT, malingering, etc.

Also, I believe if we make BCT a challenge again instead of an easy check the block that it has turned into, it will do a lot for overall confidence and morale.

We also need to retain and promote those who are constantly striving to be the best (whatever there job or duty position may be), and kick those to the side who are just along for the ride.

If we want to make the Army more expeditionary, than why do we not expand the amount of Airborne units we have? That is the most rapidly deployable expeditionary force in the military. I would be in favor of one brigade per Division being airborne and rapidly deployable, along with being Jumpmaster qualified for promotion to Sr. NCO ranks regardless of MOS.

Do a better job "standardizing units".
82nd and 101st should each have two Airborne Bde's and 2 AASLT BDE's. The Airborne DRB could alternate between Bragg and Campbell.
Do away with "Mech" and just go with a Heavy (Armor) Division.
Eliminate the numbered Corps Hq or Division Hq (I would vote on killing the Corps Hq) Send additional bodies to the Theater /Numbered Army (or eliminate the numbered Armies to retain the Corps Flag, but one layer has to go).

I like a Chief of Army Operations.
Eliminate FORSCOM/TRADOC as four star commands, Hq DA/Chief of Training (3-star) can be the TRADOC Commander. FORSCOM just goes away or becomes HQ DA/G3.

Merge OSD/Joint Staff and eliminate 50% of the positions.

Eliminate the Army Reserve AGR program. Transfer the positions to the Active Army and make Full-Time Support to Reserve Units a PCS Assignment (think ROTC/Recruiting/etc).
 

TLDR20

Verified SOF
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
5,591
Not when compared to rapidly moving a Striker/Armor unit.

Airlift is the killer either way. You have to have the assets to keep all those soldiers airborne q'd. Shit us a waste of money.
 

goon175

Ranger
Verified SOF
Joined
Dec 27, 2010
Messages
1,803
Location
Jedi Center of Excellence
SSMP
SOF Mentor
I am under no illusion that it would ever actually happen, but if there were a will, there would surely be a way. If we are gonna gouge our man power, we might as well make the soldiers left more capable and able to deploy more diversely and quickly.
 

DA SWO

SOWT
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 18, 2007
Messages
9,695
Location
San Antonio Texas
Airlift is the killer either way. You have to have the assets to keep all those soldiers airborne q'd. Shit us a waste of money.
Not really, you could use C-27's for the local stuff. Company level, and an occasional Bn drop. The expense comes from the AF demanding a 2 hour low-level prior to the drop.

Really no different then keeping ODA's qualified, which would be easier if we did it in a C-27 or CASA vice a MC-130.
 

Brill

SOF Support
Joined
Oct 24, 2010
Messages
4,896
Location
221B Baker St
Airlift is the killer either way. You have to have the assets to keep all those soldiers airborne q'd. Shit us a waste of money.

You'll see how many times your air gets canx'd in the Guard. I've been out of jump school almost 6 months now and my ONLY jump with the unit was during AT. Still waiting for air.
 

0699

Verified Military
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
3,549
Location
NoVa
Not when compared to rapidly moving a Striker/Armor unit.

That's the advantage of the MEU. A few days sailing and we can land a reinforced battalion, including armor, helos, CAS, artillery, and CSS. And we can maintain them for 15 DOS while ashore.

Or we can just sit off the coast and intimidate the hell out of them. :D
 

Marauder06

Intel Enabler
Verified SOF
Joined
Sep 9, 2006
Messages
11,209
Location
CONUS
It was 12 years between my fifth jump (jump school) and sixth jump (5th Group).

I think airmobile is a much better investment than airborne.
 

Brill

SOF Support
Joined
Oct 24, 2010
Messages
4,896
Location
221B Baker St
Philosophy
  • CSA position needs to be Commandant-like, commanding the Army, not just directing the Army staff, assigning Generals or formulating the Army budget. Army structure should empower him to do so.
  • Don't be afraid to admit mistakes, acknowledge that the institution made a mistake and then fix it, even if it means going back to the way something was in the past or even getting a black eye.
  • Do not, I say again, do not, have a regulation/policy/or law that you are unwilling or reluctant to enforce; examples, enforcement of the height/weight program, or the prohibition of cell phone use in moving autos. To do less is to violate the first principle of leadership and makes a mockery of the institution. Enforce unilaterally, not out of convenience. Perfect example is the inability to enforce the Army height/weight standards in order to maintain force structure manning for deployments. Cynics develop over things like that.
  • Eliminate NCO business or NCO time as an institutional mantra. It becomes Army business or all our business, focused on one solution and focus.
  • Do nothing in the Army that does not build soldiers' and officers' confidence in themselves and their units.

Ahem...tap, tap, tap...Is this thing on?

What the hell is all this corporate touchy feely crap? Admit mistakes? I need a freakin' Army policy for that? How about enabling big boys to use their skills to kill an enemy that is killing us? Anywhere, anytime, anyhow! Take the gloves off both on the battlefield and in Garrison. If you're a shitbag, I should be able to tell you you're a shitbag, provide some counseling on how to unshitcock yourself and rejoin the team. OR I should be able to send you away so I can fill your spot with another meat eater.

If we have shitbags in the Army...IT'S THE INDIVDUAL'S FAULT THE ARE A SHITBAG!!!

Regulations not willing to enforce? Who gives a damn? How about giving me a weapon system or lethal capability and order me to use restraint? Either you want me to close with and destory the enemy (or enable others to teach how to do it) or you don't. Which is it?

Regarding the NCO business...well, let me say this: if Pardus' NCO's were enabled to use their business or time effectively, we'd have a happy and successful combat medic in the Guard. We ain't perfect but I'd rather be led by a NCO rather than a freakin' commitee.

If you need personal confidence go see Dr. Phil and get out of my Army. Successful achievement of difficult goals, both personal and team, instills confidence. I wonder if the amputees who are still on AD and in the Guard need a confidence boost?
Let a NCO lead like a NCO should and if we screw the pooch, let us fix it.
 

TLDR20

Verified SOF
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
5,591
Not really, you could use C-27's for the local stuff. Company level, and an occasional Bn drop. The expense comes from the AF demanding a 2 hour low-level prior to the drop.

Really no different then keeping ODA's qualified, which would be easier if we did it in a C-27 or CASA vice a MC-130.

Sorry to offend you buddy but how long have you been out? C-27's? I have never even seen one. Keeping an ODA legit qualified is hard enough... I think you may be slightly out of touch with how hard it is to actually stay airborne qualified for an individual, no less an entire new brigade.
 

DA SWO

SOWT
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 18, 2007
Messages
9,695
Location
San Antonio Texas
Sorry to offend you buddy but how long have you been out? C-27's? I have never even seen one. Keeping an ODA legit qualified is hard enough... I think you may be slightly out of touch with how hard it is to actually stay airborne qualified for an individual, no less an entire new brigade.
They are a new airframe coming into the Guard. Md and OH have them. OH is in the box now.
I kept 36 people qualified (to include HALO) if I can do it, others should be able to do it.
Airlift has been stretched keeping 4 priority one operations going, Libya is ending, Iraq is ending, PACOM requirements are reducing. Afghanistan will be the biggest user until after 2014 when Pres Obama pulls out of there too.
Reduced requirements should also free up Guard Helo assets, I understand the budget will suck, but people should be able to make it happen.
 

Diamondback 2/2

Infantry
Verified Military
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Messages
6,848
Location
Tejas
SSMP
Military Mentor
I am LMFAO’ing a bit in this thread.:D

I kind of agree with the new SMA, that the key is in the discipline and training of our force. The primary thing this Army (RA, RC, NG) lacks right now is discipline and well trained leaders. If we are going to make changes, I would start there and then after we reestablish discipline and better leadership schooling, look at the force structure and how they work.

I think killing Mech would be an awful idea, Tanks cannot clear buildings by their selves. You need a dismountable force to accompany the armor. During the invasion of Iraq both DS1 and OIF was an Armor and dismount force war, the assault on Fallujah Iraq in 2004 was an Armor and dismount force. Without the dismounts the tanks get taking out with mines, anti armor and most of all lack the capability to actually secure the ground.

Airborne has its place, I think the current system of a rapid deployment division is an awesome idea. If another Granada or Panama kicks off, having a rapid deployment division that Air drop in is a good thing. I would agree with giving 101’st a BCT of Airborne, and I would even agree with doing a Stryker style BCT in every division.

The things we need to keep in mind, is that even though we have been fighting low intensity conflicts a lot this past decade. We could end up doing a big maneuver war at the drop of the hat. Having the ability to say “I am sending two mech divisions from the south, and dropping a Airborne BCT and or Div in the north” is a good capability.

My quick list of things to fix/change:

Basic Training extended to 6 months and actually prepares the soldier to show up and be integrated into the force. No more pvts showing up not wanting to get at parade rest, no more Pvts not being able to qual with an M4, no more “I can’t put my gear together”, falling out of runs, etc. Train the SOB’s before you send them to me…

NCOES, longer harder and with strict selection process. No more pinning the rank before the school, you go to school, you get selected to become the next rank after finishing the school and you pin as you return to the unit. NCO’s should meet and exceed all standards…period…. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Career risk adverse Officers and SrNCO get the boot, if you fail to lead because you are incompetent and afraid of getting in trouble “fuck you, you are done”. Sr Raters need to be taught how to look for this type of leadership (doing nothing is better than doing the wrong thing) and mark it down on NCOER/OER. That is our number one issue with good retention and soldier being killed, battles not being won, etc.

Standards need to be raised to the highest of levels, you don’t make it past PVT/2LT until you are 100% meeting those high standards. Being a professional soldier means knowing your job “completely”. We do not need mediocracy within the ranks of the world’s greatest Army and if we are going to have it, it needs to be kept at the lowest levels. And those standards of training are should not be taught on-fucking-line (fucking sat through the ACT program brief todayO_o:mad: ) that is where I disagree with the SMA, that shit is stupid.

Anyway the longer story of this being kept short, cut the bullshit and enforce the discipline, raise the standards, train the soldiers completely and only promote the best. That is how you fix this Army and ensure it remains the best Army in the world…
 

DA SWO

SOWT
Verified SOF
Joined
Aug 18, 2007
Messages
9,695
Location
San Antonio Texas
I am LMFAO’ing a bit in this thread.:D


I think killing Mech would be an awful idea, Tanks cannot clear buildings by their selves. You need a dismountable force to accompany the armor. During the invasion of Iraq both DS1 and OIF was an Armor and dismount force war, the assault on Fallujah Iraq in 2004 was an Armor and dismount force. Without the dismounts the tanks get taking out with mines, anti armor and most of all lack the capability to actually secure the ground.


You can put Bradley's/Strikers with an Armored Division.

What is the difference (Tank/APC wise) between an Armor Division and a Mech Division?
 

Diamondback 2/2

Infantry
Verified Military
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Messages
6,848
Location
Tejas
SSMP
Military Mentor
You can put Bradley's/Strikers with an Armored Division.

What is the difference (Tank/APC wise) between an Armor Division and a Mech Division?

Mech is Armored, no real difference really. Stryker's are nice and fast, but the Bradley offeres alot more capability in protecting the ground forces, and sustained fire support.
 
Top