Army Begins Post-War Soul Searching |

Army leaders do not want a repeat of the post-Vietnam era, when a “hollow” service spiraled out of control and one Army study concluded it was “close to losing its pride, heart, and soul.”

To avoid that, Training and Doctrine Command held a year-long, servicewide survey of 40,000 soldiers. From that survey, TRADOC officials in April published the “Army Profession Campaign Annual Report,” which highlights a force trying to adapt back to garrison life and figure out how more than a decade of combat has altered the service.

via Army Begins Post-War Soul Searching |

Read the whole thing. There’s a lot of food for thought in it.

For instance, on problem noted is that units experience a great deal of turnover immediately after deployment, with lots of people transferred out and new folks coming in.  The contention is that this happens so early in the reset phase that it causes a lot of problems. But the fact is, you have to move those people early to allow the gaining units, and the parent unit, to bed down their new people, and start the training cycle. How do you address the first issue without knock-on problems with the second?

7 thoughts on “Army Begins Post-War Soul Searching |”

  1. Well the elephant in the room that was never talked about is that we were trying to do too much with too little. If we still had an Army that was even the size of the one we used during Desert Storm the strain on Soldiers, their families etc, would not have been nearly the same as it has been.

    The other solution, that at least my branch manager was using for Warrant Officers was leaving them in place unless they asked to PCS, so there are people that have been in the same unit almost 7 or 8 years now. In the old days that would be considered “homesteading” but in today’s environment when we were deployed for a year to 15 months and then home for at best a year, one would be hard pressed to call it that.

    It is nothing short of amazing that the Army has stood up to the OPTEMPO it has for as long as it has been going on.

    When this is done there are a lot of things that have been forgotten or never learned about garrison life by Officers and NCOs who have never experienced a true peacetime training environment. It will be interesting.

    1. Concur. Yes, the Army has done an awful lot with very little. And like you, even if from afar, I’m astonished at how well the force has stood up to the strain of the past decade.

  2. The problem with switching out people early is that there is so much training to be done between rotations that much of it begins very early in the cycle. So, you send people to get trained, and then they PCS and you wasted the training slot. And, you sent all the old people away, but the new ones don’t arrive in a timely manner, and so they don’t go through all of the trainup.

    1. You fix it by drawing out dwell time adequately, then sequencing the manning, equipping and training appropriately. I would say the ballpark is a minimum of 18 months. Some big things have to happen, though, like manning the army at the necessary levels to sustain it, not do it on the cheap and dispensing with proficiency and standards.

  3. There are so many moving parts to this puzzle and I don’t think most people understand the situation, including myself. I am not just talking about the American Citizenry, I am also talking about Active Duty Military and the various branches of Reserves / Guard Units, including Veterans. I have more respect for the honesty shown by Brad when he says, “I dunno.” A person could look at the World Situation and honestly be confused. if we think this is over, we may be in for a rude awakening. The only way we can accomplish anything close to what you are suggesting is by rightsizing our expectations of our military. We cannot be everywhere all of the time.

    Esli, I think you are on target in your thinking. But, you have only begun to understand the situation and its magnitude. Do you honestly think any branch of the US Military will get what you are requesting?

    1. Of course the army won’t get what it needs. I already re-set one unit post deployment, and am about to join another in the middle of reset on the way to another deployment with short dwell time. I understand the magnititude quite well, but the army’s answer is to “figure it out and get it done.”

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