Analysis and Research Team Products
The Analysis and Research Team (ART) of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) provides historical products, analysis, and synthesis for senior leaders, planners, action officers, and decision makers in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, major commands, and other government agencies, within the limits of current resources. It also develops relationships with senior leaders and key staff at DA level and in the joint arena to better anticipate requirements for historical analysis. ART also supports the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) curriculum development and execution by providing history-based curricular advice and support. ART products rely primarily on the unique archival holdings at USAHEC.
Is Army Medical Capacity: Ready to Meet the LSCO Challenge?
Large scale combat operations (LSCO) in great power competition will challenge the current Army medical battlefield treatment system. Since the end of the Cold War, force reductions and reorganizations have led to an inadequate medical force structure for handling the large number of casualties expected in large-scale combat. The Army has drastically reduced its capacity for in-theater treatment at a time when battlefield evacuation might become much harder. The air lines of communication will be contested in great power competition, complicating evacuation operations. Hospitals would need to have greater capacity—more beds, more staff, more equipment, more surgeons, more operating tables—for the mass casualties expected in LSCO. Yet, those hospitals’ large footprints and plethora of supplies and personnel make tempting targets for certain adversaries. Recent efforts at modernization have reduced the hospital footprint, but it has also reduced the total number of beds available.
Just Add Soldiers: Army Prepositioned Stocks and Agile Force Projection
Since its establishment in the early 1960s, the Army’s Prepositioning Strategy and Prepositioning of Materiel Configured in Unit Sets (POMCUS), today known as Army Prepositioned Stocks (APS), has evolved from its initial focus of defending Western Europe from a Soviet invasion to a global power projection strategy. During its history, POMCUS has successfully deterred the Soviet Union and provided for Soldiers at war in Southwest Asia (SWA), demonstrating the importance of prepositioned war materiel and unit sets to the Army’s rapid mobilization and power projection capabilities. In the return of great power competition, the need for APS remains crucial, but the Army’s APS stocks in the Pacific Theater today are less mature compared to Europe and SWA. While a challenge for today’s Army, an examination of the history of Army prepositioning demonstrates its value and successes in enabling landpower, and reinforces the importance of establishing a robust APS strategy in the Pacific.
The Force Management Challenge: Balancing Modernization and Readiness
The main levers that Army leaders control to apply budget dollars to shape their force are organizational structure, modernization, and readiness. Obviously the size of the force has a major impact on its capabilities, but the greatest challenge for leaders has been to keep the force ready for all current threats while also incorporating new technology for the future. This is an ongoing process, but has become even more complex in the modern era with the increasing scope and impact of technological change. During the last century, the Army has experienced magnified transformational bursts of modernization about every 40 years. The first was during the mobilization for World War II in the1940s, and the second involved the fielding of the Big 5 and associated systems in the 1980s. Both were enabled by a significant amount of innovative thinking in times of tight budgets that could be funded by a later influx of money. These opportunities for mass modernization always put considerable strain on the development of corresponding training, doctrine, and organizations for their application, and in maintaining contemporary combat capability, especially in the 1940s when Army leaders were also trying to massively increase the size of the service.
"A Little-known Bill of Great National Significance": The Uses and Evolution of the Defense Production Act, 1950-2020
The Defense Production Act emerged from the need to rapidly accelerate industrial mobilization for the Korean War. Over the last 70 years, the DPA's prominence in the national consciousness declined and then only reentered the national dialogue with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, it has remained an important tool for the executive branch and helped to ensure national security, whether it was stockpiling needed metals and minerals, prioritizing the production of weapons systems, developing energy security, or providing emergency relief from natural disasters. In meeting all of these requirements, the DPA has evolved into a flexible piece of legislation that is able to aid in the development and acquisition of military weapons and technology as well as the procurement and distribution of emergency relief materials.
Tell Me How This Ends: The U.S. Army in the Pandemic Era
After the 9/11 attacks, Americans yearned for a "return to normal." The normal they longed for was the world as it was on September 10th, or status quo ante. That was impossible, however, because the events of that day irrevocably changed the world. The new normal, the status quo post, was the world as it was after 9/11. The same must be said for COVID-19. We cannot return to the world before we understood the terms "social distance," "herd immunity," or "flatten the curve." The Army was not prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, but neither was the nation nor the world. Given the information now known about the virus and the expert predictions that a second wave might occur soon, the Army is better prepared to plan for potentially operating under pandemic conditions. Experts warn that a true second wave arriving in the fall or winter could be much worse than the first. If the coronavirus behaves as the Spanish flu virus did in 1918-1919, then a third wave might be expected as well.
With these events in mind, the Army may expect momentous changes in the coming years. Initially, the Army will be called upon for its vast resources, labor, and specific rapidly deployable capabilities, as has been demonstrated during the initial wave of the pandemic. The Army will also be viewed as an income generator by providing economic support to small contractors that will support both their local economies and the larger defense industry. But the pandemic's long-term effect on the world economy will be devastating and possibly catastrophic. The next administration will face the challenge of using military resources to support communities while reducing defense budgets. Though the defense budget is only a small part of the US budget, it forms a large part of the discretionary spending. The budget cuts, when they come, will fall, as always, disproportionately on the Army. Reducing the Army budget is, and always has been, quicker, easier, and less visibly economically damaging than cutting the budgets of the other services. This is because cuts to the other services' budgets means cancelling large multiyear contracts that employ thousands of workers while reducing the Army budget inevitably means reducing manpower. This study examines the Army's necessary steps over the next two years.
Dropping the Atomic Bomb
Of all the areas of research and writing concerning World War II, there is none filled with more contention and controversy than that concerning the end of the war in the Pacific. This historiographic review of that literature describes the course and content of those debates with special focus on the issues surrounding the use of the atomic bomb. The study also summarizes the consensus view on war termination that has emerged.
Battling the Bug
As the Ebola crisis unfolded in 2014, USAHEC-HSD completed a study of how the Army has dealt with epidemics and pandemics. This study examines the Army's efforts to eradicate yellow fever in Central America during the early 20th century during the building of the Panama Canal, and the 1919 flu epidemic which began in the Army and spread worldwide.
Temporary Promotions of U.S. Army Officers
The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act permits the temporary promotion of "officers in certain grades with critical skills." With that in mind, this short paper provides background on temporary promotions, by examining variations going back to the Civil War: brevet promotions, temporary promotions in the Army of the United States, battlefield promotions, frocking, temporary direct commissions, and spot promotions (U.S. Air Force)..
A History of Direct Commissions
The Army has a long history of filling critical positions with direct commissions. That legacy includes the majority of second lieutenants appointed during the First World War and large numbers of technical branch officers during the Second World War. Non-combat arms technical specialist officers have the most relevancy for future Army operations. In May 2018, the U.S. Army directly commissioned two former Soldiers as first lieutenants in Army Cyber Command, bypassing the usual commission sources and the rank of second lieutenant. Rapid changes in the cyber field have created a void of cyber knowledge in the Army officer ranks. Bringing in well-educated individuals fills that gap.
Developing Strategists: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Interwar Army War College
Military reform efforts, including reform in professional military education, all too often ignore experiences of the past, seeing them as outdated and irrelevant. At the same time, observers revere historical strategic leaders who grew up in these supposedly outdated systems. The great leaders of the past were rarely, if ever, natural strategic geniuses. They had to learn something along the way, which is why professional militaries have a school system in the first place. In order to gain greater clarity on the preparation of strategic leaders, this paper, which features extensive use of the rich USAHEC archives by a member of the US Army War College (USAWC) faculty, takes a closer look at the USAWC in the period between World War I and World War II, with a focus on Dwight D. Eisenhower's tenure as a student in the 1927-1928 school year.
A Return to Information Warfare
The mission of US Army Cyber Command now reads that it "integrates and conducts full-spectrum cyberspace operations, electronic warfare, and information operations, ensuring freedom of action for friendly forces in and through the cyber domain and the information environment, while denying the same to our adversaries." This appears to be a time of opportunity for that command to reestablish Army dominance in all aspects of information warfare. That may require a change in name, new doctrine, and regaining control of relevant organizations. Joint and national reform is also necessary. But considering the displayed competence and unity of effort of potential adversaries in information warfare, an aggressive and innovative response is required.
"Come As You Are" War: U.S. Readiness for the Korean Conflict
Task Force Smith at the beginning of the Korean War has often been used as a metaphor for military unreadiness. While the story of that first US action of the war provides a timeless cautionary tale for commanders, the story of unreadiness for war in June 1950 went much further than the tactical failures of one infantry battalion. The lack of readiness was caused by a very disruptive interwar period that saw drastic and often chaotic changes to Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership, Personnel, Facilities and Policy (DOTMLPF-P).
This case study examines the political, economic, military, and strategic environment in the years between 1945 and 1950 to illustrate the complexity of the readiness issue. Readiness in the strategic context concerned many more issues than simply personnel status or equipment availability. While examining the reasons for unpreparedness at the beginning of the Korean War, one must consider four questions.
History of the Army's Future: 1990-2018 (v. 2.0)
The establishment of Army Futures Command (AFC) in August 2018 was the most significant change to the Institutional Army in a generation, and it signaled the value the Army placed on studying the future. While the establishment of a new four star headquarters might be seen as a bold move, it was in reality the culmination of 30 years of future development in the Army. Those three decades saw the development of numerous structures designed to examine the potential for future concepts and technology, with uneven success. The processes were good, but technological overreach, and over 20 years of war in the Middle East, doomed most efforts to put useful concepts into practice. Army visionaries such as Generals William E. DePuy and Donn A. Starry had planned for the future as early as the 1970s with an eye on the past, and initiated the programs and doctrine necessary to transform and modernize the Army following Vietnam.
Learning the Lessons of Lethality: The Army's Cycle of Basic Combat Training, 1918-2019
This study analyzes the initial entry training programs for Army inductees for the last 100 years, to identify the patterns that have shaped that training. Technology has changed over the years, and training has adapted, but technological change has been a less important factor than the oscillation between wartime and peacetime methodologies. Changes in technology have not changed the core functions in which the Army trains its new Soldiers: lethality and survivability. The unvarying trend for the last century shows an increase in lethality and survivability skills after the nation enters combat, often learning harsh lessons. As soon as the conflict ends, however, the training emphasis reflexively moves back toward garrison-type activities. The length of initial entry or Basic Combat Training (BCT) has also waxed and waned over the years, ranging from as long as 17 weeks (1943) (not including OSUT) to as short as 8 weeks (1980). There were always external factors that affected the amount of training time available, such as budgets, force structure, institutional infrastructure, and end strength. This study focuses largely, however, on how the Army used the time allotted. The analysis focuses primarily on infantry skills, but also examines other training where necessary for clarity. (Non-infantry, especially sustainment MOSs, have traditionally received less marksmanship training.) The unifying concept is that all initial entry training categories have remained the same for Soldiers throughout the period, while time spent on each category has fluctuated. Soldiers received different training in specialties.