Army lays down ‘7 commandments’ for reform

Army lays down ‘7 commandments’ for reform

One of the Army’s top “resource officers” — i.e., the money guys — laid down “seven commandments” Tuesday that he believes will help put the service’s acquisitions back on course. Lt. Gen. Robert Lennox, deputy chief of staff for the Army’s G-8 office, (which describes itself as “the lead for matching available resources to the defense strategy and the Army plan”) said he didn’t need a full 10 commandments. If the Army can abide by them, seven will do.

“This would have happened to Moses if part of one of the tablets broke on the way down the mountain,” Lennox said. He appeared on a panel at the Association of the United States Army’s annual trade show in Washington.

First, Lennox said, the service must set and enforce its priorities. Starting with its networks at the top, then going to the Ground Combat Vehicle and down the list, the Army can’t suddenly decide to change its mind about what its most important goals are — unless it’s really important.

Second is “revalidating and adjusting requirements as needed and avoiding requirements creep.” Lennox used the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle as an example — after “eight or nine months of hard work,” service officials believe they can bring down the vost of the trucks and go forward with the program despite the broad skepticism in Washington. This precept will be essential for GCV as well, which some top Pentagon cost-estimators believe could fall into an Army requirements vortex and continue to grow in cost as it bounces around the service bureaucracy.

Third: “Making sure affordable requirements are looked at at the portfolio level.” This speaks to the current Army vogue of “portfolio reviews,” in which service officials don’t just look at the way programs are performing through “a soda straw,” but in the broader context of, say, artillery or aviation. Army Department officials love to cite this as a positive trend, but it’s difficult to suss out how effective it has been.

Fourth: “Using affordability as an independent variable,” Lennox said. “Focusing on affordability, seeing how it fits into the Army.” In other words: Being expensive must be a reason on its own for program officials to review or even eliminate a program.

Fifth: “Eliminating redundancies and eliminating inefficiencies.” Lennox cited the Army’s decision to cede the C-27J Spartan cargo plane to the Air Force and its Joint High-Speed Vessels to the Navy, which enabled the military to keep those platforms but spread their costs around the Corporation. The Army could do more of that, he said, but he did not name what programs or platforms it might move: “We’ve demonstrated trust, from the Army perspective, that we can rely on our joint brethren, that we can do that kind of roles, and we’ll have to trust them in the future.”

Update: Lennox later told reporters in a press conference that the Army also is beginning talks with the Air Force for transferring four of its new Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance System aircraft, but that’s at a very early stage.

Sixth is “leveraging technology” and consumer off-the-shelf products, Lennox said. We heard about an example of this on Monday, when the Army’s aviation leaders said they’re considering buying an interim helicopter to fill in for the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior.

Seventh seems straightforward, but Lennox said the Army hasn’t always done it: “Managing procurement quantities to the pace of modernization. This is so you don’t field the whole Army so that when you get the last truck fielded, you need an MRAP ATV and you haven’t build that truck yet,” he said.

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He forgot Command # 8 — Keep Stakeholders Happy through Integrity & Transparency, Command # 9 — Be Fast and Accurate, and Command #10 — No More BS

Enjoyed a laugh reading the most corrupt government officials make rules about how everything will be OK with business as usual.

Only one commandment is necessary — thou shalt go to jail for accepting future consulting jobs as kickbacks for procurement contracts.

Memo published; problem solved.

My favorite is the fifth “commandment”: Fifth: “Eliminating redundancies and eliminating efficiencies.” Unless this is a misprint, DOD is quite adept already at eliminating efficiencies. If it is a misprint, and I must give the author the benefit of the doubt, why on earth do we need a new “commandment” to eliminate [in]efficiencies? Ain’t it obvious?

Not only that, redundancy is a valuable quality of robust system design!! Nice to know our G.O. leadership doesn’t understand the concept of ‘single point of failure’.

It’s amusing to read the ramblings of bureaucratic people who try to make sense of a situation they don’t have a clue about — like where is the next futile army employment, including attack and occupation, and what will they need to fail at it.

Would be nice to see how building systems that actually operate well in the environment they will be needed. Seems they forgot about the Defense Science Board report on 50% of systems sent to field deemed unsuitable.
Maybe they need to include developmental testing and robust engineering technical oversight.

I am slightly worried that the army’s budget people arn’t looking at the losses we have due to compromised systems. How much money is lost from a program that hasn’t been fielded yet but has been countered? What’s the real cost of tightening up security (both personnel security and cyber security)? These commandments are good but lets fix some holes that are leaking money while we are limiting how much money goes into the Army.

You shouldn’t be worried that the budget people aren’t looking at losses. You should be worried that the Generals aren’t.

The Army is the Army. Bullshit is Bullshit.

Ultimately the commander-in-chief will decide where military personnel and equipment are deployed. The Generals have to carry out the mission. Stakeholders are the civilians and the general public. Your troops come from among them as recruits to be transformed into the fighting force which is the pride of the nation. Reality check has set in that the state of the economy does effect the Army. Hard decisions will have to be made, it would behoove all concerned to have the green suits at the table along with the white collar types.

Seems to me to be a rehash of the 90’s “Right Sizing” language that led Rumsfeld to state that you
go to war with the army you have, not the one you wish you had. We are always preparing to fight the last war and ignoring the develpments that affect the furture wars. Right now the army needs direction from the DOD and Congress on WHAT kind of war they should get prepared to fight before decisions on equipment can be made. If we are no longer playing the role of the world’s policeman, then let’s get leaner and meaner.
A smaller force needs more force multipliers. The equipment should be the best we can buy and ‚hopefully,
reliable in a combat environment. The problem with DOD are the empire builders wanting to get their fingerprints all over the procurement specifications. Perhaps a leaner, meaner procurement system should be the first order of business for the G-8.

Actually, I think these are pretty close to the right commandments. I just don’t see how you’re ever going to get any program to decide that they want the best bang for the buck, instead the best bang, or even the best affordable bang. There is tremendous pressure within the services not to settle for less than you could build, and the contractors are always ready to promise that they can really deliver “transformational” capabilities along 4 axes at once for peanuts.

I’ll believe the Army is serious about this when they decide to procure 10,000 admittedly imperfect but cheap and workable M113 replacements and 2000 NDI Infantry Fighting Vehicles, rather than spending the entire procurement budget on AMPV and GCV.

I think that’s referring to all of the redundancy in the paperwork, red tape, etc. Not as a survivability factor.

Fifth: “Eliminating redundancies and eliminating inefficiencies.”

Always remember: “Your weapon (system), was made by the LOWEST BIDDER”!!! It’s a government REQUIREMENT that the LOWEST bid be accepted!!!!
This is the first thing that SHOULD be “tossed out the airlock”!!!
“Quantity over quality” should be right behind it!!!

all the fancy toys in the world don’t make up for piss poorly trained, video game mentality kids. Mush head generals who need mudflaps on their asses to take care of the countless PX decorations they award themselves. none of these mopes have any combat experience. the last ones of those were in Vietnam. these Bush Family wars have been one clusterfuck after another. Protecting the US has nothing to do with any of them. the Air Force is doing the bombing because the Army and Marine Corps are NOT up to a ground war, as they’ve demonstrated in Iraq and Afghanistan. OH i see the CIA is back in the drug industry with Afghan opium poppy flights!! keep all that loot off the books and Americans whacked out of their tiny minds. American’s are such limpdicks! can’t make it, can’t take it, militarily or economically. The rest of the world grew up, and the US is in the crapper.

Every decision made should be based on resulting “BODY COUNT” and the safety of our men and women and our nation. That’s the only one needed.

That’s my stryker and me in the picture woo-hoo. and yes the army needs to cut but it needs to cut civ and non combat arms crap. I say start with the ceremonial bands and work our way to units that serve very little purpose such as cbrn units. Also the stryker is awesome and a lot cheaper and more useful than MRAP’s and in some cases( I said some) better than the bradley.

BTW I am that troop in the right hatch of that pic. I am John F***ing Prime and you can add an Sgt with that… I am a hardcore infantryman that believes the Infantry belongs on their feet. Not only that we are and always will be the heart of the fight but we ARE THE FIGHT. So GO’s listen to the voice of the Grunt for once. I dont need a smartphone, I dont need a computer that tells me where shots come from… I dont need correspondence courses… I dont need to deal with useless POGS ie. (Support Troops who dont deserve to wear the uniform) I NEED bullets and training for my MEN!!! and its a lot cheaper so you know. BTW i still pay for the chow hall but I never eat there. 395$ of savings a month for ya right there congress.


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