AUSA: Army could cut up to 13 BCTs

AUSA: Army could cut up to 13 BCTs

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Army’s top officer said his service must “fundamentally change the way it does business” as the Army looks to cut up to 13 brigade combat teams and prepare for the five-year 80,000 soldier drawdown.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno told the crowd Friday at the Association of the U.S. Army’s Winter Symposium here that U.S. Training and Doctrine Command is close to completing an “aggressive and extensive analysis of the brigade combat team design.”

The Army already announced it will cut eight BCTs, but that number could grow to 13 if the service follows through with plans to go from two to three maneuver battalions and adding more engineers to each brigade, Odierno said. Service leaders will deliver their recommendations to Army Secretary John McHugh based on TRADOC’s study in the next few months.

“The early feedback clearly indicates that significant flexibility and capability would be gained by adding a third maneuver battalion and more engineers to our brigade combat teams. If a decision is made to add a third maneuver battalion and engineers it would cause us to reduce further our brigade combat teams from the planned number of 37 down to perhaps 32 or 33 brigade combat teams in the active component,” Odierno said.

Service leaders have announced the Army will retire the Germany-based 170th and 172nd Infantry Brigades. Odierno said the service is still discussing what other brigades will go away.

The Army will not scrap the “modularity” gained from the establishment of the BCT structure in recent years as part of this review, the Army chief of staff said.

“Modularity has served our Army very well and we will not walk away from it, however, we now have time to discuss and recommend changes to our brigade combat team organization and the execution and oversight of the modular brigades. It is critical that this vital war fighting formation remain dominant against the evolving hybrid threats in evolving operational environments,” Odierno said.

The reduction in the force, though, has led Army leaders to re-evaluate the amount of logistics capabilities the service can dedicate to each BCT.

“When we developed the modular brigade the assumption was made that everyone was going to have to operate independently of every other brigade so because of that we built a lot of logistics capability into each brigade so we are reviewing that to make sure that concept is right,” Odierno said.

Adding a third battalion will provide flexible to adapt to hybrid threats such as a complex, high-end war in Korea down to a training mission in Africa. These new brigade models must allow commanders to adapt, especially once the Army executes plans to regionally align brigades.

“What we want is a brigade that can be flexible enough to fight a very complex war in Korea. We want a brigade that can do the training and advising. And I think with the third battalion being added will provide flexibility for that brigade to do a wide variety of missions,” Odierno said.

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Vitesse, this answers our question from last month. Adding a third battalion and changing the Special Troops Battalion back into an Engineer Battalion requires about 20,000 troops. There was also discussion in the Army Times this week of adding another battery to the artillery battalion. A bigger brigade gives more punch for the same sized headquarters and we’ve already proven it can work on the battlefield.

The Army is the best managed of the three services.

The General is cutting the wrong part of the army BCTs are needed and state side bureaucracy and wasteful R&D like GCV and ICC is what needs to go. You can have a crack division but if the enemy outnumbers him hundred to one, technology don’t help.

“…we built a lot of logistics capability into each brigade …” Under modularity, the logistics was moved from the DISCOM to the BCT. However, the equipment increased by 5% while the number of mechanics decreased by 5%. The BCTs do not have a large enough logistics element to support themselves, hence the large number of contractors. All of the equipment is getting older, and very little will be replaced. Cutting logistics does not make sense.

Good Afternoon Folks,

This appears to be a rerun of a post of about a year and a half ago. The subject was the post Iraq/Afghanistan reduction of US forces and when I made the suggestion that there would be a reduction of BCT’s down to 35, well all he** broke lose. I was not correct of course the number will be 32 BCT’s.

The BCT has a mixed record when deployed in combat. As a logistical formation it was rather robust and during the course of the War in Iraq BCT supported six or more battalions. But as a planning and tactical the BCT has many shortfalls including the Army wanting to command a BCT with on 06 Colonel instead of an 07 Brigadier General. To those who never served in a ground combat force which is the majority of you this is no big deal but, to those in a tactical planning meeting though it is all the difference in the world.

For the sake of organizational simplicity the Army should revert back to a triangular Regimental system

Another lesson from Vietnam that was unlearned.

Byron Skinner

but shud there really be cuts to the BCT’s?

A single BCT costs the Army about $200 million a year just in paychecks. Your ad nauseum recommendations of cancelling the GCV and ICC programs won’t fix all the Army’s budget woes, no matter how many times you repeat it.

It may be more suited to the Marines since they own all the assets, but their Brigade-sized task forces consist of a regiment, air group, and logistics group all led by a one star. I don’t really have an issue with a BCT being commanded by an O-6, but the BCT needs to be bigger to justify the size of the staff. A deployed BCT headquarters company can grow to 250 soldiers and require a significant amount of lift to carry all their equipment. If a BCT is commanded by a BG, what does the COL do, or at what level would he command?

A BCT can tactically be spread out over thousands of square miles, and they easily reach a point where they need to be augmented by theater level support battalions.

The Stryker BCTs have had a third manuever battalion from the get-go. This is definitely a plus for light brigades; I was in 1/10 IBCT at Drum when the transformation started. When we got a light cav squadron as a replacement for our third infantry battalion most of us were like “uh.…why?” We don’t maneuver as a brigade team nor do we move fast enough to really require long-distance screening; certainly none of my brigade’s battalion-sized operations in Afghanistan between 2003–2004 became lacking due to lack of cavalry.

Regionally Aligned BCTs; adding a 3rd Maneuver BN, Engineering & Support Personnel to maximize Flexibility to handle both Hi-End & Hybrid Threats.

It seems as if I heard all of this some where before…

Thats right 5-6yrs ago CMC Gen Conway established Doctrine & TTPs to enhance the Marines ability to remain a Two-Fisted Fighter w/the ability to tackle both Hi-End & Hybrid Threats.

Also, 3yrs ago the USMC announced it was Regionally Aligning Regiments deploying Marines in Security Cooperation MAGTFs (SCMAGTFs) now called SPMAGTFs.

Another ex: of copying the Marines playbook, which wouldn’t be bad if they’d acknowledge it.

The problem with the Army is it does not know what it wants. There are those (3 and 4 Stars) who want to recreate the Divisions they were comfortable with; there are others (1 and 2 Stars, Plus O6s) who say lets rock and roll with the BCTs. Compounding the problem is the fact the Army can not simply and clearly articulate why our nation needs an Army.

In the future, today’s military leaders will be known as the leaders who destroyed our military.

Good Evening Folks,

With most BCT’s operation with 4 or more battalions as well as an aviation company what were are really seeing is a stripped down triangular division which has a Major General (08) as Division Commander, a Brigadier (07) for Ass’t Division Commander and a Brigadier (07) as Fire support commander.

The TO&E for the Three Regiments (Brigade) Division has 9 maneuver battalions. This is a manageable formation that can be expanded or broken up and units reassigned to other Divisions as needed.

Byron Skinner

United States Army
United States Marine Corps
United States Navy
United States Air Force

1+1+1+1 = 3(?) Nice math skills

What aviation companies?

You’re joking right? First, no decision has been made on regional focus. Second units were focusing on most likely employment options in the 80’s. E.G. 101st has Latin America and Iran as key areas of interest (hi & low threat) in the 80’s and Europe based units were focused on guess what? Europe! Same for Korea etc. When did the Marines give the Army credit? You might also want to go back to WWII Army using “Regimental Combat Teams” and “Combat Commands”. Again, where’s the credit for the Marines copying an army concept?

When did the USMC acknowledge that the Army wrote its amphibious manual for supporting large scale sustained amphibious ops? http://​usacac​.army​.mil/​c​a​c​2​/​c​g​s​c​/​c​a​r​l​/​d​o​w​n​l​o​a​d​/cs… p36-38

The hubris of some Marine aficianados knows no bounds. They’d tell you they invented war if you listened long enough.

Marines = dept. of the navy smarty.

The Army doesn’t need to articulate why the nation needs an Army. Any US history book provides ample historic precedent and no rational thinking person could imagine not having an Army. The bad guys haven’t disappeared. Now organization, focus, training and equiping are totally different matters and there’s an on going debate.

They would the fact is the program are sucking millions and millions of dollars for a wasteful spending on money for weapons we do NOT need. BCT may cost more but we can use them in combat pal.

Our nation needs an army because in 1917 Germany tried to persuade Mexico to launch a war on the US. We need an army because Yamamoto knew the only chance with the US was to knock us out quickly and not awaken the sleeping giant. We need to maintain a credible rounded military because whether we have one or not, potential adversaries know we can build one. Not having a well rounded military invites military adventurism on the part of potential adversaries.

The GCV program will cost the Army $600 million next year. Cancel it and you might save a couple BCTs from the chopping block. The carbine competition will cost no more than $2 billion over the entire production run of whatever rifle wins (up to 1 million rifles). Despite how much you don’t like it, the Army has spent so little on the competition that it doesn’t even warrant a bullet comment on the Army’s FY13 budget summary. Now that we’ve cancelled the only two things you ever talk about, find the other $8 billion or so that the Army intends to cut from next year’s budget.

I love the Army too but you should think about this. The United States Armed force is one team, all the uniformed services. Obama wants to reduce our fighting strength. We cannot allow that to happen.

One team!

The democronies always reduce the military. IMPEACH OBAMA!

Let me clarify: there are no aviation companies in a BCT. They’re in Combat Aviation Brigades.

The USMC developed Modern Amphib Warfare after a Marine Spying Operation in the ‘20s called Orange anticipated war w/Japan & Japanese weaknesses.

Amphib Warfare Doctrine was fully developed by the end of the ‘30s.

The Marine’s Doctrine was ADAPTED to Army formations & the European Theater with the HELP of Marine Advisers Training & Advising the Army’s staff whiched developed into the Armys manual.

@ Major Rod
If you think the Deployment of Regionally Aligned BCTs is the same as what the Armys always done in Europe then its already over your head.

RABs will be rotational BCTs deploying on Training & Advising missions to Fwd areas around the world. A Concept ripped nearly word for word fr/the Marines SCMAGTF Construct deployed 3-4yrs ago.

The Army is probably the 1 service that doesnt have to justify its existence.

HOWEVER, its also the 1 service that doesnt embrace what it is. Its the BIG Army, it does Major Contingency/Combat Operations, it needs to embrace that.

It spends to much capital trying recreate the Marines capability in LIC (Low Intensity Conflict) instead of developing ways to COMPLIMENT it.

The Army is a Top-Down Org, which is great for MCOs, but LICs complexity calls for Bottom-Up Command flexibility & a SMALL Footprint, neither of which the Big Army does well.

Eric, the problem with trying to separate those roles is that the Corps isn’t big enough to do all the regional cooperation missions we have committed ourselves to and Iraq and Afghanistan technically fall into the LIC category which the Corps definitely isn’t big enough for. There are many senior leaders in the Army that would love to stick with repeating ODS and OIF I and doing only that, but whenever we tell ourselves that we end up in a situation outside that comfort zone.

Just like every war past, the military gets cut to the bone, combat units suffer and REMF/staff jobs flourish, then we fight another war and start all over again!!. Go more green?? I was in Desert storm, 16 army divisions no heavy use of contractors, OIF/OEF, Bosnis/Kosovo, less solders 10 divisions, bring in the reserves/NG, hire lots of contractors who cost zillions more than soldiers and are NOT cost effective. We had privet contractors from South Africa, UK ‚Uganda, Gurkas doint routine security/support missions so we could get more troops on patrol. This BCT crap concept, they closed out many artillery, engineer type units then hurridly recreated them to fill gaps that the Pentagon keyboarders forgot about!! Don’t forget, Casey and Ordinero are of that bunch!! We’ll pay for it in the next war! I’ll get recalled off retirement to fill in gaps!

True but the Marines didn’t invent the capability to conduct sustained operations from a beach head. Check out the Army development of the EACs and EABs that were adopted into Marine amphib doctrine. http://​usacac​.army​.mil/​c​a​c​2​/​c​g​s​c​/​c​a​r​l​/​d​o​w​n​l​o​a​d​/cs… p36-38

The Marines wrote the book on how to land on a beach. The Army taught them how to conduct large and sustained ops from them. It just never worried about getting credit.

Reread my previous post. I started with talking about the 101st. They were never in Europe and when I served with them we trained for the gamut of low to high intensity, Latin America to the mountains of Iran.

Secondly the “RAB” isn’t doctrine. It’s a discussion. BTW, while the Marines write (e.g. the SCMAGTF) the Army does. Get with the news. Army BCTs have been doing training and advisory missions for near a decade way before the Marines put pen to paper and started to try to take credit for inventing the concept. The same can be said for FETs. Marines saw the Army using women on checkpoints/patrols, borrowed female soldiers to do the same thing, wrote about it and started to say they invented the concept. Again demonstrating credit is more important than truth.

YOU and other Marine aficianados would like to define the Army as only a Major Contingency/Combat Ops. The truth is the nation has called upon the Army to execute ALL its combat requirements from small brush wars to frontier defense. It’s the Marines struggling for a niche.

“The Army is a Top-Down Org, which is great for MCOs, but LICs complexity calls for Bottom-Up Command flexibility & a SMALL Footprint, neither of which the Big Army does well.” Examples???? That would be like me characterizing the Marines as too rigid to consider flanking attacks or employing mech units at the BN or above level because of a pre WWII tradition that Armor only supports the Infantry. That’s silly. Let’s get away from the stereotypes and propaganda?

Good Morning Folks,

Hi Eric. I agree with most of what you said regarding amphibious warfare and the Marines, but you failed to either note or accept that the Army has a far different doctrine on amphibious warfare. First off in the Army the amphibious landing is considered just another Infantry skill and not a specialized force. The Marines land Companies and Battalions the Army lands Divisions and Corps.

The Marines like to consolidate a beach head form a defensive perimeter build up a logistics base them advance inland. They like their own air support and give priority to establishing an air field as soon a possible. The Army is content to let the USAF build their bases to the Army’s rear.

You also forgot to mention that the Army did a lot more amphibious lands in in the Pacific in WW II then the Marines. Several Army Divisions such as the 1st. Cav., 7th. ID, 11th. Airborne Div, 24th. ID, 25th. ID, 40th. ID, 77th. ID and others each did more amphibious lands of all sizes from Company’s, Battalion, Regimental, Division, multi Division, Corps then the entire Marines Corp did.

The Army hits the beach and moves inland, pushes heavy forces, fuel and logistics over the beach to keep up with advancing forces. leaving support and service troops to provide for their own security.

The downside of Marine doctrine is that it allows the enemy to asses the situation and realign it defensive perimeters. The Army’s tactics don’t allow the enemy to regroup and as often as not will insert either an airborne drop in the enemies rear or or a second amphibious landing behind the enemy for a classic hammer an anvil situation.

Byron Skinner

No they did not invent war. But we(military bodyguard service) used to keep our weapons in the Marine Barracks Sigonella, Sicily in the early 80s because the Navy Armory did not meet Army security standards. Master Gunnery Sgt. Cooley(Sigonella 83–86, the saltiest Jarhead ever!) did assure us the Marines invented Spears, Slingshots, air planes, fishing, deer hunting, chili-mac, bacon and Beer.
I’m quite the Marine basher sometimes, but I really dont care who gets credit as long as the best ideas for each fighting branch get implemented.
Major Rod, as for the depth of Marine hubris and undisputable historical facts? We’ve both been around the block a few times, I suggest just smiling, nodding and a good pair of Wellingtons.

The Japanese conducted large scale amphibious operations in the Sino-Russo war before WW1. Most of what NOT to do was learned when Winton Churchill killed of 2 generations of ANZACs in a supposed easy entry into the “soft underbelly” of the Axis in Turkey 1915–16.

While I do enjoy making fun of the Coast Guard on occasion, they are one of the services.

And the German Army pretty much invented Operational Maneuver From the Sea in 1917 in Operation Albion when they went from the ships straight to their objectives on bicycles cutting off and surrounding a couple Russian divisions.

Welcome to Jeopardy!

Military facts for $1200, Alex.

The answer is: The 7th & 25th IDs of the US Army.

The Question: Which two US Military units have conducted the most opposed amphibious
assaults in history?

Rob — Funny! Not bashing the Marines. They’re a great bunch but the BS has to stop. Many Marines and their aficianados are so used to not being confronted that they and others start believing the propaganda.

Instead of Wellingtons I”m always entertained when they don’t know how to react to information they never read because they never read anything except what the Marines write.

correction: “or NOT CAPABLE OF employing mech units…”

Lance — seems you don’t know it but the GCV is meant to be used in combat also. They get the troops of the BCT to the fight and then provide support. The Army has been using mech vehicles to get infantry into the fight at the tactical/operational level sunce WWII.

If you only read Marine history you miss tidbits like that.

“Marine Spying Operation in the ‘20s called Orange”???? You trying to take credit again for something the Army and Navy did?

Are you talking about War Plan Orange which was a joint Army-Navy joint chiefs plan for war in the Pacific against Japan? The Marines had nothing to do with it (they weren’t part of the JCS at the time. It did provide the impetus to develop a US amphib capability but wasn’t a “Marine Spying Op”.

You need to do some more reading besides history written by Marines.

Jesus, who cares about amphib warfare. The Marine Corp. is best handled this situation as compared to the Army that as a much larger air support ability and also a more versatile engineer compability. I wil admit the Marine Corp as the same ability, but the Army as more resources at it’s disposal. Look at it like this, the Marine Corp as basically shock troops without the means to sustain themselves and the Army is the sustainment force and the force to hold the ground. The Marines are experts at closing in on the enemy and taking ground, but their ability will last as long as the Navy has the resources and equipment in place to support them. Eventaully the supplies coming from the Navy ships off the cost will be depleted unless they are resupplied.The same thing can be said about the Army, but we only advance from territory that as already been in place to support furthor operations and is secured. I will say this the Army’s supplies will probaly come from the Air Force as long as they have the means to land aircraft.

Mike, you underestimate the Army. Its actually closed with the enemy and taken more ground than the Corps. Don’t see Army guys saying they’re the experts. Why is it that Marines are so quick to say they take the ground and the Army holds it? Did they forget every major offensive in our nation’s history? They must not teach that in Marine history books (along w/humility).

Don’t get me wrong. Marines are awesome but they are far from being the only shock troops or experts at taking ground. I must admit. NO ONE beats the Marines for saying they are the best or taking credit for every twist, turn and fad in military matters. Some Marines are too concerned with taking credit for everything. Relax, it’s all cool.

I recommend focusing on amphib/small scale expeditionary ops. The Marines are pros as long as a MUE is close by and there’s time to get there. Let’s get back to the article though? What about the pros and cons of 13 less BCTs while making the rest more capable?

Maybe we can get back to the article?

The initiative to put more capability in BCTs is a long overdue nod by the Army that we aren’t going to be fighting terrorists forever. Not a fan of cutting formations though. We don’t have enough as it is.

I would think 3 maneuver battalions would be great regardless of what kind of ops we’re doing. Doing COIN, we were constantly short of manpower given the square mileage we were responsible for. The modular BCT was supposed to be this self contained fighting formation. If that’s the case, giving it enough combat power for a decisive effort, supporting effort, reserve, and enough engineer assets is long overdue. Someone at Leavenworth back in 2005 did the analysis on the difference in combat power from changing up the BCT composition. It’s a short read, but informative.

(1) Your confusing analyzing individual Operations as stating, “this is what Marine Amphib Warfare is”. Your basing it off landings that were on Island Fortresses less than a few miles wide.

Complete Amphib Warfare; phases from Recon to Pre-Assault Bombardment to Landing to Build Up to Breakout (Build Up & Break Out involve the Logistics Arm) were all finished by the ‘30s.

Marines went fr/basically Infantry Regiments & CAS pilots in the 20s to a full Combined Arms Team w/ Log units built around Amphib War by the end of the 30s.

Your idea that the Marines learned Amphib Log fr/the Army is based on the fact that the Marines hadnt used Log in the early invasions were concentrated battles on Island Fortresses

The Marines built the Doctrine to be Flexible & Adapt to the enemy & terrain. The Army landings were different b/c of this but they still had Marine advisers in the Training staff.

Of course the Army had more landings they were 10Xs bigger, but the Marines were the Lead Element.

(2) You said, Marines based their FETs off seeing the Armys female soldiers on security.

Is there anything you wont say?

Think about that for a second. Female Marines spend 13wks in a Boot Camp & 5wks of Training at SOI for a combined 18wks of intial Combat training.

Female Marines were involved in security fr/the beginning. When I was on Army bases in ’04 soldiers were in PT gear all day holding hands, kissing in public.

When Jess Lynch was capture the soldiers said they hadnt fired their personal weapons since Basic.

At the same time in ’03, all non-Infantry Marines Male/Female went thru live-fire pre-deployment training including Convoy Security.

Most went thru EMP, the Enhanced Marksmanship Program. A 2wk Confined Space shooting course where they shoot btwn 500-1000rounds/day.

The CMC rotated ALL Marines, M&F, stationed at Quantico to run security &patrols in the Green Zone in Baghdad bc life was to cushy.

But your right they probably got the idea fr/seein female soldiers in Iraq.

“Of course the Army had more landings they were 10Xs bigger, but the Marines were the Lead Element.”

Really? What Marines landed FIRST in Africa, Scily, Italy, Normandy, New Georgia, Majority of New Guinea landings, Aleutians, Philippines and Okinawa? You’ll find the OVERWHELMING MINORITY of landings were led by Marines.

Again you need to read more than just Marine history books.

“Your confusing analyzing individual Operations as stating, “this is what Marine Amphib Warfare is”. Your basing it off landings that were on Island Fortresses less than a few miles wide.”

Nope, I’m talking doctrine. Read about EACs and EABs that were adopted into Marine amphib doctrine. http://​usacac​.army​.mil/​c​a​c​2​/​c​g​s​c​/​c​a​r​l​/​d​o​w​n​l​o​a​d​/cs… p36-38

Wow was that a case of apples and oranges. What does the length of rifle training or the behavior of a few on a FOB have to do with using females as search teams? The Lynch story is an outright lie. I’d believe they hadn’t fired their weapons that year, but not since basic. One of the NCOs who died in that ambush was responsible for several kills. Congratulations on putting everyone through extra drills before the war. The female search teams weren’t started by either the Army or Marines as a formal program until at least a year into the war. Just because you saw a few soldiers goofing off on the FOB doesn’t mean there weren’t hundreds of others doing important things outside the wire. Or are you going to honestly stand there and say every female soldier is a goof off?

You need to do your research. Again, read something besides Marine history. Marine units actually borrowed female soldiers FROM the ARMY after they saw the Army using them at checkpoints and patrols in Iraq. http://​asmba​.typepad​.com/​v​e​t​e​r​a​n​s​/​2​0​0​8​/​1​1​/​l​i​o​n​ess

“The Army first put female soldiers with infantry units taking part in raids, conducting security patrols and manning vehicle checkpoints.” From: http://​marinecorpstimes​.com/​n​e​w​s​/​2​0​0​9​/​0​4​/​m​a​r​i​n​e_f

Here’s a story from ’03 “BEFORE” FETs existed. http://​userpages​.aug​.com/​c​a​p​t​b​a​r​b​/​p​a​t​r​o​l​.​h​tml

Google is a wonderful thing…

http://​regionalcommandsouthwest​.wordpress​.com/​abohttp://​info​.publicintelligence​.net/​C​A​L​L​-​F​E​T​s​.​pdf http://​en​.wikipedia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​T​e​a​m​_​L​i​o​n​ess

That’s what 5 minutes of google came up with. Army Civil Affairs have been doing FET-like ops for decades. The first known team purpose-built for FET in Iraq was called “Lioness” in Sep 03 and it was a group of female soldiers from the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division. It was an Army brigade in the Corps’ battlespace, so both branches have claimed the credit. The Corps started forming teams underneath the Army’s 3rd Civil Affairs Group in 2006. Neither branch created a formal training program until 2009. The term “FET” wasn’t actually invented until that time.

That’s 3 websites listed, the 3rd one should have had its own line.

Here’s a good read about all the BS the Marine Corps put out:

TMB actually Army units were doing it before it was called the lioness program.

As you know the Army just does the job often without a “catchy” name. Others have time to write papers, publicize and take credit.

TMB — BTW, the “lioness” term was also created by the Marines. The Army didn’t think having women out with patrols needed its own name. Just dealing with insurgents that hid as women and engaging the female population for intel seemed like good iudeas at the time.

Didn’t you know Marines invented the words “rock”, “club” and “spear”? They were never used before they were named of course, never mind the history.

That’s quite a document. Much of it is likely true, but it omits everything the Corps did between the Revolutionary and Civil Wars in the Mediterranean, campaigns in the Caribbean, putting an amphibious force together for Inchon when the Army intentionally put those skills in mothballs, and numerous coastal evacuations and humanitarian ops since then. I don’t want this thread to turn into another 100-post Army vs Marines article, but some records needed to be set straight.

You ought to post it on that thread. Personally, I disagree with the author’s conclusion (roling the Corps into the army) but he makes a very well documented case for the Corps historically embellishing it’s achievements or taking credit for Army ones.

I wish it hadn’t been brought into this thread because it’s incendiary and goes to some pretty low depths. Don’t think that much emotion is a positive thing.

TMB — Checked out the article and I like the direction but has two GINORMOUS flaws. He doesn’t address the loss of command billets and the fight numerous branches would put up at the thought of being marginalized. The author presents no plan to address the political backlash making it all totally unrealistic. Sad, because he’s going in the right direction.

How about more logistics? How about firing the contractors in the war zone? No more Blackwater/Xe, no more mercs or KBR. Have NG or Army reserve units that can do the job. How about canceling the Ground Combat Vehicle?

Well it was written in 2005 right after modularity started, so maybe he was missing some of the real world effects we’ve experienced. The cavalry won out big in modularity. Everyone else lost command and staff billets and career stability when those division-level battalions were split up. That third battalion obviously means more for the infantry and armor guys, and the engineers will win big if the STB is replaced by an engineer battalion. The STB command is a non-branch specific job, so I’m not sure how that will tweak the numbers. Ironically, my last STB was commanded by an engineer, and almost the entire staff ended up being engineers by complete accident.

All military branches have gone soft. Training is not like it use to be. Army and Marine Dis are into interpersonal communication skills and don’t want to get into trouble for training too hard due to the mommys and politians who don’t want little Johnny to be made into a fighting machine. The US always cuts down their forces after each conflict and then scramble when another conflict happens. The last 21 yrs. relied on Reserves and Guard units way too much. America should always have enough troops for two fronts and rely on the reserves and guard units at a minimum. Make the military a mandatory obligation!

I also belive the US military has gone to soft. We need to keep profesionalism in the military and not let the one who dont give it 110% get in. This will mean a smaller, but motivated fighting force. Many other military have been doing this Germany, France, Sweden etc.… Numbers wont win a modern day battle.

I want all the credit in the world for 12 weeks of boot. and six month deployments when the Army is doing a year and a half.…. boo hoo gimme more…

Army has no long term relationship, i.e funding, with the Navy which is why Army shouldn’t be in the amphibious mission conversation.

Don’t think the Army should totally ignore amphibious warfare but it doesn’t need to be the proponent. BTW, the Marines are funded separately also and the Army has more ships than the Navy and a good number of landing craft. http://​www​.hazegray​.org/​w​o​r​l​d​n​a​v​/​u​s​a​/​a​r​m​y​.​htm http://​en​.wikipedia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​G​e​n​e​r​a​l​_​F​r​a​n​k​_​S​.​_​Beshttp://​en​.wikipedia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​R​u​n​n​y​m​e​d​e​_​c​l​a​s​s​_​l​arg

Good Afternoon Folks,

Good afternoon Col. Fritts. You know you are confusing the butternuts with facts. You are attacking an old myth that has evolved into a religion, that the Marines are then only ones who can do an amphibious assault.

Byron Skinner

Our mechanics don’t work on our vehicles anyways. They claim everything is –10 level including replacing an engine. So we may get more equipment, but they still don’t do anything in my unit.

Part of that problem is we don’t spend enough time doing maintenance on our own stuff. We spend a year at home turning wrenches on our tanks and humvees, but then deploy and fall in on MRAPs. Half the maintenance we do at home on the “normal” equipment is contracted and nearly everything we do downrange above –10 level on the MRAPs is contracted.

I won’t tell the general how to do his generaling if he don’t tell me I can’t continuing on doing latrine duty or any other kind of job that he see’s fit to allow an old Sad Sack of Horse Manure like me to Workhorse with as they go get the glory back to old glory ?

Jusy please don’t let the, take it out on my poor dear mother any more ? That’s why I first enlisted so many years ago today just whike I was away they wouldn’t even think of doing what they did to my mom just for the sack of being a mob of bums ? You know the kind who have nothing better to do than get together and get drunk and stoned and then go out on a rampage ? Unless it’s a couple of service personel on leave and they don’t like the price they have to pay for a good time ? Who doesn’t hate waking up Sunday and finding your wallet empty and your pants around your ankles and can’t remember if you were any good or if the girl your were talking to was really a girl ? Because I here guys can have *** changes just as much as the girls so thats why I don’t drink or get stoned is because I keep my Y chromosomes in my pants ?

Puts and takes notwithstanding, this appears to me to be about a division shy of the 2000 baseline force. With a 1–2 tooth to tail reduction, you do end up with more end strength going to TDA assignments, relatively speaking. It would be just me, but I would prefer to see better integration of the active force and reserves, so people could stay in unit assignments, even if those end up being tours in NG or USAR TPU slots. The decision appears to be to keep some fat in the force and keep middle grade promotion rates up. While I appreciate the appreciation shown for our combat veterans, I don’t think that is a good force development strategy in peacetime. O-4 promotion rates need to get back down to at least the 80% normal, otherwise you breed in all sorts of problems.

Thousands ??? Ummm, how ’bout 1–2 thousand square miles. Understand that we breached doctrine in Iraq and Afghanistan, but that doesn’t make it a good thing. I don’t think your three battalion BCT will do all that well on a 60 kilometer frontage, to say nothing of 60 kilometers in depth. Arrghh.

The Army Times last week had a pretty thorough article on the upcoming drawdown and how it would affect promotions and retention across the board. Their goal is to get promotion rates down to pre-war levels. The time in service from 2LT to CPT is being extended with a goal of around 48 months (38 months when I made CPT). Promotion to Major has been in the upper 90s, but starting next year they want it to go back down to around 80%. Promotion to LTC is going to drop pretty far too.

I suspect this author is being deliberately provocative here, which is never a good thing to do on DoD Buzz. But the problem is not that the comment is antagonistic, but that it is vague. Why does the USA need an Army ? Compared to what ? Compared to the Navy and the Air Force ? Compared to the Reserves ? Compared, say, to the FBI and DHS ? Sorry, but the unstated assumptions are not self-evident, so it is not self-evident what Army leadership needs to do here. I sympathize with the existent problem we’ve gotten ourselves into here, but it is not realistic to base the Army’s future on wishful thinking or best-case scenarios. Too many of our big brains have forgotten that.

Sorry, but this problem does not have to be insurmountable. I do rail against COIN bigotry and on behalf of Big Army values, but we should not blind ourselves to the capabilities we do have on hand in the force, and the prospects of tailoring the force to any mission within the Army’s scope. That’s why we call ‘em “general purpose forces” — the ancestor of “full spectrum ops”. Means just that. Do not blind yourself to the black swan scenarios that are unpleasant to think about.

I have the same concerns. You might want to refer to the opinions Ed Luttwak put out in the 90s, during the big post-Cold War drawdown. Luttwak openly advocated that the USA employ mercenaries to support its global missions. I am not sure that this country has not become so morally jaded and casualty shy that this might not be considered in the future.

Yes, the Men’s Department, but still considered a separate service.

“he makes a very well documented case for the Corps historically embellishing it’s achievements or taking credit for Army ones.”

I’ve read it and no he doesn’t — multiple flawed arguments and a misstatement of facts. If that’s what you’re basing your anti-Marine diatribe and your poor understanding of Amphibious Warfare return to things that you know and leave this to those who are well-read enough to know the difference. The amphibious ops conducted during WWII by the Army and Marines are apples and oranges comparisons mostly in terrain and objectives.

What the commenter posted earlier regarding the “Orange” Plan referred to the work of Major Earl Ellis who was the proponent and author of Advanced Base operations (1921) and anticipated the challenges and needs that a conflict with Japan in the South Pacific. A brilliant and flawed character, but truly the leading thinker in this area of warfare before all others. The Central Pacific campaign as executed by the Navy and Marine Corps was significantly different in nearly all facets of the amphibious operation as those faced by MacArthur in the Southwest Pacific.

Quantity and quality are at most times exclusive measures. The one service that trumps all in the most amphibious operations is our beloved US Navy. They were there for them all, so let’s remember the combined arms/services aspect of this type of operation before we get to big for our britches. And don’t give me the argument that the Army conducted the biggest amphibious operation in history — last time I looked there were a few other players as well (British, Canadians, French — to include the fact that the Ground Forces commander was British — or is that something that the Army is taking credit for?)

The Army and Marines collaborated early on the transfer of knowledge for amphibious operations — the Army has the task of being able to conduct large-scale, sustained operations ashore that require extensive organization, manpower and logistices expertise and structure. The Marine Corps does not. To say that the Army developed EAC doctrine before the Marne Corps is correct, there was little requirement for this doctrine in a Marine Corps that at its height was only 6 divisions (never delpoyed in the same operation all at once.)

The Marine Corps force projection/expeditionary structure from the 1920s onward has been to package what is needed for the situation required in most litorral conflicts — thus the self-contained (Ground Combat — Air Combat — Service Support Elements) units MEU — MEB — MEF that give the commander a structural flexibility as well as a certain amount of independence to operate in either to solve the problem or gain entry and foothold for larger forces to follow on for further objectives.

Really, let’s get back to the article!

I think if you trace some of these developments back to Cheney, Rumsfeld and some of the dysfunctional interpretation of Boyd’s philosophy and the OODA Loop concept (lighter, leaner, faster-acting — force the enemy to lose cohesion) you can see why all the services have been pushed in this direction (along with the obvious fiscal requirements). I feel it’s one the prime reasons for the struggle oru forces faced in Iraq after we overran the country. We were too lean on the ground to properly administer a conquered nation. As someone commented earlier about the value of manpower in LIC environments, we’ll have to decide if we’re going to forego future involvement in these types of conflicts with military force because we’ve chosen the smaller combat structures.

If they can get this done without RIFs, well and good. But if history repeats itself, in 3–4 years, they’ll have to accelerate the O-3 promotion schedule and put lieutenants in company command on account of a “captains shortage”. One way to prevent these is to ease off on accessions and let captains who fail their promotion point stay in grade on active duty as long as they meet standards. Otherwise you get a big bloodletting at the O-4 selection point and the cycle starts all over again. In the 90s, it got so bad that they early retired and forcibly branch transferred majors who had survived a 2/3 promotion cut to keep the books balanced. If you do the math, you can figure out which year groups are the most vulnerable to this sort of thrashing.

Not to agree with The Byron, but there is a case to be made that fixed brigades naturally should be led by a brigadier rather than a colonel. Hear me out: in both MacGregor’s fixed brigade concept and mine, the brigade is the highest tactical formation in peacetime. What I would favor is to use the fixed brigade directly in contingencies (essentially the same as MacGregor’s concept) or as the cadre for mobilzation. With 32 maneuver brigades, you then staff out 7 or 8 “units of employment” at the operational level — and you can call them divisions or corps, whatever. This corresponds to how divisions and corps formations evolved historically. Such formations could be commanded by major generals or lieutenant generals, with deputy commanders assigned specific “task force” roles when multiple brigades are joined to conduct a single mission (e.g. to form the main effort). As far as the regimental concept is concerned, there is also a case to be made that the colonel of a regiment should be an administrative position. This would involve going to a full-bore regimental system. I need not elaborate on what a shock that would be for Big Army.

Between the mid-1990s RIF and the expansion of the Army this decade we only got healthy on O-3s and O-4s last year. Those two paygrades is when you see the most attrition due to age and experience levels regardless of force size. They’re talking about forcing out 13,000 troops this year to start things off with most of them being enlisted (ash and trash first) and maybe a few retirement-level officers. The budget authority to force officers out is there, but they’re not in a hurry (yet). I think their hope is the up-or-out through reduced promotion rates will generate the officer force levels they desire without having to force officers out involuntarily.

In a conventional fight, no, you’re right. My BCT was spread across half of Afghanistan doing a combination of friendly and not-so-friendly COIN.

MacGregor’s “brigade” or battle group whatever he called it was something like 30% larger than the current modular brigade. I’ve got Transformation Under Fire sitting on my desk. I’ll look through it this afternoon.

Yeah, the Men’s Department — still a separate service

VP, still not making the case for why it has to be a “general”.

We have TOO many. I think during the last drwdown we lost 6% of the flag rank billets and it hasn’t gotten better over time.

Scot — Great points about Amphib doctrine but I’d like to see what specifics you’re talking about ref mis-statements of fact/weak argument etc. (except I agree on the whole rolling the Corps into the Army is BS) ref that other article. The Marines do have a habit of embellishing or claiming stuff they didn’t do but let’s talk about it there rather than here?

As for amphib doctrine where am I wrong? Never took away from the Marines ground breaking work. What am I missing? I’m not getting big for my britches. It’s the Marine fanboys I’ve been reminding that the USMC is not the “be all and end all”. I didn’t see any comment from you when others were claiming they invented “regionally aligned brigades”, FETs, characterizing the Army as a “top-down” org., the Army is ill equipped for LIC etc. Talk about being “big for one’s britches”?

Let’s just be fair if we are going to be correcting folks huh? Policing one’s own will do much for interservice cooperation vs. picking a pet issue like nothing came before it.

BTW, Major Earl Ellis conducted his “spy” mission AFTER he wrote Oplan 712 for War Plan Orange in 1921. His contribution to the Corps’ highly managed effort to write modern amphib doctrine over a decade later in 1933 is relatively minor in comparison to the work done at Quantico. Did Ellis happen before? Sure! So did Galipoli, the Sino-Russian war and laundry list of other events that had a greater impact on Marine amphib doctrine. I don’t know why he mentioned it as if it was some “spy coup”.

Again, I wonder why you didn’t help Eric with his “facts” about “RAB”s, FETs, the Army being a top down org and ill suited for the “complexities” of LIC etc.? Remember what I said about Marines embellishing?

Macgregor’s ideas consist of the following:

Airborne Group 5500 troops– Recon Squadron with Kiowas, Blackhawks, UAV platoon, optional wheeled recon; 4 airborne infantry bns, lightweight artillery bn, signal bn, support bn

Light Reconnaissance Strike Group 5000 troops — 3 Cav Squadrons, HQ Bn (Signal, MI, ADA), EN Bn, and support bn

Combat Maneuver Group 5000 troops — Recon Squadron with Kiowas, Blackhawks, Abrams, Brads, and 120mm mortars; 3 CABs, Arty Bn, HQ Bn, and Spt Bn

He also describes functional support groups for sustainment and C4. He leaves the Aviation brigades pretty much the same.

The groups would be commanded by a BG with a COL Deputy and COL CoS with joint-qualified LTCs as staff primaries. The idea is to eliminate the division as an organization altogether and replace them with these task organizable strike groups which would reduce the overall number of brigades but make the remaining task forces more capable. The biggest issue with his ideas is that they were published in 2003 before the war influenced any of his ideas and he assumes FCS, Comanche, and the network will be there.

Try earlier — say the Royal Marines in multiple ship to shore operations from the Napoleonic Wars on. The minute you come out of the boat with a weapon it’s an amphibious operation and it comes in all shapes, sizes and objectives, and it hasn’t been all Marine Corps.

Amphibious Ops in that regard date as early as the first knuckle dragger to jump out of a boat with a sword in hand. OMFTS is what I was describing which pertains to deep inland attacks straight from the boat.

On the face of it, I don’t care if the BCT commander is an O-6 or an O-7. My main reason is that if you do eliminate either the division or corps, you end up with this dilemma…you can build a corps with a major general commanding. That was actually normal in WWII, same goes for the Civil war. But if my brigade commanders are capped at O-6 rank, what do I do with brigadiers ? Well, this would be a place where MacGregors concept separates from mine. His brigades are little divisions, mine are big brigades. His brigades are more or less autonomous operational commands, reporting to a JTF, typically a three star command. Now, I like the Israeli idea of the “Ugda” — a “combat command” composed of fixed brigades. Optimally, I think you could make that a two star command — admittedly one star would do in a two star corps command.

You may argue that I still haven’t made my case — but the logic of that position is to take down the entire rank structure down one grade in the general officer ranks. I hate to sound like a traditionalist in the midst of talking transformation — but as far as I know, we’ve never done it that way before, essentially assigning brigadiers to command a division level formation. If you’re gonna do that, you might as well do what the Wehrmacht did and start the general officer ranks at major general.

With a debt of $17 trillion, yes.….….…

The Vikings?

Hell No. The BCT’s aren’t the problem, it’s the GOWS and unnecessary Corps and Divisions units.

The Germans in WWI were strapped for soldiers. Their pre-war divisions were composed of two brigades with two regiments each, a cavalry brigade of two regiments, and an artillery brigade of two regiments. The Heer reorganized the divisions by stripping out the brigades and cavalry replaced the four infantry regiments with three infantry regiments and attached engineer units, etc.

If you ditch the corps and divisions in the Army, redistribute them to the BCTs, you can increase the fighting power of the BCTs AND reduce the number of personnel in the US Army.

Army Times this week reports that the Army wants to disband a total of 13 brigades in order to draw down the 80,000 soldiers AND add an engineer battalion and maneuver battalion to the remaining brigades. That would mean getting rid of the 2 brigades in Germany that we’re already tracking and every 4th Brigade. That only adds to 12 brigades. Which other will get the axe? 3rd SCR? Adding another battalion to those brigades means only losing one maneuver battalion per brigade eliminated. Adding another engineer company or two to each brigade will also help a lot.

With all this upgrade to the BCTs, we are almost creating regiments. So why not call this animal what it is, and bring the regiment back? Why mess around with this?

So long as these 13 BCTs are self contained with their own support units as part of their indigenous MTO&E
and NOT dependent on private contractors during overseas deployments, this will work for rotations of overseas assignments, training cycles, NCODP, MOS upgrade training and equipment maintenance.
These BCTs must have their own self contained aviation assets in addition to support units, otherwise when they are deployed, the OPTEMPO of security missions will be compromised.

I am a former Marine,Vietnam Vetern.
I support all branches of the military.
I have seem in news papers that Russia is
starting to build up their military forces
even though their is no threat. I guess they are doing this because of nothing else to do.
I trust them like a rattle snake.
Top management always seems to want to cut out
something that the United States needs to protect themselves.
Maybe it’s time to trim all the fat is the Capital, I’m sure all of you know about these

TRADOC in late 90’s began developing the 2 level maintenance program—-this was to do away with maintainers—thinking was “new equipment = less mechanics”—this has been a bogus concept for many years—It does not surprise me—that the current leadership believe they have determine the best re-design of the Army—-just remember—all pastre-designs—-have all thought they were correct—and then when ballon goes up—we squirrel around —making it work—
Remember have greatest equipment in the war—-but if it dosen’t operate—- you lose.

I have to confess that I’m struggling to understand what an entire engineer battalion will in fact do in a BCT…optional infantry role ? And does the RSTA squadron stay as is ? All you really need there is a properly organized and equipped ground troop and a properly organized and equipped aviation troop.…

Engineer battalion — IED clearance, bridging, obstacles emplacement/removal, whatever else you need because they’re so handy in a pinch.…

The 3-Troop Cav squadron is staying in place. The Cold War brigades only got a single troop for recon. I’m not sure how any helicopters could hang out in a BCT organically with the maintenance and supply tail that has to go with them.

Regiments were not combined arms affairs.

There are a lot of other useless commands they could cut that would have little to no adverse effect to the Army overall that cutting BCTs will. AAMDCs pretty much serve no purpose other than providing ADA Colonels with a potential Generals star. The ADA brigades could be corps assets.

Actually, they could eliminate quite a few generals and their associated commands and save the taxpayers billions.

Never quite sure what the AAMDC does and you might be right there, but elminating a general officer and his staff might save a couple million, but not billions. Sad fact of the numbers game, but a BCT is 4000 paychecks and a billion dollars worth of equipment no longer being put to use.

Sorry, this makes negative zero, sense, and people can give me negative scores all they want. A BCT is not a mini-division. If you are going to increase the brigade’s size, for heaven’s sake put the strength in the maneuver battalions where it belongs. And putting in three ground troops to do a job that an ground troop and an air troop can do better is just plain dumb. This cav squadron thing — what missions do you think it can do without tanks ? Recon and screen, that’s all. Forget about doing a guard mission — that is an old battle, and there is plenty of broken china laying around since they took the tanks out of the Division 86 cav squadron, but some people never listen to reason.…and the crumb bums won’t even consider fielding a light tank either…

While I generally find your posts interesting, I have to say that your evaluation of Marine doctrine is both outdated and inaccurate.

Planning an amphibious operation is not “just another skill set”, but a highly complex process requiring specialized knowledge, training and planning procedures. USMC is tasked BY LAW to maintain this capability. This requires specialized schools, MOSs, equipment, and intellectual energy devoted to keeping all of the above up to date.

Amphibious doctrine used by the US in WWII evolved directly from USMC research in the 20s/30s. Drop front landing craft (copied from the Japanese) used in virtually all invasions after Guadalcanal came from a USMC initiative, as did the amphibious tractor (Amtrac) used by both services. Naval Gunfire procedures, embark procedures, air support procedures, and dozens of other techniques were worked out before the war. The first Army manual on amphibious ops was the verbatim USMC manual. The Army conducted far more landings in WWII than the small USMC, and could claim enormous expertise at the end of the war. Said capability was promptly lost, forcing General Macarthur to issue his call for the 1st Marine Division to spearhead the landing at Inchon in 1950.

“The downside of Marine doctrine” Your post shows you know NOTHING of Marine doctrine. When attacking small fortified islands (Tarawa, Pelilieu, Iwo Jima) there was no room to move inland. When landing on a land mass (New Britain, Okinawa, Inchon), Marines promptly moved inland in accordance with their doctrine. The one notable case of a failed amphibious invasion (Anzio) occurred when the Army CG failed to heed this principle, well established at Gallipoli. Modern tactics? You might want to read about OMFTS, manuever warfare USMC style, Sea Dragon, and many other Marine theories and doctrines of amphibious warfare.

None of the above is a slight on the US Army.

Jeopardy II — The answer is: Zero

The question: How many soldiers who participated in said landings are still on active duty?

the damn staffs in the pentagon that number in the thousands. We have deputys, vice-whatevers, assistants to the assistants, you could get rid of 50% of them and keep more than 40 brigades by doing it!!

How about brigades with 4 manoeuvre battalions? This could be done by merging 2 brigades into 1. Each division would merge its 4 small BCTs into 2 large BCTs. This would allow for 12 divisions, each of 2 BCTs.
1st-4th Infantry Divisions — 8 SBCTs
1st CAV, 1st-3rd Armoured Divisions — 8 ABCTs
10th Mountain, 25th Infantry, 82nd Airborne & 101st Airborne Divisions — 8 IBCTs (4 Infantry & 4 Airborne)
*Plus 3 independent ACR’s — 3rd ACR (Heavy), 2nd ACR (Stryker) & 11th ACR (Light)

This would add up to the same amount of combat battalions as present and as the proposed 32 BCTs with 3 battalions each.

Each of the assistant division commanders (1-star) would become the new brigade commanders. The 2 colonel brigade commanders would become the deputy brigade commanders for manoeuvre and support.

This would allow 2 BCT’s each with:
– Brigade Headquarters
– 1 x Special Troops Battalion
– 4 x Combined Arms/Stryker/Infantry Battalions
– 1 x Cavalry Squadron (of 4 troops, remainder of the 2nd squadron would be disbanded)
– 1 x Artillery Battalion (4 gun batteries, 1 MLRS/HIMARS battery)
– 1 x Engineer Battalion (Bn HQ comes from the 2nd STB HQ that is no longer needed)
– 1 x Forward Support Battalion (with all the Forward Support Companies for the combat battalions)
– 1 x Main Support Battalion (Distribution, Maintenance & Medical companies)

Douglas Macgregor wrote a book about that called Transformation Under Fire which describes abandoning BCTs and Divisions in favor of “battle groups” similar to what you’re describing. The book was written in 2003 and takes some cues from what FCS was supposed to provide, but it’s an interesting look at how we could do things.


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