Army to add more infantry battalions in 2013

Army to add more infantry battalions in 2013

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Despite the threat of additional spending cuts, Army leaders are not backing away from a plan to add more firepower to its brigade combat teams.

Later this year, the Army intends to start adding a third maneuver battalion and engineer support to its BCTs under the plan to reorganize 32 active BCTs by 2017, said Gen. Robert Cone, the head of Army Training and Doctrine Command, at the Association of the U.S. Army’s Winter Symposium held here.

These force-structure changes will occur as the Army reduces its active force from 570,000 to 490,000. The service may have to reduce the force by another 100,000 in that same time window if the defense spending cuts under sequestration occur March 1.

Under sequestration, the Pentagon would have to absorb $46 billion worth of cuts across all the services. As it stands now, the Army’s share of that would mean about $18 billion less in operations and maintenance funds throughout the year. The Army, like the rest of the services, is also operating under a continuing resolution which puts the defense budget at fiscal 2012 spending levels.

The bleak financial outlook may slow the BCT reorganization effort, but it won’t stop it, Army officials said since the service is reducing its number of active BCTs from 37 to 32.

“Basically we are proposing fewer, more capable BCTs for the future,” said Maj. Gen. Arthur Bartell, deputy director of the Army Capability Integration Center. “Two-maneuver-battalion BCTs worked in a [counter-insurgency] environment, but a three-maneuver-battalion design gives commanders more agility and more flexibility across the range of military operations.”

Leaders are also considering adding armored reconnaissance back into heavy BCTs (HBCTs) and trying to determine what type of reconnaissance and surveillance unit would be best suited for higher-level commands such as division and corps.

Army leaders are looking at realigning the service’s Battlefield Surveillance Brigades (BSB) to add the right mix of reconnaissance assets to commanders at the HBCT level as well as the division and corps level, Bartell said.

“We have had about 10 years of experience with the BSB and found that although it was effective in certain respects, commanders on the ground had to reorganize that capability to accomplish the missions they needed to accomplish,” Bartell said. “I wouldn’t call it armored [cavalry], but a lot of capabilities we had in armored cavalry regiments, we are looking at some of those capabilities to put them back into armored brigade combat teams.”

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Are they going back to 3 BCT’s in a division?

Seems sort of odd decision considering that Penatta has already put plans to comply with sequestration.

Probably. The number of BCTs they’re cutting pretty much means dropping the 4th BCT of each division. They’ll probably have to redesignate a couple from light to armored or vice versa to balance them out.

So where is the US Army going to draw this BCT from, the National Guard or Reserve.

Thank GOD! Now back to thirteen man squads. (jokingly, sort of).

Sorry, posted too quickly and without any additional research. Just a reshuffle, perhaps for the better though.

Very deceptive headline and first paragraph. Army is not ‘adding’ anything, just breaking up BCTs and redistributing the pieces to the remaining BCTs.

So it will be a hollow army more numbers no training.

They’ll take one battalion from each of the ones being cut and add them to the BCTs left over. They’re also going to turn the Special Troops Battalion back into an Engineer Battalion. It’ll have the brigade HQ, engineer battalion HQ, MI Company, Signal Company, and two engineer companies. The Brigade Support Battalion will probably get an additional company to support the new infantry battalion.

It would be nice if comments making actual statements, rather than opinions about actual size and formations could “cite” their sources, i.e.,
DOD Study, TRADOC, “Army Organization of Future’, 21 July 2010, or Army War College Thesis, “Effects of Sequester”, Col J.T. Smith, Class of 2012, etc.

Re: Kaleb and Tmb2 remarks have perhaps validity, but would be more valid with citation of source. Merely an observation, not a criticism.

Cutting budget and total numbers of troops, but still adding infantry battalions? What sort of magic dust does DOD have?

To me the bottom line is how many infantry battalions of each type will be in the AC & RC before and after this change. How many 13Bs slots will there be and how many will be filled by American soldiers. Although I do appreciate making Brigades more independent of Divisions and the whole of FORSCOM more easily and quickly deployable.. JMO.

Have to get 11B Jobs for all of the females who wants to be combat arms


So long as the number of field grade officers above O-5 isn’t increased and support personnel are in the mix for vehicle, aircraft and machinery maintenance this plan has merit. Start adding superflous colonels and brigadier generals and you will have another charlie foxtrot.

a person needs to just look at the last 200 years of army. we have been through this before and it will happen again and again. we always survive and carry out the next set of orders. we are a can do army and we mean it. no rifles, we get big sticks, no sticks, we get big rocks etc. we will always win, even with very little for we are the US ARMY SOLDIERS. we don’t just talk about it we “get the job done’ and move on to the next job.

Whatever dust it is, they are snorting way too much of it and coming up with some real winners. Take the latest medal for Cyber troops and Drone Jocks.… ranked above the Bronze Star, sorry but to quote an old boss of mine.… call it Bovine Scatology. Sure glad he is not around to see that… he probably would have been on the horn bending Leon’s ear.

Wait a minute —- how can you reduce troop strength and yet add infantry battalions?

Do we have 10 or 11 divisions?

Would be nice if the Army decided to go back to the regimental system since they are going to put maneuver battalions together in one MTOE. I also think it would be better to do away with the brigade system altogether and task organize brigade combat teams or regimental combat teams as needed and on a ad hoc basis more like the USMC does. The cookie cutter aproach of the MTOE BCT is not the best way to proceed into the unknown future.

GEN Odierno said the plan is to cut the army by about 60,000 troops by 2015, but adding those infantry battalions will require about 20,000 troops so they’ll have to take from somewhere else to make it work.

10 deployable divisions of 4 BCTs each plus 4 separate BCTs (3 by the end of the year).


The Army is almost done reorganizing it’s brigades into BCTs. The major difference between a regiment and a brigade is the brigade contains a mix of line battalions while a regiment has only line battalions of the same type. The “combat team” adjective it used when other battalions or independent companies are added, i.e. combat engineers or military police. It’s not a perfect explanation but I’d be happy to be corrected.

I’m not a fan of having armor and infantry in the same BN especially in garrison/training environments. We needed a whole BN staff back in the day to stay up on one set of skills. The number of skills haven’t decreased but we have the same staff responsible for maintaing two different competencies inthe same BN.

The Marines with all their propaganda at combined arms are not especially adept at mechanized warfare because they only task organize forces for those ops when necessary unlike Army infantry companies and BNs that live with vehicle commanders or habitually work with tankers. It makes a difference. Read 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… and to a lesser extent Bellavia’s “House to House”

nailed it!

citations always help but tmb is a very credible source.

I like references also but one can also do one’s own research…

The drawdown to 490K is the standard talking point and we were at almost 560K when the drawdown started two years ago. GEN Cone said we’d be at 32 BCTs when this is done. Before the war we had 33 BCTs (3 per division, 2nd ACR, 3rd ACR, and 173rd ABN). 2nd and 173rd will be left in Europe so I think they’ll retire 3rd SCR. An infantry battalion is about 800 soldiers. There are 8 Stryker BCTs which already have 3 maneuver battalions so they won’t need additional troops. That leaves 24 BCTs which will need an infantry battalion and a support company. If they assign a combined arms battalion instead of an infantry battalion that will reduce the load by a couple hundred troops each so I SWAGd a need for 20K troops out of the 60K that are being cut.

Jim, here is one of the many sources of my remarks about them bringing back the engineer battalion.

If they don’t draw down to 490K then the math works fine. If they’re still serious about 490K, then they’ll need to pull 20,000 troops from somewhere in the army and make them infantry. They’ll probably retire a few separate engineer battalions to pay the bill for the second engineer company in each BCT, but I have no idea where in the force structure they’re going to find the slots to make more infantry. Dropping 13 BCTs (45 to 32) will only net you about 45k troops, so other units in the army are going to have to feel the pinch just to get down to 490K.

I totally agree with you Captain !

Perhaps, the most misleading headline of the year! The army is NOT adding more Infantry battalions in 2013. It is merely re-shuffling the existing battalions. And, as the article states, the re-shuffling is scheduled to be accomplished by 2017 rather than 2013.

Get a copy of Amored Cavalry Regiment of the 1960. Change out one Cav Squadron for an MI Bn and go for it.

What’s wrong with constructive criticism, Jim? Have military personnel become caught up in the same type of political correctness craze that seems to be strangling the civilian sector?! There’s a humongous difference between tact, diplomacy and political correctness. The mere concept of political correctness is diametrically opposed to the successful conduct of military operations. You were being critical and there’s ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with that. Somehow, it seems subtle changes in modern American socialization have characterised words and concepts such as that of argument as bad or harmful, certainly negative.

Infantry troops are for a ground war against a sizable enemy not controlled by other weapons. We have the technology and distance-striking technology to never need to be in such a ground war. The only purpose of building up such troops is to have them ready to implement martial law here statesside, using US troops against the US people. It seems like if our government managed to spend our tax money better and not be such controlmongers, we wouldn’t need to get to that point.

Do you know where I could find the new TO&E for these reorganized brigades?

Kaleb: Do you any links regarding this subject. I’m starting an MS in organization psychology and have an un-natural interest in this stuff. :)

Really? Technology will never replace the need for the “personal touch” in war! Our soldiers are American citizens (on the most part), not robots — they understand the constitution, right and wrong, and I have faith that they will not stand by for that type of action by any political figure — even POTUS as the CC! As much as I detest the socialist idea of government — I trust our military to make the right stand.

I concur with Jim Keyes. If we are in need of military support to defend our Nation we will be needing air power not a lot of ground assignments.

The USAF clears the sky, moves people and light vehicles and hits operational and tactical ground targets to soften the enemy, the USN clears the seas, moves the heavy forces and supplies and also deep strikes ground targets, the US Army finds — fixes — destroys the enemy and conquers/holds the ground — that is (non-nuclear) victory. In the end it’s the infantry (soldiers and Marines) that are the deciding force. JMO

They’re not written yet.

Get rid of the thousands of BS fluff jobs such as the JCS staff now numbering over 4k up from 1.Xk in 2010. There are posts out there that just are not combat related at all and they need to be skeleton crewed and let the real combat units get the staffing. Let the reserves handle the far out post needs one often see. Good example, read “Cobra II” by General Trainor and when you are done, count all the countless officer jobs that seem to be pure fluff. Tooth to tail, that should be a project unto itself.

Better check into what the reds have been doing on anti-access. Short of proposing to nuke them, you might be able to whip on a North Korea (the South can win by itself probably via the ground with our air help but NOT against China intervention) but not on a Red China. Technology such as a JASSM has to be air delivered to within a couple hundredmiles of an enemy who has s-300 and s-400 defenses now. Or wait, the old adage “we’ll never go to war with China” which we all hear, yet funny how anti-American and bellicose the Red Chinese media is of late. Prepare for the worst, and at best you end up with no wars and a stand off that eventually get settled with no war.


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