U.S. Army to Slash at Least a Dozen Brigades

U.S. Army to Slash at Least a Dozen Brigades

The U.S. Army plans to eliminate at least a dozen brigades over the next five years in what was described as the largest restructuring of the force since World War II, the service’s top officer said.

The service will reduce the number of brigade combat teams from 45 to 33 as part of a previously announced plan to decrease the active component by 80,000 soldiers, or 14 percent, to 490,000 soldiers by 2017, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno said Tuesday at a press conference at the Pentagon, as reported by Military.com’s Kris Osborn.

And that may be just “the tip of the iceberg,” in the words of Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

Due to federal budget cuts, the Army is already considering cutting another brigade, for a total of 13. What’s more, the service may have to shed another 100,000 soldiers from the National Guard and Army Reserve if Congress and the White House can’t agree on an alternative to automatic cuts known as sequestration. The first installment of across-the-board reductions took effect in March.

“As damaging as they are, these cuts don’t begin to reflect the crippling damage sequestration will do to our armed forces and national security,” McKeon said in an e-mailed statement after the Army’s announcement. “This is only the tip of the iceberg. Much deeper cuts are still to come.”

At least 10 stateside installations will lose a brigade, including Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Knox, Ky.; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Stewart, Ga., and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

Two more based in Germany are being inactivated, one from Baumholder and another from Grafenwoehr.

The Army is also reorganizing the makeup of the brigade combat teams to retain as much combat potential as possible despite the reductions, Odierno said. The service will add a third maneuver battalion – and additional fires and engineering potential to each armor and infantry brigade combat teams to make them more lethal, more flexible and more agile, he said.

The Army will also keep investing in aviation, special operations, missile defense and cyber security, Odierno said.

Tags: , , ,

Join the Conversation

Oh yes and the tear down of the U.S. military begins.With Obama and his decision makers there is no real need for at least a minimal number of troops to protect this country.If they had it there way we would not have a military at all and thus leave us totally open to attack.Its a sad day when they cut back so much manpower much the same as Clinton did except worse as it just ads to those cuts.
We can only hope that other countries do not see our new vulnerabilities as they are sure to strike against the U.S. in some way!!!

Congress is dysfunctional and broken; the White House is in perpetual campaign mode. There will be no relief. Sequestration is a fact of life. More cuts are coming.

DOD will have to live with more active duty cuts; eventually they will be forced to propose a reduction in pay and benefits. That’s where the money is, pay and benefits. Contractors and civil service reductions will be required as well. How about all the forces we still have in Europe? The euros are cutting their defense budgets to the bone and beyond–unless it involves subsidy purchases for their home grown airbus and eurocopter products. Why are we still subsidizing their defense?

The world has changed. Sequestration is only the beginning. If rates on T-bills & T-bonds start to rise, Heaven help us all.

Huh? The wars are ending and the country faces budget deficits that the Congress is determined to address. Seen in this light, an Army force reduction is both inevitable and necessary. Further, cuts are coming because of the sequester, for which Congressional republicans bear great responsibility, too. Your argument that the Obama administration would cut our military to zero, while pleasing to some at an emotional level, just doesn’t hold up to the facts. If it was true, we would have seen POTUS propose massive defense budget cuts, from his first budget.

Time for the wealthy and the companies to start moving their money out of the United States. Government will be coming for it.

Monaco is a good place to hide out while America implodes. Why, I bet you ten thousand dollars people will start moving soon…

Does anyone remember the movies: Red Dawn and Amerika?????

Yeah Obama and Oridearno going wrong path. Wasting billions for GCV which we dont need and cutting troop strength is a bad idea soon there be hardly enough troops to use any new JLTV or any program effectively in battle if we dont have the troops to fight an enemy a single GCV with only a battalion with wouldn’t stop a enemy tank division in a war.

Really? First of all, POTUS did not push any meaningful budgets. Even his own party rejected his proposals every time. Second, You think the President would openly campaign and push for slashed reduction in the Armed forces during his first term? That’s stupid, you don’t reveal your intentions in politics. He was aware of what happened to Carter, so in order to win re-election he did what politicians love to do: pander to everyone, everywhere. What you do instead is death by a thousand cuts. Whether it is cutting these brigades but straining and pushing the military into Africa, Jordan, Egypt, etc, push women into infantry positions and declare it will “reduce” sexual assaults in the military, declare the VA system backlogged will be overhauled but backlog cases actually grows , or unilaterally coming out and set policies to cut nuclear warheads without putting pressure on other countries (Russian, China) to reduce theirs is just some of those examples. Sure Congress is supposed to hold the purse strings, but the President is supposed to be the Commander and Chief and set the example. Whether intentional or not is irrelevant, the cost will be the same. Naive idealism is often the avenue for the wicked.

This force restructuring decreases administrative overhead and increases combat strength. Here is the math.

There are currently 45 BCT each with 2 maneuver battalions for a total of 90 battalions. The new structure has 32 to 33 BCT each with 3 maneuver battalions for a total of 96 or 99 battalions.

Twelve to 13 O6 billets are eliminated and the Army gets 6 to 9 additional combat battalions.

With a military establishment that is third world top heavy in brass hats, it can only decrease the burden on the taxpayer and increase combat effectiveness.

Now all that needs done is to eliminate the 10 division commands that only serve to employ unneeded generals. The BCT is designed to be self supporting. It does not require a division command above it.

“The BCT is designed to be self supporting. It does not require a division command above it. ”

Who do you think coordinates between BDE’s? Even BDE’s get additional assets depending on mission, enemy, troops and terrain. Who coordinates & resources those requirements? We might have too many divisions. We do have too many corps. Don’t assume since BDE’s have a staff and a lot of resources they are “self-supporting.

BTW, getting rid of Corps gets rid of a lot more brass but the most is back at the Pentagon.

Guys, look at the bigger picture here. For the forseeable future, any Us military involvement will be either sea and air-based (think Lybia-like no fly zones, and aerial/naval poundings, OR small scale advisors (training one side) or special forces (afghanistan style terrorist hunting). If there has to be money cut (couple dozen billion a year) from the Pentagon, I personally would like to spare the Air force and Navy/Marines as much as possible. Because those two are indeed needed most to project power. Let’s be very reasonable here guys, there isn’t going to be an idiotic Iraq style intervention for the time being. The power structure has shifted quite a bit in the last decade, and the rest of the world won’t stand for it.

Look at what’s being discussed about Syria. Even the biggest hawks are at best mentioning training rebels, arming them, and a no fly zone. I don’t see how you’d need 570.000 active duty troops to do something like that. Anyway, be glas they aren’t taking away 5 carriers or something.

Poor, uneducated people can always be lured and you can teach a monkey to hold an m4. Building aircraft carriers is a lot more difficult, and the ability to do so cannot be easily regained.

Not welcome, Monaco is Europe’s getaway for the millionaires and billionaires. You have the Caiman Islands :P

you called that one right Yellow Devil

your absolutely right, you can raise and army quickly if need be

but you can’t raise a Navy, it takes tens of years

I am in favor of getting rid of unnecessary military overhead where ever it is found, Corps, Pentagon, whatever.

It is true that you need a level of command over the BCT to provide some resources, but a Division command is not needed to provide it. Typically there is a Area Joint Command of some type that can serve this function. Think of it as a flatter organizational structure.

My point was that the restructuring will not leave us defenseless as many of the comments seemed to imply. Combat strength is increased.

Finally, consider this, how much of our military spending is for defense and how much is for war. They are not the same thing.

“I am in favor of getting rid of unnecessary military overhead where ever it is found, Corps, Pentagon, whatever.” DITTO!

I think you mean Joint Task Force HQ’s. Area Joint Commands is not a doctrinal term. That said, Area Joint Command’s are not qualified, staffed or resourced to control maneuver BDE’s. They also have span of control issues as well as challenges controlling widely spread units. That’s why Joint Task Force HQ’s work through division hq’s. They do not have the assets to be mobile headquarters should we be involved in conflicts requiring movement. They are not peacetime organizations so there is no training system established to maintain skills or competency in this makeshift organization.

Only those that plan on fighting the next war like the last one make changes so that’s the only option. Often that has very painful, expensive and disastrous lessons.

BTW, your discussion only targets the Army. There’s plenty of fat in the Navy and especially the Air Force when you look at general officers and officers in general.

Your math is off. 172nd Inf Bde deactivated last month, so there are 44 BCTs (16 ABCT, 8 SBCT, 20 IBCT).

The Stryker BCT’s already have three of what you are referring to as maneuver battalions (Cavalry Squadrons are technically “maneuver” battalion size formations, but you are not talking about them) while the ABCTs and IBCTs have two apiece.

So right at this moment there is a total of 96 “maneuver” battalions (139 if you count the Cav Sqns, 11th ACR’s Cav Sqn, 1/221 Cav, is a NG unit, so it doesn’t count)

It should be noted, that prior to restructuring beginning in 2003/4 the Army had approximately 110 maneuver battalion equivalents (Arm, Cav, Inf [Mech, Lgt, AAslt, Abn])

“Concerned European” — Only uneducated people don’t know the historical record. The Army has projected American power as much if not more than the Marines specifically and arguably the other services. There may have been a carrier task force or two off a coast for a couple of weeks during the last century. There was a soldier at MANY a border for DECADES over the last century.

Besides expeditionary type missions the Army’s presence around the world has secured American (and European) interests.

How quickly you forget…

BTW, before giving us advice about what we should do with our defense structure how about developing an independent one? That way we won’t have to save your butt, supply you precision missions, conduct your logistics for you etc. For decades Europe has enjoyed its standard of living because Americans paid for its defense.

Signed “Poor, uneducated monkey smart M4 holding person”

I refer interested parties to my comments at the time of the nomination of Chuck Hagel.

At that time, I pointed out that Hagel had been specifically chosen by the Obama administration as a rare complaisant Republican who would give the administration top cover as they imposed “huge cuts” on the services.

In those exact words, “huge cuts”, openly voiced as such by a top Obama operative on national television.

Now the huge cuts are arriving just as predicted. If you’re in the services, you had better start pulling together a personal economic survival plan pronto. Had you planned to make a full long-term career in uniform through retirement? Obama and Hagel don’t care, and they have no compunction about turfing you out into the civilian economy short of your expected retirement date.

Nor should those being thrown out early expect a garden of roses to await them once in the civilian economy. It’s a long slow ugly grind out here. Massive structural unemployment. GDP growth basically just keeping up with population growth (a whopping 1.8% annualized rate last quarter). If you count the huge increase in per capita indebtedness, Americans in civilian life are becoming steadily less well off with each passing year.

While I normally enjoy saying the words “told you so,” this is one case where I see no grounds for celebration in having predicted accurately. The country will end up weaker in all ways as a result of this ill thought through reduction in its forces. And those who served honorably will be treated miserably. A lose-lose scenario come true.

Isn’t it an odd approach to cut the military when technically there is a war ongoing? Iran, China and the middle east must be laughing at the U.S. The problem is once you cut them, you’re not getting them back. According to Mitt Romney: if we are not the most powerful nation on earth, someone else will be. SCARY!!!

More bad new USMC cutting 8000 more Marines from ranks. Forget budget cuts Obama gutted the military.

“you can raise and army quickly if need be”

Not a professional one. Probably a Lesley McNair army, which would have to sit around and wait for stockpiles of equipment to be manufactured from factories that no longer exist.

The next war will probably be decided with what remains of our peacetime army, and that army must hold in the lag-time it takes to re bootstrap heavy industry, find people who aren’t obese/diabetic to man the factories or join the armed forces and be trained to a useful degree of proficiency.

Cutting training means that the peacetime army you do have gets worse and worse to the point where it isn’t useful on Day Zero. That cannot happen. We’re out of Iraq and Afghanistan for the most part, and the priority is to preserve the military we have before it’s no longer useful.

I’m sorry to say it, but it sounds like the vaunted “free market” practices jumping into the government sector.

If govt can do a Walmart on its workers to save money, it probably would.

The slashing of our military today, is just like what the US did after WW 1, WW II came along and we were caught with our collective pants down, which in turn caused us to get our asses handed to us on a paper plate. Whether he understands this or not the idiot living in the White House” is slowly ruining our military, and allowing the world to see that we will be nothing to be worried about, and our standing in the world will be likened to that of another third world country

I’m actually surprised that they don’t try a much more drastic cut that would save a ton of money. I say close down all overseas bases except the ones in Korea and Japan. The days of us fighting wars against other countries is going to be very rare. The European countries are more than capable of defending their own countries. What we need is a smaller, faster, and more mobile military.

Just the opportunity China is looking for..

return to status prior to WWII
BUT more important, where will Washington dig enough troops to deploy to the next
“conflict’ they get us involved in?

I’ll have to dig out the Joint Pub, but isn’t a JTF like a MAGTF in that it’s tailor-made for the mission? A JTF could theoretically be based around an existing division HQ or corps HQ depending on the size of the mission. These cuts will flatten the O6 ranks quite a bit, and I sympathize with those who are upset that no GO billets are affected.

Might be splitting hairs, but with a Cav Squadron being half the size of an infantry battalion I usually don’t hear it referred to as a maneuver battalion. Maybe Major Rod can chime in, but I don’t think a Cav Squadron is supposed to maneuver in the doctrinal sense which is where the distinction might come from. Since we’re talking about trigger pullers I suppose it could still be considered as a measurement of combat power.

Hope for 2014 mid term elections,or worse 2016 Hope is the only really option to have now!!!

This is a no brainer, and part of the war/peace cycle. Always happens at the end of major operations and closing of theaters of war. Want to save money start cutting back on carrier groups and overpriced airforce, F22’s and destroyers cant keep and hold real estate. On top of that most contractors as soon as they see government requests for equipment automatically double or triple the price. Scale back the nukes and dreamland systems and start focusing on highly skilled door kickers, fast reaction forces, etc. The military is only a waste of money when too much politics gets involved in the procurement side of things as well a top heavy brass.

No Obama, try your do nothing congress-no budjet.

I happen to agree with you. Obama is right on track with his plan to destroy the US.

Maybe it’s the whole “Pacific shift” thing, but I find it interesting that they kept 25th ID intact and chopped two brigades of 1st ID where everyone else lost one. That’s going to look odd with a 2-brigade division at Riley. I wonder if they will reflag some brigades since not everyone is automatically losing their 4th BCT. The 4th ID for instance is losing its 3rd.

The extra battalion will come with another artillery battery and support company. The STB will become an Engineer Bn which will include the brigade HQ, MI Co, Signal Co, and two Engineer Companies.

There’s also a bit in the news about removing two brigades which train troops. My guess would be brigades from 1st Army. That will be an interesting conversation next week.

So let me get this straight, Ft. Bragg NC, Home of the 82nd ABN DIV, which I know because I spent 7 years there is gonna go from being a 4 Brigade (which only have 2 Battalions) back to a 3 Brigade ( with 3 Battalions) DIV?..hmm…isn’t this what it was back in the 80’s and 90’s before “the more flexible 4 BCT concept”…BIG ARMY…douches…

Yep, between the 25th, 173rd, and 82nd, the Army will gain 3 more battalions of paratroopers.

Doctrinally, a CAV Sqdrn is a maneuver BN but doctrine hasn’t caught up with the RSTA BN. The Maneuver branches have traditionally been Armor and Infantry defined so because they used maneuver and physical presence on the ground to put themselves in position of advantage over adversaries. As much as cavalrymen hate to admit it they belong to the armor branch (for those not familiar there is no cavalry branch).

CAV Sqdrns used to be pretty beefy. RSTA is a shell of even the smaller less capable divisional Cav squadron.

RSTA is truly an effort to field an organization to conduct recon for the BDE CDR something that didn’t exist before the CAB unless commanders took it out of their “maneuver BNs”. RSTAs are arguably unable to conduct sustained offense or defense ops unless augmented w/attachments which has been almost SOP for the last decade. There’s a reason RSTA stands for reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition.

This reduction in combat units will result in more body bags and more service members coming home in coffins.The fact that the genisis of most of the military reductions is decided by those who never served nor heard a shot fired in anger is most detrimental to our armed forces membership.I write my comment as a United States Marine Corps combat veteran.

We spend more on defense than all the other countries in the world COMBINED! This action is long overdue.

We’ll have to wait and see, but the Artillery battalions in the ABCTs and IBCTs may wind up with significantly more fire power than they typically would of had before.

Right now their individual firing batteries operate eight guns, for 16 in the battalion. Prior to restructuring these batteries operated with just six guns, giving a DS battalion 18 guns. So, unless they restucture the batteries again, each ABCT and IBCT Artillery battalion could end up fielding 24 howitzers.

Now, the SBCTs currently field three, six gun batteries. So, it is entirely possible they return the ABCT and IBCT to six gun units, to standardize across the force, and save additional manpower.

Something to watch.

I have to wonder how they will man 15 Infantry battalions of paratroopers. Prior to going into Iraq, the Army only had 12 battalions formed, the same as now. Nine at Bragg, one at Richardson, and had just achieved two in Italy.

What does that bring the USMC’s end-strength down to, 174,000? That is still 28,000 more Marines than existed at the height of the Cold War near the end of the 1980s. USMC end-strength was about 146,000 or so back then.

None of this should be a shock. They’ve been talking about these numbers for two years.

yes obama is destroying the world. satan is now in control. whoa until us,god please save us

I never mentioned or made the case for ending the Corps. Read the context. I was making the case for Army Corps. You guys really need to chill (and only need to say it once).

You can put a fleet of a coast if you happen to be in the vicinity or have enough warning to get here. It is NOT cheaper. You know how expensive ships are and they don’t man themselves. US amphibious capability just like airborne capability is always something we should maintain though I can’t say we need a second land Army’s worth of amphib capability when we can only float a max of 40k Marines, 20% of the force.

As for history, Korea, Panama, Desert Shield, OIF & OEF had the Army in theatre quicker with more or on an equal timetable as the Corps.

The downsizing of the military always happens at the end of a conflict, but there are extremes. The extremes after the Vietam war led to the hollow military of the 1970’s and the sequestration from congress will lead to the hollow military of the 21st century. The military knows that manpower is the easiest to replace, the draft was never abolished. They can only hope they have enough time to train the new draftees before the conflict is over. China has a 2 million man standing army and the US only has 1/4 that size. The US will need extraordinary technology to overcome that disparity. The new US military will be more dependent on robotics than any other military in the world. Drones will still not replace boots on the ground and can only be a delaying action for the US to get trained soldiers. We are not in a favorable position to fight another large scale war.

Yes, China will be ‘invading’ your shores any minute now. Better get that sling shot ready!. Never mind US politicians sold them T-bills like drunks, so they could cover for all the CEO’s outsourcing. They own you like a little girl, no need for invading, leave the invading of countries to the less civilized…

Yes, at the end of Vietnam there was a very large scale downsizing of the military. I remember it like it was yesterday. It then became an all volunteer force and the 11.7% (Carter) pay hike went into effect after our pay was threatened by delay. Now, worse than the extremely left liberal influence are the progressives. They have no experience to base their aspirations upon. They like to be coddled by the government and their agenda is undermining our security and integrity as a nation of the free world. We established this country for the very purpose of ridding our society of the same oppression they are promoting today. After 60 years of progress, I am disappointed in that so much corruption is being installed into ‘our’ government and the people that are voting it in are the ones who do not want to work for it. Just wait until the entitlements run dry and they no longer have the gravy train to ride. Thank you, Tony!

Yet some people keep insisting that Obama will use the military against the civilian US populace, and that a militia will keep us safe.

Make up your damned mind on which is worse.

Materially impossible.

The next reason will we have to pay benefits to all the gay spouses.

Well, you guys keep saying that. In fact, you’ve been saying it for the last five years…we are still here. Paranioa mabe?…Sooner or late, even right wingers are gonna wake up and realize you guys are…making accusations without facts to back them up…Good luck.

you need to check our history. This gutting of the Army is the same pattern that has followed every conflict since WWII. so it isn’t anything special with this president. Remember the only thing new is the history you don’t know.

Not a big deal, there are still more heterosexual spouses out there to pay benefits for.

Men aren’t going to “marry” other men just to collect benefits.

The math is faulty here…you take down 24 manuever battalions and 12 cav squadrons and add back 33 maneuver battalions. so it is not a plus up. At best it is a wash. And in order to knock out the division level, you would at least need to insert a set of intermediate tactical headquarters in the corps structure to command and control the brigades. And — how are you going to keep the promotion stream healthy, when you whack out all the command positions for brigadier and major generals ?

Just because we have a diffident political leadership does not make this good strategy. Not wishing to take anything from the Navy and Air Force, but the reduction of both the active side AND the reserve components does not lend credence to the idea that the US is thinking seriously about the need to remobilize if and as needed. it is just a policy of military neglect conjoined to a general retraction of our forward defense posture. I just picked up a couple of good books that make the necessary strategic argument as to how wrong all this is. One is “The Dispensable Nation” by Vali Nasr. The other is “World Out of Balance” by Stephen G. Brooks and William C. Wohlforth.

Would you agree that the balance of reductions is such that the heavy force gets whacked again ? I’m counting 7 of 12 HBCTs taken down, so doesn’t this mean that you are rolling up armor and mech battalion flags and standing up Stryker and light infantry battalions ? I raise my standard compliant against the institutional biases of Army leadership and the inability/unwillingness of Army and Cavalry generals to go to the mat for their branch. We are busily restructuring to fight the last war, not preparing for the future. I see nothing in this report to indicate that there is any home in the reserve component to add in heavy force formations that are being taken out of the active side — or that we have any realistic plan to remobilize that force when needed. I call that quitting.

The point here is that embracing robotics technology — as well as more the sophisticated communications networks that go with tactical robots — will impose additional training burdens on the force. The 19th century “nation in arms” concept is as obsolete as the Springfield Rifle. But we do need a quick burst mobilization concept that emphasizes not just traditional warfighting skills, but the ability to master advanced military technology as well. And — to take a shot at my favorite target — the brothers of the bayonet are in rather profound denial on this elementary fact.

I served 25 years in the Army and Army reserve in the combat arms and trained as an infantryman.paratrooper and Army Ranger! Our country has had along history going back to it’s roots of downsizing the military! Then some trouble brews and we are caught off guard! That is why history is so important to remind us that all we have to do is look at our past conflicts to realize that cutting the defense department is not the right avenue of approach to our budget and fiscal woes! Lest we forget the Civil War when we had just 16,000 men inunform and had to jump through hoops to raise an Army.How about WW11 when we caught off guard at Pearl Harbor? Then of course the korean War and how we caught short handed and had to jump though hoops to get a sufficient force to deal with North Korea then China. Our leaders inWashington since the beginning seem to love to dismantle our armed forces when things get tough!Let’s decrease the salaries of our illustriuos and highly educated leaders inWashington as well! We need astrong defense to ward off and make our enemies think twice about zeroing in on us!

The proposal I made to David Hackworth back in the 90s was a corps headquarters capable of commanding 3–7 brigades, with intermediate “combat operations groups” commanded by brigadier generals. This would enable the corps to consitute a main effort, a secondary effort, an advanced/rear guard and/or reserve. My notion of fixed brigades at that time was to put a separate division patch on each active brigade, capable of mobilizing and expanding to division strength in wartime. Hack liked the idea, but I never formalized it into publishable form.

Oh, year, and in that scheme, a corps would be commanded by a major general. With an army composed of 33 brigades, you would need maybe 6 to 9 corps headquarters in the active component. McGregor’s idea is just to make all operational commands purple headquarters — I think if you did assign brigades directly to JTFs, that would give you more flexibility, and each theater combat command ought to have a couple of JTF headquarters ready to go for just this purpose.

The unsung heroes here are the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, which gets all the work and none of the glory. Another family of indispensible red-headed stepchildren.

Ah, more money for welfare programs. The people that have been living off us taxpayers for generations win again!

Why worry — Janet Napolitano has been buying guns, ammo, and other equipment by the truckload. Is history going to repeat itself?

There are 16 ABCTs (HBCT isn’t used anymore) not 12, and I don’t know how you have determined 7 ABCTs will be divided up. Of the 10 bases listed to lose a brigade each, only 5 even have ABCTs stationed there: Ft Bliss, Ft. Hood, Ft Carson, Ft Riley and Ft Stewart.

Read history.

We had to cut down, even after WWII.

Tell me who was responsible for Korea.

FYI, China will look more at Naval assets.

Guess what?

The Pacific Pivot is bringing alot of hardware their way.

They’ll do EXACTLY what they did during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Tell me, what did Bush do?

You must really believe that the Philippines in WWII would have fared better with more infantry.

As a young Army Engineer officer may I suggest you ask yourself a few questions before forming an opinion on the cuts. 1) what poses the greatest threat to the American people today, and what while pose the greatest threat 10 years from now? I would argue that it is not terrorism. 2) What size and composition force do you need to combat this threat? 3) what is the worst case scenario? always plan for the worst case scenario. As for my opinion I think the cuts aren’t as bad as they seem. There is a lot of fat that can be cut out of the Army. My concern is the money available for training. You can take some of my soldiers but you have to give me the money to train the soldiers that I am left with.

Gutting the Military frees up more money to add more brown shirts at the IRS.

Two taken down in Germany and you have seven.

Just what Obama needs more citizens in the workforce — Oh, wait a minute what workforce? Let’s go for 10% unemployment. Doesn’t affect our President. He can go to Africa (with his family) (costing close to $100,000,000) or attend a re-election campaign. As a country we need to wake up and get spending under control– starting with our President! Oops, I’m probably under surveillance. By the way, I spent 291/2 years active duty serving in the U.S. Air Force.

That is already included into the reduction from 46 BCTs to 44.
The 170th, and 172nd were never restructured into ABCT/HBCT.
There are today, within the US Army force structure 16 ABCTs, 8 SBCTs and 20 IBCTs

80,000 soldiers divided by 12 brigades = 6666.6666666666666666666666666667 per soldiers per brigade. This Biblical Prophecy?

That would also assume that there are exactly 80,000 soldiers and that every brigade is exactly the same, with no losses due to attrition or unfilled positions.

And isn’t the number of the beast a mere six hundred and sixty six?

There are only about 3500 soldiers in a brigade. Not all of the 80,000 soldiers are coming out of the BCTs.

Answer those questions by reading the national security strategy and the national defense strategy.

#1 — We’re not at the top of the list in percentage of GDP spent on military. You’re correct in total number of dollars spent, but not in portion of GDP spent on military. We have the most to protect, so its logical that we should spend the most to protect what we have.

#2 — A large portion of this “defense spending” is actually going to other countries to help them defend themselves (i.e. training their fighter pilots, soldiers, medical aid, etc) or to rebuild as a sign of good faith. Nobody spends more on allies than the US. But nobody wants to talk about cutting the amount of money leaving our shores.

The fact is that we have cut too much from our military. Afghanistan has demonstrated that we are no longer capable of a single large theater military action and we’re only going to cut more. Russia and China must be salivating at this news and looking at the globe to decide what they want next.

The military would not support Obama, they would turn sides and join the militia (which we did swear an oath to do, “defend against enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC”). The fear and rumors are that his administration has been buying weapons and massive ammo to arm the civilian equivalent to the army that he proposed in his first campaign.

But despite any fears about Obama… you easily forgot about the fact that there are countries around the world more than happy to subjugate peaceful civilians (WW2 Germany, Cold War Russia, North Korea, North Vietnam, Persian Gulf Iraq and many more in the last 50 years).

And you have forgotten that one of the actions by the US that encouraged World War 2 was our gutting of our military after World War 1. We gutted ourselves much more slowly since World War 2, but we have done it. Look at the big picture pattern… US military draw down while at the same time Russia and China are pouring fistloads of money into their military. Sounds like a great setup for another World War to me. Time will only tell. Are you confident enough in the history you know? I would rather spend a lot of money now to prevent something than 10x more later when it happens.

Russia demonstrated how useful it is to “teach a monkey to hold an M4” by building an army at the last second to defend itself… millions of people died needlessly because Russia was not prepared during World War 2. Learn your military strategic history to realize how short-sighted you are. The big picture is that Russia and China are building up their military. China has been putting military pressure on Taiwan while Iran is building nukes. N. Korea is threatening to use it’s nukes. Russia has restarted Cold War flights to put pressure on US and European airspace (Alaska and northern Europe). If we continue to draw down… then we continue to present a tantalizing meal to countries who are willing to take what they want by force.

Guys, all the GOP has to do is to agree to more tax increases and the sequester is gone. It is the GOPs fault.

A bunch of immobile infantry won’t stop the next Bataan from happening in the Pacific.

In modern warfare you need more than just infantry.

Again, people like you continue to delude yourselves.

The “Red Dawn” scenario is materially impossible.

The math proves everything.

If the US Armed forces does what it did during OIF and recall everyone that’s been discharged within the last decade and recruiting criminals, then it shouldn’t be hard.

Also, seems alot of people keep thinking the militias of the US can take on ANY military in the world.

Recruiting from them will be a desperation move, but doable.

Not to worry, the big ticket items will still be bought and flag officer levels will remain. This is the remote control military now don’t you know?

VP, you need to go back and check which ones are getting cut. It comes down to 1 SBCT, 3 ABCTs, and 6 IBCTs. The SBCT is 4-2ID, the ABCTs are 3-3ID, 3-4ID, and 4-1CD. The IBCTs are 3-1AD, 4-82ABN, 4-101ABN, 3-10MTN, 3-1ID, and 4-1ID. If you want to count the 170th and 172nd, they were both pre-modular ABCTs which makes a total of 5 out of 12 ABCTs.

Who is immobile? The Army has prepositioned floating stocks just like the Marines. The Marines have their forced entry capability and the Air Force is invited to move them both.

That’s why I brought it up. Given the reconfiguration of divisions in the last scramble, you show an IBCT coming out of an armored division (!!), and you can’t tell what is what with infantry division anymore. Were these formations even designed to fight together at all ? IBCTs have no tactical mobility without reinforcement.

In any case, what that leaves you is 2 1/3 division equivalents — armor and mech combined. I keep forgetting that you have these combined arms digbat battalions, but essentially, by the most optimistic count, that leaves 11 active tank battalion equivalents in the force. This is the force you need if you go up against North Korea — or you need a blitz campaign to put Syria out of its misery and secure its WMD ? (I could mention some other likely candidates, but that would be controversial.) Or — frankly — to do anything very useful in combined arms maneuver ? Good luck with that, men. Kindly, good TMB, show me that GCV basis issue plan. The Germans are buying 405 Pumas. When, oh when I ask, do we expect to have that many GCVs on line ? Never, at this rate. Its pretty freakin’ bad when the US Army tank corps can hardly muster as many tankbattalions as the UK and the Bundeswehr combined. Much less the Russians, the Chinese, the Indians the Pakistanis and the Israelis, each by themselves So much for Bob Gates hallucinations about “running up the score”. We are lightening our army to oblivion.

Counting the 170th and 172nd would make it 5 out of 18 ABCTs, not out of 12..

If the Army is going to be left with 13 ABCTs in the active force, that would equate to 39 Combined Arms battalions(if the intent to add a 3rd identical maneuver battalion is met). Which will have a total of 78 Tank Companies. So, that is actually 26 tank battalion equivalents, at 3 companies per battalion, or 19.5 battalion equivalents at 4 companies per battalion.

The UK will have 3 tank battalions after it reorganizes, and the German Army has 4 tank battalions as of it’s 2012 reorganization.

I have not even included the armored elements in the US Army National Guard.
You obviously lack a great deal of current information.

Should have been more specific — 5 out of the 12 BCTs on the chopping block.

What does the GCV have to do with this conversation? We beat Iraq with six tank battalions (four companies each) and North Korea isn’t exactly the open plains of France. Not sure where the Gates quote comes from, but the M1 is a victim of its own success. It’s nearly indestructible and has blown its way through everything put in front of it so we find ourselves not needing quite as many. The combined Abrams-Bradley battalion hasn’t been tested in a maneuver fight yet, but the Bradley has a pretty good record on its own. If any more of our future wars are going to be more urban than open desert we will want the infantry close by. If those conflicts end up as hybrid wars where we smash their army then stick around to put the place back together then we’ll definitely want the extra infantry. If we have to get into a maneuver war anywhere on mainland Asia we’re not doing it without the National Guard.

Just for your own clarity, it’ll be fun for you to look at how we’re organized. The 1st AD now has a Stryker brigade, 2 Armor brigades, and an Infantry brigade (now on the chopping block). The 2nd and 3rd Cavalry Regiments are now Stryker formations. 3rd and 4th ID each have an infantry brigade. 25th ID is now 2 Stryker brigades, an infantry brigade, and an airborne brigade. You’re right that with all these changes the names of the divisions are meaningless except for heraldry. I remember when I first came and was on my way to Fort Hood someone told me not to worry whether I went to 4th ID or 1st Cav since they both looked identical.

First the division name of 10th mountain became meaningless. Followed by the others.

4 tank brigades for the Bundeswehr, not tank battalions, you idiot. And the UK has 5 heavy brigades, so that’s nine.

It isstrategically crazy to depend on mobilizing the Guard to do combined arms maneuver. Crazy. And in terms of the CAM-COIN balance, I would bet on an MCO contingency over the next 20 years as the next dance. It will take a generation for the American public to lose its distaste for guerilla warfare. And this is not 1939 — we can’t just wait around for entire year (much less 4 years) to get the Guard up and ready to go to war. Army leadership is deluding itself to think that this mission will ever take more than 25% of the force in the interim. Instead, these dunces are making the same mistake Shinseki did, turning the Army into a high tech police force. Dumb, dumb and very dumb. As far as GCV is concerned, to quote a former SecDef — you fight with the Army you have, not the one you wish you had. And if the balloon goes up in Korea, that will not be a “war of choice”.

“The Army will also keep investing in aviation, special operations, missile defense and cyber security.” Which translates to, “defense contractors don’t have to worry, the Army will keep the money flowing to you.”

The Bundeswehr has 3 Armored Brigades, the 9th, 12th and 21st (YOU IDIOT). It also has 2 Mechanized Infantry Brigades, the 37th and 41st. Within those 5 brigade formations there are a total of “4” tank battalions. The 93rd (9th Arm Bde), 104th (12th Arm Bde), 393rd (37th Mech Bde) and the 203rd (21st Arm Bde).

And, as I stated “The UK will have 3 tank battalions after it reorganizes”. Under the UK’s “Army 2020″ both the 7th Armored Brigade and 4th Mechanized Brigade will reorganize as Infantry Brigades, with no tank formations of any kind. this will leave a total of “3” tank battalions. One in each of the 1st, 12th and 20th Armored Infantry Brigades.

It would seem that your statement (and I qoute) “Never, at this rate. Its pretty freakin’ bad when the US Army tank corps can hardly muster as many tankbattalions as the UK and the Bundeswehr combined. ” is a horrendously stupid, with no basis in any facts.

So, you pompous condescending idiot, you clearly lack a great deal of current information.

As I understand it, ten of the eliminated brigades can be accounted for by reducing each active division from four brigades to three. And each of the remaining three brigades will be enlarged from two maneuver battalions to three. That means each division will increase from eight to nine battalions while reducing the number of headquarters, combat support and combat service support troops. It seems to me that this is a sensible change in a difficult budget environment.

The Euros used to pull move of their own weight, however, without any threat to them, there is little reason to maintain their defense budgets at that level. Russian isn’t invading anytime soon and the real concerns they have are illegal immigration.

More importantly, their not organized as the US. They don’t have 33 “states” that organize, train and equip their unified military and so don’t enjoy the savings we do from having such a military.

How weak would the US appear if all 50 states each had their own Navy, AF, and Army and bought their own equipment from difference sources?

It’s like comparing Apples to Orangutans.

Geez, it’s like the economy was perfect five years ago and the US had no underlying economic issues prior to Obama. No debt, no deficit, no wars.

For 25 years, our so called Free-market economy has exported 12,000 factories to Mexico, China, Vietnam, etc and the economy has become dependent upon the service sector rather than a vibrant, large manufacturing sector. Manufacturing sector jobs pay better than service sector jobs. Heck, Paul Tsongas was harping on it back in 1992. There is no way a McDonalds burger-flipper is going to ever pay better than a machinist job at a factory.

Less manufacturing jobs results in poorer wages. Poor wages results in smaller tax base. Smaller tax base results in deficit spending. Deficits lead to debts. Debts lead to less credit being available, less credit results in fewer businesses being able to invest in improvements/expansion.

The Free Market ain’t free.

Now go and buy goods made by American workers and support your nation’s economy.

Sure, what we don’t need is soldiers. What we do need is 3 decade long weapon development programs that fail to produce anything but record profits for defense contractors.

“The Euros used to pull move of their own weight” Debatable. Defense spending by the world over the last decade has dipped only recently for the first time since 1998. During the cold war Europe NEVER spent what they were supposed to on defense.

You may think immigration might be Europe’s primary threat. Bosnia, Afghanistan, Libya, Mali. (Syria?) and half a dozen smaller expeditions would differ with that opinion.

Comparing Germany, France, England to ANY US state IS apples and orangutans. They have GDPs exponentially greater They also all have much more elaborate cradle to grave nanny state systems.

Where did I say we were depending on the Guard for combined arms maneuver? I said we weren’t going to fight a major war on mainland Asia without them because China is so freaking huge. Where do you get it taking an entire year to get a Guard BCT to the front line? The Guard took a while to get going in this war because they weren’t funded for crap during the 1990s. I just came back from observing a 3 week exercise where a Guard BCT went through platoon and company lanes. They need some work, but NGB has been spending a lot of money to ensure their BCTs are getting quality training. If by some insanely remote case we end up in a ground war with China, we could mobilize Guard BCTs in the time it would take to haul multiple active duty divisions over there.

What hasn’t been fleshed out in this conversation is where the rest of the 80,000 soldier reduction is coming from. Cutting 12 BCTs while upping the existing ones only account for half of that number. They haven’t said whether they’re going to have understrength support units or eliminate them as well.

More contractors, hooray!

They might be comparable to the “high value” states: Texas, New York, California, Florida?

Great concept. Then we’ll recreate the terrific lean, mean, totally inadequate Army that Donald Rumsfeld had wheedled the Force down to so that when we began the war in Iraq, we drained the National Guard and Reserves dry and had to lower enlistment standards to include convicted felons, gangbangers and drug addicts in order to meet the numbers. I’m so glad we learn from our past mistakes.

True, but there are also additional soldiers that support the BCTs that would no longer be required as well as other reductions because of an overall reduction in force. For instance, fewer soldiers overall means a reduction in new recruit training cadres and fewer recruiters as well. Not in the Brigade, but still a result of the cut in Brigades.

Only CA comes “close” and that is still almost half of Germany’s GDP.

That argument holds water for small countries like Belgium. It doesn’t for Germany, England and France. Those countries have traditionally defined Europe’s direction. The fact remains as a percentage of GDP very very few European countries have matched the share we spend on defense over the last 60 years which is the fundamental reason Europe can be a socialist cradle to grave utopia.

It’s starting to haunt them.

That’s trimming around the edges. Reducing the number of recruiters and drill sergeants because of the draw down is only in the hundreds of soldiers at the most. We found ourselves so short on logistics units that we brought a second army of contractors to Iraq to feed us. I’m curious to see how they balance that issue and reduce overall numbers at the same time.

Heh, just looked at the number. California is ~ 1.2 trillion, Germany 2x that, and the US ~15T.

Once I read about after WWII, a mass deportation in the early 50’s was conducted under then President Eisenhower (a patriot) and the agriculture work program called “Braceros” was cut in order to provide employment to GIs, please google it. It isn’t ironic that the opposite is happening today by giving illegals a legal status and not stopping them to be employed either the huge problem at the border?Thousands of service man/woman who served their country will be join to civilian world with unemployment around the country, while illegals are treated like citizens.

it was supposed to say “most”, not “move”.

I’m not defending their lack of defense spending, because they do have real interests where it has been shown that they did not have the full means to perform the mission (in Libya and Mali) where they needed lift, tanker, reconaissance, UAV and naval aviation.

Within their own region, and I include North Africa, they take an interest especially since these are origins for most of their illegal immigrants. Who did most of the heavy lifting in Libya and Mali? Euros. Same with ex-Yugoslavia as they made up most of the forces in Bosnia and Kosovo.

As for their social welfare systems, it grew out of their internal cultural struggles and is part of who they are. It created a system that satisfied Social democratic parties who could then work with centrist and right-wing parties as oppose to forming coalition with unreliable far-left (and pro-Soviet) communist parties. It is also a far more suitable tool to deal with illegal immigration than a few armored brigades or new helo fleet might. Their system isn’t perfect, but it is stable for the most part and it works for them.

Collectively, the spend an awful lot on defense, but as I mentioned before, they don’t enjoy the savings that we do from unity of effort, logistics, etc. Even so, they could at least develop training programs that allowed them to pool resources rather than duplicate basics.

Joint European efforts for Gripen training, Typhoon training, Leopard II training, a F35 program, a basic flight training, NH90 training, EH101 training etc. could be established by those nations because even if they don’t agree how to deploy them, they can at least get the benefit of learning the basics on the equipment they all share.

We keep expecting the Euros to act like the United States of Europe, but that is never going to happen and we shouldn’t get in the habit of expecting them to behave like another National Guard to draw upon.

The official breakdown of the 80,000-soldier cut:

32,300 temporary wartime personnel (22,000 Temporary Endstrength Increase, TESI, and 10,300 Wartime Allowance, WTA)
7,300 Trainees, Transient, Holdees and Students (TTHS), an Army administrative holding pen for troops who’ve left one unit or organization but not officially arrived at the next, for example because they’re in a special training program or long-term medical care;
11,700 from cutting the two European-based brigade combat teams (since these units are being entirely disbanded);
17,300 from the other 10–11 BCTs going away (since most of their subunits will simply go to other brigades);
and 8,300 from units and organizations that aren’t BCTs.

Thanks. I forgot that the 22,000 temporary increase was included in those figures.

You keep forgetting the 50 or so years of the cold war where Europe largely never matched the percentage of GDP we devoted to defense and based on your two examples that can be carried into the present.

I’d argue we did most of the heavy lifting in Liibya but the Euros got the press. The overwhelming majority of sorties were flown by US aircraft and we even did most of the combat sorties at different points of the campaign but it was never very publicized. Mali where the fighting was on the ground the French deserve the credit. I didn’t mention Mali in any of my cases for the defensive burden of Europe.

As for Yugoslavia, the Euros showed up for peacekeeping. The fighting was largely US resourced.

The welfare state might be who they are culturally and be politically viable. So has become relying on the US for their defense needs. I don’t expect the Euros to be another Nati’l guard to draw on but our NG has provided more support and presence than the overwhelming majority of our “allies” can or have on just a proportional basis.

Sure sounds like you’re defending the Euros.

You seem to miss the fact that German, Italian and Japanese expansionism encouraged WWII.


OBAMA-NATION … What he needs are more Obama Phones to buy votes.


He will leave this country weak and wishing — we never elected this dope.

Sergio, the troops we have left in Europe is a single airborne infantry brigade and a stryker infantry brigade. Both small, fast and mobile. And positioned very close to the probable next battlefields (Middle East and Africa).


NOTE: Comments are limited to 2500 characters and spaces.

By commenting on this topic you agree to the terms and conditions of our User Agreement

AdChoices | Like us on , follow us on and join us on Google+
© 2015 Military Advantage
A Monster Company.