Academic journal article Military Review

Transforming for New Military Demands

Academic journal article Military Review

Transforming for New Military Demands

Article excerpt

A few years ago military buzzwords included "revolution in military affairs," "precision fires," and "massing effects." Today the buzzword is "Transformation." Former and current Chiefs of Staff of the Army General Eric K. Shinseki and General Peter J. Schoomaker understand the Army's need to evolve. Schoomaker recently stated, "I do not command anything. I provide forces to those Combatant Commanders [COCOMs] who do command the warfighters." Schoomaker understands that COCOMs and joint task force (JTF) commanders command troops in battle. Simultaneously, the Navy is basing its Transformation on three pillars: Sea Strike, Sea Shield, and Sea Basing, while the Air Force continues to tweak its Global Strike concept. (1)

The way the United States flexes it muscle through the Military National Power needs to be transformed. The Department of Defense (DOD) must transform at its most critical and arguably, hardest juncture--the joint fight. Some senior DOD officials believe that the Joint Professional Military Professional Education system is "about right," arguing that service core competencies should be mastered at the junior officer level, while joint operations should begin at the intermediate level.

Praises for DOD's latest campaigns, including Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the Global War on Terror, indicate how far the services have come in conducting the joint fight. I believe, however, that the U.S. military must transform as one unit, not as individually separate services.

Goldwaters-Nichols Act

In 1986 Congress passed the Goldwaters-Nichols Act, a mandate for the military services to collaborate on developing a joint doctrine. (2) The service chiefs fought the mandate, but without it, the U.S. military would still be laboring under a stovepiped and service-oriented system. The National Security Strategy calls for the United States to continue as a joint venture. We must educate the services to think joint at the lowest levels. Service parochialism must not to be a roadblock to Transformation. The military should eliminate the distinction between commissions received from the service academies and Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and streamline the services. For example, Army administrative personnel should be able to perform their duties in the same manner as any other service, and there should be only one standardized evaluation system for officers of all services. …

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