Academic journal article Military Review

Imperatives for Tomorrow

Academic journal article Military Review

Imperatives for Tomorrow

Article excerpt

Title 10 of the U.S. Code charges the Army to organize, train, and equip a force for land combat. DTLOMS provides a framework for discharging that responsibility. In light of Transformation, information warfare, and 11 September, the Army's charter and the DTLMOS imperatives might need updating. Rick Brown argues that teaming and adapting should be considered for inclusion in Title 10's mission to the Army and that DTLOMS should incorporate time as a seventh imperative.

THE SIX IMPERATIVES-doctrine, training, leader development, organization, materiel, and soldiers (DTLOMS)-have served the Army well. They served as a compass and provided focus during the Army's rebuilding after Vietnam.1 They also served as a translation vehicle from the general Army mission mandated by Congress in Title 10 of the US. Code to specific foci for the practical policies and programs of rebuilding.2 A leader of this first Transformation, General Carl Vuono, Chief of Staff of the Army at the time, commented: "I've always used the six imperatives as a way to describe how the Army internally reshaped itself."3

The six imperatives have served as operating guidance for the various U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) proponents charged with guiding the actual rebuilding. The imperatives provided the foundation for a concept-based requirements system that guided overall Army development; however, as future forces evolve, the imperatives must also evolve. To these six imperatives should be added a seventh, the element of time. In addition, Title 10, which defines the Army's fundamental responsibilities, directs the Army to organize, train, and equip forces to win the Nation's land wars. These responsibilities should be expanded to include the development of individuals and units highly focused on both teaming and adapting.

Further, it is essential that balance or harmony among the six imperatives be created and sustained in tactical operations-a dynamic balance tailored and readjusted as necessary for executing any mission. This idea is not new. Field Manual (FM) 1.0, The Army, prescribes such balance: "The Army, balanced across the six imperatives, can achieve sustained land force dominance throughout the range of military operations and across the spectrum of conflict."4 Balance means that each imperative is in harmony with the other imperatives. That is, each DTLOMS element supports every other element, and that element is positioned for rapid adaptation to take advantage of opportunity or to reduce adversity.

What should harmony be in the context of full-spectrum operations? Harmony means that the imperatives mutually reinforce each other; that each imperative undergoes near-continuous modification or improvement; and that each imperative adapts more rapidly to changing combat conditions than does the enemy's comparable imperative. Harmony also means that change in one imperative is routinely translated into complementary and reinforcing change in the other imperatives. For example, leader-development changes initiated to prepare for implementation of new doctrine or training are likely to change the training requirements for new equipment. That change is expected and satisfied routinely.

Such cross-DTLOMS harmony, which reinforces change by extending it horizontally across other imperatives, is necessary but not sufficient to create full balance. That is, there must also be reachdown-- backward compatibility with previous DTLOMS imperatives that might be used by legacy or hedge forces or that might have been provided to allies.5 For example, new radios should talk to old ones. New ammunition should be usable in old weapons. New tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) should accommodate prior TTP when possible.

Reachdown sustains an umbilical cord to allied or friendly forces joining in revolving coalitions that might be accustomed to prior Army DTLOMS. Reachdown creates longitudinal harmony between older and newer manifestations of DTLOMS imperatives that complements cross-DTLOMS harmony. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.