The Hollow Army: How the U.S. Army Is Oversold and Undermanned

By William Darryl Henderson; Charles Moskos | Go to book overview

Army bureaucracy. Since 1973 the size of the midlevel (E-5-E-7) NCO Corps has increased mostly to man the additional headquarters, support agencies, information commands, and administrative staffs that have been added to support the centralization of functions within the Army. Unfortunately, in addition to paying the enormous manpower and dollar costs involved, the Army has given the highest priorities to these new NCO staff functions, assigning most of the top-quality NCOs to noncombat units. As a result the NCO Corps no longer primarily serves well its traditional function: the training and leading of small units in war. The tremendous warfighting potential of the NCO Corps is being lost through assignment to jobs that contribute little to warfighting; this leaves the U.S. Army unable to match the quality of small-unit leadership of other armies much smaller in size.

The final chapter concludes that present organizational limitations to Army warfighting capabilities contribute to the Army's inability to perform its stated mission and must be addressed if the Army is to achieve maximum value for the manpower and dollars allocated. It is suggested that a rigorous structural-functional systems analysis will identify surprisingly large amounts of manpower (in the tens of thousands) and dollars (in the hundreds of millions) that are contributing little to Army warfighting capability. A searching review is needed of the underlying assumptions that have led the Army to fragment, duplicate, and centralize many functions over the past years with little value added. The probability exists that the Army can take significant steps toward meeting its mission within the already programmed force structure budget.


NOTES
1.
This theme is widely evident in almost all Army public affairs efforts over the past several years. Prepared scripts and guidelines are widely distributed, and the theme is almost always included in top leadership addresses to target audiences. For example, Delbert L. Spurlock Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs in "On the Record," Army Times, October 17, 1988, 22.
2.
Briefing to Army officers by Lt. General Bartlett, Commander, Combined Arms Center, Ft. Leavenworth, Kans., September 14, 1987.
3.
Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, U.S. Army, at staff marketing workshop, Ft. Meyer, Va., June 5, 1987.
4.
Spurlock, memo for Chief of Staff (Subject: Army image), July 14, 1988, 4.
5.
Fred Downs, "Death and the Dark Side of Command," Washington Post, Outlook section, August 16, 1988; and John F. Ahearne, "The Dark Side of War," Washington Post, August 23, 1987, p. B6.

-9-

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The Hollow Army: How the U.S. Army Is Oversold and Undermanned
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Military Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures and Tables ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Ppreface xv
  • 1 - Introduction: Selling a Mythical Army 1
  • Notes 9
  • 2 - The Army Mission: A Mismatch for Today's Army 11
  • Notes 18
  • 3 - Army Manpower: An Issue with No Constituency 19
  • Notes 45
  • 4 - Training on a Treadmill 49
  • Notes 74
  • 5 - Personnel Turbulence 77
  • Notes 89
  • 6 - Small-Unit Leaders Should Be War Winners 91
  • Notes 104
  • 7 - Why Can't the American Army Create Cohesive Units? 107
  • Notes 125
  • 8 - The Broken Backbone 127
  • Notes 143
  • 9 - It's Broke and Needs to Be Fixed 145
  • Notes 154
  • Bibliography 155
  • Index 161
  • About the Author 165
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