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

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

MILPERCEN was required to handle over 1 million pieces of paper to support the E-7 board deliberations. This is mind boggling considering the man hours, facilities, and other resources now required to perform a function that was previously and more efficiently performed in the field on the back of an envelope.

Judged on its ability to produce high-performing cohesive fighting units, EPMS is a failure. Even judged on its own terms it fails because of its complexity and its failure to meet the problems of personnel turbulence, the need for quality leaders in combat units, and policies that seriously hinder the commander's ability to produce cohesion. The U.S. Army today is paying a huge price for a system that at best is often irrelevant to warfighting ability and one that at worst limits in many respects the combat power of the U.S. Army.

Until the EPMS is restructured to focus NCO career priorities on continuous service in troop units in support of the trainer/leader function, the backbone of the Army will remain broken and the U.S. Army will not achieve the stable, long-term, quality small-unit leadership necessary to build the high-performing and cohesive combat units necessary to win on today's battlefields.


NOTES
1.
"Growth of NCO Ranks Outstrips Total Enlisted in Recent Years," Army Times, February 8, 1988, 4, 24.
2.
See, for example, Robert K. Merton, Social Theory and Social Structure: Toward the Codification of Theory and Research, rev. ed. ( Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 1957), or Marion J. Levy, The Structure of Society ( Princeton, NJ.: Princeton University Press, 1952).
3.
Pentagram, December 4, 1986, 3.
4.
"Senior Enlisted Grade Restructure," DCSPER Briefing, 1986.
5.
Pentagram, February 5, 1987, 9.
6.
William Darryl Henderson, "Can-Do NCOs -- With Clout -- Can Help Cohesion Problems," Army, March 1982, 18-22.
7.
"Leader Development Study" ( Fort Leavenworth, Kans.: Combined Arms Center, 1987), 22.
8.
Ibid., 23.
9.
John C. Bahnsen and James W. Bradin, "The Army's Command Sergeant Major Problem," Parameters, June 1988, 9-17.
10.
Ibid., 12.
11.
Peter W. Kuzumplich, summary of manuscript on Comparative Wartime Replacement Systems ( Washington, D.C.: Defense Intelligence Agency, November, 1986).
12.
See, for example, the historical lesson of leadership cited by the well-known military historian Jay Luvass, who states in reference to the Battle of Gettysburg that

-143-

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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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