New Army Capstone Concept is the vision for the future force 

Nicholas Krueger

National Security Analyst

Institute of Land Warfare

The Association of the United States Army’s Institute of Land Warfare (ILW) has recently released a new publication.

"The U.S. Army Capstone Concept: Defining the Army of 2020" (Defense Report, January 2013) presents the Army’s initiative to transition into a force based predominantly in the continental United States (CONUS) but ready and able to deliver a wide array of expeditionary capabilities rapidly when needed.

Released in December 2012, the revised publication titled "The U.S. Army Capstone Concept" (U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Pamphlet 525-3-0) describes the Army’s vision of the future operational environment, the role of the Army in the joint force and a broad list of the capabilities required by future Army forces.

The Army Capstone Concept (ACC) identifies the idea of operational adaptability as the defining characteristic of the future force.

To execute its mission of protecting enduring national interests, the Army must anticipate and continuously respond to constantly adapting threats.

The Army must institutionalize the invaluable experience gained during the past decade.

Many tools will be employed to restructure the Army’s body of knowledge – identifying critical principles, delivering doctrinal expertise to the point of need and crafting some force design options to increase its responsiveness against hybrid threats.

Finally, the Army must select investment priorities as it reduces in size.

These investments must mitigate risk, enable the regeneration of capability if needed suddenly and permit expansibility.

The network-enabled soldier remains at the center of a more capable Army.

Now is the time to resource several key investment areas that will enable the Army’s operational adaptability while carefully balancing the pillars of end strength, modernization and readiness.

This report and other ILW publications are available online at and can also be obtained by calling (800) 336-4570, Ext. 4630, or by e-mailing a request to