To order Torchbearer Campaign publications free of charge, send an e-mail to ILWPublications@ausa.org or call 800-336-4570, ext. 4630. Please provide your name, address, daytime phone number, the title of the publication and, if you are a member of AUSA, your member number. For more information, call 800-336-4570, ext. 2627.
Recent Torchbearer Publications
A Crisis in Military Housing: Basic Allowance for Housing Under Attack
(Torchbearer Alert, October 2013)
This Torchbearer Alert demonstrates the irrationality and injustice of placing the nation’s financial burdens on the shoulders of Soldiers. The quality of housing has improved in recent years under new programs and initiatives; the nation owes it to her servicemembers and their families, who have already given so much, to ensure that they continue to be provided with good homes. If sequestration is allowed to stand as it is, this provision will no longer be a certainty. In addition to the responsibility owed to current Soldiers, it is important to remember that in an all-volunteer force there must be adequate incentives to attract, retain and fairly compensate new recruits. Providing quality military housing is a necessary and profitable investment.
U.S. Army South: Fostering Peace and Security in South America, Central America and the Caribbean
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2013)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses the challenging conditions and security issues of this region, such as unequal wealth distribution, corruption, transnational organized crime and natural disasters. For over a century, the Army has demonstrated its commitment to building relationships with the partners in this region. The return on the nation’s small investment in this relationship has been substantial. U.S. efforts have prevented open conflict, but there are nonetheless persistent tensions that remain because of the challenging conditions and security issues. Focused regional security cooperation is paramount to confronting security challenges before they mature into direct threats. As the Army shifts its focus after protracted wars in the Middle East, it is vital to remember that U.S. security depends on the Army’s ability—an ability that results from the support of joint, interagency and intergovernmental organizations—to continue supporting national security objectives in South America, Central America and the Caribbean through proactive engagement and enduring partnership. Timely and predictable funding together with leveraging half-century-old enduring relationships between the U.S. Army and its partner nations’ militaries are keys to fostering peace and security in this region.
Addition Through Subtraction: Empowering the Soldier by Lightening the Load
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2013)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper calls attention to how the Army is working to mitigate one of the side effects of the advances in communication technology for Soldier and squad—additional batteries that add weight and consume more space in combat loads. The Soldier Power portfolio is an ongoing acquisition success story that leverages research and development partnerships, lessons learned and evaluation and testing at the Network Integration Exercises. In this complex and dynamic global security environment, coupled with an uncertain fiscal environment, it is critical that the Army continues to invest wisely in innovation and technologies that will help the nation’s Soldiers.
The Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex: Winning the Future Fight
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, August 2013)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex (JPARC), the Defense Department’s largest training venue in Alaska. The JPARC integrates all domains—land, air, sea, space and cyber—to provide unparalleled opportunities to bring disparate capabilities into a coordinated and comprehensive environment. Alaska sits at the center of gravity for the entire Asia–Pacific region, enabling the U.S. military to project strategic landpower—Army, Marines and special operations forces—across the theater that became a major focal point of U.S. defense policy with the January 2012 release of the Obama administration’s “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense.” Enabling large-scale joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational training not available elsewhere, the JPARC’s size and location allow for realistic deployment and employment of joint forces to meet tactical and operational requirements and for the exercise of existing war plans for the defense of the Asia–Pacific theater of operations.
Strategic Mobility: Enabling Global Responsiveness for America's Force of Decisive Action
(Torchbearer National Security Report, July 2013)
This Torchbearer National Security Report explores the future of the strategic responsiveness/mobility challenge. It discusses the necessity of strategic landpower, the status of the nation’s existing fleet of strategic-lift platforms and the human dimension of readiness to conduct any mission along the spectrum of conflict. It describes how Army doctrine and joint thinking have already been developed to cope with the volatile nature of this century’s diverse security challenges and explains how the Army is working to bridge existing mobility capability gaps. Finally, it details some of the transformative efforts that are necessary to enable the joint force to fulfill the nation’s high expectations in accordance with the latest defense strategic guidance.
Déjà Vu: Servicemembers' earnings are under attack—again
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, June 2013)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses some of the ways that these budget cuts are harming the livelihoods of those individuals who have volunteered to make a career of their service to the nation. In the world of healthcare, military retirees are currently facing a serious financial setback, as Congress is considering authorizing massive fee increases for TRICARE users. Servicemember pay is also under attack; the proposed 1 percent pay raise for military personnel in 2014 would be the lowest raise since 1958. This is only one of a number of ways that monetary compensation might become increasingly less attractive for potential volunteers. In addition to proposed fee hikes in TRICARE and negative impacts on Servicemember pay, the Defense Commissary Agency is also facing massive budget cut requirements that will force it to close stores and lay off employees, many of whom are military spouses. Unless effective efforts are made to stop and reverse these trends, a life of military service will become increasingly unattractive; there will be fewer incentives for potential volunteers to choose such a life, and the security of our nation will decline with the strength and efficacy of our Army.
The U.S. Army in the Pacific: Assuring Security and Stability
(Torchbearer National Security Report, April 2013)
This Torchbearer National Security Report discusses how the Army’s trained and ready forces in the Asia–Pacific region contribute to the joint force by preventing conflict, shaping the environment and winning decisively if necessary, assuring security and stability. As World War II ended, U.S. Army leadership proved to be the cornerstone of renewed peace and prosperity in the Pacific. Today, the region has reemerged as one of the world’s most militarily significant and challenging. The 2012 U.S. defense strategic guidance therefore directed that the joint force rebalance its efforts toward the Asia–Pacific and reinvest in its continued security. The Army must receive balanced support to continue providing invaluable resources to and enabling many contingency response options for the joint force.
AUSA + 2nd Session, 112th Congress = Some Very Good News
(Torchbearer Special Report, January 2013)
While noting a number of the positive measures that Congress took in this regard, such as providing sufficient personnel for the Army to respond to the demands of the nation’s security and authorizing a military pay raise that keeps pace with inflation, this Torchbearer Special Report also outlines a few areas in which Congress failed to include some important proposals in the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Authorization Act. Among other concerns, the Flyer stresses that more consideration must to be afforded to the needs of veterans, sufficient funding must be provided for adequate modernization initiatives of equipment and more progress is needed to provide military families with affordable and quality housing. Congress must support the Army’s effort to balance endstrength, modernization and readiness.
★ ★ ★ 2012 ★ ★ ★
Capability Set Production and Fielding: Enhancing the U.S. Army's Combat Effectiveness
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2012)
This Torchberer Issue Paper presents the problem that servicemembers have faced in recent years of inadequate connectivity on the battlefield. Although advances in technology are constantly improving methods of communication, these are not always available to servicemembers who, as a result, face interoperability issues that interfere with unified land operations and cause delays in their ability to access the full range of information about their areas of operations. That is about to change. Starting in October 2012, the Army will being to equip deploying brigade combat teams with Capability Set (CS) 13, the Army’s first integrated package of radios, satellite systems, software applications, smartphone-like devices and other network components.
Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program: Building Communities of Readiness
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2012)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper elucidates efforts being made by the Department of Defense to help members of the National Guard and the Reserve successfully navigate the long process of reintegration after deployment. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 established the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program (YRRP) to formalize and support initiatives across the reserve component in nationwide deployment-cycle training and support programs to ease transitions for servicemembers and their families.
U.S. Army Operational Testing and Evaluation: Laying the Foundation for the Army of 2020
(Torchbearer National Security Report, October 2012)
This Torchbearer National Security Report outlines the success and significance of the Agile Capabilities Life Cycle, its associated Network Integration Evaluations process and the Capability Set Management construct. All of these—through tests and evaluations by which servicemembers can give constructive feedback on the operations of technologies and equipment—allow the Army to modernize its information systems. Such a network can also enable the necessary distribution of information and help to provide for overmatch against adversaries. Important in the further development of these network tools are continued participation and feedback from current Soldiers, efforts to maintain an understanding of the perspective of industry partners providing necessary materials and, most vital, continued reliable sources of funding.
A New Equipping Strategy: Modernizing the U.S. Army of 2020
(Torchbearer National Security Report, June 2012)
This Torchbearer National Security Report discusses many of the Army’s modernization priorities as it looks to the third decade of the 21st century. To provide U.S. combatant commanders with land forces that have the capability, capacity and diversity to succeed in this environment, the Army must continuously assess and adjudicate three foundational imperatives: endstrength/force structure, readiness and modernization. The Army must balance these three elements to prevent conflict, shape the environment and win decisively. To develop the right force design and mix to execute these imperatives, an equipping strategy for the Army of 2020 must acquire and modernize equipment in ways that provide the best force for the nation within the resources available. The Army’s acquisition and modernization approach acknowledges the healthy tension of balancing short-term (zero to two years), mid-term (two to eight years) and long-term (more than eight years) equipping challenges to support a strategic ground force that is superior, credible and rapidly deployable.
Modernizing LandWarNet: Empowering America's Army
(Torchbearer National Security Report, May 2012)
This Torchbearer National Security Report examines the ways in which LandWarNet will improve the Army’s current network, which is fragmented into many smaller networks that have a variety of standards, systems and pathways. LandWarNet addresses this complex issue by instituting a single, standards-based network. The Army’s strategy for end-to-end network modernization has five high-level objectives: operationalize LandWarNet; dramatically improve cybersecurity posture; improve operational effectiveness while realizing efficiencies; enable joint interoperability and collaboration with mission partners; and recruit and retain an agile workforce to support an expeditionary Army.
U.S. Army Space Capabilities: Enabling the Force of Decisive Action
(Torchbearer National Security Report, May 2012)
This Torchbearer National Security Report discusses how the Army is inextricably linked to space-based capabilities, which are involved with all aspects of the “prevent, shape and win” framework that guides the Army, both in current conflicts and in its future vision. As the Department of Defense’s new strategic guidance highlights, the Army will be part of a joint force that is smaller and leaner but more agile, flexible and technologically enabled. To mitigate complex operational risks and assure landpower dominance now and in the future, the Army relies on a technological backbone built on space-based capabilities and force structure. Preserving and expanding these capabilities will be required to keep the Army the force of decisive action
First Army: Training for Today's Requirements and Tomorrow's Contingencies
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, April 2012)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper examines First Army’s role in helping ensure the readiness of the total Army to advise and assist in training all Army National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers in the continental United States during premobilization periods to meet combatant commanders’ requirements worldwide. The most significant challenge for today’s operational reserve is to sustain readiness to provide combatant commanders with adaptive units that are capable across the full range of military operations. Much of First Army’s priority of effort since 9/11 has been to conduct mobilization and demobilization operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn, training more than 750,000 personnel in support of these and other named contingency operations.
Third Army: Empowering Theater Responsiveness by Synchronizing Operational Maneuver
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, March 2012)
This Torchbearer Issue Paper examines the expertise and experience exhibited by Third Army, which could very well be the model for other service component commands as well as U.S. allies. Third Army, USF-I and the joint team conducted a successful operation to retrograde and reposture a significant amount of forces and immense stocks of equipment from Iraq. Third Army—as an Army Service Component Command—has been and will remain vital to the U.S. Army’s ability to conduct its Title 10 responsibilities to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations on land. Applying, maturing and translating the lessons learned from the past decade will be a vital effort as the Army prepares for its role as part of Joint Force 2020 in an increasingly uncertain and complex strategic environment.
Breaking the Faith
(Torchbearer Alert, February 2012)
This Torchbearer Alert summarizes the Defense Department’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget proposals to increase health care fees and reconsider the structure of the military retirement system. For many military retirees under age 65, annual fees for TRICARE Prime would triple or quadruple by 2017; TRICARE Standard and Extra would also implement new enrollment fees and increase the size of families’ deductibles. For military retirees over age 65, the administration proposes hefty new annual enrollment fees for TRICARE-for-Life. Copays for pharmaceuticals would also increase substantially. Further, the administration proposes the creation of a commission to recommend cost-effective changes to the military retirement system. This commission would have authority similar to the BRAC process, effectively limiting elected officials’ involvement. The paper emphasizes that these ideas would do very little to alleviate the nation’s fiscal crisis; however, they would severely impact the well-being of those who have already risked and sacrificed more than their fair share, and they could have serious consequences for force readiness.
AUSA + 1st Session, 112th Congress = Some Good News
(Torchbearer Special Report, January 2012)
This Torchbearer Special Report briefly describes the major objectives AUSA supported in the first session of Congress and what actions were taken for each. In passing the 2011 Budget Control Act, Congress acknowledged the national budget shortfalls while also attempting to maintain the military’s readiness in uncertain times and an ongoing war in Afghanistan. This publication examines the112th Congress’s successes and failures in authorizing some important proposals supported by AUSA.
Click here for 2011 Torchbearer Publications
Click here for 2010 Torchbearer Publications