Torchbearer Issue Papers 

Torchbearer Issue Papers are discussion papers on key strategic issues relevant to the U.S. Army and its role in national defense. These messages are sent to the military and civilian leadership of the United States Army and the Department of Defense, selected segments of the American public, members of Congress, key congressional staff, industry and the administration.   

To order copies of Torchbearer Issue Papers, send an e-mail to or call 800-336-4570, ext. 4630. Please provide your name, address, daytime phone number, the title of the publication you wish to receive and, if you are a member of AUSA, your member number. For more information, call 800-336-4570, ext. 2627.


Torchbearer Issue Papers

 The Mad Scientist Initiative: An Innovative Way of Understanding the Future Operational Environment
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, May 2016)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper begins with a brief discussion of the myriad and growing threats facing our nation today: diverse current and potential adversaries, fiscal constraints and continually increasing avenues of danger as technology develops. Mad Scientist, organized by the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, provides a continuous dialogue with academia, industry and government on the innovations needed for the future operational environment. The Army organizes regular conferences that tap into a broad range of expertise about future trends in technology and the human dimension, resulting in key findings and recommendations that are then incorporated into Army concepts, documents and assessments to ensure superiority over potential adversaries. The driving principle behind this initiative is that thinking through the unfamiliar and the unlikely results in agile and adaptive solutions for a broad range of future contingencies. As the Army faces unparalleled complexities in the future operating environment, initiatives such as Mad Scientist—supported by the timely and predictable funding necessary to their success—can ensure not only the future readiness of the Army but also the future readiness of the entire joint force.

 Sustaining the All-Volunteer Force: A Readiness Multiplier
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, April 2016)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper postulates that demand for Army forces is high and requires commensurate levels of readiness. Budget reforms threaten to undermine quality of life compensation—in Soldier pay and retirement, in health care, in Basic Allowance for Housing, in Military Construction and in support for the commissaries—to such a degree that the viability of an AVF in the future is called into question. Readiness requires recruiting and retaining the best and the brightest—fit and resilient men and women of character—to volunteer and serve. The quality of life of Soldiers and those who support them is inextricably linked to readiness; ultimately, these reforms, aimed at maintaining readiness in the short term, have the potential to mortgage the military’s future readiness.

Strategically Responsive Logistics: A Game-Changer
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2015)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper describes the unpredictable current operating environment of increasingly capable enemies who employ conventional and hybrid strategies to threaten U.S. vital interests. More and more, Army formations must have the capability to operate immediately, rapidly and accurately upon arrival into theater, something that cannot be done unless decisions are based on accurate and reliable logistics data. To meet this need, the Army is revolutionizing its logistics system through integration of legacy property, supply and maintenance functions into a single system: Global Combat Support System–Army (GCSS-A). At endstate, all warehouses, supply rooms, motorpools and property-book offices throughout the Total Army—active Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve—will have the new system. GCSS-Army will enhance not only materiel readiness for the Army but also the readiness of the entire joint force.

The U.S. Army in Europe: Strategic Landpower in Action
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2015)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper begins by focusing on how Russia’s recent actions in Crimea and Ukraine have challenged the resolve of the European Union and NATO. In addition, terrorist attacks in Europe together with significant increases in numbers of refugees from Africa and the Middle East have created extreme conditions of volatility and instability. Moreover, traditional allies in Europe continue to face significant economic and demographic burdens that exert downward pressure on defense budgets. Therefore, strengthening military capabilities and building security capacity necessary for regional stability require sustained and focused engagement. That is precisely what U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR)—as the Army service component command to U.S. European Command—is executing under the framework of its Strong Europe initiative. And in doing so, it is supporting both U.S. and allied interests on the European Continent. The U.S. Army’s presence in Europe in more vital now than it has been since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Rapid Equipping and the U.S. Army's Quick-Reaction Capability
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2015)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper describes how early experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq made it clear that quick-reaction capabilities were needed to complement the standard procurement system with faster and less expensive materiel solutions. As a result, the Rapid Equipping Force (REF) was established to quickly procure and deliver nonstandard, situation-specific solutions that mitigate urgent capability shortfalls. The REF maintains a critical communications loop with the requirements, product producer and end-user communities that helps develop the next iteration of off-the-shelf technologies. Through quick-reaction capabilities, delivered by initiatives such as REF, the Army is adhering to the fundamental tenets of adaptability, innovation and institutional agility contained in its Operating Concept.

Enabling Reserve Component Readiness to Ensure National Security
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, September 2015)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper outlines the growing challenges facing today’s Army: the evolving operational environments, changing global commitments, ongoing funding issues and future force reductions that all require the Army to creatively plan and develop new paradigms to sustain high readiness levels in the Total Army. To maintain this total-force focus, the Army has retained a three-star command devoted to supporting and assisting army National Guard and Army reserve commanders to achieve readiness and reduce postmoblization training time. First Army is a multicomponent-sourced command with the critical mission of partnering with all conventional reserve component units throughout the continental United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It provides advice, assistance and training support to reserve component commanders and Soldiers to build collective readiness through multi-echelon, integrated training at home station and combat training center venues. First Army establishes partnerships with reserve component unit leadership to achieve directed readiness requirements. This enables the Army—via U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM)—to provide combatant commanders with trained and ready forces in support of worldwide requirements. The Army of the 21st century requires agile and flexible forces that are fully integrated in such a way as to leverage and sustain the unique capabilities of both components—active and reserve—in training and in wartime execution. Trained and ready forces across all components are an imperative in this volatile, unpredictable national security environment.

The U.S. Army's Expeditionary Mission Command Capability: Winning in a Complex World
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, September 2015)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper states the imperative that the Army maintain strategic and operational flexibility to deter and operate in multiple regions simultaneously. Demand for Army capabilities and presence continues to increase across combatant commands in response to emerging contingencies. Expeditionary maneuver becomes the norm as most of the Army is based in the United States (e.g., there are only two brigade combat teams forward stationed). Strategic responsiveness—units ready to deploy, transition to operations rapidly, function over wide areas, import a smaller logistics footprint—is an imperative. Whether the primary mission is combat, humanitarian assistance, counterinsurgency or other, Soldiers and leaders need a robust and varied set of capabilities, especially mission command. The core medium of expeditionary mission command is the network. The Army’s current plan will create a robust, versatile network through redesign and modernization efforts. Stretching from Army installations, to training facilities around the world, to the operational theater and the Soldier on point, the envisioned network supplies the infrastructure, systems, applications and tools necessary for all Army activities (training, missions and daily business). Putting the best expeditionary mission command capabilities in the hands of Soldiers and partners requires timely and predictable investment: significant funding for basic science and technology; more advanced research and development; acquisitions; and sustainment.

Installations: The Bedrock of America's Army
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, June 2015)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper describes four roles that installations play in ensuring Army readiness: solidifying the Army’s relationship with the civilian world through public and private partnerships; providing the infrastructure and technology to support force projection; undertaking initiatives that promote more resilient and efficient uses of energy; and providing services that ensure a high quality of life for Soldiers, families, DA civilians, veterans and survivors. With the global threats and unprecedented fiscal uncertainty the nation is currently facing, the Army must be able to deter adversaries and signal commitment to allies and partners. This cannot happen without installations that are capable of learning, adapting and innovating to provide unit and individual readiness. To build the installation of the future in this complex environment, Congress must provide full funding in a timely and predictable manner.

The U.S. Army in Motion in the Pacific
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, April 2015)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper describes the complex and uncertain strategic operating environment that America’s Army faces. To meet new challenges with success, senior Army leadership has added two new concepts as core competencies that emphasize the Army’s role in providing options to joint force commanders across a range of operations: first, setting the theater, i.e., establishing a presence with the purpose of increasing capabilities and capacities, and second, shaping security environments, i.e., working to further partner and allied relationships and foster understanding and cooperation. While developing these concepts, leadership has begun investing Army resources in the Indo–Asia–Pacific region. They are emphasizing a whole-of-government focus on the security and prosperity of that region, assigning a four-star general to the area and increasing the force assigned and available to the theater by approximately 40 percent. The Army now has an opportunity—through an innovation called Pacific Pathways—to put its new concepts into practice.

Force 2025 and Beyond: The U.S. Army's Holistic Modernization Strategy
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, January 2015)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper describes today’s security environment as complex and defined by unpredictability and the increasing momentum of human interaction. As technology proliferates, enemies will have greater access to weapons of mass destruction and sophisticated technical capabilities. The key to success is two-fold: leader development and maintenance of technological overmatch capabilities against likely antagonists. Regrettably, the Army is at risk of losing its present technological advantage unless its Science and Technology Enterprise receives focused strategic investments in technologies and the technical work force.

★ ★ ★      2014      ★ ★ ★

Strategic Landpower in NATO: Vital for U.S. Security
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2014)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper outlines the purpose of NATO—namely, to safeguard the freedom and security of the 28 nations that are a part of the Alliance. LANDCOM is the newest single service command of the Alliance’s military arm. LANDCOM’s assigned personnel are regionally engaged across Europe, guided by three priorities to enhance strategic landpower: land forces operational capability, headquarters operational readiness and/or land advocacy. This enables Allies to provide a critical hedge against the unpredictable future that Europe is now facing, resultant from the recent Russian seizure of Crimea. Europe will continue to require a strong commitment from the United States, including responsive, adaptive and regionally engaged forces to maintain security and stability.

The U.S. Army in Korea: Strategic Landpower at the Forward Edge of Freedom
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, August 2014)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper begins with a discussion of the unpredictability and danger of the North Korean regime. As long as it continues to operate as it does, the vital interests of South Korea and the stability of the Asia-Pacific region as a whole will be constantly threatened. Since 1950, the United States’ alliance with South Korea has been in transformation to meet the mutual security interests of both nations. The relationship continues to grow and evolve, standing as a critical deterrent to the dynamic North Korean threat, supporting regional engagement with partners and enhancing responsiveness to contingencies through rotational deployments and multinational training exercises. Eighth Army is an integral part of USFK, constituting the largest military contribution to the alliance and providing the majority of American servicemembers stationed in South Korea.

Soldier for Life
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, June 2014)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper describes the quality of the American Army, an all-volunteer force whose premier status is due to the sacrifice of the Soldiers—the centerpiece of the Army. Given the scope of their sacrifice, Soldiers have a reasonable right to expect that adequate resources will be available to help them make their eventual transition from military to civilian life. Soldier for Life (SFL), a program established by the Army, works to provide opportunities for Soldiers who are in transition. SFL does not provide new services to transitioning Soldiers; it synchronizes the existing resources, making them more accessible to the individual Soldier, retired Soldier, veteran and family member. Without efforts such as this, the quality of America’s all-volunteer Army could suffer; it is a quality underpinned by the faith and trust of these servicemembers that their country will honor their commitment, selfless service and sacrifice by helping them to succeed in transitioning to civilian life.

Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness: Building Resilience, Enhancing Performance
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, March 2014)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper reflects briefly on the missions that the Army has accomplished over the past 12 years. Looking ahead to the post-drawndown period and the certainty that the nation will face future conflicts, Soldiers, their families and Army civilians must remain competent, strong of character and committed to the Army profession. Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) is an Army program designed to ensure that members of the Army community continue to thrive in their professional and personal lives. Taking a holistic approach to personal wellness—combining emotional, social, spiritual, family and physical elements to build overall resilience and enhance performance—CSF2 will continue to be a pillar of Army culture and a cornerstone of the campaign to sustain the all-volunteer force in the future.

★ ★ ★      2013      ★ ★ ★

The Army's Organic Industrial Base: Providing Readiness Today, Preparing for Challenges Tomorrow
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, December 2013)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper briefly outlines the crucial role that AOIB has had in the past in ensuring Army readiness, as it provides materiel and equipment—from small arms, explosives and cannon tubes to trucks and tanks. As the Army shifts focus from wartime production to sustainment operations, it must ensure that critical capabilities are preserved in a way that will allow rapid expansion when needed during peacetime. The AOIB must sustain those capabilities to remain effective and able to meet future requirements. Indeed, ensuring that it is able to do so supports the principles set out by the Chief of Staff, Army, in his third Strategic Priority—A Ready and Modern Army.

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.

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.

★ ★ ★      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.

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.

★ ★ ★      2011      ★ ★ ★

U.S. Army North/Fifth Army: Building Relationships for a Secure Homeland
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, December 2011)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper examines how U.S. Army North (ARNORTH) is improving the enduring military-to-military relationships with border nations, growing the relationship with the reserve component—especially the National Guard—and strengthening the military-to-civilian relationships with federal, state and local authorities; together these relationships form the foundation of a deep and credible protection of the homeland.

The U.S. Army in Europe: A Pillar of America’s Defense Strategy
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, December 2011)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper examines USAREUR as a strategic force that provides capability and options to the nation in support of its global role while supporting the directives to prevail, prevent, prepare and preserve. The paper posits that as one of the premier instruments for rapid, multinational power projection, U.S. Army Europe must be maintained at an effective level. As the land component for U.S. European Command, USAREUR directly affects the United States’ ability to execute national strategic imperatives and appropriately share the burden of collective security.

Military Retiree Health Care Faces a Triple Whammy
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, November 2011)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses the ways in which health care benefits for military retirees are rapidly shrinking. The aggregate impact has begun to yield serious consequences for military retirees at stages of their lives when they have little financial flexibility. Although no single legislative action or major proposal has placed an unbearable health care burden on the military retiree, the cumulative effect of numerous small-cost increases approaches such a burden. This issue paper examines how the nation can afford to keep its critical all-volunteer force and pay for the benefits owed to the select few who earn them. Ultimately, the paper posits that the nation’s debt crisis cannot and should not be alleviated on the backs of those few who answer duty’s call.

U.S. Army Pacific Contingency Command Post: A Theater-Army Expeditionary Capability
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, September 2011)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses how the theater-army contingency command post (CCP) provides the commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) with a small, rapidly deployable cell that brings prompt command, control and liaison capability to U.S. and allied forces in the region. It will increase the response options for combatant commanders and decrease response times for regional contingencies. As the U.S. national strategy elevates the importance of assistance and response, the CCP’s flexible mission capability, small size and ease of deployment will prove invaluable. The opportunities to expand operations and partnerships in historically economy-of-force theaters, even if they start small, must be pursued to give the United States the global relationships required for strategic flexibility. Ultimately the question is not whether the contingency command post will be useful but whether one per theater will be enough.

★ ★ ★      2010      ★ ★ ★

The Army National Guard’s Path to Greater Resilience
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, December 2010)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper examines the Army National Guard’s response to the toll that multiple deployments and two long and ongoing wars have taken. Army leaders are continuously seeking methods and establishing programs to further support Soldiers and their families. With this in mind, several states have developed comprehensive social support and mental health initiatives. These programs emerged out of a need to deepen Soldier resilience and were prioritized by Army National Guard senior leadership. More steps to build resilience within the Army National Guard will continue across the 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia, all sharing the challenge of finding unique solutions to recurring problems such as post-traumatic stress and suicide among Soldiers.

Army Strong Community Centers: Serving Army Families
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2010)

This Torchbearer Issue Paperlooks at how repeated deployment of Army Reserve Soldiers over the past years has required differing approaches to supporting geographically dispersed families. To ensure that these families are able to access Army services despite living a distance from the nearest installation, Army Strong Community Centers (ASCCs) have been opened to bridge the gap between distance and accessibility to information. The positive, tangible results garnered from the first three ASCCs have demonstrated the need for such facilities.

New Educational Opportunities for Soldiers and Families
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2010)

This Torchbearer Issue Papertakes a look at, with which the Department of Defense has contracted to connect servicemembers and families seeking educational and professional guidance to certified, professional tutors or career specialists for one-on-one assistance whenever they need it. With approximately 2 million military children having experienced a parental deployment since 2001, the support provided by helps to relieve the concerns and stress on families during parental deployment.

Building Resilience: Comprehensive Soldier Fitness
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, April 2010)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF), a holistic fitness program for Soldiers, family members and Army civilians that is designed to enhance performance and build resilience. CSF is taking a deliberate approach to equipping Soldiers with the psychological tools to unlock their potential in this era of sustained operations, teaching thinking skills and coping strategies based on how to think rather than what to think. CSF consists of four program elements--the Global Assessment Tool, Comprehensive Resilience Modules, the Master Resilience Trainer program and Sustainment Resilience Training--that are mandatory for all Soldiers. Family members and Army civilians are also given the opportunity to participate. This holistic approach to fitness seeks to effectively and efficiently ensure the quality of life of those who serve the nation is commensurate with the quality of their service.

Strengthening and Sustaining Army Families
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, April 2010)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses the Army's newly-established Child, Adolescent and Family Behavioral Health Proponency (CAF-BHP), which supports and sustains comprehensive and integrated behavioral health care for military children and their families at all Army installations. The goal of the CAF-BHP is not to add to the number of programs that already exist but to capitalize on existing programs and achieve synergy from effective coordination, integration and targeted strengthening of current resources to better sustain Army families.

Army Software Transformation: Delivering Applications to the Warfighter
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, February 2010)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper examines the current environment for software applications and how Army Software Transformation will help the Army's information systems radically decrease the time it takes to deliver relevant applications across the force. The Army's goal is for Soldiers to have a smartphone-like experience wherein applications, services and data are accessible globally without requiring end-user intervention or costly, inefficient and burdensome technical support. Faced with enemies skilled at exploiting cheap, commercially-available communications devices and off-the-shelf electronics, the Army has implemented this new approach to software acquisition and implementation to stay relevant to the challenges posed by the complex global security environment.

★ ★ ★      2009      ★ ★ ★

A 21st Century Campus for Battle Command Training
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, December 2009)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper describes the Battle Command Training Center (BCTC) at Fort Lewis, Wash., as an example of how to enhance home station unit training and leader development. BCTCs teach and train the skills necessary for successful battle command and help foster the knowledge and attributes needed for effective leadership. Fort Lewis has a unique combination of programs--the BCTC, the Army Center for Enhanced Performance, the Stryker Brigade Combat Team Warfighters' Forum and the Asymmetric Warfare/Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Team--that operates at the cutting edge of new, ground-breaking technologies and methodologies across the range of live, virtual, constructive and gaming environments. The innovative capabilities they offer, and the synergy they produce, offer powerful training enablers, applicable to operations all along the specturm of conflict. 

★ ★ ★      2008      ★ ★ ★

Army Prepositioned Stocks: Indispensable to America’s Global Force-projection Capability
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, December 2008)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper provides an overview of the APS program; discusses its importance to operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere; and examines the challenges the Army faces as it addresses APS shortfalls and the need for new equipment. Included is a brief overview of APS Strategy 2015—the Army’s plan to configure and position campaign-quality expeditionary capabilities to meet 21st century strategic realities.

The 2008 National Defense Strategy: Implications for the United States Army
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, September 2008)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses the Army’s role at the forefront of the Long War in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the many other threats—including rising powers, failed states, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, rogue states and environmental and humanitarian catastrophes—confronting the nation and its military in the years to come. To meet all of these increasingly irregular threats the Army must be a part of a multinational, interagency, whole-of-government approach and must bring to the fight “a mastery of irregular warfare comparable to that which it possesses in conventional combat.”

Future Combat Systems: Leap-ahead Capabilities Now
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, August 2008)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses the accelerated delivery of Future Combat Systems enhanced capabilities to Soldiers in the infantry brigade combat teams, the implications of this "spin-out" for the Army, and the importance of adequate, timely and predictable funding for the entire FCS program.

Disposal of Excess, Obsolete and Unserviceable Ammunition: Help for the Warfighter
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, August 2008)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses the formidable and resource-intensive mission for the Army of storage, surveillance, demilitarization and disposal of all of the Defense Department's excess, obsolete and unserviceable ammunition (including all conventional munitions, tactical missiles and large rocket motors) and stresses the importance of adequate, timely and predictable funding for the demilitarization program.

The U.S. Army in Korea in the 21st Century
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, March 2008)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses how USFK is seeking to fundamentally change assignments in Korea by establishing a long-term, normal force presence at U.S. main operating bases across the peninsula. Executing an unprecedented restationing plan, USFK is setting the stage for possible future three-year accompanied tours and two-year unaccompanied tours in South Korea. Ultimately, establishing a normal, long-term joint force presence on the Korean Peninsula sends a powerful signal to both U.S. allies and potential adversaries alike of America’s unwavering commitment to democracy, free trade and stability in Northeast Asia. The end result will be a strengthened alliance with the Republic of Korea, an enduring presence on the Asian mainland and a new normalcy for all U.S. servicemembers, families and civilians.

Revolution in Army Doctrine: The 2008 Field Manual 3-0, Operations
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, February 2008)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper briefly summarizes the new version of the Army's Field Manual 3-0, Operations, the blueprint for current operations and future full-spectrum operations. The operational environment now and in the future is complex, multidimensional and increasingly fought in the midst of noncombatant populations. It is imperative, therefore, that the Army provide to its Soldiers and leaders an intellectual understanding of the means by which it will organize, train, equip and conduct operations in this new environment. The new doctrine lays a foundation not only for battlefield success but also for lasting peace.

The Rebalance of the Army National Guard
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, January 2008)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses the Army National Guard (ARNG) transformation and reorganization known as the ARNG rebalance plan. This plan is the result of a collaborative effort between Headquarters, Department of the Army, the ARNG and the Adjutants General to establish the way ahead for ARNG force structure in response to the guidance provided in the Quadrennial Defense Review 2006. The result is an ARNG force that is more flexible, more capable and more rapidly deployable with enhanced readiness for wartime missions, enhanced capabilities for state missions and improved command and control within states and territories.

★ ★ ★      2007      ★ ★ ★

Transforming the U.S. Army Reserve to an Operational Force
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2007)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses the Army Reserve's role in current operations and what is required to provide needed capabilities to combatant commanders on a continuous basis. The Army Reserve has implemented an Army-wide system to establish a training, mobilization and deployment model of predictability for commanders and Soldiers called Army Force Generation, or ARFORGEN. To improve force structure, the Army Reserve is deactivating its legacy structure of Regional Readiness Commands (RRCs) and Regional Readiness Groups (RRGs) and activating Operations and Functional (O&F) Commands. Finally, to improve recruiting and retention the Army Reserve has increased its incentives, such as referral bonuses, tuition assistance, retirement benefits and better health care.

Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) Warfighters' Forum: A New Army Paradigm for Home Station Unit Training
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2007)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses the Army's new training concept, the Stryker Brigade Combat Team Warfighters' Forum (SWfF), a new home station unit training paradigm that ultimately will serve as a model for light and heavy formations as well. The mission of the SWfF is to enhance SBCT leader, leader-team and unit training throughout the ARFORGEN process; to include the incorporation of lessons being learned by all SBCTs, in order for SBCTs to perform at higher levels of mission proficiency in each subsequent deployment; and to serve as a conduit of SBCT operational experience for training, doctrine and force design and as a model for other Army training and leader initiatives. The SWfF will play an increasingly critical role in transforming Army home station training and significantly enhancing Army readiness.

★ ★ ★      2006      ★ ★ ★

Army Tactical Wheeled Vehicle Strategy: Meeting Current and Future Needs
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, July 2006)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper describes and analyzes the Army's Tactical Wheeled Vehicle (TWV) strategy, which will ensure fleet viability and combat effectiveness for the next three decades. The TWV strategy encompasses improvements in the current fleet, research and development into new capabilities and a glimpse into the future fleet. As the Army transforms into a more modular, expeditionary force, there will be a related transformation within the TWV fleet. The ongoing efforts under the TWV strategy ensure that a modernized TWV fleet supports the needs of Soldiers, the Joint Force and the nation.

★ ★ ★      2004      ★ ★ ★

Air and Missile Defense... An Integral Part of Army and Joint Transformation
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, December 2004)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses the Air and Missile Defense (AMD) transformation vision, concept, plan and actions to support both joint and Army transformation goals and overmatch the asymmetric aerial threats of the 21st century. For the Future Force in the future operational environment, Army AMD transformation has set in motion a sequential and progressive approach to advancing capabilities in increments over time using available resources. This will provide solutions for a force that moves from branch-specific and single-service capabilities to a combined force that can quickly integrate on a joint and nonlinear battlefield.

Future Combat Systems: The Future is Now
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2004)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses the current status of the program and highlights the systems, organizations and network of this core building block of the Army's Future Force. On 22 July 2004, Army officials announced plans to accelerate the delivery of selected Future Combat Systems to the Current Force. For FCS, the future is now.

ES2: Every Soldier is a Sensor
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, August 2004)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper highlights the capability of the Soldier as the most capable, sophisticated collector of intelligence in today's Army. While technology will impact the future of the United States Army, its success will continue to be determined by its most important asset, weapon and sensor: the Soldier.

The Rapid Fielding Initiative: Equipping Soldiers to Succeed
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, August 2004)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper provides an in-depth look at how the Army is ensuring Soldiers (active, Guard and Reserve) have the most current equipment the Army can acquire, before they go into harm's way.

Army Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems: A Cost-Effective Combat Multiplier
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, April 2004)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper takes a look at the various unmanned aerial vehicles currently in use in the Global War on Terrorism, as well as some systems being developed for the future. UAVs have proved to be great combat multipliers, enabling combat commanders at all levels to conduct intelligence, targeting, battle damage assessment, communications relay and lethal operations.

Stryker Brigades: Integral to the Current Force
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, February 2004)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper is second in a series of discussion papers on key issues relevant to the Army's Current Force, looks at the 1999 vision of Stryker and how the reality has taken shape in 2004 as the first two Stryker Brigades join Operation Iraqi Freedom.

★ ★ ★      2003      ★ ★ ★

Rapid Equipping Force: Innovative Materiel Solutions to Operational Requirements
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, October 2003)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper looks at how and why the Rapid Equipping Force is working directly with operational commanders to find promising materiel solutions to their identified operational requirements.

The Army's Continuing Education System
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, August 2003)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses a key element of soldier development.

Future Tactical Truck System
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, August 2003)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses how the Future Tactical Truck System is not merely a truck but the joint sustainment system for the Objective Force.

GI-to-Jobs Is COOL
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, August 2003)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses Credentialing Opportunities Online (COOL), a new opportunity.

(Torchbearer Issue Paper, July 2003)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses eArmyU: At the cutting edge of soldier/leader development.

Aerial Common Sensor
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, February 2003)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses Aerial Common Sensor, the only system to meet the Army’s requirement for timely multi-intelligence precision geolocation.

(Torchbearer Issue Paper, February 2003)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses VPORTS (virtual planning, operations, rehearsal, training and simulation) and how it propels Transformation with 21st century technology.

Aviation Recapitalization
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, January 2003)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper examines how recapitalization cost-effectively modernizes Army aviation while maintaining near-term readiness.

★ ★ ★      2002      ★ ★ ★

Aircraft Survivabilty Equipment
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, July 2002)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses how Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE) ensures Army aviation’s lethality and dominance over tomorrow’s battlefield.

(Torchbearer Issue Paper, July 2002)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper examines the Stryker, which provides a mobile weapon system that can fill immediate tactical requirements and adapt to future demands.

The Theater Support Vessel
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, July 2002)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper examines the Theater Support Vessel’s (TSV) planned capabilities, which will provide the Army with a new and potent capability for rapidly responding to crisis situations.

★ ★ ★      2001      ★ ★ ★

The Interim Brigade Combat Teams in Army Transformation
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, December 2001)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses how the Interim Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) satisfies present-day strategic requirements and will serve as a proving ground for developing the doctrine, tactics and techniques of the Objective Force.

Risks of Skipping Another Generation of Weapons
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, July 2001)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses how the Army has already skipped one generation of weapons, and how skipping another generation of modernization also skips a generation of technology maturation, increasing both risk and cost until the Objective Force is a reality.

Contribution of Land Forces to Access Assurance
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, July 2001)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper examines how the United States is the world’s preeminent power because of our nation’s ability to rapidly project and sustain significant conventional military power anywhere in the world.

The Value of Engagement & Forward Presence
(Torchbearer Issue Paper, June 2001)

This Torchbearer Issue Paper discusses engagement, an important instrument of foreign policy used throughout the world to achieve national security objectives. Forward-deployed Army forces are part of the essential "strategic framework" for global security.