Unity Within Total Army Critical to Future Success

Unity Within Total Army Critical to Future Success

Soldiers move forward during training
Photo by: U.S. Army/Pfc. Joshua Linfoot

The world keeps changing, but the in-depth analysis in a 2016 report whose main theme was the importance of harmony among the Army’s three components remains relevant, the authors of a new paper assert.

In “National Commission on the Future of the Army After Six Years,” published by the Association of the U.S. Army as part of its Landpower Essay series, authors Col. Rickey Smith and Maj. Gen. Raymond Carpenter, both retired from the Army, tackle the details of the 2016 report by the National Commission on the Future of the Army.

Smith and Carpenter note that, at the time of the report, the commissioners were “concerned with the estrangement between the Army’s components and how the Commission’s work could bring the components closer together as a Total Army.”

They write that an updated Total Force policy that would guide the Army and DoD in building a “unity of effort and cohesion across the Regular Army, Army National Guard and the Army Reserve is long overdue.”

The comprehensive study of the Army, which included analysis from inside and outside the DoD, expert testimony and public input, led to “primary themes that remain relevant today, despite a dramatically changed and still changing world,” most importantly, that the Army’s three components achieve synergy and work together as a Total Army, the authors write.

Such cohesion provides the joint force with “the greatest land power on the globe for immediate employment and strategic depth for homeland defense and power projection,” they write.

Because the Army implemented most of the 63 recommendations made by the commission, they write, “rehashing details from individual NCF recommendations could be counter-productive and rekindle unhelpful angst for some old, difficult issues.”

Still, the authors recommend that DoD and the Army propose legislation and change some policies that would implement the intent of recommendations that were not completely resolved by the Army, DoD or Congress. Doing this would “help the Army move forward with further integration of the three components to strengthen the Total Army culture,” they write.

Read the full report here.