National Commission on the Future of the Army: A Potential Blueprint for the Total Army
In the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (FY 2015 NDAA), Congress established the National Commission on the Future of the Army (NCFA) to address two major concerns. The first was how best to organize and employ the U.S. Army—the Regular Army, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve—despite a decline in resources. The second concern was whether the Army should consolidate all AH-64 Apache helicopters into the Regular Army. Following nearly a year of research and analysis, the commission released its report on 28 January 2016, providing 63 recommendations for the President, Congress, the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Army to consider. Although the report is not law, it has the potential to have a major impact on the future of the Total Army. Historically, declining resources following the end of a major conflict have invoked a reticent response to overcoming challenges among the three components. As the Army’s senior leadership looks for ways to better integrate its active and reserve components to sustain and maintain the all-volunteer force, the commission’s report provides an initial blueprint to effect a Total Army solution to 21st century challenges. Its recommendations—from endstrength and force structure proposals to associated budget matters—are inclusive of all Army components. The NCFA focused its analysis on Total Army solutions for the next five to 10 years.