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Forging the 10th Mountain Division for War, 1940-1945: How Innovation Created a Highly Adaptive Formation

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Technical Report,08 Aug 2016,09 Jun 2017

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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As the U.S. Army faces new and uncertain challenges across the globe, the need to create new capabilities in organizations, doctrine, and equipment is critical. As new threats in the sea, air, land and cyber domains appear, it is vital for the Army to produce capable and well-equipped formations that are prepared to adapt and meet any challenges. This thesis examines the relationship between how peace-time innovation influences combat adaptation. It uses the history of the 10th Mountain Division as a historical example of how the Army faced threats in multiple areas of the world. In response, it innovated to create a new capability to fight in the mountains. Using new techniques, it recruited highly experienced volunteers, developed new training and equipment to build a new capability for the U.S. Army. As a result of this innovation, the 10th Mountain exemplified a highly adaptive and successful formation in combat. The War Departments ability to leverage innovation to create an adaptive organization is relevant to the contemporary Army and how it looks at the challenges of multi-domain battle and the Army War Fighting Challenges.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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