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Past versus the Present: Lessons from the Past that the US Army Can Use in the Present to Prepare Divisions for Large-Scale Combat Operations.

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Technical Report,26 Jun 2017,24 May 2018

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School of Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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The US Army is currently in a period of transition as it seeks to complete a paradigm shift from the last seventeen years of the Global War on Terrorism back to refocusing on large-scale combat operations with the release of the 2017 Field Manual FM 3-0, Operations. To complete this paradigm shift the Army needs to look at the past to how it educated its officer corps, trained it divisions, implemented doctrinal changes, and prepared its division commanders for senior leadership. This monograph recommends that the US Army should refocus it education system to prepare it officers to serve as staff officers at the division level in order to gain the expertise to win at large-scale combat operations. To successfully prepare divisions for the rigor of large-scale combat operations realistic live exercises should be conducted at the division level like the Army maneuvers prior to World War Two and the exercises in the 1980s. Third, doctrinally the Army may be required to publish prescriptive doctrine like the 1976 how to fight manuals to guide education and training to complete the paradigm shift. Last, to better prepare senior leaders in the Army for division command, renewed focus on putting officers with potential for senior leadership with in the Army should be selected to serve as division Chiefs of Staff, Operations Officers, and Planners.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations

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