Operational Art: The Framework for Successful Transitions in the US Army and Its Importance in Officer Education
US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States
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The US Army is currently experiencing a change in the operational environment. After decades of counterinsurgency focused fighting, near peer threats now require a transition to conducting large-scale combat operations. Transitioning from small scale to large scale operations is not without precedent in the US Army. The purpose of this study is to determine what factors allowed the US Army to transition in the early 20th-century. This paper asks the question, what evidence exists that the application of current operational art as defined by Joint Publication JP 3-0, facilitated the successful transition of the US Army from small-scale to large-scale wars in the period of 1909 to 1919 To answer the research question, the author conducts qualitative research, based on primary and secondary sources, determining the presence of operational art-like efforts in the Moro War, Punitive Expedition and WWI, and their effects on transitioning an army to a large-scale fight. The findings determine evidence exists that the application of operational art facilitated the successful transition of the US Army from small-scale to large-scale wars in the early twentieth century. Of more importance is the determination that the underlying facilitator that allowed the successful transition of the US Army was the professional military education of General John Pershing. The findings of this paper matter to the reader because the changing operational environment may require a rapid transition of focus. The paper describes to the reader that through education and application of operational art, transition and victory is possible.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Humanities and History
- Administration and Management