Accession Number:



Personnel Mobilization for Sustained Large-Scale Combat Operations: The Future is in the Past

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Monograph]

Corporate Author:

U.S. Army School for Advanced Military Studies

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



As the US Army transforms its organization and doctrine for great power competition in the twenty-first-century, it aims to support Multi-Domain Operations MDO as part of the joint forces execution of the National Defense Strategy and National Military Strategy. In doing so, army leaders express confidence in the forces ability to achieve strategic objectives in weeks not months. The MDO concepts focus on achieving quick success ignores history, and minimizes the relevance of having a robust and functional mobilization support structure. However, the aforementioned strategy documents agree that adversaries in great power competition possess peer or near-peer capability with the United States in all domains. This monograph analyzes the US Armys response to aggression by the Communist Korean Peoples Army KPA, and the subsequent requirement to rapidly expand US Regular Army endstrength from 591,487 in June 1950 to 1,552,000 in June 1951. Personnel mobilization and force expansion for enduring large-scale combat operations in Korea were principally army problems to solve that remains true today. In 1946, fresh from victory in World War II, United States leaders placed great confidence in the US militarys ability to respond to potential threats. They did so without fully understanding that the post-war force in no way resembled the massive organization fielded to defeat the Axis powers. Worse, immediate post-war mobilization planning followed an outdated paradigm, assuming a lengthy interval between the onset of hostilities and the first battlefield encounters. Thus, the mobilization plan proceeded deliberately, requiring three months just to prepare cadre and infrastructure, seven months to generate the first fully-trained individuals, and even longer to prepare units for combat.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]