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For Consideration --Improvements to the Research and Development Cycle

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Student thesis

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Although there is a wealth of written material on research and development, the proposals for change contained therein are often too numerous and sweeping. This paper enumerates ways in which the Armys research and development cycle may be improved with the minimal expenditure of resources. No change in Army organization was made subsequent to World War II until 1954-1955 when the positions of Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics and Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Research were established. Several other minor changes proceeded the implementation, on 10 January 1962, the Project 80 Report which abolished the technical services and established the Army Materiel Command. The objective of Army research and development is to develop the best equipment for the Army in the shortest period of time. Both speed and quality are prime characteristics of Army research and development. The research portion of the cycle begins with the preparation of long range plans and a determination of the equipment needed to complement these plans. It ends when direction is received to translate the equipment requirements into hardware. An analysis of the research portion reveals a need for uniform procedures for staffing materiel requirements, for extreme reluctance to change requirements, for a firm basis of issue for new items. Materiel requirements must be adequate, complete, and realistic. The development portion of the cycle begins with the formulation of the engineering concept and terminates with type classification. This portion of the cycle can be improved with further emphasis on commodity management, simultaneous and continuous testing, and assignment of better qualified personnel to test boards. The research and development cycle can be improved by implementation of the measures recommended in this paper.

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  • Administration and Management
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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