Building the future force

Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, Headquarters, Department of the Army

The overmatch that the U.S. Army enjoyed for the last 70 years has eroded and the Army’s current ways of thinking, executing and organizing limit the ability to keep pace with change.

The Army cannot achieve or maintain operational advantage unless it outpaces potential adversaries’ development by building the future force.

Understanding and addressing these issues requires examining today’s operating environment through the lens of the Army’s four strategic modernization aspirations: strategic, innovative, agile and credible.

As investments in readiness continue to return greater dividends, the Army will expand investment in modernization for greater future lethality and build the future force through the entire doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, facilities spectrum.

The Army will adapt its modernization efforts through four deliberate aspirations:

  • Strategic — Manage modernization initiatives to account for uncertainty of both threats and opportunities through:

1. Shared vision — Define and implement a unified strategic vision that every stakeholder understands and follows.

2. Prioritization — Rank the Army’s full set of innovation initiatives to align with near-, mid-, and long-term strategic advantage.

  • Innovative — Deliver novel and incremental capabilities through:

1. Top talent — Recruit, train and deploy the right people to align skills and capabilities.

2. Partnerships — Harness the full value of external force-multipliers.

3. Innovation delivery — Instill a culture of experimentation and define processes to manage the full spectrum of innovation.

  • Agile — Develop clear mechanisms while staying nimble:

1. Speed of execution — Empower leaders to make metrics-based decisions.

2. Scale — Address full scope of Army modernization.

3. Surge capacity — Re-allocate resources to support changing priorities.

4. Linkages — Enable sharing and coordination.

5. Continuous improvement — Self-assess and adjust rapidly and constantly.

  • Credible — Build strong relationships through efficiency and transparency:

1. Engagement — Provide transparency to congressional leaders and collaborate with industry and academic partners.

2. Lean — Pare down processes to minimize duplication of efforts and make efficient use of resources.

Army forces must possess the capabilities — and be prepared to fight across multiple domains and through contested areas — to deter potential adversaries. Should deterrence fail, rapidly defeat them.

Today’s operational environment is complex, uncertain and dynamic, and requires innovative solutions. Political developments and diverse threats to the national security complicate the world in which the Army operates.

Predicting battles is difficult as conflicts spread quickly across borders and involve increasing numbers of actors.

Technological advances in the speed of innovation and magnitude of change are transforming every aspect of society. Warfare is no different.

The Army is prepared to meet these challenges by proactively building and shaping the future force.

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