Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A New Military Paradigm

I have read articles on different ways of transforming the military. I am familiar with the way Canada transformed their military into "Canadian Forces". By far the most important influence on my plan is from David Hackworth. NOTE: I DO NOT ADVOCATE shrinking the armed forces, or "breaking units up" - The following Plan is a Zero Sum Game i.e. everyone that had a job BEFORE the reorg, has the same job AFTER - just they report to different areas. Here are some of the basics of my plan:

  • One single military organization - The Army, Navy, Air force, Marines, Coastguard, Military Police (MP and SP), Corps of Engineers, and "Civies" would belong to one organization. All requisitions, training, hiring, etc. would be from this one organization (Call it "American Forces" for lack of a better name). This would effectively eliminate duplication from the existing organizations. The different branches of the American Forces would still exist - as "subsidiaries" of American Forces.
  • Standardization of Ranks - Each military branch would have the exact same number of levels of hierarchy, for both "enlisted" and "officer". The names of the ranks would still be determined by the branches ("private" and "seaman" and "general" and "admiral").
  • Standardation of Roles - There would be one training class for "police" that would be used to train both MPs and SPs - for example. All Navy and Coastguard personnel would be trained in "seamanship", while all Marines and Army would be trained in "armed combat". Same classes for both.
  • Personnel Mobility - Any military person could apply and transfer to any other branch, since roles are standardized i.e. a chief petty officer in the Navy finds out that he is prone to seasickness, but doesn't want a desk job. He can apply to become a sargent in the army (same level in hierarchy). He would still need to pass the training needed (such as combat training). Maybe a soldier wants out of the Marines and can fly a plane - he can decide to transfer to the Air force, as long as he passes the training.
  • New Roles Defined -
    1. Marines - The marines will be the rapid deployment force. They are responsible for all (ground) operations that require first strike. This will eliminate Army Rangers, Navy Seals, "Delta Force", etc. they will all become marine units.
    2. Air force - The Air force will be in charge of all things in the air! Duh! This includes all airplanes, helicopters, balloons, etc. This will replace Marine air units and Navy air units.
    3. Army - The army is responsible for all continuing ground combat operations. This includes paratroopers, since they do conduct combat on the ground! This will replace Marine divisions.
    4. Navy - The Navy is responsible for all sea combat operations outside of territorial waters. Marine assault carriers will be integrated into the Navy.
    5. Coastguard - The Coastguard is responsible for ALL rescue operations and police duties on the sea, in and around territorial waters.
    6. Military Police - Responsible for all police duties in all areas that are under military control.
    7. Corps of Engineers - Not just "Army", the Corps of Engineers is responsible for all logistical and skilled trades work for all military branches.
    8. Civilian Bureaucracy - This organization is responsible for all HR, requisitions, deliveries, etc.
  • Chain of command - The highest ranking person is the one in charge! Yes generals on ships and admirals in tanks being in charge seems strange, but I will explain how all of this works.

How would all of this work?

  • On an aircraft carrier - The Air force guys fly the planes. The Marines wait to be deployed. The Navy guys run the ship. The SPs are in charge of security. The "Civies" keep the organization humming. The Corps of Engineers do all logistical work such as loading and fueling the planes, fixing the boilers, moving equipment, etc. The (Navy) captain of the ship is the highest ranking person and is in charge.
  • On an airbase - The Air force guys fly the planes. The Army defends the perimeter. The MPs are in charge of security. The "Civies" keep the organization humming. The Corps of Engineers load and fuel the planes, plow the runways, de-ice the planes, etc. The highest ranking person is in charge (usually an Air force officer, but could be an Army officer).
  • On a navy (port) base - The Navy sails the ships. The Army defends the perimeter. The SPs are in charge of security. The "Civies" keep the organization humming. The Corps of Engineers do most of the work . . . The highest ranking person is in charge (usually a Navy officer, but could be an Army officer).

I think you get the idea!

It is true that the military branches will give things up to make this happen. Everyone wants their elite troops, and putting them under the Marines command could be a bitter pill. But as with all change, they are also opportunities! The Army could specialize in recon and germ/chemical detection. The Navy gets control of the Marine assault carriers. The Air force gains control of carrier planes, Marine and Army helicopters and jump jets. The Corps of Engineers gains by becoming the skilled trades area for all military branches. The "Civies" gain control of the bureaucracy - while all military branches are "unburdened" of this. Everyone gets to keep their own uniform style and "traditions".

The greatest benefit of all is that all the military branches will all hang together (or they will surely hang seperately!). Eveyone working together is a great benefit to the american people, and specializing in roles is a great benefit to the military branches. This also give flexibility in terms of staffing the "Civies" - they can be government employees, contract personnel or purchased service or any combination.

No comments: