Posted on Jul 21, 2014
SFC Stephen Carden
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In this week's Army Times, there is an article about COL(Ret.) Doug Macgregor and his radical plan to cut the Army down to 420K personnel, do away with BCTs and Divisions, and replace those units with Battle Groups under the command of a BG. This is supposed to make the command structure more flat by eliminating headquarters, cut the overhead to put more trigger pullers on the ground, and give us a robust fighting force of about 50 Battle Groups with 50-60K troops ready to go at all times (on green phase). Do you think this will work? Congress is listening to this guy....
Edited 8 y ago
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Responses: 3
MAJ Robert (Bob) Petrarca
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Didn't the Army, just, within the past 10 years restructure to BCTs? Now they want to restructure again?
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MSG Psychological Operations Specialist
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I feel 420K is an insanely thin number for all the BCTs and all the units to restructure and resize to. It will whittle them down to bare bones units as a minimal manning structure. I don't believe it will work.
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SFC Stephen Carden
SFC Stephen Carden
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This is not a definite COA at this point in time. This is a proposal being offered by a retired officer and, while DA is giving him the stiff arm, it is being considered unofficially by some members of Congress. The article leads one to believe that, since Army leadership is not listening to him, this guy decided to go around the Army and straight to Congress.
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SGT Jonathan Williams
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I admit that I an not as well read as my peers here, however, I want to ask if this kind of organizational structure has been tested before. I will say that I would be uncomfortable with a restructuring of an entire organization without any evidence that the current method is irreparable. When I did the initial glance over, my first unrefined thought was "...solution seeking a problem".
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SGT Mitch McKinley
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Hmmm...with a million +, we still had people on 5th and 6th deployments...what would that look like at 420K?
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MAJ(P) G9
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I think that 420K Army reflects not only budget issues, but also the will of the American People to get involved in wars that warrant multiple deployments. Short of a major provocation aimed at the U.S. Homeland by a state actor, I doubt (though I might be horribly wrong) we will see major combat operations post Afghanistan for a decade or more.

President Obama's last policy speech on the subject at West Point seemed to lean towards building and supporting global networks to maintain relative stability. I think the Regionally aligned force concept is an attempt at supporting this, and obviously SOF will continue to lead the way in this regard.
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SGT Mitch McKinley
SGT Mitch McKinley
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But here is the problem with reduction in forces because we "don't expect major combat operations" for a decade or more.

Clinton reduced the defense and intelligence communities (and their corresponding budgets) drastically before leaving office. That left the Bush administration scrambling to find funding to rebuild both after 9/11.

That surplus that Clinton is praised for leaving was because of those cutbacks.
The ridicule and animosity towards Bush for how much these wars cost and the toll it took on our economy was due to the previous admins reduction in forces...and now we want to do the same thing all over again?

If we have a major drawdown again, something major will happen, and we will spend TRILLIONS again and eventually create a spending tailspin to great to recover from and bankrupt our nation. And our enemies are well aware of that.
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MAJ(P) G9
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I'm not going to argue the point that we could find ourselves in major combat operations within a decade, but I don't think that is the goal of our current leadership. It is very possible that even another major terrorist attack wouldn't result in war on the scale of Iraq or Afghanistan. Our responses were the options that we chose to use at that time. I really doubt this administration would repeat an Iraq scenario and would likely even respond to the circumstances that got us into Afghanistan in a much different way. I'm not going to critique whether that is the right way or the wrong way, but I think it would be much different. Now, in 2016, the next administration could change all that. At the same time, we could also see enhanced growth in the DOD budget again. We are slaves to the decisions of our civilian leaders.
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SGT Mitch McKinley
SGT Mitch McKinley
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I could not agree with you more CPT Burns. And not to get into politics...but I have always felt that the CiC should have some sort of military background.
That being said, I also agree that the current admin would definitely handle things differently, much in the same way that the admin in office from 92-2000 did.
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