Empowering Globally Integrated Operations and Mission Command: Revisiting Key West
Author(s)Rapp, Timothy J
KeywordsAdministration and Management
Humanities and History
Military Forces and Organizations
*JOINT MILITARY ACTIVITIES
*MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES)
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
*GLOBALLY INTEGRATED OPERATIONS
ROLES AND MISSIONS
COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT
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AbstractCommon aspects of personnel policy, combat service support (CSS), and aviation must be unified across the military Services. Unification of these functions will improve military efficiency and effectiveness and enable the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's concepts of globally integrated operations and mission command. Globally integrated operations require military forces that are much more homogeneous and able to combine at much lower echelons than is possible today. The organization of the Armed Forces has not undergone significant, fundamental change since its formal implementation in 1947, even though the specific organizational model chosen was highly contentious in its time and the external environment and character of warfare have seen dramatic changes in the 70 years since 1947. The growth of staffs over the years, the reduction of tooth-to-tail ratios, the failure of joint basing to incur cost savings, and the existence of wasteful competitive redundancy of four Services conducting the same personnel, CSS, and baseline aviation functions with duplicative policies, systems, and staffs all point to opportunities for vast improvements in efficiency. An analysis of history shows that three driving factors emerged between 1900 and 1947 that influenced, and continue to influence, unification among the Services: the acquisition of overseas interests, the massive growth in the size of the peacetime military force, and the advance of military operations into the air and other connective domains. History also shows that calls for military reform to reduce redundancy and improve effectiveness have occurred frequently. In spite of repeated studies, commissions, and other Congressionally-directed reform activities, relatively significant change has only occurred three times since 1947, and those changes did not affect the basic arrangement of functions within the military. Five specific proposals for unification are provided.
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