Army Structure From 3-Brigade Division Term Paper

Pages: 20 (5902 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Military


With the Division-86 system change, the Army also published a Training and Doctrine Command guide in order to execute successful implementation. On October 1, 1982, the Command published tables of organization and equipment in order to implement this second attempt at achieving the heavy division concept. The tables, which outlined both armored division and mechanized infantry, set out five variations for deployment. The different cases involved the assignment of either five or six armored and four or five mechanized infantry battalions to an armored division; additionally, each mechanized infantry division was regimentally equipped with both five armor and five mechanized infantry battalions.

Institutional variations also covered the integration of varying equipment, including M60 tanks, M113 armored personnel carriers, the new M1 Abrams tanks, and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles; these manipulations of the basic concept would allow for heavy division ranges comprised of 19,000 to 20,500 officers and enlisted men.

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The published tables conformed largely to the originally proposed ideas with very few changes. In the actualized plan, cavalry vehicles replaced tanks in the reconnaissance squadron, which now consisted of two ground and air troops, leaving no motorcycles and making it part of the aviation brigade. This development in organization was key to the nascent brigade structure, in which the finance unit was transferred corps level. In a bow to modernization, the Army reorganized its intelligence battalion to field electronic warfare, surveillance, and service companies. The final changes included the return of the medical command, meanwhile, the target acquisition element was reduced to a battery and the chemical company was returned to divisional level.

In a trend that would affect the military as it changed from the Three Brigade structure implemented by Division 86 to the Iraqi-necessitated Units of Action, the Army encountered a series of problems fielding Division-86.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Army Structure; From 3-Brigade Division Assignment

The system was overloaded by the sudden permutations with which it had to operate, including over forty major weapons or new pieces of equipment that needed to be procured, and some were still in developmental stages. Doctrinal literature and training programs required revision, and budgetary limitations had to be considered. The solution approved by the Army Staff mirrored those of the past, adopting the heavy division concept but with interim organizations using obsolete equipment until new weapons and equipment were available. Delivery of many new items was expected to begin in 1983. Therefore, organizational and equipment modernization was to begin in January of that year. The number of maneuver elements for a heavy armored division was set at six armor and four mechanized infantry battalions, while that for a heavy mechanized infantry division was placed at five armor and five mechanized infantry battalions.

While the Army was struggling to implement the new system, it was faced with another trouble: personnel shortage.

The Training and Doctrine Command predicted that a strength of 836,000 was required to field Army-86, 56,000 more soldiers than the Army could feasibly provide for any foreseeable future.

Accordingly, the Army deactivated Germany's 4th Brigade and the 4th Infantry Division among others in 1984; the cut backs throughout the forces were immediately felt, and not long thereafter, the modernization plan went awry. Additional problems in deployment, funding, and procurement caused the Army to push the date for modernizing heavy divisions to the mid-1990s, by which time, the Gulf Crisis, Kosovo, and other interventions completely changed the face of the American military.

The Army continued to battle a series of problems in modernizing the divisional forces inside the Three Brigade system, and the problem of a "hollow Army" became readily apparent in military examination. General Edward C. Meyer was the first to successfully address this problem, tackling the insufficient personal and equipment in the forward-deployed army with unit cohesion.

Playing on the success of the Combat Arms Regimental System, the new Regimental System assigned each regiment with an overseas and continental assignment variation, as well as necessary armor, air defense artillery, cavalry, field artillery, infantry regiment, aviation regiments, and ultimately special forces. While the plan helped assuage many of the technical difficulties the army had been recently saddled with it, it achieved the far more important success of creating a new sense of community within the army, in which a soldier was capable of associating with a regiment for his whole professional career.

The previous disconnect between overseas and continental forces was restrung with Meyer at the helm, who supported the idea that unit cohesion was more important than had been previously valued. In order to realize his plan, he excelled at tying his regimental organization theories to the idea of modernizing the force. The troubles in implementing the plans did not cease, and by 1985, the regimental system had returned to the back burner, separate of the modernization force as a result of untimely production delays, unit rotation, and internal concern over its affects on the readiness of the force overall.

While slow to take hold, his ideas remained an ever-present part of the military, and as quickly as Philadelphia could produce new U.S. Army Support Activity flags, battalion designations changed.

The Division-86 reorganization called for a radical change in the division support command, particularly in its address of the forward area of the battlefield.

The new plan included a material management center, adjutant general, finance companies, a supply and transport battalion, a maintenance battalion, and three support battalions, allowing one to be administered to each brigade. Army planners struggled over the placement of the chemical company at corps, division, or division support command level, and ultimately tendered its responsibility to the supply and transport battalion.

Very quickly, the Army also had to learn to reshape its burgeoning new organization according to the enemy, and t o counter the Soviet Union's high density of artillery and improved weapons, Division-86 was forced increased its division artillery much like its predecessor. To do so, it fielded three battalions of 155-mm. self-propelled howitzers, organized into three batteries with each one having eight piece; additionally, each consisted of one battalion with sixteen 8-inch howitzers, nine mounted multiple launch rocket systems, and a target acquisition battalion.

The new an air cavalry attack brigade, the offspring of the 1st Cavalry Division and the 6th Cavalry Brigade at Fort Hood, provided its first anti-tank role in the division. The air cavalry brigade, which fielded 134 aircraft, consisted of two attack battalions, each with four companies, six helicopters each, a combat support aviation battalion, aircraft maintenance, and a reconnaissance squadron.

While the transformation proved difficult, the settling into the Three Brigade structure was a key moment in modern army history; it was representative of the acceptance of old, engendered officers with the compatibility of a brand new-system constantly in flux. The Three Brigade structure allowed for dislocated connectivity as well as heavy machinery, all geared toward fighting a specific enemy. While that enemy saw the end of the iron curtain, the lessons learned did not dwindle in importance, nor in the memory of the leadership. "Quietly," Thomas McNaugher discussed, "a new defense debate is taking place, prompted by widespread recognition that the stable budgets Republicans and Democrats have promised the Defense Department cannot keep current forces ready to fight while financing a major round of weapons buying to replace the services' aging arsenal."

In addition to a changing enemy, the significant gains in technological capabilities that turned the world into an up-to-the-minute hyper-technological marketplace also revamped the world of warfare. McNaugher attributes the growing problem to an additional debacle on the military horizon: the "defense train wreck." The basis of the fiscal metamorphosis to a Units of Action structure, the problem was based in two separate categories of defense spending. The first was high spending on current readiness, which was aimed to prepare the U.S. For two nearly-simultaneous "major regional contingencies" that the Bottom Up Review of 1993 outlined and coded for another decade of military procedure.

At the same time, this high-paced spending was being matched nearly dollar for dollar on amassing new weaponry, compatible with the burgeoning age of technologically augmented warfare. According to McNaugher, "Barring an unexpected [financial] increase, the defense budget cannot afford both readiness and weaponry. Something has to give."

William Perry, then the Secretary of Defense, idealized only mild cuts, while Senator John McCain, whose military history prompted his own close analysis of the system's finer details like fiscal planning, recognized a much deeper need. He lamented "the alarming practice of postponing essential modernization programs," offering the nation instead a plan to meet one single major contingency while aggressively pursuing modern and high-tech weaponry, which he presumed would not only increase firepower but, eventually, require minimal ground force commitment.

McNaugher appeals with scrutiny to both these spending plans, particularly the latter. By visualizing the spending habits of the Army as geared well into the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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