The US Army will undergo massive transformation in terms of modular structure of the war battalion units and the brigade; the Army transformation involves radical augmentation from its Cold War Division (15,000 soldiers) to the Brigade Combat Teams (< 4,000) soldiers and modular multifunctional Support Brigades and sectioning of the fixed headquarters to head Corps/Division and supporting Theater.
Such changes will ensure continuity and adherence to the tenets of versatility, flexibility and scalability across the Army as adaptive tactics to the changes in military strategic environment correlated to the current Global War on terrorism, insurgencies in Iraq and adjustment on human resource department (Gallasie, 2008). The introduction of a new tactical transformation in the HR division—a sophisticated and advance Brigade and Battalion section—provides an efficient operations and manning system under Army HRC.
In a holistic view, the former organizations—PERSCOM, Personnel Services Battalion and Personnel Detachments—will be restructured to new units—the Human Resource Support Center (HRSC), the Reception, Replacement, Return to Duty, Rest and Recuperation and Redeployment (R5) Team, Platoon and Company Plans and Operations Team, the Casualty Platoon, the Postal Platoon and the Company Plans and Operations Team, the Human Resource (HR) Company Headquarters, the Theater Opening R5 Team, the Military Mail Terminal (MMT) Team, and the discrete BCT/BDE and BN S1 sections (Gallasie 2008).
Joint forces between Active Units S1 Section and Army HRC, mandated by Personnel Services Delivery Redesign (PSDR), will organize the existing manning system and personnel management which will include the following plan of action: (1) document the entire S1 section into a single discrete paragraph within all Brigade, HHC MTOE, and recoding Battalion S1 positions as 42-B; (2) new organization previously mentioned above will perform Theater level HR support to the modular Forces; and (3) implementation in the four phases will commenced at the end of FY08 (Gallasie, 2008).
The HRSC supports the theater with HR support as directed by the theater and provides oversight of all casualties reporting within the theater of operations and provides technical support to the Postal, R5 and Casualty units as well as providing personnel guidance to G1s and S1s as needed. When requested by the theater commander based on METTTC requirements, the HRSC may deploy to the theater of operations depending upon the population supported. The HRSC support postal, R5, and personnel information flow but does play a direct role in the execution of functions unless otherwise directed by the theater G1.
The Casualty Operation Division performs the theater casualty reporting mission, collecting all the casualty reports for the theater and sending to HRC. The HRSC receives technical guidance from HRC and operating guidance from the theater G1. The HRSC is designed with two deployable teams in each division so that the teams representing each function are available to augment other theater-level staff (Gallasie, 2008). The sophistication of the Modular Joint Expeditionary Army provides organization, manning system, equipment, and training to the former battalion organization of the US Army.
It is noted that Human Resources Redesign did not actually allocate it’s system of command and troops but rather it arranged it in a manner that it encourages specificity in terms of duties and military work within each newly formed military units. Additionally, military hierarchy was more pronounced which lends continuity to the entire military force. According to Gallasie (2008) such ‘transformation’ will make the US Army ‘more strategically responsive, deployable, agile, versatile, lethal, survivable, and sustainable across the full spectrum of military operations’.
He also added that the modularity will provide capabilities to the BCD/BDE Commanders to execute essential personnel services and strength management with organic assets while redesigning and improving theater-level support for postal, R5 and casualty support to the Modular Forces. The structure of the latter create an efficient network connectivity for the tailoring of minimal force structure which will have its advantages in terms of geographic dispersion of combat power along different points of terrorist zones.
The concept of the Modular Forces is clear—it aims to establish visibility and connectivity between its commands and the component troops. Pilot testing at Fort Campbell revealed some of the several ‘shortfalls’ to the changes—additional workload for the civilians, joint and multinational forces, emergency leave, R&R return to duty, reception and other associated problems on replacement, accounting and integration (in AG Corps FDU 05-2 Human Resource Transformation Concept Paper).
As Gallasie points out in the article The AG Force Development Update, the personnel transformation is not for changed alone but is a regiment adaptation to the concurrent needs of reducing terrorist acts. While it is true that such sophistication may provide for a more efficient and visible manning system especially during deployment in different geographical locations in terrorism hotspots, a bigger question that we had to acknowledge is how the US Army will deliver the radical changes to the military troops and the time and cost efficiency involve in the HR changes.
Will the AG Force Development sustain its objective or will the change give a ruckus to the army administration which will aggravate the problem? Note that terrorism is an ongoing problem and such resolution in the midst of crisis can create potential confusion to the overall administration and likewise its components. This is not to say that the new concept on Personnel transformation is a bad idea. Moreover, the timing for the execution of the concept and its’ immediacy may not be fitting for the current global crisis.
Before execution there should be a review on the personnel impact and how the military administration address the problems and the pitfalls associated with such changes. Additionally, there should also be a review on the military technologies and the weaponry involved if such transformation where to take place. Also, ‘support’ extended should be analyzed not only on the basis of HRSC support but other issues as well such as pay and just compensation for services rendered and compensatory damages in case of accidents.
Other important points to consider is how the regiment addresses the health and psychological problems associated during deployment to terrorist hotspots. The AG Corps Force Development is far from perfect but given the right adjustment and resolving the loopholes it may provide for a good change in the US Army. Reference Gallasie, D. The AG Corps Force Development Update. The Journal of the Adjutant General Corps Regimental Association, Winter 2005-2006, 23-24.