A History of the Army's Future: 1990-2018 v 2.0

  • February 22, 2019
  • Dr Conrad C Crane, Dr Michael E Lynch, Shane P. Reilly

The establishment of Army Futures Command (AFC) in August 2018 was the most significant change to the Institutional Army in a generation, and it signaled the value the Army placed on studying the future. While the establishment of a new four star headquarters might be seen as a bold move, it was in reality the culmination of 30 years of future development in the Army. Those three decades saw the development of numerous structures designed to examine the potential for future concepts and technology, with uneven success. The processes were good, but technological overreach, and over 20 years of war in the Middle East, doomed most efforts to put useful concepts into practice. Army visionaries such as Generals William E. DePuy and Donn A. Starry had planned for the future as early as the 1970s with an eye on the past, and initiated the programs and doctrine necessary to transform and modernize the Army following Vietnam.