The Importance of Army Headquarters in the “Now World Order”

  • September 17, 2016
  • Lieutenant Colonel Kevin S. Capra

The Army is currently in the process of cutting the size of its headquarters as well as reducing the grade plate structure within them. Although seen as a method of preserving readiness of combat formations, it may be counterproductive given the current strategic environment. By cutting Army Service Component Commands (ASCCs), Corps and Division headquarters to preserve force structure and readiness at the tactical level, the Army is creating a capability gap and shrinking readiness at the theater-strategic and high operational level. Winning at the strategic level requires the focus and synchronization of the elements of national power and the integration of allies and other partners, which itself requires well-led, senior staffs. In short, the need for more and permanent Joint Task Force (JTF)-capable headquarters with senior personnel in key positions is growing, rather than shrinking. This paper will examine the challenges with reducing headquarters within three critical Army organizations: the Army Service Component Commands (ASCCs), Corps and Divisions based on their requirement to serve as a JTF headquarters and how these cuts have caused a gap between the Army Operating Concept (AOC) and force structure.