Force Structure

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Ensuring that a modern military has the appropriate personnel and capabilities is the key goal of military force planning. RAND research on such topics as military wages, support for military families, troop diversity, and reenlistment rates ensures that U.S. and allied militaries are well aware of issues related to career field management and personnel retention and recruitment.

  • Service members from participating nations salute during the opening ceremony of Khaan Quest 2014, a multinational exercise designed to promote regional peace and security. It is co-sponsored by U.S. Army Pacific and hosted annually by Mongolian Armed Forces, photo by Sgt. Edward Eagerton/U.S. Army

    Report

    Key U.S. Military, Diplomatic Strategies Are Necessary to Balance China's Growing Regional Strength

    Sep 2, 2014

    Developing a strategy for the United States to address China's growing military strength should not sacrifice future cooperation between the two nations. A U.S. policy could recognize China's expanding importance in the world and its legitimate interests, while also keeping U.S. commitments to allies and partners in the region.

  • army_teaches_seals

    Report

    Measuring and Retaining the U.S. Army's Deployment Experience

    Nov 18, 2014

    The Army has contributed the bulk of deployed U.S. troops since 9/11, and has accrued substantial deployment experience. How can the U.S. prevent experience from being lost as combat operations conclude, soldiers separate from service, and Regular Army endstrength is reduced?

Explore Military Force Planning

  • Report

    SMART Security Cooperation Objectives: Improving DoD Planning and Guidance

    Evaluates the U.S. Department of Defense's effectiveness in developing SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and results-oriented, and time-bound) security cooperation objectives that facilitate assessment, monitoring, and evaluation.

    May 5, 2016

  • U.S. Army paratroopers jump from a C-17 Globemaster III over the Juliet Drop Zone in Pordenone, Italy, June 12, 2013

    Commentary

    Reimagining and Modernizing U.S. Airborne Forces for the 21st Century

    Many of the challenges the U.S. will face in the coming years across the range of military operations could be deep inland and require rapid response. Airborne forcible entry — with reimagined and modernized airborne forces — would offer decisionmakers options in crises that they do not possess today.

    Apr 20, 2016

  • The guided missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke in the Mediterranean Sea

    Report

    Weighing the Benefits of Longer Operational Cycles for Certain Ships

    The Navy is transitioning from a 32-month to a 36-month cycle, but adopting a 72-month cycle could increase the time surface vessels are deployed, allow for multiple deployments between depot availabilities, reduce the number of basic training periods, and achieve some cost savings by removing the crews during the depot maintenance period.

    Apr 18, 2016

  • Taiwan-made MK-30 rockets are launched from Thunderbolt-2000 multiple rocket launchers during the annual Han Kuang military exercise in Penghu, west of Taiwan

    Commentary

    Taiwan Forced to Rethink Its Air Defense Strategy

    Taiwan's defense problem is challenging, but it will spend a considerable sum on air defense capabilities in the coming years, and those investments could be made much more effective.

    Apr 14, 2016

  • Cover of RAND report RR1051: Three "Flanker" Aircraft

    Report

    Air Defense Options for Taiwan

    Taiwan's proximity to China and advanced PLA capabilities force Taiwan to rethink its air defense strategy. Taiwan could downsize and shift its fighter aircraft force to focus on coercive scenarios, increase its investment in surface-to-air missiles, and dedicate its surface-based air defense to supporting other defensive operations.

    Apr 5, 2016

  • Staff Sgt. Roger L. Whaley speaks with a candidate at the U.S. Army Recruiting Station in Radcliff, Ky.

    Report

    Recruiting Strategies to Support the Army's All-Volunteer Force

    The all-volunteer U.S. Army has been in existence for more than 40 years but its success hinges on its ability to meet its recruiting requirements. A new model can help the Army analyze the cost of different recruiting strategies, resource mixes, and eligibility policies in a range of recruiting environments.

    Mar 31, 2016

  • Garuda Shield 2014 Blackhawk familiarization training

    Brochure

    RAND Arroyo Center Annual Report 2015

    This annual report describes RAND Arroyo Center's research activities in FY 2015, highlights areas of research focus, and summarizes recent publications.

    Mar 30, 2016

  • Advisor Training Cell prepares female engagement team for Marine Expeditionary Unit employment, at Camp Pendleton, California

    Commentary

    Women in Special Security Forces: What the U.S. Can Learn from the Afghans

    The contributions of the women in Afghanistan's special security forces demonstrate the unique value that women can bring to special operations forces in socially conservative societies. They are successful in tactical roles and in operations requiring interaction with the community.

    Mar 28, 2016

  • Two teens using laptops

    Commentary

    The Military Should Increase Efforts to Find and Enlist Young Hackers

    Some notorious cyberattacks have been carried out by computer-savvy teens. They don't all have criminal intentions, they just have a particular aptitude for writing code and operating in cyberspace. The U.S. military should consider embracing and cultivating this pool of talent.

    Mar 10, 2016

  • A fish-eye view of a rack of computers

    Report

    Using Big Data to Identify the Concerns of Potential Army Recruits

    How has interest in military careers evolved over time and by geographic location? And what are potential recruits' biggest concerns related to the Army? Anonymous data from Internet searches can provide insight.

    Mar 9, 2016

  • Soldiers participate in a clearance operation exercise in a mock town at the National Training Center, February 18, 2016

    Commentary

    The Tension Between What the Army Is and What It Does

    Cooperation and integration of the Army's three components is important, but what's most important is effectiveness in war and the key to that is trained, properly organized, and ready forces.

    Mar 3, 2016

  • Journal Article

    Building a Skilled Cyber Defence Workforce for the EU Military

    National recruitment and retention programs for cyber defence specialists for the military in addition to education, training and exercises will play a vital role for successful Cyber Defence.

    Feb 22, 2016

  • U.S. Army soldiers participate in a live-fire exercise in Konotop, Poland, January 18, 2016

    Commentary

    Planning for the 'Army of the Future'

    What must the Army be ready to do as part of a joint force, now and in the future? What capacities and capabilities should the Army have in order to be ready? The NCFA comes up short in its answers to both of these questions.

    Feb 17, 2016

  • News Release

    U.S. Military Service Members May Volunteer to Extend Tours if Incentives Offered

    Nearly 60 percent of U.S. military service members surveyed were unwilling to voluntarily extend their tours because they believed doing so may adversely impact quality of life, morale, and possibly job performance. Others reported interest in longer tours under some circumstances, including if financial incentives were offered.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • Marine Corps sergeant relays commands during a tactical exercise to recover aircraft and personnel at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, January 25, 2016

    Report

    U.S. Military Service Members May Volunteer to Extend Tours if Offered Incentives

    Nearly 60 percent of U.S. military service members surveyed were unwilling to voluntarily extend their tours, believing that doing so may adversely impact quality of life, morale, or job performance. Others reported interest in longer tours if financial incentives were offered.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • Report

    Reserve Component General and Flag Officers: A Review of Requirements and Authorized Strength

    Increased use of the reserve component has renewed interest in the question of the appropriate number of reserve component general and flag officers. RAND researchers conducted a review of requirements for reserve component general and flag officers.

    Feb 8, 2016

  • Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver are congratulated at Ranger school graduation at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, August 21, 2015

    Announcement

    RAND Studies Help Inform Pentagon Decision to Open Combat Roles to Women

    RAND researchers addressed topics such as whether members of U.S. special forces are ready to integrate women into their ranks and what lessons may be learned from other militaries that already have integrated women into combat positions.

    Feb 5, 2016

  • U.S. Army paratroopers prepare to board an Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft on Aviano Air Base, Italy, January 8, 2016

    Report

    U.S. Army Must Prepare for Future Adversaries

    More than a decade in Afghanistan and Iraq has honed the U.S. Army's ability to fight irregular adversaries, but these may not be the adversaries it will face in the future. The security landscape is changing in the face of a rising China, a resurgent Russia, and a Middle East in turmoil. How can the Army prepare?

    Jan 20, 2016

  • Report

    The U.S. Department of Defense's Earned Value Management–Analyst Workforce

    To support development and integration of earned value management (EVM) competencies across the defense acquisition workforce, RAND researchers surveyed the U.S. Department of Defense EVM-analyst workforce and described it across several dimensions.

    Jan 14, 2016

  • U.S. Army automatic rifleman with Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul in Shah Joy, Afghanistan, November 2011

    Commentary

    Ground Combat

    The U.S. Army needs to pay attention to state-sponsored irregular forces, whose numbers are growing. Such groups represent the type of adversary U.S. ground forces are likely to face.

    Dec 23, 2015