Assessing the Army's Ability to Regenerate Its Active Component End Strength
May 3, 2017
This analysis modeled the Army's ability to increase ("regenerate") its active component (AC) end strength over a five-year period in two scenarios — starting from a Total Army of 980,000 (450,000 AC) and starting from a Total Army of 920,000 (420,000 AC) — so that the Army could provide the number of deployable troops available at the end of the last conflict in 2010.
History and Future Options
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The 2014 Army Posture Statement considered two future Army end strengths: one that includes an active component (AC) of 450,000, as part of a Total Army of 980,000 (980K), and one that includes an AC of 420,000, as part of a Total Army of 920,000 (920K). These force sizes call into question the Army's ability to "regenerate" itself to higher strength levels in a timely way should the nation require it to do so. This analysis modeled the Army's ability to increase its AC end strength over a five-year period — starting from a Total Army of 980K and starting from a Total Army of 920K — so that the Army could provide the number of deployable troops available at the end of the last conflict in 2010 (what we term a "550K" AC). The analysis indicated that the policies the Army and the Department of Defense currently have at their disposal are likely adequate to expand the force to provide the capacity associated with a 550K AC, starting with either the 980K or 920K Total Army. The analyses did not uncover any constraints that would make such regeneration infeasible but did suggest a number of risks, particularly when expanding from a Total Army of 920K. Potentially the most critical risk revolves around the fact that the Army as a whole will still need to meet operational demands even as the AC is expanding. Thus, the Army would have to draw on its reserve components (RC) to an unprecedented extent to sustain high levels of operational commitment until it accomplishes regeneration.
Efforts to Expand the Army
Conceptual Framework and Policy Options for Regeneration
Conclusions and Implications for Preparation
Additional Modeling Results
Sensitivity of Results with Regeneration Wedges
This research was sponsored by the Deputy Chief of Staff G3/5/7, U.S. Army, and was conducted by the Personnel, Training, and Health Program within the RAND Arroyo Center.
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