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This report reviews the implementation of the Army's Total Force Policy (ATFP). It presents an analysis of the extent to which the Army has implemented the actions directed by the ATFP, how these efforts benefitted the different components and enhanced the total force, whether implementation actions to date caused negative unintended consequences, and how the Army might improve the ATFP to achieve a more cost effective, integrated and capable total force. We find that, in general, the Army has made progress in implementing the policy and improving the integration of the Regular Army, Army National Guard, and U.S. Army Reserve. However, budget constraints have limited implementation of some objectives, such as multicomponent training, reserve component equipment modernization, and use of 12304b mobilization authority. Since the Army's budget is likely to remain constrained in the future, we recommend that it continue to pursue and develop innovative solutions, such as multicomponent vehicle loans, positioning modernized equipment at regional training and mobilization sites, and integrating individual training and professional military education under the One Army School System. We also recommend that the Army set measurable goals for total force integration and establish metrics to monitor progress, and evaluate pilot programs such as associated units and combining recruiting and marketing functions to determine whether they are meeting their intent.

Key Findings

  • The Army has made progress in implementing ATFP objectives across the Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership, Personnel, and Facilities domains.
  • Budget constraints have limited implementation of some objectives, such as multicomponent training, reserve component equipment modernization, and use of Section 12304b mobilization authority.
  • Several initiatives focus on brigade combat teams and neglect the enabler units needed to conduct contingency operations.
  • Stakeholders stated that a change in culture was particularly needed to promote better active and reserve component integration and noted that ATFP implementation emphasizes policy changes, not executing and enforcing those changes.

Recommendations

  • The Army should continue to develop and implement innovative solutions, such as the Nationwide Move program, multicomponent vehicle loans, positioning modernized equipment at regional training and mobilization sites, and consolidating and integrating individual training and professional military education under the One Army School System.
  • To continue moving forward, the Army should set goals for force integration and establish metrics to monitor progress toward achieving those goals, such as the number of units and soldiers participating in multicomponent training events; the use of Section 12304b mobilization authority; the equipping of early-deploying enabler units; and the fielding schedule and functionality of the Integrated Personnel and Pay System–Army.
  • The Army will also need to evaluate several pilot programs to determine whether they are meeting the intent of the ATFP and whether combining functions across components results in equitable outcomes for the reserve components.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    DoD and Army Total Force Policy

  • Chapter Three

    ATFP Implementation Within DOTMLPF Functions

  • Chapter Four

    Conclusions and Recommendations

  • Appendix A

    Interview Protocol

  • Appendix B

    Department of Defense Directive 1200.17, Managing the RCs as an Operational Force

  • Appendix C

    Army Total Force Policy

  • Appendix D

    Additional Data on Equipping Rates for Selected Unit Types

  • Appendix E

    Additional Data on Cross-Component Attendance at ALC and SLC

Research conducted by

This research was sponsored by the Office of the Chief, Army Reserve, and conducted by the Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program within the RAND Arroyo Center.

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