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Research Synopsis

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Research Questions

  1. What are the current processes that the U.S. Army uses to implement non-materiel solutions across the DOTLPF-P domains that have the potential to mitigate capability gaps?
  2. How frequently are non-materiel solutions proposed? How frequently do these solutions come to fruition?
  3. What are the factors that increase the chance of a given solution being successful or fulfilling its original objectives?
  4. How can implementation of non-materiel solutions be improved within the individual DOTLPF-P domain processes?

The U.S. Army is undertaking a significant reform to change the way it will fight in future wars. At the heart of this reform is a significant modernization enterprise. The reform consists of numerous changes to the combat-development enterprise⁠—notably, the establishment of Army Futures Command and subordinate cross-functional teams. In light of these institutional changes, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) wants to identify issues and necessary process changes to improve how the Army implements non-materiel doctrine, organization, training, leadership and education, personnel, facilities, and policy (DOTLPF-P) solutions.

Across the DOTLPF-P domains, the Army has, and follows, formal processes to make changes in each, and the Army appears to use all these processes frequently. Although the Army is making significant changes to these processes, many aspects of its current approach appear to be successful. However, when assessing the facilities domain, the authors identified unique challenges specific to modifying or constructing new facilities and developed subsequent recommendations in an effort to mitigate these challenges. In light of this assessment and the significant changes being made to the Army's acquisition process, the authors recommend that the Army maintain its current processes for the DOTLP-P domains while pursuing some specific recommendations for facilities, thereby driving further success of the modernization effort.

Key Findings

The doctrine and policy domain has a dynamic process with frequent changes

  • In the past eight years, 50 percent of doctrine has been revised.
  • The process appears to be formal, followed, and effective.

In the organization domain, proponents can develop and propose changes

  • For example, Stryker Brigade Combat Teams in 2010 had 106 subunits; after numerous changes in six years, there were 137 subunits total in 2016.
  • Large-scale changes are driven by senior leadership.
  • Small-scale changes happen frequently.

In terms of the training domain, training occurs across all parts of the Army

  • Centers of Excellence did not highlight any desired training that was not resourced.

In the leadership and education domain, many avenues are available to amend and address leadership priorities

  • Two such avenues are the creation of the Institute for Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development and the merger of the Center for Army Leadership and the Center for the Army Profession and Ethic.
  • The domain is responsive to changes in Army needs and requirements.

In the personnel domain, changes are feasible within a proponent

  • Cross-proponent changes are difficult.
  • In fiscal years 2014 through 2018, there were 453 personnel coding actions.
  • Cross-proponent changes likely require headquarters-level intervention.

The facilities domain's current focus is on improving existing facilities, but there are many ways in which materiel and other DOTLPF-P changes can create new facilities requirements

  • Changes may outpace facility investment.
  • Large-scale changes could exacerbate these challenges.

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Army and conducted by the Forces and Logistics Program within RAND Arroyo Center.

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