Creating "Purpose-Driven" Forces
Apr 10, 2013
U.S. Army Special Operations Command sought options for enhancing the contributions of the Special Forces Groups of the U.S. Army National Guard (ARNG). The research was motivated by the sponsor's belief that ARNG might occupy high-value capability niches that could be put to use in future deployments. This study analyzed ARNG Special Forces capabilities as well as the legal and policy guidance that governs ARNG's functioning.
Enhancing the Contributions of Reserve Component Army Special Operations Forces
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Hoping to draw on the experience gained from nearly a decade of war, U.S. Army Special Operations Command wished to identify options for enhancing the contributions of the Special Forces Groups residing within the U.S. Army National Guard (ARNG). The research was motivated by the sponsor's belief that ARNG might occupy high-value capability niches that could be put to use in future deployments. This report presents an analysis of ARNG Special Forces capabilities. The study also examined the prevailing legal and policy guidance that affects how the ARNG raises, trains, equips, sustains, mobilizes and deploys its Special Forces, with the expectation that the guidance might constrain how these processes could be conducted to fill the niches. The report concludes that the expected capability niches do not exist in a form that could benefit the overall Special Forces community or serve as the basis for training, organizing, or deploying ARNG Special Forces. The report also concludes that the regulatory environment presents far fewer constraints than commonly thought and that many of the points of contention between ARNG Special Forces and U.S. Army Special Operations Command can be effectively managed through regular coordination, cooperation, and periodic conferences.
ARNG Special Forces and USASOC
Strong Suits and Niches: Identifying and Playing to the Strengths of ARNG Special Forces
USASOC's Menu of Options
Brief History of Reserve Component Special Forces
Annotated Bibliography of Collected Sources
Tabular Survey Results
The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Army and conducted by the RAND Arroyo Center.
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