Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1984
I am convinced that the intelligence analysts in the Soviet Union &ad the senior leadership in the Kremlin who look at the U.S. Army and evaluate it see a force much more capable and more formidable than the one they saw a year ago, or three or five years ago. Today, we have better people, more and better equipment, improved training programs and facilities, and better support systems. We are headed in the light direction and I am more optimistic today about our position of excellence than . . . a year ago.
These comments by Secretary of the Army Marsh, in the 1984 Army Green Book, summarized the Army's progress during FY 84 in meeting the challenge postulated by General Mahaffey. The Army accomplished much during the fiscal year as it demonstrated its resolve to meet expanding requirements with constrained resources. Personnel, equipment, and training were areas of marked success.
The quality of Active Army personnel reached the highest level since the creation of the All Volunteer Army with almost two-thirds of all recruits from the upper half in AFQT scores and nearly 90 percent high school graduates. Moreover, besides enlisting high quality soldiers, the Army was retaining highly skilled personnel. Except for shortages in a few high technology fields, Army personnel policies eliminated a long-standing shortage of NCOs during the fiscal year.
The Army's extensive modernization program continued during the fiscal year as new weapon systems such as the M1 and M60A3 (TTS) tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, MLRS, PM-64 Apache, and UH-60A Black Hawk reached the field in larger numbers. The Army based equipment fielding policy on mission priority, thereby furnishing new and modernized equipment to Active and Reserve Components on a "first to go, first to equip" strategy.
The Army provided more challenging training through combined arms exercises using the MILES and through work at the NTC, which further enhanced its readiness. Furthermore, Army trainers modernized firing ranges, added funding for training devices, assigned more basic training days, and increased the number of flying hours for Army pilots. The Reserve Component deployment training increased during the period as members participated in REFORGER, BRIGHT STAR, and AHUAS TARA II, among others. Reserve units also passed through NTC training with their Active parent organizations.
The Army substantially improved sustainment capabilities by increasing POMCUS fill and war reserve stocks. These actions reduced the Army's lift requirements and thus deployment times to NATO. In addition, an increase in depot maintenance funding shortened the turnaround times for repairing major pieces of equipment.
The Army continued to streamline and modernize heavy forces while at the same time recognizing the requirements for other essential missions. Therefore, it developed the 9th Infantry Division (Motorized), converted a conventional infantry division to a new light infantry division configuration, and activated a new light division. Furthermore, it augmented special operations forces to meet an increased threat of terrorism and low intensity conflict.
With all of its successes, the Army still faced serious shortcomings. Despite Air Force and Navy efforts, the air and sealift capacity remained far short of the Army's requirements. While POMCUS, forward deployed forces, and new light divisions eased this problem, it will not be solved in the near future. The POMCUS was two division sets short of the authorized level and the war reserve stockpiles remained below requirements. Furthermore, the Army's chemical retaliatory capability was depressingly deficient as was its NBC protective sufficiency. Finally, the Army faced serious problems in rapidly mobilizing Reserve personnel for war. These problems included an inadequate command and control structure, insufficient manpower with needed skills, and low readiness levels of Reserve combat service support units.
The Army, however, did demonstrate improved capability in the Grenada rescue operation when light, highly mobile, flexible units composed of well-trained and dedicated soldiers using high quality equipment, deployed and successfully completed their mission. Since only 3 percent of these soldiers possessed previous combat experience, this operation underscored the value of the Army's realistic training policy.
As Secretary Marsh wrote:
With the superb soldiers we have today -well trained, equipped, supported and led by leaders who demonstrate personal and professional excellence- the American people can be confident that the Army is ready to protect the freedoms of our great nation.
Last updated 8 March 2004