As the times change, so does the armed forces. The tactics and thinking from World War II, the lessons learned from Vietnam, and the strategies of the Cold War have all pushed innovation in Army practices, operations, and disposition.
A “Smaller” Army
The days of multi-million man armies, divisions stationed on hundreds of miles of frontier, and massive wars of maneuver are long gone and might never return. The size of a standard unit is getting smaller to allow more flexibility to meet today’s challenges. Modular brigades designed to be self sufficient in small numbers have replaced the 20,000-man division with the attached support structure. Today’s conflicts in urban environments and asymmetric wars have put the emphasis back on the individual and their fighting spirit.
Fighting Smarter, Not Harder
Today’s battlefields reward agility, flexibility, and mobility rather than a rigid application of massive firepower. With battles being fought in cities surrounded by civilians against an enemy that hides among those civilians, a bigger gun is often the wrong answer. The intelligent application of power and good decision making by soldiers on the ground is now the driving force behind the Army’s effectiveness.
These changes in the Army are why the individual soldier is more important today than ever before. The slogan, ‘An Army Of One,’ has never been more applicable. This focus on the individual is one of the many reasons why an Army career is so attractive. Soldiers grow in their skills, abilities, and faculties while serving their country.
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