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Officer Manning: Armies of the past


Officer Manning: Armies of the past Successful traits: Armies with lower ratio (1:33) of officer to enlisted had faster decision cycle Policies built around unit manning – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Officer Manning: Armies of the past

Officer Manning Armies of the past
  • Successful traits
  • Armies with lower ratio (133) of officer to
    enlisted had faster decision cycle
  • Policies built around unit manning
  • Command and instructor positions most prized,
    lasting from 3-5 years in key positions
  • Unsuccessful traits
  • Armies with higher ratio (113 to 16) of officer
    to enlisted had slower decision cycle at all
  • Policies were individual centric leading to lower
    unit success
  • Officers were rotated swiftly through many
    positions on average a new position every 10.1

Insights into personnel systems (cultures) of
other armies in history objective develop
decisive leaders of character for uncertain and
complex problems
Officer Management Armies of the Past
  • Successful traits
  • Officers attended extensive military schooling
    early in career
  • Most schooling comes at entry level through 4th
  • Courses were intellectually demanding (German
    staff college so tough that falling out was not
    seen as failure)
  • Culture encouraged self-teaching, self-policing
    and professional discourse
  • Accessions into officer ranks tough (up to 80
    failure rate)
  • Promotions and selections
  • Based on two measures, seniority and combat
  • Perform or out versus up or out promotion
  • Decentralized at lower levels with local boards
    senior selections centralized
  • Unsuccessful traits
  • Officers viewed as generalists where rank meant
    assumed level of knowledge
  • Careers adhered to templates and patterns with
    little flexibility based on competence
  • Individual replacement rather than group
    replacement hindered cohesion
  • Individual career management assumed Social
    Darwinism, equal opportunity progressive
    assumption of survival of fittest
  • Careerism outcome based individuals
    psychological investment in their own career
    coupled with promotion for pay economic reward
  • Incentive structure focused on individual failed
    to ensure superior group performance

US Army Officer Trends
Officer to Enlisted Ratios
Civil War Civil War World War I World War I World War II World War II Vietnam/Cold War Vietnam/Cold War Today Today
Strength Ratio to Enlisted Strength Ratio to Enlisted Strength Ratio to Enlisted Strength Ratio to Enlisted Strength Ratio to Enlisted
Total Army 2,100,000   4,050,000   8,800,000   1,330,000   1,140,000  

Officers 137,254 1 14.3 250,000 1 15.2 758,620 1 10.6 172,727 1 6.7 180,094 1 5.3

Field Grade 41,176 1 47.7 32,926 1 115.4 42,307 1 190.1 73,888 1 15.7 78,082 1 12.3

General 564 1 3480 1,006 1 3777.3 1,260 1 6382 542 1 2135.2 632 1 1518.8

Infantry / Armor Force 1,606 1 14.2 6,243 1 35.3 3,966 1 20.9 3,510 1 15.7 IN 3488 1 12.1
Infantry / Armor Force 1,606 1 14.2 6,243 1 35.3 3,966 1 20.9 3,510 1 15.7 HV 3779 1 11.3
Infantry / Armor Force 1,606 1 14.2 6,243 1 35.3 3,966 1 20.9 3,510 1 15.7 ST 4224 1 11.4
Context Technology breakthrough, Communication,
Area of Operations, Doctrinal Focus, Operational
Environment, Spectrum of Conflict, Army Purpose,
Officer Development
US Army Officer Trends
In Foreign Successful Armies
Roman Army Roman Army French Army French Army Finnish Army Finnish Army German Army German Army Israeli Army Israeli Army
(52 AD) (52 AD) (1806) (1806) (1939) (1939) (1940) (1940) (1967) (1967)
Strength Ratio to Enlisted Strength Ratio to Enlisted Strength Ratio to Enlisted Strength Ratio to Enlisted Strength Ratio to Enlisted
Total Army 300,000   350,000   346,000   4,555,000   264,000  

Officers 3,817 1 77.6 4,215 1 82 10,380 1 32.3 133,970 1 33 15,000 1 16.6

Field Grade 1,980 1 149.6 1,867 1 185.2 2,147 1 156.3 16,098 1 274.6 2,358 1 105.6

General 34 1 8711.3 423 1 817.5 56 1 5993.2 4,561 1 969.3 36 1 6916.7
General 56 1 5289 423 1 817.5 56 1 5993.2 4,561 1 969.3 36 1 6916.7

Infantry / Armor Force 5,000 1 73.6 2,400 1 41.9 3,100 1 82.8 3,300 1 79.5 2,800 1 46.5
Infantry / Armor Force 5,000 1 73.6 2,400 1 41.9 3,100 1 82.8 3,300 1 79.5 2,800 1 46.5
Infantry / Armor Force (Legion)   (Brigade)   (Regiment)   (Reg't/Bde)   (Brigade)  
US Army Officer Trends
In Unsuccessful Armies
Prussian Army Prussian Army French Army French Army Italian Army Italian Army British Army British Army
(1806) (1806) (1940) (1940) (1940) (1940) (1940) (1940)
Strength Ratio to Enlisted Strength Ratio to Enlisted Strength Ratio to Enlisted Strength Ratio to Enlisted
Total Army 182,995   3,333,000   1,630,000   1,615,000  

Officers 23,789 1 6.7 666,600 1 4 293,400 1 4.6 177,650 1 8.1

Field Grade 8,794 1 18.1 23,498 1 113.5 67,009 1 19.9 46,000 1 31.2

General 528 1 301.5 1,843 1 1446.8 1,101 1 1214 748 1 1921.6

Infantry / Armor Force 2,800 1 18 3,800 1 14.4 4,100 1 19 2,500 1 25
Infantry / Armor Force (Brigade) 1 18 (Regiment) 1 14.4 (Regiment) 1 19 (Brigade) 1 25
US Army Officer Trends
Criteria Civil War World War I World War II Cold War / Vietnam Today
TechnologyBreakthrough RailroadRifled Weapons Machine GunLong Range Arty Airplane as a weaponArmorNuclear Wpn HelicopterTactical Nuclear Wpn Precision Wpns
Communications TelegraphSignal FlagsCourier TelegraphLand Line TelephoneSignal Flags / Courier Wireless (Radio)TelegraphLand Line Early Satellite Burst TransmissionWireless (Radio) Digital CommoAdv Satellite Multi Media
Area of Operations(Reg/BDE Frontage) 300 m 3500 m 4-6 KM 5-9 KM Area Of OpnDefined bySituation
Doctrinal Focus Sequential employment of Arty, IN, CAV Sequential employment of Fires Maneuver Combined ArmsCoordinated with Other Services Nations Combined ArmsSimultaneous OpnWith Other Services Nations Joint OperationsInteragency Multinational Operations
OperationalEnvironment Linear BattlefieldSequential Opns ExpeditionaryLinear BattlefieldTrench Warfare Opn Stalemate Global WarMultiple TheatersOpn ManeuverSimultaneous Opns Global ResponsibilitySmall conflicts Within Nuclear parityNon-linear/Simultaneous Persistent ConflictDecline nation-stateRise non-state actorsWar among people
Spectrum ofConflict Force-on-ForceMid-Intensity Force-on-ForceMid-Intensity Force-on-ForceMid HighIntensity Conventional/UnconventionalLow-Mid-HighIntensity General Purpose Special ForcesHybrid ThreatsFull spectrum Opn
Army Purpose MobilizeFightDemobilize MobilizeFightDemobilize MobilizeFightDemobilize Large StandingArmy Forward Deployedto Deter Conflict ExpeditionaryOperating ForceGenerating Force
OfficerDevelopment Branch Branch Combined Arms Combined ArmsJoint Joint, Interagency Specialized Functional Expertise
Officer to Enlisted Ratios
ERA Civil War World War I World War II Vietnam/Cold War Today
Total Army 2,100,000 4,050,000 8,800,000 1,330,000 1,140,000

Officers 1 14.3 1 15.2 1 10.6 1 6.7 1 5.3

Field Grade 1 47.7 1 115.4 1 190.1 1 15.7 1 12.3

General 1 3480 1 3777.3 1 6382 1 2135.2 1 1518.8

Infantry / Armor Force 1 14.2 1 35.3 1 20.9 1 15.7 1 12.1
Infantry / Armor Force 1 14.2 1 35.3 1 20.9 1 15.7 1 11.3
Infantry / Armor Force 1 14.2 1 35.3 1 20.9 1 15.7 1 11.4
US Army Leader Development
Criteria Civil War World War I World War II Cold War / Vietnam Today
Area of Operations(Reg/BDE Frontage)
Leader Doctrinal Focus Top Down, centralized and hierarchal control C2 system Top Down, centralized and hierarchal control C2 system Top Down, centralized and hierarchal control C2 system, later mission cmd by exception Top Down, centralized and hierarchal control C2 system 1982-86 FM 100-5 encouraged more mission cmd, but culture did not support Joint OperationsInteragency Multinational Operations, emphasis toward mission command, but still retains top-down hierarchal system
OperationalEnvironment/ opponent Linear BattlefieldSequential Opns CSA used same doctrine Linear Battlefield Germans moved from operational to tactical maneuver warfare with strusstruppen tactics Linear Battlefield Germans projected maneuver warfare in time, space and depth with mission cmd and technology Linear warfare against Soviet threat, but emerging non-state opponents using non-linear warfare US demonstrated ability to conduct maneuver warfare in OEF and OIF in initial phase Rise non-state actors war among people
Spectrum ofConflict
Army Purpose
OfficerDevelopment United States Military Academy, private Military Colleges in initial phase-focused on linear warfare United States Military Academy, private Military Colleges in initial phase, OCS/college degree, staff college. Learning was inward focused on process United States Military Academy, private military colleges, ROTC, but largely OCS w/college degree staff college Learning was inward focused on process United States Military Academy, ROTC and OCS initially, templated school system Lieutenant through colonel. Learning was inward focused on process and driven by top down POI United States Military Academy, ROTC and OCS initially, templated school system Lieutenant through colonel. Learning moving from process to classical education system focused on cognitive development
Sources for officer/enlisted numbers/ratios
  • Center of Military History Research page,
  • US Army Human Resources Command, Department of
    Defense Military Personnel as of 31 March 2010
  • Department of the Army, The Personnel System In
    The United States Army, 1954 (covers Civil War
    through World War II)
  • Kreidberg and Henry, History of the Mobilization
    in the United States Army, 1775-1945, 1955
  • Vandergriff, Donald, Path to Victory Americas
    Army and the Revolution in Human Affairs, 2002
  • Access through Army G1, LTC Daniel Shimpton, 5
    May 2010
  • Dr. Blair Hayworth, US Army Center of Military
  • Dr. Bruce Gudmundsson, Historian USMC TECOM
  • LTC Symon Tanner, British Army liaison to ARCIC
    Forward, 6 May 2010

Back ups
Use an empirical approach to understand how the
U.S. Armys personnel system (culture) evolved
over time by comparing to other armies in
snapshots of historyProvide brief insights into
personnel systems (cultures) of other armies in
history. Key trend throughout is how to develop
decisive leaders of character
Summary of traits
  • Successful armies started officer candidate
    earlier in age, with most beginning in the ranks
    or as an officer candidate 2-4 years
  • After 1871, American and Europeans tried to copy
    the German system, but many succeeded in copying
    them organizationally, but none succeeded at
    copying them culturally, but their systems lacked
    the requisite mutual trust needed to empower
  • France fought well in WWI, adjusted to conditions
    of trench warfare, but did not learn how to adapt
    to changed conditions in the next war (precursor
    decentralized German storm tactics first used in
  • Excessive politicization undermined mutual trust
  • Atmosphere of mistrust and a Cartesian
    intellectual tradition (emanating from DeCartes)
    inspired a centralized officer culture that tried
    to reduce conflict to a series of predictable
    formulaic relations
  • Italy had courageous individual qualities
    smothered by rigid culture leads to failures
    without reforms
  • Britain excellent at basic soldiering skills with
    outstanding small unit leadership by NCOs but
    officer corps remained wedded to methodical
    frontal battles of attrition through WWII

Successful Armies
  • The Roman Army of 216 BC to 52 AD
  • The French Army of 1798-1807
  • The Finnish Army of 1926-1940
  • The German Army of 1809-1942
  • The Israeli Army of 1948-1973

Common Features All these armies faced the
threat of a crushing defeat at the hands of well
armed numerically superior opponents, and Officer
corps open to wide population, but had high
entrance standards with strenuous measurement
tools, which resulted in small percentage of
officers to enlisted (entire force from 3-7)
and built personnel system around unit manning
Unsuccessful Armies
  • The Prussian Army (1806)
  • The French Army (1870, 1914, 1940)
  • The Italian Army (1914-1942)
  • The British Army (Crimea 1856, S. Africa 1898,
    WWII 1939-1942)

Common Features Confined their officer corps to
an aristocratic or privileged class-limited
talent with entrance and promotion standards
based on birth than competence maintained larger
than necessary officer corps anywhere from 15-20
percent dogmatic, non-adaptive doctrine when
faced with obvious need to change
Successful Armies
Roman Army 216 BC-52 AD
  • Battle of Cannae in 216 BC forced major reforms.
    Leadership dominated Roman thought
  • Publius Cornelius Scipio (Africanus after 202 BC)
    reformed officer corps with meritorious
  • Garius Marius made tactical and structural
    changes to the legion
  • The entire army revolved around the legion
  • It recruited, trained and promoted its own
    officers based on merit (similar to regimental
  • Length of service was 20 yearsleaders within the
    Legion came from the ranks
  • Legions were the basic building blocks of armies
    and were the regional specialists for operations
    other than war
  • Tactical doctrine demanded that subordinates
    exhibit initiative
  • Legion evolved a culture of unit cohesion and
    professionalism that gave the Romans an
    unbeatable Army for almost four centuries until
  • Failed to adapt to the fighting methods of
    Germanic Tribes
  • Citizens serving diminished, and use of
    mercenaries and immigrants with no vested
    interest to Rome
  • Involvement of acquisition of its own supplies
    corrupted the officer corps (particularly at the
    furthest, most isolated corners of the empire)

Roman Military History
  • Craven, Brian, The Punic Wars, Weidenfeld
    Nicolson, 1980
  • Crawford, Michael, Early Rome and Italy, in The
    Oxford History of the Classical World, Oxford
    University Press, 1988
  • Ferrell, Arther, The Fall of Roman Empire The
    Military Explanation, Thames and Hudson, 1986
  • Gibbon, Edward, The Decline and Fall of the Roman
    Empire, Random House, Inc., 1909-1914
  • Grant, Michael, History of Rome, Charles
    Scribners Sons, 1978
  • Pareti, Luigi and Brezzi, Paolo and Petech,
    Luciano, History of Mankind, Cultural and
    Scientific Development Vol 2 The Ancient World,
    Harper and Row Publishers, 1965. Provides a
    detailed description of Marius reforms and
  • Scullard, H.H., Scipio Africanus Soldier and
    Politician, Thames and Hudson, 1970
  • Van Creveld, Martin, Command in War, Harvard
    University Press, January 1, 1987

The French Army 1798-1807
  • Nation in Arms concept of mobilizing entire
    nations resources
  • Allowed the French to choose from a large number
    of candidates into the officer corps
  • Moral and physical energy of citizen-soldiers and
    new leaders generated by the revolution and
    magnified by successes against allied armies
  • Leaders promoted by merit (e.g., Davout)
  • Napoleons doctrine of the corps-de-armee
    demanded initiative by division and corps
    commanders operating over wide fronts
  • General to Emperor
  • Napoleon increasingly used top-down control to
    fight centralized battles (similar to modern
    concept of synchronization)
  • As Emperor, he did not encourage subordinates to
    operate autonomously (away from his oversight,
    e.g., Wagram in 1809, Central Germany campaign of
    1813, Waterloo 1815)
  • Result The cultural freedoms unleashed by the
    French Revolution and Napoleons background and
    genius induced him to,
  • As general, promote talent based on battlefield
    performance (marshals baton in every knapsack)
  • As Emperor, substitute central control
    stereotyped tactics based on massed firepower for
    talent at all levels below corps (Wagram and

French Napoleonic History
  • Bertaud, J ."Napoleon's Officers", Past and
    Present, 112 (1986)
  • Butler, A.R.(trans). The Memoirs of Baron De
    Marbot Late Lieutenant in the French Army,
    Longmans, Green Co, London, 1897
  • Chandler, D. The Campaigns of Napoleon,
    Macmillian Publishing, London, 1965
  • Chandler, D. On the Napoleonic Wars, Stackpole
    Books, London, 1994
  • Connelly, O. Blundering to Glory Napoleons
    Military Campaigns, Scholarly Resources Inc,
    Delaware, 1984
  • Ellis, G. The Napoleonic Empire, Macmillian
    Press, London, 1991
  • Elting, J.R. Swords Around a Throne Napoleon's
    Grande Armee, Macmillian, London, 1988
  • Epstein, R.M. "Patterns of Change and Continuity
    in Nineteenth-Century Warfare.", Journal of
    Military History, 56, (July 1992)
  • Haythornthwaite, P.J. The Naploeonic Source Book,
    Arms and Armour, London, 1990
  • Lyons, M. Napoleon Bonaparte And the Legacy of
    the French Revolution, MacMillan Press, London,
  • Lynn, J "Towards and Army of Honour The Moral
    Evolution of the French Army, 1789-1815", French
    Historical Studies, 16, (Spring 1989)
  • Marbot, M.D. Memoirs du General Baron de Marbot,
    III,Paris, Plon, 1892
  • Marshall-Cornwall, J. Napoleon As a Military
    Commander, Clowes and Son Ltd, London, 1965
  • Morris, W. Napoleon Warrior and Ruler, Putnam's,
    London, 1896
  • Petre, F. Loraine. Napoleon at Bay, Greenhill
    Books, London, 1994 (first published 1914)
  • Rothenberg, G. The Art of Warfare in the Age of
    Napoleon, University of Indiana Press, 1978
  • Weigley, R.F. The Age of Battles, Pimlico,
    London, 1991. 

The Finnish Army, 1926-1940
  • Origin of doctrine and personnel management
    systemsGerman Army
  • Destroyed the numerically superior invading
    Soviet Army in 1939
  • Small unit leaders employed maneuver warfare
    doctrine within larger framework of commanders
    intent, schwerpunkt and mission orders
  • The officer corps made up 3 of the force
  • Commanders NCOs held leadership and command
    positions for long periods of time 3 to 5 years,
    in some cases even longer
  • Promotions and selections were decentralized to
    regimental level
  • Based on rigorous testing and performance in
    training exercises
  • Extraordinary training of the enlisted ranks,
    NCOs and officers
  • In one battle an NCO leading a 100 man detachment
    defeated a Soviet battalion
  • Strong regimental system (Army composed mainly of
    National Guard)
  • Swiss model (units from same town, district)
  • Mobilization plan required reserves to be well
    trained as small regular army
  • Results
  • Finns achieved the highest exchange ratio in
    WWII101 against the Soviets
  • Standards of Finnish officer and NCO accession
    process were even higher than the German system

Finnish Military History
  • Condon, Richard, The Winter War Russia Against
    Finland (History of 2nd World War),
  • Edwards, Robert, The Winter War Russia's
    Invasion of Finland, 1939-1940 , Peguin Books,
  • Engle, Eloise and Paananen, Lauri, The Winter
    War The Soviet Attack on Finland 1939-1940,
    Stackpole Books (January 1992)
  • Trotter, William, Frozen Hell The Russo-Finnish
    War of 1939-1940, Algonquin Books , January 2000
  • Interviews with Dr. Bruce Gudmundsson, Historian,

German/Prussian Army (1809-1942)
  • Gerhard Scharnhorst (leading Prussian reformer
    after 1806) believed Leadership
  • Accession to officer corps should be determined
    by merit not social class (not completely
  • Standards for obtaining a commission should be
    strenuous (achieved-25 made it)
  • Officer selections and promotions were
    decentralized to the regiment and regimental
    commander (achieved)
  • Office candidate first served in the regiment as
    an ensign
  • Candidate required to pass demanding three day
  • Candidates character had to be approved by a
    board of regimental officers
  • Rigorous but fair standards ensured that officers
    could focus on their profession
  • Percentage of officers to force was 3-5
  • 3-track officer system General staff, regimental
    (line) and technical
  • Education and personnel system focused inward on
    character development and the art of war at the
    tactical and operational levels, but not at the
    strategic level of war
  • Result
  • Institutionalized excellence at the tactical and
    operational levels of war, great for wars
    confined to Europe (victories Danish War of 1864,
    Austria in 1866 and France 1870)
  • Weak strategically and disastrous at the grand
    strategic level of national conflict as evidenced
    by WWI and WWII (made enemies faster than they
    could kill them)

German Military History
  • Barry, Quintin, The Franco-Prussian War 1870-71
    Volume 1 the Campaign of Sedan Helmuth Von
    Moltke and the Overthrow of the Second Empire,
    Helion Company, 2007
  • Corum, Robert, The Roots of Blitzkrieg Hans von
    Seeckt and German Military Reform, University of
    Kansas Press, 1992
  • Horne, Alistor, The Fall of Paris The Siege and
    the Commune, 1870-71. Penguin Books, 1981
  • Howard, Michael Eliot, The Franco-Prussian War
    The German Invasion of France, 1870-1871,
    Routledge, 2001
  • Millman, Richard, British Foreign Policy and the
    Coming of the Franco-Prussian War. Clarendon
    Press. 1965
  • Ollivier, Emile, Translated by George Burnham
    Ives. The Franco-Prussian War and Its Hidden
    Causes, Little, Brown, and Company, 1912
  • Stone, David, Fighting for the Fatherland The
    Story of the German Soldier from 1648 to the
    Present Day, Conway. 2006
  • Stone, David, First Reich Inside the German Army
    During the War with France, 1870-71, Brasseys,
  • Wawro, Geoffrey, The Franco-Prussian War The
    German Conquest of France in 1870-1871, Cambridge
    University Press, 2003
  • Werstein, Irving, The Franco-Prussian War
    Germany's Rise as a World Power, J. Messner. 1965
  • Wetzel, David, A Duel of Giants Bismarck,
    Napoleon III, and the Origins of the
    Franco-Prussian War, University of Wisconsin
    Press, 2003

The Israeli Army of 1948-1973
  • High initiative, decentralized officer culture
    evolved out of commando operations of 1948
  • Up through 1967, most senior tank officers served
    as commandos in 1948 or earlier
  • Commando heritage evolved naturally into an
    effective maneuver warfare doctrine copied from
    the German army between 1948 and 1956, reached
    fruition in 1967 and was sufficiently intact to
    recover in 1973
  • Officer accession (up through 1973) focused on
    battlefield leadership
  • All officers began in enlisted rankstop soldiers
    became NCOs and top NCOs became officers
  • NCO Squad leaders course considered one of the
    toughest in the world
  • Officers emerged from a unit cohesion system that
    kept crew and squads together from beginning of
  • Rigorous selection process limited officer corps
    to 7-8 percent of the force
  • Officer assignments prioritized by success and
    initiative exhibited in combat operations
  • Priorities by initiative highest to fighter
    pilots, then paratroopers, then tankers, then so
    on down to supporting branches
  • Twenty-year career norm, officers served in few
    assigned positions
  • Most served in combat arms then moved over to
    supporting arms
  • Promotions through Lt. COL selection for
    command delegated to the brigade commander
  • Results
  • Up to 1967, IDF achieved quick mobilization and
    quick victories with low casualties
  • Lost initiative during opening days of 1973 War,
    but recovered and quickly isolated Arab
  • Changed officer accession system approach to
    provide larger pool of officers in reaction to
    high officer casualties in 1973witnessed marked
    downturn in performance in the 1982 Lebanon
    invasion and subsequent Intifada

Israeli Military History
  • Author interviews with Martin van Creveld,
    October 1997
  • Author interviews with Dr. Ben Uzi, Israeli Army
    March 2010
  • Boyd, John, Patterns of Conflict. 1986. accessed
    5 February 2005
  • Rothenburg , Erich Gunther, The anatomy of the
    Israeli army The Israel Defence Force, 1948-78,
    Praeger, 1997
  • Schiff, Zeev, History of the Israeli Army,
    Sidgwick Jackson Ltd, March 5, 1987
  • Van Creveld, Martin, Command in War, Harvard
    University Press, January 1, 1987
  • Van Creveld, Martin, The Sword and the Olive A
    Critical History of the Israeli Defense Force,
    Public Affairs 1st edition July 2, 2002

Unsuccessful Armies
Prussian Army of 1806
  • Need to change faced with doctrinal changes
    unleashed by the French Revolution Napoleons
    operational level brilliance, the Prussians
    formalized Frederick the Greats centralized
    concepts of operations and tactics without his
  • Debate was discouraged, even frowned upon
  • An enormous social gap between officers and
    enlisted men
  • The dry rot revealed itself at Jena-Auestadt (Oct
    1806) when the Prussian Army collapsed and fled
  • Officer accessions, promotions and development
  • Drawn largely from Prussian nobility
  • Selection promotions based on connections, not
  • Professional education did not exist
  • Symbols glorifying bravery and elan preferred
    over professionalism
  • Result German reformers realized that an Armys
    performance depended on
  • Having a professional system of education and
    development to analyze lessons from military
  • A culture that encourages debate and intellectual
    ferment that is needed to evolve these lessons
    into new ideas (and technologies) needed to fight
    the next war
  • A system of selection of promotion of officers
    that stresses ability and performance rather than
    family connections
  • Evolutionary byproduct a culture of trust and
    mutual respect

The French Army 1870-1914, 1919-1940
  • The Revolution democratized the French officer
    corps which continued throughout the 19th and
    20th Centuries
  • But the trust and mutual respect that united the
    German officers never evolved in the French
    officer corps due to a system that promoted the
    individual at the cost of the whole
  • The failure of 1870 was an obsession with
    colonial warfare that made those at the top
    successful prior to 1870, and unable to cope with
    the new German method of war
  • Fatal weaknesses of the French officer corps of
    1940 can be seen in many events or attitudes
    prior to WWII
  • Lack of mutual respect, careerism and corruption
    (e.g., Dreyfus Affair before WWI)
  • Alienation of the careerist military from the
    regime of the 1930s
  • Lack of solidarity with subordinates,
    particularly enlisted men (1920s and 1930s)
  • Suppression of internal debate (DeGualle)
  • Officer bloat (20 of total force) caused many
    officers to serve as NCOs
  • Inability to deal with unexpected situations
    (Metz and Sedan in 1870, Battle of Frontiers 1914
    and the German breakthrough 1940)
  • Centralized control and authoritarianism crushed
    the initiative of subordinates and blocked
    cooperation between branches of army
  • Cartesian Outlook shaped education and thinking
    by attempting to impose order, method and routine
    on the chaos of war
  • Result
  • A culture that discourages discussion, debate and
    intellectual ferment risks turning inward by
    imposing the unquestioned assumption on the
    lessons of history and new technologies to
    reinforce old ideas
  • Example, the French obsession with the doctrine
    of methodical battle after WWI (RMA)
  • Example, Maginot line (Star Wars)

French Military History
  • Numerous interviews with Dr. Bruce Gudmundsson on
    French Military culture. Dr. Gudmundsson founded
    and ran the USMC School of Advance Warfare (SAW)
    course of majors in the early 1990s, and is
    currently a historian for the USMC TECOM
  • Cook, Don, Charles De Gaulle A Biography, G.P.
    Putmans Sons, 1983
  • De Gaulle, Charles, The Army of the Future,
    Hutchinson, 1940.
  • Doughty, Robert, From the Offense a Outrance to
    the Methodical Battle, in Maneuver Warfare an
    Anthology, Richard Hooker, editor, Presidio
    Press, 1993. Also, Vandergriff interviews with
    Dr. Robert Doughty September and November 1997
  • Doughty, Robert, Seeds of Disaster The
    Development of French Army Doctrine 1919-1939,
    Archon Book, 1985
  • Horne, Alistair, The Price of Glory Verdun 1916,
    Penguin Books, 1962
  • Lottman, Herbert, Petain, Hero or Traitor The
    Untold Story, William Morrow Company, Inc. 1985
  • Shirer, William, The Collapse of the Third
    Republic An Inquiry into the Fall of France in
    1940, Simon Schuster, 1969

Italian Army 1914-1942
  • Possessed the same doctrine as the Germans
    (copied their manuals verbatim), but failed to
    create an officer corps that could execute it
  • Up through WWII, officers were selected from the
    aristocratic class, and the separation between
    them and the enlisted ranks was considerable
  • officers were not united by a tradition on
    professional matters
  • Measures of performance, such as examinations,
    did not determine promotions, which were made by
    a centralized selection board in Rome, usually
    with considerable political or family influence
  • An excess of either cleverness (intelligence)
    or zeal was bad form
  • Combat experience came from beating primitive
    tribal adversaries in colonial wars, where there
    was no pressure to develop military art of
    combined arms warfare
  • Result
  • The culture of the Italian Army in 1939 was
    incapable of executing Maneuver Warfare
  • They professed Speed and Initiative in their
    doctrine, but they practiced centralized control
  • Why? Hierarchal, stand-offish relationships
    paralyzed commanders and subordinates by
    introducing complex layers of bureaucratic
  • Why? Formal requirements of protocol impeded
    frank communications
  • Careerism increased risk averse behavior which
    curtailed freedom of action

Italian Military History
  • Cloutier, Patrick, The Italian Royal Army In
    Mussolinis Wars, 1935-1945, republished 1987 to
    2010, available as download from
  • Gooch, John, Mussolini and his Generals The
    Armed Forces and Facist Foreign Policy,
    1922-1945, Cambridge Military Press, 2007
  • Nicolle, David, The Italian Invasion of Abyssinia
    1935-36, Osprey Publishing, October 1997
  • Sweet, John, The Mechanization of Mussolinis
    Army, 1920-1940, Stackpole Military History,
    December 30, 2006
  • Trye, Rex, Mussolinis Africa Korps The Italian
    Army in North Africa, 1940-1943, Axis Europa
    Books 1999
  • Walker, Ian, Iron Hulls Iron Hearts Mussolinis
    Elite Armored Divisions in North Africa, The
    Crowood Press , July 15, 2006

British Army 1856, 1898, 1939-42
  • Regime was not interested in its Army officer
    corps during 19th Century
  • Did not need a professional army to protect its
    elites from social revolution, like colonial
  • Based its foreign policy on a maritime strategy
    the colonial threats to its empire
  • While they maintained one of the finest
    regimental systems from the time of Cromwells
    army in the 1600s, its officer system
  • Recruited and selected officers from the
    aristocratic class up until WWII, but when
    offices were needed for WWI and WWII, they
    expanded the officer corps too quickly
  • Regimental systems decentralized promotions to
    the lower levels (good), but selection was
    influenced more by aristocratic background and
    wealth than by competence
  • De-emphasized education in the art of war,
    because the Army was viewed as a gentlemans
    profession (club)
  • Fixation on colonial threats coupled by
    gentlemanly amateurism created conditions
    fostering a rigid doctrine with close
    (centralized) control
  • Authoritarian mentality of aristocratic tradition
    impeded learning by making it difficult to admit
  • Reports by junior officers were discarded after
    the Boer War and WWI
  • Results Regimental system built solid unit
    cohesion and a strong NCO corps that never broke
    in combat, but could not evolve with war or adapt
    during war
  • Balaklava (1856), small unit NCOs withstood
    encirclement by superior numbers of Russian
  • Rorks Drift (1898), encircled company beat off
    3,000 combat veterans, highly disciplined and
    motivated Zulus
  • N. Africa (1941-1942), maintained cohesion and
    avoided collapse despite repeated tactical and
    operational errors when facing Rommel

British Army History
  • Based on numerous discussions of British Army
    history with LTC Symon Tanner, British Army
    liaison to ARCIC Forward
  • Chandler and Beckett, The Oxford History of the
    British Army, Oxford Military Press, 2003
  • Clayton, Anthony, The British Officer Leading
    the Army from 1660 to Present, Longman, 2007
  • Griffith, Paddy, Battle Tactics of the Western
    Front The British Armys Art of Attack
    1916-1918, Yale University Press, 1996
  • Hastings, Max, The British Army A Definitive
    History of the 20th Century, Imperial War Museum,
  • Miller, Stephen, Volunteers in the Veld
    Britains Citizen Soldiers and the South African
    War 1899-1902, Campaigns and Commanders, 2007
  • Strachen, Hew, Big Wars and Small Wars The
    British Army and the Lessons of the 20th Century,
    Routledge, 2006
  • Strawson, John, Beggars in Red The British Army
    1789-1889, Pen Sword, 2003

Mobilization doctrine
  • Need for massive mobilization shapes todays
    personnel management policies
  • up or out promotion system in order to keep
    officers fit and young
  • Need a place to keep everyone in order to move
    them up
  • Numbers of officers kept top heavy to provide
    pool to lead new formations in time of
  • Large and many headquarters to oversee process
    and adherence to doctrine, and provides place to
    put people (institutionalized over time)
  • Legacy of General George Marshalls view of the
  • Remains organized to fight a linear war on the
    attritional model for WWII
  • Despite attempts at it, remains focused on
    individual vice unit replacement

Up or Out Promotion System
  • Navy personnel act of 1916 first introduced up or
    out promotion system, but failed because Navy had
    small officer corps (it requires a large, top
    heavy system to work)
  • Officer Personnel Act of 1947 (based on
    testimonies by Eisenhower, Marshall and Bradley),
  • Significantly increased the size of the officer
    corps at the middle and senior grades for
  • Embraced the up or out promotion system to
    develop generalists while keeping the officer
    corps vigorous and youthful
  • Established the all or nothing 20 year
    retirement system
  • 1970 War College Study of Professionalism stated
    that the up or out promotion system,
  • contributed significantly to much of the
    undesirable and unethical conduct of its
  • seniors sacrificed integrity on the alter of
    personal success
  • junior officers perceived a preoccupation with
    insignificant statistics
  • Debate began in 1974 over up or out that led to
    the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act
    (DOPMA) of 1980, Senator Sam Nunn argued against
  • The up or out promotion system forced too-many
    experienced officers out
  • The number of officers at middle and upper
    levels were too high
  • But, the Services wanted up or out
  • The theory behind up or out,
  • If the system works properly, there will always
    be more officers qualified for promotion than
    there are vacancies available
  • Permits selectivity, the selection of the best
  • By forcing officers up they would receive
    exposure to numerous jobs that could apply to a
    meaningful way in senior leadership positions
  • Maintains a vigorous and youthful officer
    corps, physically able to deal with the demands
    of combat

  • Authors Note I found it necessary to revisit
    the research I did for Path to Victory Americas
    Army and the Revolution in Human Affairs due to
    many factors that influence the evolution of the
    Armys personnel system influence Army ROTC. I
    added to the research I was in the progress of
    making for Raising the Bar (2006) and Manning the
    Legions (2008). I also found that I had to update
    my knowledge of Army doctrine (new FMs written
    during General Shinsekis tenure at Chief of
    Staff (1999-2003) or as a result of his
    Transformation efforts, laid new foundation and
    guidance for Army ROTC. General Schoolmaker
    assumed the duties of Army Chief of Staff in July
    2003 and has driven even more leadership-centric
    guidance, some documents such as Adapt or Die
    provided excellent direction for where the
    officer accession programsROTC, USMA and
    OCSshould go to develop an adaptive leader.
    Recently, I was involved in the ARCIC (TRADOC)
    Human Dimension study, as well as the 2010
    writing and publication of the Army Capstone
    Concept. My research and sources involved 10
    areas and continue to evolve to this day
  • The history of the evolution of the U.S. Army and
    Army ROTC
  • A study of the U.S. Army officers corps study of
    warfare and its influence
  • A study of the evolution of the U.S. society and
    its influence on Army ROTC
  • The theories of leadership
  • An analysis of education and training approaches
    to teach cognitive skills
  • The history of political correctness
  • Reviews of psychology, sociology, anthropology,
  • The evolution of the influence of management
    science on leadership and academic development in
    the United States
  • A review of my research I had done for Learning
    From Others The Officer Development Approaches
    of Armies through History. In this book, which I
    never finished, I had examined the cultures of
    the armies Ancient Rome, Britain, France,
    Germany, Israel, and Italy throughout periods of
    time to give insights to the officer development
    practices of other nations. For this, I am
    greatly indebted to Dr Bruce I Gudmundsson, Dr.
    John Sayan and William S. Lind for their patience
    and time in teaching and checking my attempts at
    the French and German languages. Bruce also
    directed me to many European military history web
  • A study and understanding of the evolutions of
    war, particularly into the Fourth Generation of
    Warfare. I am indebted to Colonel T.X. Hammes
    USMC, Mr., William S. Lind, Dr. Chet Richards,
    Franklin C. Spinney, Greg Wilcox LTC U.S. Army
    retired, and Colonel G. I. Wilson USMC
  • I am indebted to Dr. Jonathan Shay for teaching
    me how to understand the value of trust in
    military organizations and being a missionary
    in the effort to reform the military personnel
  • I am also indebted to my former boss, Lieutenant
    Allen Gill for our great conversations on
    leadership, how to develop it, how to create it
    in our type of academic environment, talks on
    strategy, how the Army works, and just great
    stories about people. LTC Gill has allowed
    Georgetown ROTC to evolve into a Learning

  • Listed below are a compilation of all the
    sources, including web sites. I am indebted to
    the staffs of The Archives of the United States
    The Library of Congress The Eisenhower Library
    U.S. Army Command General Staff College, The
    Lauinger Memorial Library, Georgetown University
    The U.S. Army War College, not only for their
    assistance, but for the maintenance of some great
    sources through web sites that saved so much
  • At this time I am also completing a roll up of
    the hundreds of notes that I have taken since
    June 1998, as well as compiling informal surveys
    I recently conducted.

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