Defense Secretary James Mattis and other military leaders reportedly targeting unnecessary training for the U.S. military as they looked for ways to reduce the training and administrative duties that many in the armed services view as a burden.
On Tuesday, a July 21 memo was revealed Mattis directed the military services, National Guard Bureau, and the combatant commanders to determine the changes necessary to provide the military “increased flexibility to organize, train and equip more ready and lethal forces.” (Video Below)
Among the policies, the memo says will be reviewed are those covering “professional military education to regain a concentration on the art and science of warfighting” and “requirements for mandatory force training that does not directly support core tasks.”
The directive appears to be part of a campaign to address what a 2015 Army War College report called the “deluge of requirements” facing commanders, according to Business Insider.
Army Capt. Scott Metz, a trainer at the Army Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Germany at the time of writing, said that the report makes the case that the Army overtasks subordinates to such a level that it is impossible for Army units and Army leaders to do everything they are tasked to do.
The authors of the Army College study also “state that since non-compliance is not a viable option, leaders must choose which tasks to conduct to standard and which tasks to just ‘report’ that they were done to standard
The review would also scrutinize “the retention or separation of permanently non-deployable Service members; professional military education,” civilian workforce hiring practices, and counterintelligence training for the services’ law enforcement agencies.
The Air Force has decided to waive some training responsibilities for aviators and to relax other recruiting policies to attract more recruits.
Such problems are not limited to the Air Force, and some have called for the reinstatement of the draft to address the personnel, financial, and economic issues created by an all-volunteer force.
“After more than a decade combatting violent extremists and conducting contingency operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and most recently Syria, [the Defense Department] has prioritized the rebalancing of its forces in recent budget requests to build and sustain the capabilities necessary to prevail across a full range of potential contingencies,” states a Government Accountability Office report released in June.
Additionally, according to the memo, the Defense Department’s undersecretary for personnel and readiness will lead the review.