Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1985



Early in fiscal year 1985, the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff announced that "Leadership" would be the Army's theme for 1985.

In today's world, leadership remains the key ingredient that enables our Army to meet successfully the challenges we face. Leadership is vital for melding Army members' aspirations, skills and capabilities into an organization able to deter, fight and win in defense of our national interest.

No matter what the leader's rank, or organizational level, each leader has the same obligation. That obligation is to inspire and develop excellence in individuals and organizations; train members towards professional competency; instill members with a spirit to win; see to their needs and well being; and to set standards that will be emulated by those they lead.

The bond between the leaders, the led, and the organization must produce leaders who are grounded in the fundamentals, yet responsive to new ideas. We call on all of you to make this theme of Leadership a reality in the Total Army.

"Leadership" was the latest in a series of yearly themes begun in 1981, which focused attention on matters of Army-wide importance in forging a modern, quality force fit to win. The 1981 theme, "Yorktown," sought to revitalize the spirit of the Army through fostering a keener awareness of the Army's traditions and its heroic past. Subsequent themes dealt with "Physical Fitness" and the revitalization of the body; "Excellence" and the commitment to quality; and the "Army Family," which emphasized a feeling of community within the Army, with special attention given to increasing the sense of partnership that exists between the Army, soldiers and their families, and fostering the well being and quality of life of soldiers and their families.

As with previous themes, all echelons of the Army planned and put into action programs and policies to promote the theme, not only for the current year, but in the years to come.


Initiatives centered on honing leadership skills as they applied to recruitment, assignment, and retention; educating, training, and developing subordinates; utilizing organization practices and procedures which foster innovation and mission accomplishment; achieving decentralization and flexibility in organization and structure to promote creativity and initiative; promoting and awarding fairly and equitably to stimulate performance; strengthening structure and organizations which support the soldier and the family; developing better interpersonal communications; using technology to improve individual performance; imbuing subordinates with the highest professional values and ethics; and meeting the needs and promoting the welfare of those who were led.

Major program objectives for fiscal year 1985 were to staff the total Army; train it; modernize equipment and weapons; and attain the capability to arm, mobilize, and deploy a force of sufficient size to influence the early stages of a conflict.

Moreover, the Army began a concerted effort during 1985 to chart its course to the twenty-first century. Effective planning to ensure that decisions made in 1985 provide capabilities the Army needs to meet the future threat and execute the nation's military strategy is essential. Long-range planning to concentrate effort on high leverage initiatives that will provide significant improvements in warfighting capabilities emerged. The Army has decided to proceed along vectors that will provide direction, focus, and continuity during the remainder of this century. As the Army moves along these vectors, it must attain key operational capabilities that will permit execution of critical tasks necessary to ensure success on the AirLand battlefield.

Total Army Vectors

1. Provide quality soldiers in the active and reserve components.
2. Fight and sustain as part of joint and combined forces.
3. Field a flexible, sustainable, modernized force across the conflict spectrum.
4. Exploit operational and tactical dimensions of AirLand Battle doctrine.
5. Develop and exploit high technology and productivity enhancements. 
6. Improve tactical and strategic deployability.


Critical Tasks

1. Enhance the performance of individual soldiers and battlefield leaders.
2. Enhance joint and combined operational capabilities.
3. Enhance the productivity of units.
4. Achieve synchronization of the land and air battle.
5. Field a deep attack capability.
6. Field a capability to defeat advanced Soviet armor.
7. Achieve modernized battlefield sustainment capability.

Key Operational Capabilities

The Army must develop many capabilities to accomplish its missions but will concentrate on those key operational capabilities that offer the most potential for translating battlefield operational concepts into combat power. They are:

1. Soldier and Unit Performance Enhancement (SUPE). 
2. Command, Control, and Communications (C3).
3. Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA).
4. Battlefield Sustainment. 
5. Battlefield Lethality.

Consideration of the concept of lightness is a requirement during the development of each of the key operational capabilities.

Building on the banner years of 1983 and 1984, the Army sought during fiscal year 1985 to carry forward the excellent results obtained from its recruitment and retention programs; attain an active Army end strength of 780,787-up from an authorized end strength of 780,000 in fiscal year 1984; and attain selected reserve strength of 724,029-438,383 in the Army National Guard and 285,646 in the Army Reserve. A revived economy, a decline in civilian unemployment, and less favorable demographic trends would make the task a trying one, but the prospect for meeting end year strength objectives appeared bright as the year began. A more perplexing problem, beefing up Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) strength to meet filler and replacement needs during the early stages of a conflict, continued to loom large. Despite modest gains in IRR strength since fiscal year 1977, the numbers in this critical reservoir of trained personnel remained woefully inadequate to meet wartime needs. General Bernard W. Rogers, North Atlantic Treaty Organization commander and former Army Chief of Staff, addressed the problem in March 1985 before the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he proposed the reinstitution of


the draft to meet individual reinforcement needs that would occur if war broke out in. Europe.

Realism in training received increased emphasis in 1985. Using the latest technology, the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, provided near-combat training experiences to a growing number of active Army and Army National Guard battalions. Range modernization actions, including completion of modifications to the 57,000-acre military reservation at Grafenwohr, Germany, making it suitable for M 1 Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, and other new weapons streaming into United States Army, Europe (USAREUR), provided realistic targetry for modern weapons systems. Increased employment of advanced technology training aids and simulators enhanced individual and collective skills while conserving costly ammunition and fuel in .a time of constrained resources. A vigorous joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)-sponsored field exercise program expanded from 10 directed and 32 coordinated exercises in fiscal year 1984 to 12 directed and 37 coordinated exercises this year. Major exercises included the annual REFORGER exercise in Europe; TEAM SPIRIT 85 in Korea; and AHUAS TARA II, a continuation of joint/combined U.S.-Honduran exercises conducted in 1983 and 1984. This year's version, which covered a three-month period, included an anti-armor field training phase which brought tanks into the maneuvers for the first time. Increased emphasis on senior level participation in the JCS-directed command post exercise program provided both senior military and civilian leadership the opportunity to practice the decision-making process regarding major plans, policies, and procedures associated with mobilization, the transition to combat operations, and the conduct of combat operations. Training problems addressed during the year included resolving difficulties encountered in revising the Skill Qualification Test, which were aired at the Four-Star Commander's Conference held in August 1984, and reducing the high trainee failure rates reported by the Department of Defense Inspector General in November 1983. Other training initiatives undertaken during the year included the start of a new fifteen-week, one station unit training (OSUT) program at Fort Benning, Georgia, and a marked increase in Ranger School enrollment-from 2,100 to 3,000 a year-to provide ranger-qualified soldiers for the Army's new light divisions.

Army combat readiness at home, in Europe, and in Korea continued to make gains as a result of good results obtained from a comprehensive program to modernize the active Army


and the reserve components. Particular emphasis was given to meeting the high technology needs for fighting the AirLand Battle as well as providing the. basic, dependable weapons needed for contingency operations on the lower scale of armed conflict; maintaining a proper equipment balance between heavy and light forces, combat and support units, and forward deployed and augmenting forces; and in working with industry to find more cost effective and more efficient ways to develop, procure, and field equipment. Creation of the Office of the Competition Advocate within the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, in January 1985, was a positive step to keep acquisition and research and development costs in line through increased competition.

Significant modernization accomplishments during the year included starting production of the M1A1 tank, an evolutionary advance in the M 1 tank which boasted a 120-mm. smoothbore gun and chemical-biological-nuclear defense features; raising production levels of the Apache attack helicopter and the Bradley fighting vehicles; and improving the Vulcan, Chaparral, and Stinger air defense systems. The continued influx of large quantities of new materiel-more than 400 types of new equipment items, including about fifty weapons systems, are being fielded in USAREUR-has quickened the pace of distribution to reserve component units of first-line, often product-improved, and fully combat ready equipment. New equipment issues to the reserve components have also increased: up from $900 million worth of new equipment in fiscal year 1984 to $1.4 billion in fiscal year 1985. Both factors have brought the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve to a significantly improved readiness posture.

The Army continued to pursue a dynamic research and development program to maintain the momentum of modernization. In addition to developing new weapons systems and improving existing ones, this year's research and development effort stressed achieving technological breakthroughs in distributed command, control, communications, and intelligence (DC31), very intelligent surveillance and target acquisition (VISTA), self-contained munitions (SCM), soldier-machine interface decontamination measures in nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare; and gearing the technology base and its scientific and engineering talents to providing innovations for current and future logistics systems, particularly as they related to lightening the force and the successful waging of the AirLand Battle.


The Army's ability to mobilize, deploy, and sustain itself in combat increased in fiscal year 1985, primarily due to improvements in reserve components management and full-time support, the mobilization base (including the training base), and the industrial base. But serious deficiencies remained. The most pressing concern was the inadequacy of strategic airlift and sealift capabilities to move soldiers and materiel to Europe in a timely manner to support NATO contingency plans. Light infantry initiatives, increased quantities of pre-positioned equipment in Europe, and strong support from Congress, the Air Force, and the Navy to improve strategic lift capabilities were serving to lessen the gap between lift capabilities and requirements, but much remained to be done. Of particular promise was the successful utilization of a new fast sealift ship in the annual REFORGER exercise. The roll-on/roll-off vessel moved much of the equipment used by troops during the exercise, sailing from Beaumont, Texas, and Savannah, Georgia, to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in eleven days.

Fiscal year 1985 force structure changes supported readiness, modernization, sustainability, and deployment priorities; and the goal of developing a balanced force of heavy, light, and special operations forces units, streamlined to execute AirLand Battle doctrine in diverse and distant geographic settings, in response to a wide range of threats, alone or with Allied forces. Programmed improvements in the active Army included conversion of heavy divisions in Europe to refined Division 86 unit designs; conversion of a CONUS infantry division to light infantry division configuration; activation of a new light infantry division and planning the activation of another; increased staffing for tactical support units and special operations forces units; activation of one chemical company in Europe; activation of one area signal company; and, in the combat service support area, activation of two ammunition, one fuel truck, one fuel supply, one LACV-30, and one heavy equipment maintenance companies. In the reserve components, conversion to Division 86 unit designs continued; the Army National Guard progressed in completing the organization of its ninth division and activated a tenth division 30 September 1985; and the Army Reserve expanded its roundout role and organized new combat service support units to improve the Army's capability in the critical areas of conventional ammunition supply, water production and storage, chemical decontamination, and communications and medical support.


Improvements in management to assure maximum effectiveness and efficiency was a major key concern during fiscal year 1985. Special attention was given to four key areas: weapons acquisition processes, force modernization and integration, resource management, and information management.

At the Army staff level the Contracting and Production Directorate, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, was formed to provide much needed guidance, direction, and assistance to more than 240 Army contracting offices and to enable Headquarters, Department of the Army, to develop management information systems, policies, procedures, and methods necessary for effective and efficient contracting operations. Plans were pushed in Congress to upgrade the position of Assistant Chief of Staff for Information Management to deputy chief status, and to fully integrate all information functions, including information resource management, communications, administration, and command and control under the new deputy.

Establishment of the Army Rationalization, Standardization, and Interoperability (RSI) Office within the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans (ODCSOPS) provides a focal point at the Army staff level for RSI matters. The new office will oversee the development of specific RSI policy guidance designed to build a balanced, ready force capable of interoperating with the forces of allies and friendly actions, thereby improving the Army's conventional war-fighting capabilities.

In the field, modernization and integration management was promoted by expanding the role of the U.S. Army Development and Employment Agency, which had largely been confined to evaluating operational concepts, organizations, and materiel requirements for light forces, to heavy and special operations forces and low intensity conflict initiatives. A major reorganization of U.S. Army Forces Command's reserve component management structure was completed. The resulting structure, with five continental armies (including the newly established Fourth Army) and no Army Readiness and Mobilization Regions, eliminated one layer of supervision and provided increased responsibility to the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.

Details on the year's highlights described above, as well as other important events experienced by the Army in fiscal year 1985, are described in the chapters that follow.



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Last updated 4 March 2004