Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1973



Armed forces must reorganize continually to take advantage of technological advance, adjust to fluctuations in strength, and offset the threat of potential adversaries. Reorganization in the Army takes place at every level, at departmental headquarters, in field commands, and in installations and units. Occurring even more frequently are organizational refinements to keep apace with Army needs in manning and staffing, funding and management, weapons and equipment, concepts and doctrine, and tactics and training.

Military organization faces its crucial test in wartime. A cessation of hostilities usually brings substantial organizational change to correct imperfections exposed by the conflict, to take advantage of lessons learned from it, and to adjust to postwar conditions. This has been the case with the Vietnam War, and the structural changes that were taken in fiscal year 1973 or were pending as the year closed are of sufficient magnitude and importance to warrant a separate chapter in this annual report.

In addition to structural deficiencies revealed by the war, substantial changes in managerial programs and techniques, stimulated by the conflict and by the introduction of new automated data processing equipment, also suggested organizational revision. Other pressures were raised by the requirements to eliminate the draft and establish an all-volunteer Army. These developments coincided in turn with the rapid decline of the war, a sharp reduction in the size of the Army, and a shift to a peacetime footing—all matters of organizational import.

Against this background, it became evident early in 1972 that some major reorganization would be necessary and that the subject should be studied at the upper levels of the Army. Thus, on 24 April 1972, an Office of the Project Manager for Reorganization was established within the Office of the Chief of Staff. Major General James G. Kalergis, who was designated Project Manager, was to develop and manage a program that would improve Army organization at the major command and higher headquarters staff levels. The objectives of the reorganization, as set out in the Project Manager's charter, were to improve active and Reserve forces readiness, make schools and training more effective, improve the methods of developing equipment and forces, streamline management, and reduce overhead. Certain controlling influences were recognized: the Army would be smaller, people costs would increase,


greater reliance would be placed on the Reserve Components, and the need for decentralization would increase.

As a result of the study and the Project Manager's recommendations, Secretary of the Army Robert F. Froehlke and General Creighton W. Abrams, Chief of Staff, announced on 11 January 1973 a series of major actions to modernize and streamline the Army's organization within the continental United States—the most sweeping reorganization since 1962.

Restructuring the Major Commands

The 1962 reorganization had established three major commands within the continental United States to handle most of the Army's business. For more than a decade since, the Continental Army Command has provided a headquarters to direct most Army training and to monitor combat readiness at home. During the same period the Combat Developments Command has kept the Army prepared to meet current contingencies and has assayed its needs of the future. And, finally, the Army Materiel Command has handled commodity affairs, including the major share of logistic support for the war in Vietnam.

Under the 1973 reorganization, two of these three commands are to be discontinued, the Continental Army Command on 1 July 1973 and the Combat Developments Command on 31 December 1973. Their functions will be redistributed on 1 July 1973 between two new commands: the United States Army Forces Command and the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command.

The United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) oversees all operational divisions and Strategic Army Force units in the continental United States and all U.S. Army Reserve units. FORSCOM is also responsible for the readiness of the Army National Guard. Headquartered at Fort McPherson, Georgia, and formed from a nucleus of the disestablished Third U.S. Army, FORSCOM represents about 60 percent of total Army strength, with about 225,000 active Army troops and 660,000 soldiers in Reserve units. The command also employs about 37,000 civilians. Active installations will report directly to FORSCOM headquarters, and the FORSCOM commander will use the First U.S. Army at Fort Meade, Maryland, the Fifth U.S. Army at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and the Sixth U.S. Army at the Presidio of San Francisco, California, to help him manage the Reserve Components. Nine Army readiness regions will serve as extensions of the armies in carrying out the Reserve Component function. These organizational arrangements were in progress from January to June 1973 in preparation for FORSCOM's becoming operational on 1 July 1973.

The United States Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) merges previously separated Combat Developments Command


agencies with the service schools. Basic and individual training, education at service schools, and the combat developments process have been, brought together under TRADOC's sponsorship, with synergistic. benefits accruing to each of these functions. Headquartered at Fort Monroe, Virginia, TRADOC has a strength of about 180,000 military—some 22 percent of the active force—and will employ about 49,000 civilians. Three new centers will assist the commander in co-ordinating the combat developments effort: the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the Logistics Center at Fort Lee, Virginia, and the Administration and Personnel Center at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana. TRADOC will also manage the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps program through four regional activities.

Under the new organization, the importance of the installation commander has increased. Without intervening headquarters layers, he now has a direct line to his parent major command. An installation commander under either FORSCOM or TRADOC is responsible to the command for all units assigned to his post. The reorganization also recognizes his prominence in support activities in his geographical area. The installation commander clearly has an important role in FORSCOM's and TRADOC's mission accomplishment and in the Army execution of policy on a geographical basis.

The third command that was created in the 1962 Army reorganization—the U.S. Army Materiel Command—continues as the major element concerned with the design, development, procurement, distribution, and wholesale support of materiel for U.S. forces. Its ability to carry out this mission, however, is being improved by the 1973 reorganization through functional and geographical consolidations.

The Antiballistic Missile Treaty and 1972 congressional actions limiting the Safeguard program led to some consolidations and reductions. At Huntsville, Alabama, the U.S. Army Safeguard Logistics Command was merged with the U.S. Army Safeguard System Command, and strength was reduced. The Safeguard Central Training Facility at Fort Bliss, Texas, was disestablished, and remaining elements at Huntsville and at Malmstrom, Montana, Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and White Sands, New Mexico, were reduced in strength.

As a result of a general reorganization and centralization of defense investigative services, the U.S. Army Intelligence Command was also reorganized. Personnel and functions concerned with routine security investigations were transferred to the newly formed Defense Investigative Service, and the Intelligence Command, reduced to about half its previous strength, was limited to the traditional counterintelligence role. These actions were phased to a long-term plan to close Fort Holabird, Maryland, as an Army post and to move the Intelligence Command to Fort Meade, Maryland, by 30 September 1973.


Department of the Army

The 1973 reorganization affected Headquarters, Department of the Army (DA), as well as the major continental commands. Headquarters involvement in operations within the domain of the major commands will diminish. The headquarters will plan and integrate broad programs, develop policy, arrange priorities, and allocate resources. It will pull together the activities of the three major commands, control the tasking of new missions, and provide for the disciplined use of resources. To assist the DA headquarters in decision-making, the U.S. Army Concepts Analysis Agency and the U.S. Army Operational Test and Evaluation Agency were formed; they will report directly to the Department of the Army and will analyze and evaluate requirements for new materiel systems, force designs, and operational concepts.

The U.S. Army Concepts Analysis Agency, established on 15 January 1972, will respond to Army staff needs by conducting war games, studies, and analyses connected with force development and operational planning. The U.S. Army Operational Test and Evaluation Agency, established on 25 September 1972, will plan and test all major and selected nonmajor systems required in materiel acquisition.

In health care, medical supervisory functions were removed from the Office of the Surgeon General, the Continental Army Command, and the continental U.S. armies and consolidated into a U.S. Army Health Services Command headquartered at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Providing a single manager for Army medical activities in the United States, the Health Services Command was established on 1 April 1973 and has over 50,000 military and civilian personnel. Subordinate to it is the Academy of Health Services, which manages all medical service schools and the Medical Training Center.

In personnel, the U.S. Army Military Personnel Center was established on 15 January 1973 at Alexandria, Virginia. By combining personnel assignment, career planning, counseling, and personnel-related factions, the Army has set up a -one-step center for military personnel and has reduced the operational functions of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel.

The Office of The Inspector General was also affected by the 1973 reorganization. The Inspector General's responsibilities for inspections and investigations were broadened, and his grade was increased from major general to lieutenant general. Studies are also under way that would further expand the coverage and improve the efficiency of the Inspector General system.

The 1973 reorganization was intended not only to make the headquarters staff responsive to the new continental-wide command structure but also to improve efficiency. Thus there were organizational realign-


ments and functional transfers within the major staff agencies at the departmental level. When all changes have been completed, the Office of the Chief of Staff will have been substantially reduced. The Adjutant General's Office will experience the greatest reduction by transferring several of its functions to the Military Personnel Center and to the Adjutant General Center, a field operating agency responsible for administrative services, education and morale, casualties, postal and publications services, heraldry, registry and courier services, and nonappropriated funds. The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics will be reduced from eight to six directorates and the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel from seven to four directorates.

There are substantial changes involving staff support agencies and field operating agencies.1 Some of the changes have already been noted. For instance, the Concepts Analysis Agency is a staff support agency; the Operational Test and Evaluation Agency, the Military Personnel Center, and the Adjutant General Center are field operating agencies. In another change, the Office of the Chief of Military History was renamed, on 17 June 1973, the U.S. Army Center of Military History, a field operating agency of the Army staff. The Chief of Military History, while remaining a separate Special Staff member of the Army staff, was also designated Commanding General, U.S. Army Center of Military History.

Organizational modifications will continue through fiscal year 1974, by which time the Army staff will have dropped more than 50 percent below the 1969 level, as shown below.






January 1969




June 1972




June 1973




June 1974





The reduced U.S. role in the Vietnam War, the attendant cutback in Army strength, the decreasing use of the draft, and the shift to an all-volunteer force—all had a major effect on Army training. To insure close and high-level co-ordination of all elements of Army training in the turbulent transitional period, the Chief of Staff on 1 July 1972 established within his office a Special Assistant for Training (SAT) with the mission of enhancing the effectiveness of the Army as a fighting force

1The terms field operating agency and staff support agency replace the former designation Class II activity. A field operating agency is concerned primarily with operational functions, although it may operate under the supervision of a specific staff agency. A staff support agency, on the other hand, directly supports the Army staff, usually with management information, analysis, or command and control support.


by improving the training and motivation of individuals and units. Lieutenant General Glenn D. Walker was designated as the Special Assistant for Training and served in that capacity for the first critical year.

The SAT was authorized to monitor the progress of the Army staff and major commands in areas related to training and motivation, develop new programs to improve individual motivation and unit effectiveness, and monitor and implement actions in this area initiated by the Special Assistant for the Modern Volunteer Army.

Field Organization

The Army's major field combat organization—the division—is regularly altered to take advantage of the latest developments in weapons, equipment, tactics, and techniques. In the relatively brief period from World War II to the present, a span of little more than thirty years, there have been major changes in division organization. The cavalry division and the horse gave way to the armored division and the tank. Airborne and light mountain divisions were added to the existing infantry and armored division base. The organizational composition of the division moved from square to triangular to pentomic. Serious consideration was given to the possibility of eliminating type divisions in favor of a "universal" division. And in more recent times the helicopter has led to the airmobile division.

Experience in Vietnam has now prompted experimentation with yet another form of division, one organized to provide it with a triple capability. The 1st Cavalry Division (TRICAP) was activated at Fort Hood, Texas, on 5 May 1971. An experimental unit composed of an armored brigade, an airmobile brigade, an air cavalry combat brigade, and a division base, the 1st Cavalry Division is expected to adapt the highly successful airmobility experience gained in Vietnam to more traditional battlefield environments. Evaluation of the division concept and the air cavalry combat brigade is being done by the Modern Army Selected Systems Test, Evaluation, and Review (MASSTER) facility at Fort Hood.

Testing of the TRICAP concept began in February 1972 with an investigation into the operational employment and effectiveness of various company teams organized into battalion forces to accomplish specific tasks. The TRICAP test has centered on the air cavalry combat brigade element and related studies and experiments conducted by various commands and agencies. As a result of a Combat Developments Command evaluation, the 1st Cavalry Division will be reorganized late in fiscal year 1974 and will have two armor brigades and an air cavalry combat brigade.


Other Reorganization Actions

Among other important actions scheduled in the 1973 reorganization to be carried out in 1974, the Recruiting Command headquarters will move from Hampton Roads, Virginia, to Fort Sheridan, Illinois; the Strategic Communications Command will be assigned responsibility for co-ordinating all continental Army communications, including installation communications; the Criminal Investigation Command will be reorganized to eliminate some headquarters and consolidated field agencies; the Intelligence Command will complete its reorganization and its move to Fort Meade, Maryland; and the U.S. Army Chemical Corps will be reduced preparatory to its eventual merger with the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps. Some of the details of ongoing actions related to these and other elements of the 1973 reorganization appear in appropriate functional sections of this report.


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Last updated 9 August 2004