In a series of articles this past summer, Gen. Stephen Townsend and his three coauthors called for a reinvigoration of mission command, the Army’s allegedly faltering approach to command and control. readiness in accordance with the requirements stipulated in Army Regulation (AR) 220-1 (Army Unit Status Reporting and Force Registration - Consolidated Policies), and the Leader’s Guide to Objective Assessment of Training Proficiency.17 The Army G-3/5/7 published the Leader's Guide in 2017 as the interim authority for CUSR Objective T- SFRG Regulations. Units dedicate time and effort to acquiring items they do not need in order to meet MTOE quotas, even with the knowledge that the obsolete equipment will fall off the MTOE the following fiscal year. Those leaders would certainly tolerate more programmatic maintenance. It is not because of the individual but rather because of the devaluation of the individual that such perversions of organizational behavior occur. The commanders and staff chase readiness as the USR measures it, often at the cost of actual readiness. Self-righteous blame invites obstinate defense, and both are obstacles to productive discussion. This adverse effect of metric fixation runs precisely contrary to the stated 2018 National Defense Strategy, which emphasizes a pivot toward long-term readiness.15. Army OneSource is a single web portal providing important, credible and up-to-date information in one location for Army Soldiers and Family Members to access at any time of day, regardless of component or geographical location. 1 Research has shown the following: 56% of Soldiers in 2017 were diagnosed with a new injury. Applicability. As Leonard Wong and Stephen Gerras wrote in the 2015 report Lying to Ourselves: Dishonesty in the Army Profession (from which this piece draws much), “with such a strong self-image and the reinforcing perspective of a mostly adoring American society,” Army leaders often “respond with indignation at any whiff of deceit.”20 Discussions thus falter before they begin as all retreat to their respective corners. But the price of that due diligence is at times one, if not several, unfavorable USRs, and units are too often unwilling to pay. Lastly, least measurable (and therefore, from a metric-intensive perspective, least credible) but just as tragic is what Muller calls the degradation of the work. 3. In view of the above, Army Regulation (AR) 220-1, Army Unit Status Reporting and Force Registration—Consolidated Policies, endows the USR with an unsurprisingly quantitative structure. o Contains extensive information regarding Army Strategic Readiness and how it is reported, prepared, reviewed, and submitted (throughout). (Photo courtesy of J. VanDomelen, https://blogs.mentor.com/jvandomelen/blog/2011/12/28/power-problem-what-now/), From March 2018 to November 2019, the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General conducted an audit of the U.S. Army’s active component readiness. Mission. Goal displacement. It is in these measured areas where the USR is most rigid and quantitative, and it is where the metrics chosen least reflect the outcome that the report aspires to measure. The ranking in each category is uniform and numeric: a level “1” (such as an R-1) indicates the highest readiness level in that measured area, and a “4” the lowest (such as R-4).7, Figure 1. The reports do so because they demand inflexible quantitative measurements unfaithful to the outcome they purport to depict—how ready a unit is to accomplish its mission. Subject memorandum directed the U.S. Army Concepts Analysis Agency to develop an expert system to advise on the assignment of equipment readiness codes (ERC). Meanwhile, armament sections learn not to order parts for broken machine guns until after USR reporting windows close, delaying weapons repair by months to avoid flagging them as inoperable. David Barno and Nora Bensahel, “Three Things the Army Chief of Staff Wants You to Know,” War on the Rocks, 23 May 2017, accessed 3 June 2020, Paul Yingling, “A Failure in Generalship,”, George F. Kennan, “America’s Administrative Response to Its World Problems,”. Theo Lipsky, U.S. Army, is a student at the Maneuver Captains Career Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. The pacer OR rate is therefore in theory a reliable measurement of a unit’s ability to fulfill its mission, and it enjoys weight in the overall R-level calculus. Enlarge the figure, Muller explains metric fixation as the overreliance on transparent, quantified measurements to capture and incentivize an organization’s performance; it is also the persistence of this overreliance despite myriad negative consequences. So, instead of stacking structural incentives impossibly high, diametrically opposing the integrity of the individual, and then blaming the individual for systemic failure, the resolution lies in structural reform. One risk of such a practice would be mission creep. All repair parts for all tanks are then ordered under that single tank’s serial number. endstream endobj 1636 0 obj <. In 2011, Congress established the readiness reporting requirement and defined readiness in the first paragraph of 10 U.S.C. The U.S. code, having defined readiness, outlines how it ought to be reported. Enlarge the figure. According to regulation, for a piece of equipment to be fully mission capable, it must pass a “preventative maintenance checks and services” inspection without failing a single “not ready if” bullet. The risk of innovation lessens, and innovation’s long-term benefits assert themselves. Though there is much to be said for earning one’s place, ideas expire with time, and many exit the profession of arms before entering positions of influence in search of a more enterprising culture. The resultant amalgam of definitions cripples the military bureaucracy’s ability to manage. The Army measures readiness by evaluating tactical units and their ability to execute predictable deployments against irregular threats. , as Muller repeatedly disclaims, to the many other inoperable but unreported vehicles quantifying will. 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