Prepared Statement by Gen. Dennis J. Reimer
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.
Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you about America's Army and the magnificent soldiers who proudly serve
Path to the Future
The best way to understand the state of today's Army is to envision our path to the future. This path is marked by
signposts corresponding to the three pillars of our national military strategy: respond, shape, and prepare. To be ready
to ``respond,'' we focus on ensuring near-term readiness so that our forces are ready to react to requirements worldwide.
We also ``shape'' the global environment, increasing international understanding and cooperation, diminishing threats,
and securing America's place in a free and prosperous world. Finally, we ``prepare'' for the future, transforming the
Army so that our soldiers will be ready for the National security tasks the Nation will face in the next century. In my
testimony, I will address our progress in each of these areas. The assessment I offer today is cautiously optimistic. I
am convinced today's Army is trained and ready. I am equally optimistic about the course we have laid out for the
future. However, we do not live in a risk-free environment and in order to balance all the pillars of the National
Military Strategy we have to take risks. I believe these risks to be prudent. With continued congressional support, I am
confident that when America's soldiers are needed, they will always be there.
A Starting Point
Every path has a beginning. The Army's path to success starts with the support of the American people represented by
your concern and commitment. I want to personally thank you for your continued support to the American soldier.
Coincidentally, exactly 200 years ago we faced a series of difficult decisions not too unlike those we see today. Our
new republic was in an era of transition, facing a future filled with ambiguity, potential problems, and unprecedented
The Spring of 1798 saw new and unexpected threats. President John Adams could not see the future, but he knew that
Americans lived in a dangerous world, and he understood well the cost of unpreparedness. The President turned to
Congress for support in strengthening the armed forces, and congressional leaders responded to the call. They
reestablished the United States Marine Corps under the newly created Navy Department, added companies to the
Army's regular regiments, and enhanced the Federal Government's ability to call on the militia to supplement national
defense. These were difficult decisions made for the common good, putting the needs of the new nation above regional
issues and a thousand other concerns. Two centuries later, our nation's leaders are no less vigilant. Our country has a
remarkable history, a powerful legacy of commitment to the common defense. Many of you have recently traveled
around,the world, meeting, talking, and listening to America's soldiers. They were deeply appreciative of your concern
and interest. On behalf of all of them_men and women of the active force, the Army National Guard, and the United
States Army Reserve_I want to offer you their sincere appreciation and thanks.
A Turning Point
There is no question that since the end of the Cold War, the Army has undergone an unprecedented transition.
Today, we are at the turning point in creating a very different army. We have become a globally engaged force,
handling a broad range of military missions. The need for land power during peacetime is greater than ever. The Army
has participated in 28 of the 32 major post-Cold War deployments by U.S. forces, providing over 60 percent of the
personnel involved in those operations. In 1997, on average, the Army deployed about 31,000 Active, Reserve and
National Guard soldiers away from their home stations and families, spread across 70 countries around the world.
Backing them up were approximately another 62,000 men and women preparing to deploy, deploying, or recovering
from operations. During the year, a significant portion of the Army's soldiers were on the move, supporting active
operational commitments, while others were training and preparing for the full spectrum of military operations, from
conventional combat to teaching chemical and biological detection and defense to civilian agencies. The requirements
of America's post-Cold War defense have made the U.S. Army busier than ever.
All of the activity of the past few years has taken place in conjunction with one of the most significant force reductions in our Nation's history. We have taken more than 630,000 active and reserve component soldiers and civilian employees out of the force. We have closed over 700 bases. In Europe, for example, we reduced the force from over 215,000 soldiers to about 65,000. The total drawdown in
Europe would be equivalent to closing 12 major installations in the United States. While these reductions took place,
the number of Army deployments has increased by more than 300 percent. Despite the magnitude of our efforts and the
everyday pressures and stresses on the force, our soldiers continue to perform magnificently. They have the willingness
to take prudent risk, the boldness to seize the initiative, and the professionalism to do their absolute best_trademarks of
the American Army for 223 years.
As you do, I recognize that the service of our soldiers has not come without cost. We are not perfect. Many are
concerned whether the Army can maintain the tremendous progress we have made since the end of the Cold War.
Some worry that a ``zero defects'' mentality might resurrect itself and that opportunities for assignments and promotion
will diminish. Others fear a return to what some refer to as ``the hollow army,'' where requirements far outstripped
resources. Some are concerned that the high pace of operations will detract from training to the point that units will
lose their warfighting edge. These concerns are understandable and bear watching because they highlight an important
constant that we can never compromise_at its core, the Army is about taking care of people_because they are and
always will be our greatest asset. In my remarks, I will address what we are doing and what needs to be done to ensure
our soldiers are prepared to go in harm's way today and at every point along the path to the future.
Responding to Our Nation's Needs_Ensuring Readiness through Recruiting, Retention, and Realistic Training
Responding to the needs of Americans at home and abroad has always been a tenet of our military strategy and the
Army's time-honored task. Every American who has watched an Army National Guard truck deliver a load of sand
bags to help shoreup a levy holding back a raging flood, or an Army convoy plow through an ice storm to deliver
lifesaving supplies, understands what we mean by the ``respond'' pillar of the National military strategy. In like
manner, people across the earth_from a Korean War veteran in Yongsan to an impressionable young Hungarian
meeting his first American at the Army headquarters in Kaposvar_have experienced first hand the meaning of the
presence of U.S. ground forces and America's resolve in responding to crisis worldwide.
Supporting the ``respond'' pillar of the National military strategy requires above all else, a trained and ready force.
Meeting this responsibility starts with recruiting high quality soldiers. The Army continues to enjoy success in
attracting and retaining high quality recruits, but enticing young people to serve, in the numbers that we need, is
becoming increasingly difficult. As you know, history shows that the difficulty of recruiting increases as the jobless
rate declines, and unemployment figures have been at their lowest point in a decade. Nevertheless, the Army is blessed
with an outstanding corps of professional recruiters who have done a tremendous job of bringing young men and
women into the force. We fully expect to accomplish our recruiting mission this year. The importance of this mission
continues to increase as the drawdown concludes and we begin to replace losses on a one-for-one basis. The Army's
recruiting effort in the next few years is crucial to maintaining readiness. In particular, we have placed increased
emphasis on recruiting in critical combat military occupational specialties. This should give commanders confidence
that they will continue to have high quality soldiers, in sufficient numbers, to fill their ranks.
Every soldier who joins the Army is an important and a valued member of the team. As you know, in the recent
Secretary of the Army's Senior Review Panel Report and the Report of The Inspector General, the Army took a hard
look at what needs to be done to ensure each recruit is treated with proper dignity and respect. This work resulted in
the Army's Human Relations Action Plan. The plan fully recognizes that initial entry training (IET) is a critical step in
the ``soldierization'' process, and we are aggressively implementing the recommendations of both reports. We are
expanding Basic Combat Training (BCT) by a week to ensure every recruit is thoroughly grounded in Army values,
teamwork, and discipline. The changes we are making in the training base are not about lowering standards. In fact,
we are working to make IET even more challenging and physically demanding, ensuring we produce highly motivated,
confident young men and women graduates.
At the direction of the Secretary of Defense, we are also currently reviewing the report by the Federal Advisory
Committee on Gender-Integrated Training and Related Issues (the Kassebaum-Baker Report). Many of the committee
report's findings mirror the conclusions in the Secretary of the Army's Senior Review Panel and the Report of The
Inspector General. These concerns are being addressed by the initiatives outlined in the Army's Human Relations
Action Plan. The committee also makes additional recommendations that we are carefully considering. Though the
Army staff has not yet completed their review of the report and presented their findings to me, I can assure you my
response to the Secretary will be focused on three objectives: (1) enforcing the highest standards in discipline and
training; (2) ensuring every soldier lives and trains in a safe and secure environment where they are treated with dignity
and respect; and (3) building the cohesion, confidence, and teamwork that will prepare soldiers for success in their
units. We are committed to following an approach to training that will provide the most efficient and effective military
force, while realizing the full potential of the young Americans who serve our country.
Ensuring the Army's near-term readiness and America's ability to respond to any crisis worldwide also requires
retaining the world's best soldiers. The increased frequency of deployments combined with concerns over inadequate
pay for our enlisted personnel, benefits, health care, and retirement have the potential to increase uncertainty and
adversely affect retention. I think the very high reenlistment rates among units that have conducted the most frequent
operational deployments under harsh and dangerous conditions say a lot about the professionalism of American
soldiers. Our men and women know that they are well trained. They have the tools to put that training into practice.
Most important, they believe their effort and sacrifice is making a difference, saving lives, protecting property, and
contributing to freedom and prosperity in places where these words had no meaning until an American soldier stood
behind them. Our soldiers sacrifice a great deal to serve their country. It is our obligation to provide them and their
families with fair and adequate pay, quality medical care, safe and affordable housing, and stable retirement benefits.
Maintaining a high quality of life for both married and single soldiers remains a top priority for the Army.
Near-term readiness is also about providing realistic and relevant training. The Army's senior leadership has an
obligation to give leaders and soldiers a reasonable expectation that they'll have the time and resources they need to
train. ``Slowing down the train'' is an important part of this effort. More training is not always better training. I do not
think we can do more with less_but we must get more out of what we have got. Fewer and higher quality training
events are more important than ensuring every moment on the training schedule is chock full of activity. For starters,
as you know the Joint Chiefs of Staff have committed to reducing joint training and exercise requirements by 25
percent. This reduction is designed to eliminate the least effective training events and should help to reduce the burden
on commanders who, all too frequently, meet themselves coming and going, racing from one training exercise to the
We are also fine-tuning the Army's training programs. In the coming year we will relook how we train at the
Combat Training Centers (CTCs). The CTCs remain the ``crown jewels`` of our training system, and we need to begin
to look at expanding their role in training for the asymmetrical threats we anticipate our soldiers will face in the years
ahead. This training will not dilute or detract from our warfighting focus, but it will place additional emphasis on
emerging threats, such as urban combat, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the greater intermingling
of combatants and noncombatants on the battlefield. The sophistication of the CTCs has increased by ``an order of
magnitude'' since the end of the Cold War, but continues to be focused on tough, realistic high intensity combat. Our
efforts at the CTCs will be paired with an increased, more cost effective and balanced use of live training, distance
learning and simulations at home station. We have made tremendous gains in learning how to mix new training
technologies with traditional field training. As a result of this effort, I think we will be adequately positioned to
provide a support base for realistic, relevant training in the years ahead.
Realistic, relevant training remains the glue holding the force together. If I have one concern, it is that
commanders at major commands and installations who face tighter budgets and diminished resources have fewer and
fewer options in managing the assets at their command. We need to empower these creative, innovative, and highly
competent leaders. In that light, we are looking at programmatic solutions and the potential of proposing revisions to
legislation to provide commanders some relief and flexibility in how they structure and support their missions. I ask
for your consideration and support with these efforts. Responding to the diverse and often unforeseen mission
requirements of the post-Cold War world requires disciplined, well-trained and ready forces. I believe the steps I have
outlined here will ensure that we will continue to have those forces as we walk the path to the future.
Shaping the International Environment_With Total Army Solutions
In recent years, the Army's shaping responsibilities have become the most demanding aspect of our mission. The
Army has truly become America's premier shaping force_from our forward-presence forces in Korea and Europe; to
stability operations in Bosnia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Haiti, Ecuador, Peru and the Sinai; to
international programs, such as the Partnership for Peace exercises and military-to-military contacts with friends and
allies around the world. In addition, visits with my counterparts in Asia, South America, and Central Europe lead me to
believe strongly that there is more the Army could and should do, particularly as part of an interagency approach, to
promote regional stability, provide strategic early warning of global, change, and mitigate threats before they become
acute. The Army's utility in the post-Cold War world is vast, and we are being increasingly called upon to work with
the other instruments of national power to help shape the international environment.
Managing the high operational and personnel tempo required to sustain our efforts represents one of the most
significant challenges we will face in the year ahead. Ongoing stability operations in Bosnia are a case in point.
Recognizing the need for an extended commitment in this region, we are now looking at ways to avoid consecutive
tours. Our soldiers remain committed to the mission and are proud of the fact that they have saved thousands of lives
and mitigated human suffering thorough their efforts. We are, however, beginning to see soldiers conducting ``back to
back'' deployments. To lessen the burden of high tempo operations, we must develop new, creative operational and
personnel policies specifically tailored to recognize the reality of conducting business in the post-Cold War world.
The foundation of our approach to future operations must rely on Total Army solutions that make the best and
most appropriate use of a mix of active, United States Army Reserve, and Army National Guard soldiers. As you
know, 54 percent of the Army's force structure is in the Guard and Reserve. Recent experience clearly demonstrates
that any significant deployment requires a robust mix of component capabilities. About one quarter of our force in
Bosnia, for example, consists of soldiers from the Army National Guard and United States Army Reserve, while other
soldiers from the Reserve components have deployed to Europe to ``backfill'' Active Duty soldiers serving in the
Stabilization Force. Providing sustained support to shaping activities across the globe, while continuing to meet the
requirements of the other two pillars of the National military strategy, requires Total Army solutions.
We are using the four principles outlined by the Secretary of Defense in his recent letter on Total Force Integration
to focus our efforts on ensuring that each component is properly resourced, structured, and assigned missions to support
our Nation's strategy. Let me briefly outline here the principles and some of the key initiatives we have undertaken.
The first principle highlights responsibility. We recognize that responsibility for the Total Army can only be taken
through energetic leadership and effective communications. The Army has moved to improve communications. Our
Reserve Component Chiefs presented their budget issues personally to the Defense Resources Board during the fiscal
year 1999 budget preparation process. They are more frequently and routinely in my office and others to ensure there
are no filters. I have had several meetings in small groups of state Adjutant Generals. The Secretary of the Army has
established an Army Forum on Integration of the Reserve and Active Components to ensure Army leadership
involvement in Total Army integration issues. The Secretary has placed renewed emphasis on our Army Reserve
Forces Policy Committee, composed of Active, Guard, and Reserve general officers. The Vice Chief of Staff has
reenergized the Reserve Component Coordination Council to address tough policy and resourcing issues.
The second principle outlined by the Secretary of Defense relates to the relevance of missions. This principle
recognizes the importance of establishing clear and mutually understood missions for each unit. We believe missioning
all units is essential because it establishes the purpose and relevancy of the force. Currently, the Army is converting up
to 12 combat brigades of Army National Guard structure to meet the combat support and combat service support
requirements identified in the National Military Strategy. There is, however, much more work to be done in the area of
assigning relevant missions. Currently, there are eight Army National Guard combat divisions and three separate
brigades that have no defined operational mission in the Defense Planning Guidance. Nevertheless, the Army needs
these forces to help meet its worldwide commitments for shaping the conditions that will enhance America's global
interests and responding to the threats that endanger our peace and security. Our task is to define the role of these
forces and embed their missions clearly in the defense planning guidance. An implied task is to gain consensus in the
Department of Defense and with Congress that recognizes the need to resource these missions.
One option for enhancing the utility of Reserve Component forces might be to create ``dual-capable'' units that
have the potential to perform traditional combat missions but can also meet a range of requirements. In this area, we
are looking at a number of innovative concepts. These concepts range from forming multi-component units that could
augment or replace other forces, to giving new missions to the Reserve components that they could assume within their
existing force structure. One of the most important areas for potential ``collateral'' missions is the area of homeland
defense. These missions could include responsibilities for National Missile Defense, protection of critical
infrastructure, and response to domestic emergencies, including the threats of terrorism and weapons of mass
destruction. Another potential area of emerging requirements is earmarking commands as ``bridging forces'' for
working with our friends and allies around the world. These forces would serve as important links to facilitate
combined and multinational operations. They could form habitual training relationships with allied nations. Training
would put special emphasis on the linguistic and liaison capabilities that facilitate multinational operations.
The Army senior leaders must work closely with the Army Reserve leadership, the National Guard Bureau, and
the Adjutant Generals to explore these new requirements and initiatives, realistically defining what can and should be
done. Our objective must be to get the greatest utility out of every element of the force. At the same time, our goal
should be to add predictability and stability to the force. Rapid and unplanned force structure changes place additional
stresses on the force, complicating not only resourcing decisions, but long-term professional development of officers
and soldiers. Where possible, we must make smart decisions that minimize turmoil while providing the most effective
and responsive force possible. This is an achievable goal, but only if we make a concerted effort to complete the
The Secretary's third principle recognizes the importance of training, maintaining, and modernizing all the
components of the force. In the last few years, the Army, with congressional support, has made significant progress in
creating an integrated approach to enhancing the capabilities of the Army National Guard and the United States Army
Reserve. New initiatives continue to be developed. The Reserve Associate Support Program, for example, will provide
enhanced training for United States Army Reserve soldiers and enhanced readiness for Reserve combat support and
combat service support units. After individual entry training, soldiers are attached to an Active Army combat support
or combat service support unit for 24 months of Active Duty. These soldiers then return to their United States Army
Reserve unit experienced and fully trained. The Army has approved a pilot program to test the feasibility of the
concept. Another significant initiative is the development of the Integrated Division. Over the next year, the Army will
create two integrated divisions, placing three Enhanced Separate Brigades under a headquarters commanded by an
Active Duty major general. Upon mobilization, the brigades would deploy as separate forces while the headquarters
serves as a center for training follow-on forces.
The Secretary's fourth principle emphasizes that Total Force integration programs must culminate with a commitment to resource forces adequately to accomplish their assigned missions. Despite the Army's declining share of the Department of Defense budget, the Reserve Component's share of the Army budget has risen commensurately with their increased use. The Reserve Component's share as a percentage of the Army's budget is the highest it has been since 1962. In addition, over the last six years the Army
has invested an unprecedented $21.5 billion in modernizing
Reserve Component forces, including cascading equipment. In the future, more can be done to ensure the efficient and
appropriate distribution of resources. For example, we are expanding Reserve Component participation in Total Army
Analysis (TAA) process, using their expertise to help validate Army warfighting requirements and allocate resources
within the Army's budget.
We have also reviewed the successful integration of both the Air Force and the United States Marine Corps. We
think there are opportunities for the Army to use the underlying principles of these models. Using them, we are
currently refining concepts that provide for even greater integration of the active, National Guard and Reserve soldiers
with emphasis on rounding out units up to the company level. At that level, soldiers and leaders focus on a single
system and the challenges of integration are the most manageable.
We are fully committed to managing the Total Army in accordance with the Secretary of Defense's four principles
for force integration. We believe that the result will be Total Army solutions that allow the U.S. Army to conduct
prolonged, responsive shaping operations today, tomorrow, and into the next century.
Preparing for the Challenges Ahead_Experimenting with the Force, Readying the Leaders, Reengineering the
As you know, the Army has been preparing for the future through our Force XXI process. The process is designed
to spearhead the development of Army XXI, a product-improved force that will see the Army into the next century.
Army XXI is cooperative warfighting experiment, which I hope will serve as the precursor for a truly joint
experimentation program that will inform and energize a fully integrated joint modernization process.
In addition to the tremendous progress we have made in experimentation, this year marks a significant
development in our Force XXI leader development programs. The Officer Personnel Management System (OPMS)
XXI and the new Officer Efficiency Report (OER) are important components of our future-oriented programs. Though
these are officer programs, they are intended as a start point for institutionalizing leader programs for the 21st Century
across the Army. OPMS XXI restructures how active duty officers will be managed, developed, and promoted over a
career of service. The changes it introduces are significant. The new system will not only open new opportunities for
advancement, command and education, but will better serve the Army's demanding and diverse needs for officer
leadership in the 21st Century. We developed OPMS XXI hand-in-hand with the revision of the OER system. The
new report places special emphasis on ethical attributes and the ability to share and instill those qualities in
subordinates. These initiatives, in conjunction with our other Force XXI efforts, are important steps in growing the
soldiers and leaders of the next century.
While we continue our Force XXI process, we are reviewing the findings of the recently completed work of the
National Defense Panel (NDP). The panel's report has far reaching implications that deserve to be discussed and
considered. On the whole, I find the report's findings as a vote of confidence for the path we are on and see nothing
that leads me to believe we should significantly alter our path. We must take a prudent course; each pillar in our
national strategy carries great importance. We would be ill advised to assume undue risk in one area for the sake of
speeding developments in another. A balanced approach to the future_responding to and deterring threats when they
present themselves, shaping the strategic environment to mitigate potential sources of instability before they become
acute, and preparing in a disciplined, deliberate manner for the challenges we know we will face ahead_remains our
best hope for ensuring Americans peace and prosperity from today to tomorrow.
One finding of the NDP report with which I fully agree is the recommendation to eliminate excess infrastructure. I fully recognize that this is a contentious and controversial issue. Yet, I believe it is one that we as a Nation must address. As you know, the Army has made every effort to be as efficient and effective as possible. The Army has programmed approximately $10.5 billion in efficiencies over the Future Years Defense
Program (FYDP). While we have assumed a degree of risk through the budget, it follows 13 years of decline (except for Desert Storm) in real terms and reflects the continued decrease in the Army's percentage of the Department of Defense's budget from 27 percent in fiscal year 1989 to 24.9 percent fiscal year 1999.
Implementing the budget requires the Army to assume risk in certain areas and make tough choices to balance
requirements and resources.
One Team, One Fight, One Future_America's Soldiers
Balancing priorities is never an easy task. Our first congressional leaders learned that lesson well 200 years ago, and very little has changed. There are no easy answers, no silver bullets, no magic solutions. Inside the Army, we have done our best to provide the right balance among readiness, endstrength, modernization, and quality of life. We are one team, United States Army Active, Reserve and National Guard. We believe in one fight conducted by an integrated joint combat force in concert with other Federal agencies_providing for the common defense. We are working for one future: a better, more secure place for America in a safer and more prosperous world. At the heart of this commitment are American soldiers, prepared and ready to serve whenever and wherever our nation calls. Supported by these exceptional men and women, we can and will face the tough choices ahead and make the right decisions to safely travel down the path to the years ahead.