Preparing for the Future: Developing an Adaptive Army in a Time of Peace, 1918-1941   [open pdf - 590KB]

From the thesis abstract: "As the US Army transitions into a period of transformation, it is focusing its attention on becoming a more adaptable organization that can meet the challenges of an uncertain future. Faced with personnel and budget reductions, the Army is evaluating changes to its operational doctrine, organizational structure, leader development, and unit training in an effort to become more lethal and expeditionary. The modern Army faces the uncertainties of asymmetrical hybrid threats combining multiple forms of warfare across multiple domains to include cyber and space. Between 1918 and 1941, during the Interwar Period, the Army faced similar uncertainties as the Army attempted to anticipate the impact of rapidly developing technologies in firepower, aviation, mechanization, and motorization and the threat from rising powers in Asia and Europe. While these challenges are significantly different, in both examples emerging technological advances led to changes in the conduct of warfare. To parallel the modern Army's approach, the examination framed the research around the Interwar Army's adaptation of its doctrine and organizational structure, development of adaptable leaders through officer education, and preparation of the force for uncertainty through large-scale two-sided maneuvers. The experience of the Interwar Army at developing an adaptable organization provides an historic case study to apply to the modern Army as it transitions for the future."

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