…The new brigades are fixed in number of maneuver battalions (two for infantry and armor brigades, three for Stryker) which lacks the flexibility held in the divisional brigades to meet a dynamic battlefield. Mixing and matching brigades gives less flexibility than mixing and matching battalions, a simple matter of arithmetic. Battalions are smaller.
Worse than that the Modular brigade structure for infantry and armor brigades lacks the necessary flexibility to retain a reserve force within the brigade, and real soldiers know that committing the reserves at the right time and place is the commander’s best shot a winning a battle. In order to form a reserve or reaction force, current commanders in the field are task organizing the forces available to meet what needs to be done contrary to the intent of the Modular force. It neither works in practice or theory.
Gordon S. Fowkes
Lt. Col. (ret.), U.S. Army
I think this is the first criticism of the modular brigade concept I’ve heard since the plan was implemented. I think it’s been clear that a brigade-centric Army is more ready to fight the small wars and probably a little less ready to fight the big wars than a division-centric Army, but this is the first I’ve heard of or thought about a lack of a meaningful reserve force within the brigade.
What do some of you smart cookies think of this?
U.S. Army Soldiers from Alpha Battery, 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Ft. Riley, Kan., fire their weapons at a range on Camp Liberty, Iraq, Oct. 10, 2007. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Sharhonda R. McCoy)
From JCCC. Click for larger version.