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Chapter 23

This chapter describes how the personnel system operates in support of force projection.


The global conditions of today are turbulent and in a period of significant change. The Army may be called upon to fight under conditions of rapid force projection, then build to major sustained operations in war and operations other than war. Operations may also terminate quickly only to lead to other commitments elsewhere. The joint nature of force projection means that Army personnelists must be prepared to operate in coordination with the personnel communities of the sister services.

Rapid force projection from CONUS or forward deployed theaters, extended lines of communication, and potential forced entry into logistically bare areas of operation require a personnel support system that is versatile, deployable, and expansible.

  • Versatile means that leaders must be prepared to rapidly adjust their concepts of support to meet diverse challenges as operations unfold. They must shift focus and move from one role or mission to another rapidly and efficiently.
  • Deployable means that some elements of the personnel structure must be earmarked and kept at a high state of readiness to minimize delays in deployment. They must be able to move and support the relocation of forces to desired areas of operations or within an area of operations.
  • Expansible means that leaders must be prepared to expand the force structure rapidly from a minimum support forward posture to a full-up wartime theater support capability.

The principles governing personnel deployment in support of force projections dictate the following:

  • Maximum personnel support for the deployed force will be rendered from the home station or sustaining base.
  • Personnel structure will deploy incrementally.
  • Appropriate size, composition, phasing, and scope of responsibilities of the deploying personnel structure will be determined largely by force projection considerations of FM 100-5 (lethality, force tailoring and teamwork, battle command, logistics, training, and so forth).

As a minimum, the initial deployment (for example, C- C+12) must be prepared to manage personnel accounting and strength reporting, casualty operations, and postal support within the area of operations. A potential forcible entry would initially exclude such functions as MWR and retention. As the deployed force matures and the situation stabilizes, other essential military personnel services may be required within the area of operations. Examples of incremental deployment are at Figures 23-1 through 23-3.


Force projection of a supported unit will impact severely on the effectiveness of the critical military personnel systems that sustain that force. These systems are manned by the TOE force structure. They should be deployed incrementally as discussed below. Specific systems required will vary by the type of operation (for example, war, domestic support operations, peace operations). Additional details and staff/unit responsibilities for each system are outlined in Chapters 1-7.


During deployment, the initial personnel readiness management focus will be on ensuring that units deploy at the established personnel readiness level. Planned policy changes restricting personnel losses will stabilize the force and minimize replacement requirements.

Replacement requirements will surface as the theater matures. These requirements will generate the unassigned replacement flow. At this point, the personnel readiness management network must be in place to allocate replacements and develop personnel fill plans in support of the replacement management system and the commander's priorities.


The personnel accounting and strength reporting system depends on the personnel automation element within the supporting personnel services battalion (PSB). The deployed force will lose contact with the personnel information management system until the automation element becomes operational. To minimize the effect, a personnel automation element from each PSC/PSB should deploy as an advance party with the appropriate personnel management center at division, corps, and TAACOM levels.

USTA PERSCOM personnel assistance points (PAP) personnel coordinate with (and are usually colocated with) transportation elements at points of embarkation to update and transmit unit and individual manifests, as outlined in Chapter 4. Senior personnel leaders in forward-deployed theaters designate a personnel element(s) to meet this requirement. Senior deployed personnel leaders task a personnel element(s) to establish a link with transportation elements at point of debarkation to ensure 100 percent accountability of units/personnel entering the area of operations.

An automation element at the theater level must be able to provide theater accountability and by-name reporting. It may also act as the data entry point for units deploying to the theater.


The demand for casualty information during any contingency operation establishes a critical requirement for casualty managers and liaison personnel. Leaders must establish the casualty management network without delay.


Replacement units must arrive early to man the ports of debarkation in order to support and account for incoming and outgoing personnel. In addition to supporting soldiers in the normal replacement stream, replacement units will have to support soldiers, civilians, and other assigned/attached personnel returning to duty from medical facilities. As the theater matures, unassigned replacement personnel will begin to arrive for further assignment from the theater level. At this point, the replacement management network for the entire force must be in place.


Under SIDPERS 2.75, it is not practical to reconfigure and deploy the SIDPERS data base from the regional data centers to the area of operations. This presents important challenges for SIDPERS systems managers. Personnel data changes from battalions and separate units must pass through the personnel network for transmission via an electronic data link to the regional data center network. At the same time, these changes must update consolidated contingency data bases at brigade, division, corps, TAACOM, and theater. SIDPERS 3.0 will provide greater flexibility. However, systems managers using early versions of SIDPERS must plan to build contingency data bases from the lowest level to the top. Systems managers at division, corps, TAACOM, and theater level must plan for continuous updates.


There will be an immediate demand for postal services in any contingency operation. Postal system managers must deploy early at corps and theater Army level to establish the postal delivery network and manage the theater mail routing scheme. Additionally, general and direct support (GS/DS) postal units must deploy early to provide postal services and Additionally, postal services and operations platoons must deploy early to provide postal services and start the mail flow.


The mission of the MWR system in force projection is to improve unit readiness by promoting fitness, building morale and cohesion, increasing family wellness and self reliance, and enhancing soldier and civilian quality of life. The synchronized systems of Army MWR, the American Red Cross, family support, and the exchange system provide recreational, social, health and comfort, and family support services to soldiers, civilians, and joint assigned/attached personnel. The American Red Cross supplements those family support services of the military that affect the health, welfare, and morale of the soldiers and families. Mission accomplishment for forward-deployed units is directly linked to soldiers' confidence that their families are safe and are able to carry on during their absence. The exchange system provides basic health, hygiene, and personal care needs to soldiers and civilians. Activities of the synchronized systems are discussed in greater detail in Chapter 7, Morale, Welfare, and Recreation and Community support.


The specific requirements for military personnel units to support a force projection will be established by DCSPER of the responsible Army Force (ARFOR) commander. If no ARFOR commander is designated, the Army Component DCSPER of the unified command exercising geographic responsibility will specify personnel unit requirements. Selected units will be employed as follows:

  • Large-scale force projections (corps or larger) -- the personnel units are under the operational control of the personnel group, or groups, and the personnel command (if established).
  • Small-scale force projections (division or smaller) -- the personnel units will be under the operational control of the senior personnel leader in the ARFOR.

Combat divisions have no organic personnel units. Thus, elements of corps personnel units must be identified during the planning process for deployment in support of the deploying task force. The personnel group commander deploys personnel assets in accordance with the requirements of METT-T and considers the nature of the operation, size of the force utilized, maturity of the theater, availability of in-theater assets, and host nation capabilities. Examples of the personnel support needed for different levels of deployment are at Figures 23-1 through 23-3.


Adequate manpower must deploy early to establish and operate the critical personnel systems. Functional managers will comprise the force's personnel management center (PMC). The personnel systems must activate almost simultaneously within the deployed force to provide and synchronize the full range of functions required on the battlefield.


The PSB must be prepared to support the deployed force from two locations, forward and rear. The forward element may deploy as follows:

  • A small team of personnel information and casualty operations managers deploys with each PMC it supports (for example, division, corps, TAACOM, or theater). It must deploy with automation and communications equipment and arrive in theater early so that deployed units can integrate into the personnel information management network with minimum delay.
  • Follow-on PSB forces may be required within the theater of operations to expand the critical systems and provide other essential services as the deploying force matures. The size and composition of the follow-on force will be determined by force projection considerations and the requirements of METT-T.
  • Casualty liaison teams with medical treatment facilities and mortuary affairs units will be deployed.

The rear element of the PSB will not only support the deployed force through the forward element, it must also continue to provide the complete range of personnel support to any remaining force at the sustaining base. Chapter 26 describes sustaining base operations.


Elements of postal units should be among the first to deploy. The mail flow in both directions will begin within a matter of days after the first units arrive in theater, unless restrictions are put in place by the theater CINC. The objective is to deploy postal units early enough to prevent mail backlogs.


At least one replacement company must deploy early to establish control over personnel arriving and departing as individuals. Others can follow as theater strength increases.


Personnel groups must prepare to deploy incrementally and execute the theater PERSCOM mission during the initial stages. The group PMC must deploy first to establish critical personnel readiness systems in conjunction with elements of the PSB.


An active component element from the theater or contingency PERSCOM PMC must prepare to deploy with the lead personnel group's advance party. This initial element's mission is to prepare to establish the theater Army personnel networks.


Mobilization may or may not occur in support of a force projection. The Army could execute a small-scale force projection without using Reserve Component units. A large-scale operation will require unit and individual mobilization. Personnel requirements in support of mobilization are discussed in detail in FM 100-17. Should mobilization occur, the following planning factors must be considered.

  • Postal and personnel replacement units must mobilize early to support postal services and replacement flow. The command and control elements of the contingency PERSCOM and the echelons above corps personnel group must deploy early and incrementally. PMCs within these organizations must deploy with the headquarters they support.
  • The personnel replacement battalions, which will support the CONUS replacement centers, must mobilize early to prepare for the individual replacement flow. The Commander, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) must coordinate their mobilization with FORSCOM to strive to have the CONUS replacement centers operational when they are needed.


The civilian personnel management function is supported by a TDA structure. The size of the deployed civilian force will determine whether a civilian personnel management structure should be deployed. If no management structure is available, elements of the military personnel structure may be called onto support the civilian force. See Chapter 9, Personnel Support to Civilians, for details.

The need to deploy civilians in support of a force projection is determined by force projection considerations and the requirements of METT-T.


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