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ON POINT II: Transition to the New Campaign

The United States Army in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM May 2003-January 2005





Part V

Conclusion


Chapter 14
Implications

 

Soldiers: The Army’s Greatest Asset

The most positive insight to emerge from this study has been the consistently superb combat and noncombat performance of US Army Soldiers and units. Despite all of the challenges and difficulties noted throughout On Point II, the US Army Soldier emerges again and again as the most flexible, determined, and resourceful element in the Army’s arsenal. The bravery, ingenuity, and tactical skill of Soldiers, and the sustained tactical excellence of units in the US Army, are testimony to the soundness of the Army’s recruiting, training, education, and leadership practices. This record of success has been marred somewhat by the dishonorable actions of a tiny, well publicized, fraction of the Soldiers who have served in Iraq. It is to the Army’s credit that those incidents have been or are still being investigated, and that those found guilty of criminal misconduct are being punished. Clearly, much was done right to prepare the Army for its mission in what has become an extended campaign in Iraq. The high level of public support for the Army’s Soldiers from every side of the political spectrum is ample evidence of their well earned respect. The Army must do more to put forth the names and faces of its greatest assets to maintain that level of public support.

The Army’s recent emphasis on inculcating the Warrior Ethos is a positive reaction to the reality of 21st century military operations and shortfalls discovered during the march to Baghdad. The Warrior Tasks and Drills, which are now part of the Initial Entry Training (IET), the Noncommissioned Officer Education System (NCOES), and the Officer Education System (OES) should remain part of the individual training program. The 360-degree threat environment of the contemporary operating environment should put an end to that time-worn epithet for Soldiers whose missions were performed in the rear echelons of the linear battlefield. Every Soldier, regardless of military occupation specialty or rank must be a master of personal and small unit offensive and defensive combat skills.


Chapter 14. Implications





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