Descriptionof the United States Army
TheUnited States Army is considerably the largest and most sophisticatedunit in the world. This assertion can be assessed through its yearlyexpenditure compared to others. For instance, the US Army accountedfor 37% of the total global spending on military preparedness andoperations in 2015. It dwarfs the budgets of its closest rivals,Russia, and China, multiple times. The outfit consists of fivebranches, including the air force, army, coast guard, navy, andMarine Corps. The workforce is subdivided into three categoriesactive duty, reserve and guard forces, and veterans and retirees.
Theactive duty workers comprise of full-time soldiers and sailors. Thereserve and guard forces workers include those who are hired ascivilians, but can always be called to active duty when a needarises. The veterans and retirees are the former employees in themilitary, and can also be contacted occasionally to provide insightand experience, or even help with an ongoing war if it is establishedthat they are still fit for duty. The final decisions in the army aretaken by the President of the nation. All the branches of themilitary, except the coast guard, are managed by the Department ofDefense (Lineberry & O`Connor, 2012). The coast guard branch isoperated by the Department of Homeland Security. These departmentshave distinct functions from the other and ensure that the country iscomprehensively protected.
TheEconomic and Social Factors Affecting the Performance of the UnitedStates Army
Oneof the issues affecting the performance of the United States Army isthe high rate of suicide among officers (Lineberry & O’Connor,2012). Various theories such as Harry Stack Suvillan’sinterpersonal theory of psychiatry and Adolf Meyer’s theory ofmental illnesses have been used to describe the high rate of suicideas emanating from depression. Most soldiers tend to developdepression after experiencing traumatic experiences such as massmurder (Lineberry & O’Connor, 2012). Other traumatizingexperiences include the death of children during the war. Therefore,they lack skills on how to deal with such experiences when theyreturn from duty. Consequently, high suicide rates reduce the numberof officers, thus forcing the government to spend considerableresources in hiring and training new officers.
Thesecond issue is that the US Army has the largest budget in the worldbecause it has several obligations, some of which extends beyondprotecting the country (International, 2009). For instance, armyofficers are sometimes deployed in international duties to maintainpeace in foreign lands (International, 2009). These activitiesrequire a lot of resources which sometimes are not available. Infact, Army budget has been a subject of debate for a long time. Somepeople want it trimmed while others prefer to maintain it to enhancethe performance of the unit (Lineberry & O`Connor, 2012).
Additionally,the country`s poor international relations with other nations,especially those in the east tend to compromise the army`s ability toestablish relationships with others. Joint relationships areessential because they facilitate information sharing. Information isan important aspect of military operations since it informs themilitary operations such as the maintenance of peace and avoidingtraps (Lineberry & O`Connor, 2012). As it is now, the UnitedStates is a potential target of the countries which think that it isinterfering with their activities. As time passes, the countryremains isolated and unable to establish meaningful associationsoutside.
TheUnited States Army budget should not be cut because of the country`sposition as a center of power and influence in the world. It has beentypical of America to be in the heart of the world`s politics,economic processes, and peace processes. For instance, it has avirtual obligation of managing the rest of the world by checking andsupervising countries which may want to abuse their military powersor those which may want to start a war with weaker countries(International, 2009).
Thecountry has also been in the frontline when it comes to rebuking andredressing human rights violations by other leaders. These functionsplace America at a greater risk of attack from unfriendly countries.They need adequate resources to enhance their security if America hasto continue being the world`s superpower country in the world. Moreover, the country`s peacekeeping agendas require its army to bewell prepared. Therefore, they need a lot of resources to carry outthe related functions effectively.
Thehigh suicide trend among army officers should be redressed to cut themilitary`s yearly budget on recruiting and training new officers. Asthe unit loses its officers to suicide, new ones must be hired andtrained to take their part. The process may inflate the already largearmy budget, consequently preventing controversies and publicscrutiny. Redressing the high suicide rate is also crucial forimproving the military`s public image. As a result, many people willbe willing to join and volunteer in the army, thus improving itsperformance both in the domestic and global arena. Correspondingly,many people would want to donate resources to aid the militaryoperations around the world.
Thedebate on the country`s budgetary allocation for the military is ashow of resistance. People tend to resist processes when they do notunderstand them. The first thing the government should do is to winthe trust of the public by promoting accountability and transparencyin the financial processes of the army. Secondly, the governmentshould also focus on engaging people in understanding the basicmilitary procedures. This way, they would figure out why sometimes alot of resources have to be allocated to the military just the way itis done in the health sector. The fact that the US army was a closelyguarded unit in the past prevented people from understanding that itsprocesses were essential in enhancing the country’s peace and highposition in the world. Equally, they failed to understand that suchactivities required a lot of resources to facilitate.
Thehigh suicide rates in the Army should be redressed by developing oradopting effective therapy processes. Officers should be subjected toperiodic psychological and emotional assessments to determine whetherthey are fit for duty. They should also be prepared adequately wellbefore going to war so that they would not be surprised by what theywould be experiencing in the battlefield. Correspondingly, theyshould also be engaged in comprehensive and intensive debriefingsessions, which contain not only a panel of Army commanders but alsoinclude psychiatrists. This way, they can detect early whether aparticular soldier was affected by the potentially traumaticexperience they encountered in the field. These debriefings should beaccompanied by reports from their team leads.
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Lineberry,T. W., & O`Connor, S. S. (2012). Suicide in the US Army. In MayoClinic Proceedings(Vol. 87, No. 9, pp. 871-878). Elsevier.