The Hollow Army

The Hollow Army : How the U.S. Army Is Oversold and Undermanned

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A blockbuster. . . sure to be controversial. A major work, not just in military sociology but among concerned citizens generally. The Hollow Army is one of a kind in that it completely runs against the conventional wisdom that today's American Army is an effective fighting force. Henderson's argument is brilliantly conceived, backed with data and penetrating insight. . . . The scholarship is extremely sound. . . and the use of data is peerless.

Charles C. Moskos Chairman, Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society



William Darryl Henderson maintains that despite highly successful marketing efforts to sell the image of a new quality army to the American public, the Congress, and to the U.S. Army itself, the Army has, in fact, not risen above mediocre performance levels. Henderson dispels the myth of today's quality army, and explores the long buried and avoided MPT (manpower, personnel, and training) issues that are expanded on in succeeding chapters.



The 24 charts, 13 tables, and 9 chapters of this compelling and timely investigation factually demonstrate the real army story. Henderson insists, in an introductory chapter, that everything, even the bad news must be told. Chapter 2 suggests that the nature and significance of the army's mission are changing and gaining in importance and the exploration of the actual number of combat troops in Chapter 3 concludes that the most important principle of war can no longer be effectively employed by the U.S. Army. The vital areas of training, personnel, and the small combat unit are addressed in the next four chapters. Chapter 8 details the unfocused character of the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Corps. The final chapter suggests that if the army is to perform its stated function and achieve maximum value for the manpower and funds allocated, a rigorous structural-functional systems analysis and a searching review of underlying assumptions must be undertaken. This ambitious and eye-opening examination should be required reading not only for students and scholars of defense and military studies but for Congressional members, government officials, army personnel, and U.S. taxpayers as well.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 184 pages
  • 155.96 x 233.93 x 12.7mm | 439.98g
  • Praeger Publishers Inc
  • Westport, United States
  • English
  • 0313268746
  • 9780313268748

Table of contents

Foreword by Charles Moskos Preface Introduction: Selling a Mythical Army The Army Mission: A Mismatch for Today's Army Army Manpower: An Issue with No Constituency Training on a Treadmill Personnel Turbulence Small Unit Leaders Should Be War Winners Why Can't the American Army Create Cohesive Units? The Broken Backbone It's Broke and Needs to Be Fixed Bibliography Index
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Review quote

"Henderson (social sciences, US Military Academy and a retired Colonel in the US Army) directed the US Army Research Institute for the Behavorial and Social Sciences and is the author of several books on military sociology. He argues that the US Army today, despite major marketing efforts to sell it as the best ever, ' is mediocre at best. This is not the raving of a bitter individual, but the work of a devoted professional who is sincerely interested in pointing out major shortcomings and, more important, in making positive recommendations. Indeed, the last chapter is titled It's Broke and Needs to Be Fixed.' The thrust of Henderson's argument is that the fault lies in long-buried and avoided' manpower, personnel, and training issues. The army is top-heavy and bureaucratic, and its emphasis is not on the combat unit level but on the many layers of headquarters and support organizations. This book plows new ground in the area of military sociology and makes a major contribution to the field. Recent decisions on military force reductions make it even more important that all who share responsibility for national security give very serious thought to the points made in this study. Upper-division undergraduates and above."-Choice ." . .This book should be read not only by concerned government officials but by all Marines who are involved in manpower and personnel, training, and education, and force restructing. The Marine Corps can learn from mistakes made by others."-Marine Corps Gazette "According to the conventional wisdom . . . the All-Volunteer Army has turned into the "best ever." Henderson, a former combat infantryman, goes against the grain, arguing that the Army's performance has been mediocre. . . ."-Navy Times ..."Every concerned citizen should read this book and then demand that their congressman raise hell. It is an important book and will be used by reformers as a classic reference. The Army will damn it as the work of an army basher and continue to bullshit the troops that all is well in the Green Machine. Don't you believe it! Read this book."-Military ." . . a searing indictment of Army claims that the current all-volunteer force is the best ever fielded. In The Hollow Army: How the U.S. Army is Oversold and Undermanned, retired Col. William Darryl Henderson uses intelligence-test scores to argue that the quality of today's troops remains uncomfortably mediocre. Henderson, a top military-personnel specialist, also says that the Army's tooth to tail' ratio--the number of fighters versus support personnel--is seriously out of balance. . . . He concludes that today's Army couldn't handle much more than 'tidying up around the Caribbean'."-Newsweek ?. . .This book should be read not only by concerned government officials but by all Marines who are involved in manpower and personnel, training, and education, and force restructing. The Marine Corps can learn from mistakes made by others.?-Marine Corps Gazette ?. . . a searing indictment of Army claims that the current all-volunteer force is the best ever fielded. In The Hollow Army: How the U.S. Army is Oversold and Undermanned, retired Col. William Darryl Henderson uses intelligence-test scores to argue that the quality of today's troops remains uncomfortably mediocre. Henderson, a top military-personnel specialist, also says that the Army's tooth to tail' ratio--the number of fighters versus support personnel--is seriously out of balance. . . . He concludes that today's Army couldn't handle much more than 'tidying up around the Caribbean'.?-Newsweek ?According to the conventional wisdom . . . the All-Volunteer Army has turned into the "best ever." Henderson, a former combat infantryman, goes against the grain, arguing that the Army's performance has been mediocre. . . .?-Navy Times ?...Every concerned citizen should read this book and then demand that their congressman raise hell. It is an important book and will be used by reformers as a classic reference. The Army will damn it as the work of an army basher and continue to bullshit the troops that all is well in the Green Machine. Don't you believe it! Read this book.?-Military ?Henderson (social sciences, US Military Academy and a retired Colonel in the US Army) directed the US Army Research Institute for the Behavorial and Social Sciences and is the author of several books on military sociology. He argues that the US Army today, despite major marketing efforts to sell it as the best ever, ' is mediocre at best. This is not the raving of a bitter individual, but the work of a devoted professional who is sincerely interested in pointing out major shortcomings and, more important, in making positive recommendations. Indeed, the last chapter is titled It's Broke and Needs to Be Fixed.' The thrust of Henderson's argument is that the fault lies in long-buried and avoided' manpower, personnel, and training issues. The army is top-heavy and bureaucratic, and its emphasis is not on the combat unit level but on the many layers of headquarters and support organizations. This book plows new ground in the area of military sociology and makes a major contribution to the field. Recent decisions on military force reductions make it even more important that all who share responsibility for national security give very serious thought to the points made in this study. Upper-division undergraduates and above.?-Choice .,."Every concerned citizen should read this book and then demand that their congressman raise hell. It is an important book and will be used by reformers as a classic reference. The Army will damn it as the work of an army basher and continue to bullshit the troops that all is well in the Green Machine. Don't you believe it! Read this book."-Military "A blockbuster...sure to be controversial and a major work, not just in military sociology but among concerned citizens generally. The Hollow Army is one of a kind in that it completely runs against the conventional wisdom that today's American Army is an effective fighting force. Henderson's argument is brilliantly conceived, backed with data and penetrating insight....The scholarship is extremely sound...and the use of data is peerless."-Charles C. Moskos Chairman, Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society; Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University
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About William Darryl Henderson

WILLIAM DARRYL HENDERSON was an infantryman and an Assistant Professor of Social Sciences and an instructor for leadership and military psychology at West Point. His decorations include: The Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, and the Combat Infantryman's Badge. He is the author of several books including Why the Viet Cong Fought: A Study of Motivation and Control in a Modern Army in Combat (Greenwood Press, 1980).
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