Problem Solving Within the Army’s Different Branches

Each branch within the Army in some way has been created to solve a problem. The three branches that I studied, Engineers, Military Intelligence, and Field Artillery, are no different.

For the Engineers, their three functions are mobility, counter-mobility, and survivability. The mobility stems from the problem of having difficulties moving soldiers from one place or another. To solve these problems, Engineers must clear routes, build bridges, and breach obstacles. In regards to counter-mobility, the problem is how do you slow or stop the enemy from advancing. Engineers must create obstacles, blow bridges, or alter the terrain to make movement difficult for the enemy. Survivability is the last role of the Engineers. The problem that is being solved in this situation is how do you protect your own people. Engineers must construct bunkers, build trenches, and create structures that will give soldiers the best chance of not being harmed.

The Military Intelligence branch also functions to solve problems. The problems that are faced by Military Intelligence is how they should collect information that is currently unknown and how to prevent the enemy from gathering information on friendly forces. To collect more pertinent information, the Military Intelligence branch uses in-person interviews, geo-spatial imaging from satellites, and analysis of battlefield data as their methods. In contrast, the counter-intelligence efforts of Military Intelligence attempt to conceal vital information, disperse false information, and remain one step ahead of the enemy in regards to the collection of information.

The Field Artillery branch functions to solve the problem of which side will have fire superiority in combat. Napoleon once said that whichever army has the superior artillery will be the “King of Battle”. This nickname is still used to this day about Field Artillery. To solve the problem, the Field Artillery must make sure that their guns fire accurately and efficiently. To ensure this occurs, their soldiers must be routinely trained on the howitzers and the maintenance required on the machines must be upheld.

After the interviews I conducted, the roles and functions of each Army branch made a lot more sense when I saw each of them as problem solvers for a specific issue. Thus, as an Army officer leading soldiers, you are essentially a problem solver managing solutions.