William E. DePuy was likely the most important figure in the recovery of the United States Army from its collapse after the defeat in Vietnam. That is a rather large claim, and it suggests a precedence over a number of other distinguished officers, both his contemporaries and successors. But it is a claim that can be justified by the test of the "null hypothesis:" Could the Army that conducted the Gulf War be imagined without the actions of General DePuy and those he instructed and inspired? Clearly, it could not. There are a few officers of the period about whom one can make the same claim. To judge properly the accomplishments of General DePuy and his talented subordinates at the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), one must understand the sense of crises and defeat that pervaded the Army in the 1970s. By 1973, the United States had lost the war in Vietnam. Only the most optimistic or naïve observer held out hope that the Geneva Accords would provide security for the Republic of South Vietnam. The US Army was in a shambles, with discipline destroyed and the chain of command almost nonexistent. The "All Volunteer Army" was borne on a wave of permissiveness that compounded the problems of restoring discipline. Moreover, the army was ten years behind its most likely enemy in equipment development, and it had no warfighting doctrine worthy of the same. With the able assistance of the commander of the Armor Center, General Donn Starry, General DePuy wrenched the Army from self-pity and recrimination about its defeat in Vietnam into a bruising doctrinal debate that focused the Army's intellectual energies on mechanized warfare against a first-class opponent. Critics might argue correctly that that the result was incomplete, but they out not to underestimate how far the Army had to come just to begin the discussion. General DePuy also changed the way Army battalions prepared for war. He made the US Army a doctrinal force for the first time in history. Ably seconded by General Paul Gorman, DePuy led the Army into the age of the Army Training and Evaluation Program (ARTEP). The intellectual and training initiatives were joined then, with a third concern of General DePuy's TRADOC: the development of a set of equipment requirements, with a concentration of effort on a limited number, ultimately called the "Big Five." The result was the suite of weapons that overmatched the Iraqis in Operation Desert Storm - Apache attack helicopters, M1 tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, Patriot air defense missiles, and Black Hawk assault helicopters. General DePuy championed the recruitment of a high-quality soldiery, an effort beyond his own significant responsibilities but, even so, one he never ceased to support and forward.
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.99(d)|