The U.S. Army Capstone Concept (2012)


The purpose of TRADOC Pamphlet (TP) 525-3-0 Opens a new tab or window, The Army Capstone Concept (ACC), is to describe the anticipated future operational environment, what the future Army must do based on that environment, and the broad capabilities the Army will require to accomplish its enduring missions successfully in the near to mid-term future. As such, the ACC describes the characteristics of the future Army and its initiative to transition the Army from one focused on winning two wars, to an expeditionary Army that does many things well. The ACC establishes the foundation for subordinate concepts that will describe how the future Army must fight and identify the required warfighting capabilities essential to ensuring combat effectiveness against the full spectrum of threats the Nation is likely to confront in the future. The ACC is fully nested in the Capstone Concept for Joint Operations: Joint Force 2020 (CCJO).

Future Operational Environment

The future Army will continue to operate in a complex and uncertain environment. Competition for wealth, resources, political authority, sovereignty, and legitimacy will produce a variety of conflicts between rapidly evolving and adaptive threats in an increasingly competitive but interconnected world. Furthermore, the distinctions between threats will blur in the future due to the complexity of adversaries, the multiplicity of actors involved, and the ability of threats to adapt rapidly. Summarized below are some of the major challenges the future operational environment will present:

The Strategic Problem

What must the Army do as part of the joint force to retain its ability to win, protect U.S. national interests, and successfully execute the primary missions outlined in defense strategic guidance in an emerging, complex operational environment in an era of fiscal austerity?

Central Idea

The future Army provides decisive landpower through a credible, robust capacity to win and the depth and resilience to support combatant commanders across the range of military operations in the homeland and abroad. The fundamental characteristic of the Army necessary to provide decisive landpower is operational adaptability -- the ability of Army leaders, Soldiers, and civilians to shape conditions and respond effectively to a broad range of missions and changing threats and situations with appropriate, flexible, and responsive capabilities.

The Strategic Solution

Supporting Ideas