Joint Military Operations

Joint Military Operations
Joint Military Operations

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Joint Military Operations

  1. Operational Environment

Current operational environment:

The NKPA constitutes a very formidable force of over 135,000 men, most of whom have been conscripts of the Japanese and Chinese armies. These armies are adequately equipped with modern Soviet-supplied aircraft, artillery and tanks. On the other hand, the ROK armed forces comprises of less than 100,000 men who are poorly trained and ill-equipped. Massive mechanization and coordinated firepower are the focus of U.S.’s tactical doctrine.

The U.S. military power available for the operation is inadequately prepared for the forthcoming war, with army forces comprising of four understrength divisions that are ill-equipped. Nevertheless, the positive side is that McArthur’s forces have the full support of U.S. and United Nations (Mamaux, 1987).

  • How General McArthur’s vision for Operation Chromite relieves NKPA pressure on the U.S. Eight Army in the Pusan Perimeter

According to McArthur’s vision, an amphibious landing in the Vicinity of Inchon is capable of slicing off, halting, isolating and destroying the NKPA, synchronized with a breakout from the Pusan Perimeter by its defenders. This is to result to the liberation of Seoul and restoration of the South Korean Government, while North Korea will be immediately invaded and occupied. He believes that this mission is only achievable through a fleshed-out plan and force to execute it.

Operation Chromite is borne, which calls for X-Corps to form around the First Marine Division and the 7th Infantry Division for purposes of executing a staged amphibious landing at Inchon and advancing inland to capture Seoul and cut the major lines of communication of the enemy while making resupplies to McArthur’s forces committed in the south. While the main challenge is pulling together the forces to make the landing, with the enemy continuously threatening the Pusan perimeter, McArthur throws available units into the fight in order to relieve NKPA’s pressure on Walker (Sweeney, 2000).

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Strategic Guidance

  • General McArthur’s vision for the operation environment once OPERATION CHROMITE is concluded (end state)

General McArthur’s end state is to lodge a successful amphibious landing by Marines at Inchon, about 120 miles behind enemy lines and 25 miles from Seoul. When the forces land at and capture Inchon, they will then seize the adjacent air base at Kimpo with the aim of enabling the United Nations forces to launch an attack and eventually secure Seoul. The UN forces are also expected to drive towards the west across the peninsula from their position in Pusan.

This appears as a double-envelopment for crushing North Korea from the southeast at Pusan and from the northwest at Inchon. McArthur’s plan aims at: striking at the rear of North Korea’s forces, cutting the supply lines to the south, gaining political control through the liberation of Seoul, and threatening North Korea’s capital of Pyonyang (Heineman, 2001).

  • The Roles of JTF 7 and X Corps in achieving General MacArthur’s end state

The X-Corps under the command of Major General Almond is charged with conducting amphibious assault at Inchon. X Corps comprise of the 1st Marine Division, in addition to one regiment withdrawn from the Pusan Perimeter for purposes of bringing the Division to a complete wartime strength of three regiments, plus the 7th Infantry Division. JTF-7 is a real-time joint operational command comprising of Marine, Army and Navy unites aimed at supporting the assault force.

Accordingly, JTF-7 strikes North Korean forces as a weak, undetermined joint, and this effects surprise and mass before North Koreans getting a proper ground to react (Doughty, nd). Additionally, with two divisions, X Corps accomplished their goals in a deliberate and logical manner by seizing Wolmido Island, Kimpo rtfield and Seoul.

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Decisive Points

  • TWO key decisive points for Operation Chromite

Seoul is a decisive point because of its symbolic value as the capital and for being the most critical node in the supply chain of the enemy attack. Seoul is the focal point for all movement in the South and it has become the most vital node in the supply chain of the communist invasion. McArthur’s great interest in the city is because of its overwhelming symbolic value. This implies that retaking it will psychologically demoralize the enemy. Thus, rather than pursuing a simple push of North Koreans to retreat from Pusan, Operation Chromite is intended to fully unhinge the enemy forces by stubbing them from the rear.

The second decisive point is the U.S involvement. Given the U.S. ground troops’ involvement, McArthur feels that he can surround and sever North Korea’s persistent and tenuous supply chains. The cutting of critical lines increases the possibility of victory regardless of the overwhelming 3:1 North Korean advantage. This realization enables MacArthur to initiate the Inchon plan, which sets the stage for the smart amphibious operation. After destabilizing the enemy psychologically by cutting supply lines, McArthur stages constant attacks on all sides, thus breaking the NKPA resistance and leading to the collapse of the army. By September, the NKPA ceases to exist as a coordinated fighting force in South Korea.

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Operational Maneuver

  • How Operation Chromite supports the breakout of the Eighth Army at the Pusan Perimeter

The operational maneuver for North Korean military has a close resemblance to the Chinese model. According to Mao Tse Tung, the best approach is to avoid strong points and aim at infiltrating the enemy’s lines in order to hit the rear areas that are weakly defended, thus destroying vital logistical areas. For the North Korean military, Inchon is emblematic of the weaknesses behind its entire scheme whose mission to unify Korea. Its bargains are based on the lack of capability, interest and will on the part of the American government.

The justification of this analysis is based on the signals coming from Washington and the consideration of the state of America’s military at the time. Nevertheless, North Korea’s downfall is greatly contributed by its underestimation of America’s prospects for mounting an overwhelming reaction, and it does not predict the prospect of UN-sponsored Allied effort ultimately involving forces from 16 nations (Totten, 1976).

Operation Chromite does not bring about any remarkably new ideas to the art of war. Instead, it serves to reinforce conventional aspects, such as the relevance of maintaining trained and ready forces for deterrence of aggression or confrontation of a contingency. Americans have the advantages of interior lines at the Pusan perimeter. Nevertheless, they have the freedom to utilize exterior lines due to the lack of an opposing naval force.

Despite North Koreans complete victory in the initial phases of their invasion, thy encounter a standoff around the Pusan perimeter following the US Eighth Army and UN forces’ gallant determination to stand against the onslaught of the communists. McArthur perceives the weakness of the enemy’s communication lines as early as possible. In addition, North Koreans are disadvantaged due to their terrain induced flanks. The operational art by McArthur’s forces capitalize on harmonized amphibious maneuver and interdiction for purposes of attacking the enemy’s center of gravity (Heinl, 1968).

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Joint fires

  • Landing forces at Inchon

Inchon was chosen by MacArthur as the landing point due to its strategic position as the port for the capital city of Seoul. The first assault was made by the 3rd Battalion on Wolmi-do with the high tide at dawn on the 15th of September. As a result, the enemy’s resistance was crushed. The rest of the divisions landed on the next high tide. This caused massive surprise to the enemy. The preparation of gunfire support ships and naval air for the Inchon landing occurred on the 13th of September.

  • Attacking the NKPA’s lines of communications

The 1st Marines and the rest of the 5th Marines landed at the enemy’s lines of departure. One hour later, the 5th Marines had lodged an assault on the sea wall through charged bamboo ladders that had been hurriedly built by Japanese workers before their embarkation. By midnight, the Marines had taken control of the main high terrain of Observation Hill and Cemetery Hill.

At dawn, the Marines destroyed North Korean T-34 tanks on the Seoul highway, which prevented North Korean artillery fire from spreading to the beachhead area. The 7th Division also made their landing at Inchon and advanced hastily inland, with the aim of preventing enemy attacks from Suwom and the south. Few hours later, the 5th Marines were in full control of the Seoul highway.

  • Interdicting any NKPA’s attempts to counterattack or reinforce forces vicinity Inchon and Seoul

Having secured its flanks, the 1st Marine Division moved to the north on 20th September in order to stage the 6-day battle aimed at clearing Seoul. NKPA’s bitter counterattcks eventually compelled the commitment of the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team, 7th Division’s 32 Infantry Regiment, and the Republic of Korea’s Marines to the battle for Seoul. Ultimately, NKPA’s resistance broke out and the army collapsed as a result of constant attacks from all sides (Woodhouse, 2011).

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Operational Reach

  • How the other Services (Air Force, Marines, and Navy) provided General MacArthur with operational reach in Operation Chromite

Operation Chromite demonstrates that the scope of amphibious operations plays a vital role in all military operations. Whereas the Fleet-Marine had an inherent interplay, the Army and the Air Force also played significant roles in the execution of MacArthur’s masterstroke. In addition, the military operation in Inchon was done collaboratively. The US and the Allies worked on establishing and maintaining air and naval superiority in the area of operations, which would help in conducting an amphibious assault on Inchon, securing the beachhead and seizing Kimpo artfield, crossing the River of Han and recapturing Seoul.

The Far East Air Forces under the command of Lieutenant General George E. Stratemeyer played a vital role in the delivery of supplies and personnel to reinforce ROK and U.S. forces during the initial stages of the war. The Naval Forces under the command of Vice Admiral Charles T. Joy helped in improving the naval posture (Kortegaard, 2005).

  • How the operational reach provided an advantage to the Allies over just reinforcing the Eighth Army inside the Pusan Perimeter

The synchronization of land, sea and air operations was vital in the theater for the accomplishment of the strategic objective. Operation Chromite was successful due to the joint execution of the US Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy and Army. This realization demonstrates the need for employment of a joint force in order to establish synergies among the services, thus yielding greater combat capabilities and power for purposes of responding to aggressions and contingencies.

This realization demonstrates the need for employment of a joint force in order to establish synergies among the services, thus yielding greater combat capabilities and power for purposes of responding to aggressions and contingencies. Accordingly, the operational reach allowed the Eighth Army to ensure that the restricted flow of their supplies occurred along a secure path. The Eighth Army exploited in-depth echeloned fires across the operational area and further utilized transitions and phasing for purposes of setting the tempo.

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Arranging Operations

  • How General McArthur’s staff used (1) simultaneity, (2) depth, (3) timing, and (4) tempo in executing Operation Chromite in conjunction with Eighth Army activities inside the Pusan Perimeter

Simultaneity refers to the process of simultaneously applying power against vital adversary capabilities and sources of strength. Marine Air, Navy and Air Force are to strike targets ranging from the strategic marshaling areas of the enemy to tactical forces. This involves both the amphibious turning movement and the breakout from Pusan.

Operational depth was realized by Air support from the Air Force, Navy and Marines, which occurred in the months of September and early October. 4 squadrons of Panthers, 3 squadrons of Skyraiders, and 10 squadrons of Corsairs were exploited by planners for purposes of providing coverage for the landings at Inchon.

General MacArthur was in charge of the speed and rhythm of military operations. He calculated the timings of every action and essentially determined the best speed for the lodgment of amphibious assault on Inchon.

Despite supply problems, UN forces took control of the tempo of operations in the course of landings and breakout. The landing of U.S. forces consisted of a significantly high operational tempo, with the 1st Marine Division advancing in a direct and rapid manner towards Seoul so as to ease the pressures from the Pusan defense perimeter.

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Defeat Mechanisms

  • Destroy

The war campaign was tailored towards destroying communists and preventing the spread of communism in the Republic of Korea. While North Koreans aimed at reunifying the two Koreas, and it had been difficult to achieve this goal using political means, they decided to resort to military means in order to gain a political edge. However, the U.S. came in to help South Koreans in order to destroy communists and prevent them from spreading their ideologists in the area.

During the initial stages, the U.S. commissioned MacArthur to assume the coordination of naval and air support for evacuations from South Korea. The 7th Fleet landed at Formosa to prevent war from occurring between communists and exiled Chinese Nationalists on mainland China. Task Force Smith, comprising of over 500 American soldiers that posted as sentries and clerks in Japan were assembled on June 29, 1950 for purposes of assisting the overwhelmed South Korean forces.

As South Koreans flew in panic, Task Force Smith confronted the communists and hastily destroyed them. Whereas North Koreans seemed to have won during the early stages of their invasion, General MacArthur had studied their weakness and quickly devised a plan on how to destroy the enemy (Kim, 1973).

  • Disintegrate:

MacArthur’s campaign targeted the NKPA for disintegration in order to provide him with choices in regards to the tactical employment of forces to support strategic objectives. The U.S. intended to prevent the spread of communism and to ensure that North Korean forces were pushed out of the friendly South Korea.

Thus, a successful operation was capable of poising the United Nations forces for exploitation of operational benefits and possible taking of the fight into North Korea. Accordingly, the forces worked towards disrupting the enemy’s command and control systems, destabilizing the enemy from conducting operations in order to cause the rapid collapse of the enemy’s capabilities or will to continue fighting.

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Direct and Indirect Approach

  • Approach used by General MacArthur in attacking the NKPA

MacArthur used the indirect approach, in which joint force capabilities and strengths were applied against the weakness of NKPA across the whole battle space to allow MacArthur’s team time for stabilizing the situation and finding a way for exploitation of their potential.  The first time MacArthur considered an amphibious landing in the rear area of the enemy was while he was standing on the south bank of Han River.

MacArthur was inclined towards an amphibious operation due to his successes in previous campaigns throughout the Pacific in World War II, which were based on the doctrine of applying Allied ground, naval and air strengths against the weak points of the enemy. There were high chances of amphibious operations in unsuspecting areas because the enemy could be kept off balance and this gave the Allies the opportunity to maintain the initiative.

  • Why he chooses the approach

According to MacArthur, reliance on strategic maneuver to overcome great odds from the enemy is the best approach to winning a battle. However, direct approach merely insinuates a frontal attack that can only result to a prolonged and costly campaign. The ability of MacArthur’s forces to operate at sea and in the air, where NKPA could not, was a vital element of success. By continuously leveraging dimensional advantages, MacArthur was able to fully utilize UN strengths and to slow the invasion of statistically superior forces which operated along ordinarily advantageous internal lines.

His previous application of amphibious landings in the Pacific against the Japanese had provided MacArthur with the requisite experience for decision making on an amphibious landing at Inchon, far at the rear of the enemy lines, with the aim of cutting off communication lines and quickly capturing Seoul (Ballard, 2001).

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  1. Operational Risks
Risk 1: UnpreparednessMitigation: U.S. forces recovered from their earlier unpreparedness due to the residual skills of the reserve forces.        
Risk 2: McArthur’s ROK forces were few, with limited transport available to hastily commit themMitigation: He expeditiously informed the JSC about the need to commit American power        
Risk 3: Necessity to secure the Pusan perimeterMitigation: Joint amphibious operations were adopted, through inter-service collaboration. The skillful use of the Army, the Air Force and the Fleet-Marine helped in the successful execution of Operation Chromite        
Risk 4: Scarcity and piecemeal arrival of trained and ready forcesMitigation: MacArthur made crucial determinations on the time, place and methods of Operation Chromite. As such, the fact that there were highly skilled amphibious specialists available was utilized to the advantage of the U.S. and her Allies.      
Risk 5: Limited range of operation and numbers of land-based close air support aircraftMitigation: McArthur’s strong visionary leadership enabled him to convince JSC that the risks were minimal and that the operation would succeed anyway. His confidence brought more stronger Allies to the equation.          


Ballard, J. R. (2001). Operation Chromite Counterattack at Inchon. NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES.

Doughty, R. E. (nd). The Evolution of U.S. Army Tactical Doctrine, 1946-76. Leavenworth Papers No. 1. Ft. Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

Heineman, J. A. (2001). The Operational Leadership of General Douglas McArthur in OPERATION CHROMITE. A paper submitted to the Faculty of the Naval War College in partial satisfaction of the requirements of the Department of Joint Military Operations.

Heinl, R. D. (1968). Victory at High Tide: The Inchon-Seoul Campaign. Lippincott.

Kim, C. K. (1973). The Korean War. Kwangmyong Publishing Company.

Kortegaard, B. L. (2005). Inchon–Operation Chromite.


Sweeney, E. D. (2000). The United Nations Landing at Inchon: Operation Chromite. NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT.

Totten, J. (1976). Operation Chromite: A Study of Generalship. Armor85, 33-38.

Woodhouse, D. B. (2011). Operational Lessons Learned in the Korean War. School of Advanced Military Studies.

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Military mission Decision Making Process

Military mission
Military mission

Military mission Decision Making Process

            The organization of a successful mission demands proper planning and operation, and placing objectivity as key in the final triumph. The mission towards rescuing prisoners of war (POW) by the 6th Ranger Battalion will require movements and strategies that will reduce detection and provide faster accomplishment of the strategies. Therefore, having substantial estimates and technical strategies into the military action to take will result in successful mission.

Planning and Preparation

            The POW camp is exactly 75 miles from Calasiao base camp where the rescued will be taken to. The mission will require a victory mentality that will utilize a surprise strategy to catch the enemy off guard and achieve a successful rescue (Goztepe & Kahraman, 2015). The problem faced by the 6th Ranger Battalion is the rescue of the POWs before they are executed or transported by the Japanese forces.

Any delay in time will aggravate the situation and make the mission more difficult. The mission will require rescuing the POWs and taking them to Guimba where they will link up with the 6th Army forward line that will provide extra security in their transportation to Calasiao base camp. The mission has to take place in less than two days to avoid more delays.

            The Japanese might move or murder the POWs in less than three days time so the mission must take place in two days time. The set date to execution of the mission will be on the dawn of 30th January 1945, leaving less than 48 hours for planning. The planning process will require reconnaissance and surveillance of the prison, and linking up with local militia to provide adequate information.

The paramedics will need to prepare medical equipments, food, and water for the rescued and the wounded during the mission (Jaiswal, 2012). The planning process will require 12 hours and additional 4 hours for reconnaissance. The rescue mission should last for less than 2 hours.       

In order to circumvent detection, the 6th Battalion will have to arrive at the POW camp at night and carry the rescue mission at dawn to catch the enemy by surprise. Since the prison is 29 miles from Guimba, the soldiers will require 15 hours to reach Pangatian by foot, which will require travelling at night, early mornings, and late evenings to avoid detection.

Therefore, in order to avoid fatigue and save time, the force shall leave Guimba on the night of 29th January 1945 at 2000hrs and take a half an hour journey by trucks to Cabanatuan where they will approach the prison at Pangatian by foot 3 miles from the prison. This will provide enough time to set up points for ambush, assembly of the rescued and coordination with the Filipino guerilla forces.

The Filipino guerillas will be important in provision of navigation routes and utilization of vantage points that will make infiltrating into the enemy camp easier; a beneficial factor in collaborating with local citizens (Jaiswal, 2012)). However, their next involvement will come after the rescue operation.

Executing the Mission

Since negotiation and diplomacy is not an option, carrying out military strategy in rescuing hostages requires staging a move that will result in higher success rate (Goztepe & Kahraman, 2015). In this mission, understanding of the POW compound in order to identify the first targets to annihilate, how to outdo the guards, reaching the cells where the POWs are and deterring any communication or escape of enemy soldiers to seek for reinforcement.

The objective of the mission apart from rescuing the POW will be to exert a surprising attack on the enemy that will result in the highest success rate and little casualties (Dougherty, 2013). This will depend on the surveillance received that informs the structure of the enemy territory and information to use in managing the mission. The force will need to site the target containing communication media and secure it before handling the enemy soldiers.

The Rangers will require vigilance and quick response to ensure the enemy does not kill the POWs as a form of defense, therefore capturing and securing the POW cells will be the first key strategy in the mission. The mission will also require use of snipers among the Rangers incase the enemy decides to use POW as human shields.

During the night, the task force should arrive at the prison before 0300 hours on 30th January 1945 and take vantage points around the camp. The US Army Air Corps helicopters can aid in expediting the mission by providing the first moment of surprise through destruction of any enemy vehicles and buildings used as resident by the guards at the top command.

This will allow the task force to infiltrate into POW cells and engage the enemy forces while leading the rescued away from the camps. The US Army Air Corps will be important in maintaining patrol and deterring any plans of the enemy to launch a counter attack to recapture the POWs. This will also allow the task force to gain ground faster as they repeal the enemy forces (Zsambok, 2014).

The Filipino guerillas will be important in helping to protect and secure routes used by enemy forces that may come to provide reinforcement. This will impede the enemy movement as the task force and rescued soldier match towards Cabanatuan for transportation to Guimba.

The task force and rescued soldiers will avoid using open roads that may increase their vulnerability to enemy forces but utilize the help of civilians in making their way by foot beyond Cabanatuan. The team will travel at 2 miles per hour for 4 hours and have 30 minutes of rest to allow the former POWs to take water and food. However, travelling to Guimba by foot will take the Rangers and rescued soldiers up to 15 hours, and may require more security and resources.

Another strategy will be the use of carts, which can be useful since it will increase the movement of the rescued soldiers. Carts move at 9 miles an hour, which will take just 3 hours to transport the rescued soldiers to Guimba from Cabanatuan, where they will link up with the 6th Army. Another alternative is picking up the rescued soldiers and Rangers at Cabanatuan by army trucks to Guimba, which is a faster alternative.

Collaborating with the Filipino civilians to provide this service will enable the task force acquire more time in repealing any remaining resistance from the enemy, assisted by the US Army Air Corps as a way of suppressing the enemy advancement and counterattack strategies.

Monitoring and Evaluation of the Decision

            The movement of the Rangers from a drop point in Cabanatuan to Pangatian will require 1 hour. From there the Rangers will take positions outside the camp until 0430hrs on 30th January 1945, where the US Army Air Corps planes will provide the dawn ambush that will enable the Rangers to penetrate the camp and rescue the POW. Surprise attacks are effective in destabilizing the enemy and giving the advancing forces an upper hand (Dougherty, 2012).

The Mission should last for less than 2 hours. The former POWs and Rangers will have to advance to Cabanatuan and board army trucks by 1000hrs for their transportation to Guimba. Two US Army Air Corps helicopters will offer assistance to repeal enemy forces, exert destruction, and impede the enemy’s will to fight, while also providing humanitarian assistance. However, in case of overwhelming forces, more backup will have to come from Guimba.

This report will enable the Commander reach a decision on the possible choices to make in reaching a conclusion about the mission. It is imperative to consider time and speed since they are important in achieving the objectives of the mission.


Dougherty, K. (2013). Military decision-making processes: Case studies involving the preparation, commitment, application and withdrawal of force. McFarland.

Goztepe, K., & Kahraman, C. (2015, March). A new approach to military decision making process: suggestions from MCDM point of view. InInternational Conference on Military and Security Studies, İstanbul, Turkey(pp. 118-122).

Jaiswal, N. K. (2012). Military operations research: Quantitative decision making (Vol. 5). Springer Science & Business Media.

Zsambok, C. E., & Klein, G. (2014). Naturalistic decision making. Psychology Press.

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Active Duty Military and Alcohol

Active Duty Military and Alcohol
Active Duty Military and Alcohol

Active Duty Military and Alcohol

1.      Introduction

Active duty military is understood as the younger workforce serving the military workforce, where many of the enlisted force comes in between the age of 17 through 24 years old; while seniors of active duty comprises of 27 through 34 years (Wooten, 2015). They are those who are directly or indirectly involved in mobilized military operation including combat.  Alcohol abuse has always been common among these active duty military, making ubiquitous practice of heavy drinking as nothing new to the American military system (Larson et al., 2014).

Considered as an accepted custom, drinking is simply considered by military army as a reward for their hard work, and as a commodity that ease their personal tensions since socializing with drinks promotes camaraderie (O’Brien, Oster, & Morden, 2013; Westermeyer & Kimbrel, 2013). There is no denying the fact that heavy drinking is conditioned by the easy availability of alcohol beverages which military personnel received at a reduced rate.

The essay looks into how alcohol consumption has become common among those in active duty military, and how there are risks involved in drinking like physical decline and mental and psychological comorbidities. The essay also provides a conceptual approach towards prevention and treatment of alcohol related issues in military department, by taking up certain structured measures taken up by the government to prevent the cause and spread of alcohol consumption.

  • Active Duty Military and Alcohol Related Matters in the United States

2.1. Identifying unique PROBLEMS IN Active Duty Military

Earlier, the combat at the Vietnam War caused many military men to become addicted to drugs in 1960 and 1970s, since many were serviced with drugs to make them tolerate the challenges of war environment (O’Brien et al., 2013). Reportedly there was misuse of drugs during this time, and this misuse has been attributed towards the military personnel using drugs for pain relieving and mental trauma issues.

Over the years, prescription of drugs has simply increased because of the availability of more drugs, and because of the wider prescription of medications, followed by intake of alcohol among the military department (O’Brien et al., 2013). This increase in intake of alcohol among military personnel has come to be associated with the recent military combats at Iraq and Afghanistan.

Such increase in the intake of alcohol emanates from many issues associated to their work, like the challenges of war, the stress involved with their work, and experiencing traumatic events that triggers off mental and psychological issues (Robert M. Bray, 2006; Cook, 2007; O’Brien et al., 2013). Many of those engaged in military operations at Iraq and

Afghanistan showed that they have been experiencing stress and strains over long deployments, extreme combat exposure, facing physical injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), thereby making them to easily succumb to alcoholic abuse (NIDA, 2011).

Wide availability of prescribing drugs also culminates toward drug abuse. According to the report by NIDA (2011, p. 1), “soldiers screened 3 to 4 months after returning from deployment to Iraq showed that 27 percent met criteria for alcohol abuse and were at increased risk  for related harmful behaviors (e.g., drinking and driving, using illicit  drugs).” Alcohol usage has also been strongly identified with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which comes from the traumatic experiences that military members experienced during the war (Leskin, 2015).

Such suffering culminates towards the victim to fail in becoming good parents and good members of the society, owing to lack of communication and social skills. To quote (NIDA, 2011, p. 1) again, “Mental illness among military personnel is also a major concern. In another study of returning soldiers, clinicians identified 20 percent of active and 42 percent of reserve component soldiers as requiring mental health treatment.

Drug or alcohol use frequently accompanies mental health problems and was involved in 30 percent of the Army’s suicide deaths from 2003 to 2009 and in more than 45 percent of non-fatal suicide attempts from 2005 to 2009.”

Many of the military personnel also consume alcohol simply to experience pleasure. The pursuit of pleasure through alcohol makes them to forego pain, and feel normal or feel euphoric for some time. The reward in term of such sensations allows them to release neurotransmitters called endorphins, thereby experiencing psychological and physiological exhilaration (O’Brien et al., 2013). Such engagement does not lead to any constructive behaviors, but only makes the person to become nonproductive and harmful in nature. Excess of alcohol consumption makes them to suffer from hijacking or from the aberration of normal brain function, thereby making them to become active in their work or when they are deployed.

Excess of alcohol consumption among active duty military men are known to lose their productivity or contract alcohol related diseases that leads to premature death (O’Brien et al., 2013). The difficulty with this situation is that many of them are left untreated, or do not undergo treatment. Thus, the prevention and remedies for alcohol abuse is not only a matter of diagnosis, but it is also about treating the alcohol abusing patients among active duty service members, and also among those in post-deployment stage.  

2.2. Comparative Analysis of Active Duty Military with the OVERALL POPULATION of the United States

Although not in similar excess trend with the military personnel, American civilians often resorts to binge drinking occasionally (Cucciare et al., 2015). Access drinking as a problem of the society has simply become a part of American culture, which is slowly degrading the public health and safety system. Even among civilians, alcoholism has always been the problem and the disease, making the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA) since 1970 to identify ‘alcohol abuse’ as the main national health priorities (Cook, 2007).

Alcoholism related issues such as drunk driving, domestic violence, and other alcohol related abuse is nothing new to the American citizens. Thus, taking social context into perspective, the Americans suffer from innate propensity towards alcoholism, making alcohol consumption a part of their innate culture.

The abuse of alcohol among military and civilians has been acknowledged by the United States military department as having adverse effects on the user’s health and behavior, as well as to their civilian families. It is true that alcohol usage is considered illegal for those who are under the age of 21 in the country, but rampant availability of liquor continue to have negative impact on the functioning of the society as a whole.

This excess of alcohol consumptionhas always been fairly consistent and studies by Westermeyer & Kimbrel (2013) that heavy drinking among military men are always twice as much as military men, and military men also consumes four times higher than military women, while military women consumes twice as more than civilian women. Thus, civilians are as likely to develop alcohol consumption disorders as any military personnel.

Research by Bray et al., (1991) shows that while military people are more likely to consume more alcohol than the civilians, drugs and tobacco are consumed more by the civilians. Drinking within the military group is again higher with the younger military men and women, and even among civilians, intake of alcohol is higher among the younger men and women.

Civilians as well as military efforts to deal with alcohol and drug issues are also directed towards solving the issues of the younger people, so that alcoholic and addiction do not grow on them. Again, many of the military men who suffer from alcohol addiction are higher among unmarried men, which is similar to civilians (Bray et al., 1991). In fact, when demographic comparisons among the unmarried alcoholic men are taken up, addiction and alcohol rate consumption remains the same.

2.3. Treatments and Other Practical Remedies for the issues relevant to the Active Duty Military population

Given the alcohol availability, any military personnel become vulnerable to addiction and are put to risk. To solve the issues of alcohol related issues, several researchers, public health entities, host of government agencies, and laws are working together in the country. Prevention policies in terms of detecting drinking problem at an early stage, and holding specific intervention remains as the best remedy to cure alcoholism.

Treatment and practical remedies in regard to alcohol consumption should initially start with educating the population on how alcohol consumption can lead to risky behavior and how it is harmful to their health (O’Brien et al., 2013). In military department, such policies are enforced during the training process, although effective acknowledgement among the military unit remains inapplicable.

Standard drinking level, like the requirement of not exceeding 14 standard drinks per week for men and 7 drinks per week for women can be imposed or made known to the people, in order to avoid excess consumption (O’Brien et al., 2013). Among military personnel as well as the civilians, environmental strategies prevent alcohol problems remain effective.

These include, raising minimum legal drinking age (21); enforcing the legal minimum purchasing age; increasing taxes on alcoholic drinks; offering no discount to any alcohol beverages; and holding the liquor retailer to be responsible for any issues that comes out of alcoholic drinks (O’Brien et al., 2013). In the words of Cook (2007, p. 1), excess of alcohol consumption can be maneuvered by “both public and private, to reduce excess drinking directly – education, persuasion, counselling, treatment, sanctions of various sorts, [and by ] restricting availability or raising the price – licensing, product and sales regulation, liability rules, taxes, partial or complete bans”.

Owing to many alcohol related cases in military department, the department itself in the United States has also been undertaking comprehensive steps over the past many years to solve these complex issues. Certain legal measures have been taken up by the United States Government to control excess of alcohol consumption among US military personnel from 1980s onward.

This initially started with the Supreme Court of the country declaring in 1988 that the ‘Department of Veterans Affairs’ as not responsible towards paying benefits of alcoholic drinks for the military veterans, since such benefits always results into willful misconduct (O’Brien et al., 2013). In regard to the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) specifically, they offered series of policies that could help in controlling and preventing the use of alcohol.

The DoD’s effort started in 1970s, when the department passed “The Controlled Substances Act of 1970”, targeting to reduce the usage of drugs at the outset, and later towards smoking and tobacco consumption (Robert M. Bray, 2006). Later, the act also targeted the consumption of alcohol by detection at an early stage and undergoing intervention through law enforced testing (like the urinalysis testing program).

Since legal court disbanded this testing program, DoD later came up with a new measurement that stated that alcohol consumption does not live up to military performance standards (Bray, 2006; Harbertson et al., 2016). Vietnam War and it subsequent result like the prevention of the atrocious war memories that led to high substance abuse among war veterans led to the department to again re-enforced drug and alcohol testing, and emphasizing zero tolerance policies on alcohol and drugs while on duty (Robert M. Bray, 2006; Cook, 2007).

The turn of the millennium saw the DoD and its policies continuing to condemn alcohol abuse (binge or heavy), and other drugs usage, since such abuse brings down the health and the military readiness (active participation) of the military personnel, and since the country needs to maintain high standards of performance and discipline. All such measures are expected deployment military department to decrease their alcohol intake, and perform better as a unit.

3.      Finding and Conclusion

It is seen that alcohol abuse remains substantially common among the military personnel that requires stringent efforts on the part of the government (laws and acts), the DoD, medical institutions, and other individual and public efforts to solve and mitigate the issues. Since the Americans involvement in world politics has become popular and regular, military deployment and combat is expected to continue for the American military department.

Contextualizing such issues, the institutions and laws trying to prevent the abuse should use structured approach that will target the entire military populations of the country, and try to mitigate the issue. In this way, the risk to develop alcohol abuse and disorder emanating from such abuse becomes less relevant and less probable in nature. Taking a comprehensive approach to decrease alcohol abuse will allow the fostering of opportunities for military personnel during and after deployment in the field.

It also means that there will be more positive role models for the younger and older citizens to look up to, and also for their own military peer. These efforts to curb alcohol abuse are expected to make military personnel to appreciate and become culturally responsive to military lifestyles and structures.


Bray, R. M. (2006). Department of Defense survey of health related behaviors among active duty military personnel: A Component of the Defense Lifestyle Assessment Program. RTI International, (December), 1–307.

Bray, R. M., Marsden, M. E., & Peterson, M. R. (1991). Standardized comparisons of the use of alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes among military personnel and civilians. American Journal of Public Health, 81(7), 865–869.

Cook, P. J. (2007). Paying the Tab: The Costs and Benefits of Alcohol Control. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Retrieved from…AUTHOR+PHILLIP+J.+COOK.&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Harbertson, BR, H., EY, A., NL, M., & PT, S. (2016). Pre-deployment Alcohol Misuse Among Shipboard Active-Duty U.S. Military Personnel. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 51(2), 185–194.

Larson, M. J., Mohr, B. A., Adams, R. S., Wooten, N. R., & Williams, T. V. (2014). Missed Opportunity for Alcohol Problem Prevention Among Army Active Duty Service Members Postdeployment. American Journal of Public Health, 104(8), 1402–1412.

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M.A., C., A.G., S., M.A., M., J.C., T., G.M., C., X, H., & B.M., B. (2015). Associations between deployment, military rank, and binge drinking in active duty and Reserve/National Guard US servicewomen. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 153, 37–42.

NIDA. (2011). Substance Abuse among the Military , Veterans , and their Families. National Institute on Drug Abuse, (April), 1–2.

O’Brien, C. P., Oster, M., & Morden, E. (2013). Substance Use Disorders in the U.S. Armed Forces. Washington DC: National Academy of Sciences.

Westermeyer, J., & Kimbrel, N. A. (2013). Substance Use Disorders Among Military Personnel. In B. A. Moore & J. E. Barnett (Eds.), Military Psychologists’ Desk Reference. New York: OUP USA.

Wooten, N. R. (2015). Military Social Work: Opportunities and Challenges for Social Work Education. Journal of Social Work Education, 51(1), S6–S25.

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Failed states – U.S. Involvement

Failed states – U.S. Involvement

            When states fail, and U.S. intervention is called upon, a clear understanding of the scope of the failure should be the initial point of discussion.  As such, information must be gleaned in order to accurately assess the nature of the failed state, its level of permanence, and the conceived success rate of the operation.

U.S. military involvement within a fragile state can take on several roles, primarily in terms of repairing the fracture, impeding the conflict, and easing human suffering.  Operational commanders, therefore, must determine the extent to which these roles will be executed while planning to assist a fragile state.

U. S Commanders in Failed States

            One objective of U.S. commanders involved in failed states operations would be to “fix” the underlying issue creating the fracture. In terms of difficulty, this objective appears most lofty for several reasons. First, a complete fix of a fragile state requires intervention during the earliest stages of the crisis.  This may be inopportune.  Second, this intervention can be costly and time-consuming, requiring a lengthy military presence in the fragile country in order to fully accomplish the repair.

Third, the chances of sustaining a long-term remedy must be acutely considered before the commitment of time and manpower are allocated for this cause.  It is suggested that thorough intelligence capabilities be engaged to effectively assess the stage of fragility in a given state.  If, for example, the state is in such disrepair that U.S. efforts to establish a workable plan for governmental restructuring is improbably, then operational command decisions may warrant an alternative strategy for the region.

            If command determines that a failed states “fix” is not attainable, U.S. forces can be used in fragile states to impede further conflicts.  Although deterring conflict is an important objective in an insurgency operation and may not solve the issue immediately, it does lay the groundwork for potential repair of the failed states in terms of a peacekeeping effort during governmental restructuring efforts. The accurate assessment of strategic needs would aid command operations in choosing the appropriate combination of repair and defense objectives for the region in question. 

            Although repair objectives may be long term, defense and humanitarian objectives are considered limited objectives due to their stop-gap nature.  Providing aid to at-risk individuals in fragile states can ease human suffering and can facilitate transport of needed supplies to vulnerable individuals in the region.  Although these efforts are admirable and certainly in need, they are limited at best and will not resolve the situation in the long term. 

In fact, these interventions may be counterproductive in some instances. For example, in order to disperse these supplies, U.S. military forces may have to engage with failed states leadership which, in turn, may falsely represent their government as a legitimate regime.  In addition, U.S. aid may be used to the advantage of the insurgents as they intervene in the disbursement of food, water, and supplies to those they manipulate. 

This was seen most recently in Somalia, where Islamic insurgents refused to allow U.S. humanitarian aid to reach starving Somalians experiencing acute drought conditions. As a result, operational commanders must weigh the climate of the region in which humanitarian assistance is needed in order to effectively determine the appropriate strategy for proving relief in fragile and failed states.

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