By Buddy Blouin
From the outside looking in, and even from the inside looking in, the structural organization of the U.S. Army can be a bit confusing. It’s convoluted if you don’t realize what you’re looking at, yet the structure and organization hold a greater purpose to ensure the collaborative efforts of the largest U.S. military branch function properly. Learn more about the Army structure and how it’s broken down.

How Is the Army Structured?

The Army structure is one of many others that are a part of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Other branches have their own structure, but the U.S. Army structure is made up of both active and reserve components. Understanding the Army’s structure means breaking down the various components of the Army, as well. There is the operational Army which conducts full spectrum operations worldwide as well as the institutional Army which provides the necessary infrastructure for everything involving the readiness of all Army forces. Both roles are extremely important as the institutional Army supports the operational Army, which is necessary for its function. Similarly, the operational Army is essential to give purpose to the institutional Army. Explore how the Army organization structure further breaks these components down.

Army Commands (ACOM)

The U.S. Army has several Army Commands (ACOMs) which help in everything from innovation to the completion of missions and more. You’ll find strategic guidance, training, joint operations, support for civilian outreach, innovative improvements for technology, and the creation of guidelines for the Army here. Breaking down the Army command structure shows that there are four ACOMs. Here’s how each functions to help make our country a safer place:

U.S. Army Futures Command (AFC)

The AFC is found in Austin, TX helping the Army create modern solutions for today and the future. Through the delivery of innovative technology, Soldiers develop and receive materiel capabilities for an increasingly digital world engaging in warfare.

U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC)

Stationed in Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, AMC helps Soldiers and the allies of the United States receive better technology, and support in acquisition and logistics. Yet another initiative to ensure Americans have the best technological advantage when on the battlefield.

U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM)

The purpose of FORSCOM is to train, deploy, mobilize, transform, and reconstitute assigned conventional forces. Nobody in the world maintains land power forces for Commanders quite like those serving at Fort Bragg, NC.

U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC)

The purpose of TRADOC in Fort Eustis, VA, is to help develop Soldiers. This can range from recruitment efforts and general training, to educating Soldiers, creating leaders, and establishing the literal doctrine and standards for the branch as a whole.

Army Service Component Commands (ASCC)

ASCCs help execute joint force operations on behalf of the Army. Their responsibilities are to assist the Joint Force Commander through support and recommendations for finding and retaining personnel within each command.

U.S. Army Cyber Command (USARCYBER)

USARCYBER is chosen by the Secretary of the Army as an Army Service Component Command to U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM). It’s here in all things cyber warfare and electronic warfare related, including the defense of information, is coordinated and authorized. Headquartered in Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC)

At the Scott AFB in Illinois, SDDC operates under its assignment to the Army Service Component Command (ASCC) to the United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) and a Major Subordinate Command (MSC) to U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC).

U.S. Army Central (USARCENT)

USARCENT is found at Shaw AFB, SC, and assigned to the ASCC to the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) to provide continuous oversight and control of Army operations throughout USCENTCOM’s Area of Responsibility (AOR).

U.S. Army Europe and Africa (USAREUR-AF)

USAREUR-AF isn’t headquartered in the United States. The Army’s mission is worldwide and such initiatives showcase this fact. Found in Wiesbaden, Germany, you’ll find the ASCC assigned to both the United States European Command (USEUCOM) and United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) to help with control and oversight of operations in both EUCOM and AFRICOM’s AOR.

U.S. Army North (USARNORTH)

In Fort Sam Houston, the USARNORTH is the assigned ASCC to the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) providing control and guidance for USNORTHCOM’s AOR.

U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC)

USARPAC calls Fort Shafter, Hawaii home as the assigned ASCC to United States Pacific Command USPACOM over all of USPACOM’s AOR, with the exception of the Korean Peninsula.

U.S. Army South (USARSOUTH)

USARSOUTH is also found at Fort Sam Houston, TX, as the ASCC assigned to USSOUTHCOM deals with the operations of the group’s AOR as a whole. Featuring the motto “Together We Can”, USARSOUTH’s collaborative characteristics help both stateside and abroad.

U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC)

USASMDC out in Huntsville, Alabama, functions as the ASCC to the United States Strategic Command and the United States Space Command. It offers consistent supervision, control, integration, and coordination of Army forces that assist both commands. In addition, USASMDC provides support to the United States Northern Command in safeguarding the nation against a ballistic missile attack.

U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC)

USASOC features a headquarters in Fort Bragg and is serving as the appointed ASCC for the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and its operations as necessary for national security.

Direct Reporting Units (DRU) Round Out Army Structure

Across the Army, Direct Reporting Units (DRUs) support service members and organizations through institutional or operational functions. In total, there are 13 different DRUs. Here’s what each of them looks like under the Army organizational structure.

Arlington National Cemetary (ANC)

In Arlington, VCA, the ANC holds many of our nation’s heroes with honor, respect, and dignity. The Arlington National Cemetery is a place to remember those who have served and given the ultimate sacrifice while helping preserve history and assisting survivors at the same time.

U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC)

The Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland is home to experiments and evaluations of all kinds involving a variety of tests necessary for advancing innovation within the U.S. Army. The ATEC conducts such operations as a DRU to help provide vital information for acquisition decision-makers and Commanders.

Civilian Human Resources Agency (CHRA)

CHRA is also found in Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, and provides a variety of human resources for the Army to help in virtually any sort of human resources need to fulfill functions within HR and operations stateside as well as around the world.

U.S. Army Human Resources Command (HRC)

The U.S. Army Human Resources Command maintains a gold standard at Fort Knox by helping in HR functions including talent management, and various other personnel initiatives. Executing what is necessary for optimizing Total Force personnel readiness and strengthening an agile and adaptive Army, HRC is ready to put the best talent possible where they need to be.

U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM)

INSCOM works out of Fort Belvoir to help the Army DCS, G-2 as a DRU. The goal is to make sure the operations of INSCOM units are working to help with intelligence initiatives to assist the Army and others for national security.

U.S. Army Military District of Washington (MDW)

MDW can be found as a DRU operating out of Fort McNair in Washington D.C. that reports to the Chief of Staff of the Army serving as the geographic command responsible for the U.S. National Capitol Region (NCR) – Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM)

MEDCOM is a DRU found within Fort Sam Houston to help deliver various healthcare services through medical, dental, and veterinary capabilities to Soldiers. This occurs through designated DoD activities, including operating facilities, conducting research, training, and many other disciplines within healthcare.

Military Postal Service Agency (MPSA)

Hailing from Arlington, Virginia, the MPSA is based out of the National Capital Region, as a DRU helping ensure that the entire process of sending and receiving mail for official channels of the DoD continues to be effective.

U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC)

The USAASC is a DRU out of Fort Belvoir, VA, reporting directly to the ASA (ALT). Its primary role is to enhance the Army's readiness by advancing the Army's capability across all phases of materiel development, fostering the professional growth of acquisition personnel, and providing support to the acquisition community at all levels.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

The Corps of Engineers may be headquartered out of Washington D.C., but its reach ranges from the battlefield and throughout the country itself. You’ll find the DRU doing everything from constructing necessary structures for the Army to helping produce engineering projects that help with transportation and commerce within the U.S.

U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (USACID)

USACID is a DRU found under the Secretary of the Army. Its primary responsibilities include conducting sensitive or special interest investigations, providing personal security to designated DoD and Department of the Army officials, offering criminal investigative support to all Army elements, controlling Army investigations of controlled substances, and conducting Army investigations of serious crimes, less serious crimes, and fraud, as well as other crimes in Army procurement activities. Its headquarters is in Quantico, VA.

U.S. Army War College (USAWC)

The mission of the USAWC, situated in Carlisle, PA, is to equip graduates with the skills to engage in critical thinking and solve intricate problems in the worldwide deployment of land power. Our goal is to offer top-notch professional military education, conduct thorough research, publish scholarly works, engage in academic discussions, and partake in wargaming activities alongside our faculty, staff, students, and fellows. Additionally, we strive to cultivate strategic leaders and attract, recruit, and retain top-notch faculty and staff.

U.S. Military Academy (USMA)

Best known as West Point, where it maintains this namesake in New York, the DRU educated, trains, and inspires the Corps of Cadets to help graduates remain true to the values they learn and become leaders within the U.S. Army. Our country may be able to point to many superiorities as to why we remain free, but organization can’t be overlooked. The organization of the Army structure ensures everyone is clear about their role and purpose as collectively, each group works to maintain the high level of standards set out for the branch.




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