Training Maximization-Reserve MI Unit Structure

by Sergeant James D. Higday

Editor’s Note: The following article represents a suggested Reserve Component unit structure. This article does not necessarily represent actual or planned unit structures or the official policy of the U.S. Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

Like the weather, the Army is always changing. Another Reserve MI unit will disappear by December 1999, maybe earlier, and another Reserve soldier faces a choice— continue to serve or leave the service. Most do not want the second choice and wish to continue to serve, but they must find a new unit that will meet their needs. This is becoming more difficult.

What are our needs? Reserve soldiers need to train. If called upon to supplement an Active unit, all any Reserve soldier wants to hear from the Active Component (AC) commander is “job well done.” However, the Reserve Component (RC) MI force needs to take a closer look at how we train and whether or not the current unit configurations are realistic to support the AC.

In reference to any RC MI unit, these questions must be answered—

If the answer is “no”, “never”, or “seldom” to any of these questions, that unit will likely be eliminated. A Reserve unit must do all three or lose its relevance in supporting the total force. Increasingly, unit structure plays a critical role in a Reserve unit’s ability to train.

New RC MI Unit Concept

The Reserve MI unit structure should blend intelligence analysts, counterintelligence (CI) agents, MI support technicians,  etc., into one unit. Organizing each Reserve MI company into separate functional platoons (analysts,  CI specialists, human intelligence specialists, technicians, etc.) allows the commander to conduct individual, collective, and soldier tasks training within the rigid time constraints of Reserve units (see Figure 1). It also enables the commander to support the AC exercises and live contingencies through flexible “support packages,” already tailored into functional elements.

As an example, I will describe the 631st Military Intelligence( MI) Company. The 631st MI  Company is a new RC MI unit that will provide intelligence analysts and CI agents to the AC. Based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the 631st directly complements the XVIIIth Airborne Corps through the 525th MI Brigade. This Company also supports the MI needs of the 82d Airborne Division.

The 631st MI Company has three detachments located away from Fort Bragg. They are—

The 631st MI Company has four platoons at Fort Bragg—