How the Army’s Mission Statement Might Influence Project Selection and Implementation

US Army

The U.S. Army’s Mission Statement states the following:

“The U.S. Army’s mission is to fight and win our Nation’s wars by providing prompt, sustained land dominance across the full range of military operations and spectrum of conflict in support of combatant commanders.”

One thing that I will clarify further is that “preparedness” is the operative word. Everything the Army does is in the name of either being prepared to fight or executing a fight. And the statement is specific in restricting the scope to land operations.

The question is, what kinds of core projects might be most successful in the name of preparedness and which might not be. Keep in mind that this is completely extemporaneous and is for the purpose of showing practitioners the thought process behind identifying potentially good and bad projects with respect to mission alignment.

Good Projects

The Army will likely favor projects that advance capabilities – that is, that help it to be more prepared. This would include:

  1. Projects that facilitate the recruitment function to help keep personnel numbers at target
  2. Advanced technical capabilities supporting any military function
  3. Anything supporting training of people at all levels
  4. Projects which involve testing of new capabilities, and corresponding retraining
  5. Any project that helps provide support to or improves sustainment of capabilities where preparedness is the key aim

Bad Projects

  1. Most basic research…or core research that is already done by industry, unless focused on a unique and specific military area
  2. Generating revenue…which is outside the scope of the Army mission
  3. Building and owning hardware and software which can readily be outsourced

Remember that Army projects that are well-aligned with the mission of preparedness also need to be well-executed, and this is especially challenging for such a large and complex organization as the U.S. Army. However, only projects that are well-aligned to mission are expected to contribute in a relevant way to moving the Army toward its mission objectives.

What do you think? What kinds of projects do you think align most closely with the U.S. Army’s mission statement, and which not?

This post is part of the series: Influence of Mission Statements on Projects

A series of four articles on organizational mission statements and how they influence the types of projects which are likely to be successful. The articles look at how this might play out at Google, the U.S. Army, IBM and Facebook.
  1. Google: How Mission Statement Influences Projects
  2. U.S. Army: How Mission Statement Influences Projects
  3. Facebook: How Mission Statement Influences Projects