Modern warfare ranges from small to large campaigns with military fundamentals shaping the battlefield. However, none has a more significant value as the Napoleonic eras. Although France is no longer a dominant power, its military fundamentals influence the United States (U.S.) military.
The U.S. military employs three Napoleonic era fundamentals of Command and Control (C2), professional military, and nationalism. These fundamentals shape the U.S. military during peace and war.
Maintaining peace and winning wars are important. To do that, large capable militaries are required with C2 and Napoleon recognized this. Napoleon task organized the Army into Armies, Corps, Divisions, and Brigades, centralizing C2.
Napoleon’s Supreme Command controlled the Corps that had Divisions and Brigades. The Corps was Napoleon’s main fighting force. Napoleon’s Corps was a Combined Arms Maneuver (CAM) unit that is self-sustaining and could fight on its own. The Corps was a headquarters, which units could be task-organized into with two to four Divisions of Infantry and their organic Artillery, a Cavalry Division, Corps Artillery, and support units.
Today’s the U.S. Army operates a similar formation. The Corps is the lowest tactical maneuver headquarters with a twofold purpose. They can remain Army pure or task-organized into contingency operational Joint Task Forces (JTF). However, JTFs are ad-hoc units pieced together at time of crises. Corps are only U.S. Army units, and do not encompass Air and Sea formations. To account for other military service formations, the U.S. military operates a Joint Unified Command with the same Napoleonic fundamentals.
Today the U.S. military operates a Joint C2 structure, divided into geographical areas as Geographical Combatant Commands (GCC) encompassing Air, Land, and Sea formations. GCCs formed with U.S. experience in World War II to better C2 formations and plan efficiently. Prior to World War II, Services operated, independently. GCCs are a joint Unified Forces Headquarters, with Service Component Commands, and tactical units for military operations. GCCs possess a C2 structure with a prominent role in implementing U.S. foreign policy and military operations. The C2 fundamental continues to refine with time. However, it requires an educated and trained professional military.
Napoleon recognized the need for a professional Army that possesses a significant advantage of mobilization and flexibility. Developing a professional military can be challenging and rewarding. Professional militaries are formed with professional service members who are loyal to the nation and its cause. However, professional militaries are trained.
Napoleon trained his military for victory, beginning with education. As the French monarchy dissolved, several Soldiers remained loyal to the nation and Army. Soldiers and veterans began with a month of "refresher" training in the schools of the Soldier and the company. Then came two days of...