No Standing Army

Up until the end of the Second World War the United States did not maintain a standing army. America‘s founding fathers warned about the dangers a standing army presents should it become the instrument of tyranny. The American military history is a series of mobilizations and demobilizations.

After the the First World War the U.S. reduced its forces to approximately 100,000 soldiers, equal to the limit imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles. American mobilization after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 took up to an entire year.

Although American armed forces have been present in many countries since the end of the Second World War, it does not have a European-type tradition of officer corps and militias with long-standing doctrines, training and fighting methods.

In many ways, Americans have had to retrain themselves for the wars they fought – enlisting, training and managing young men at short notice and within short periods of time. It could also be argued that the average education level of the average American enlisted soldier is/was not as high as his counterpart in northern European countries.

These factors – a tradition of demobilization, the need to enlist and train rapidly, a broad spectrum of levels of education – may have forced the American military to develop leadership approaches which make necessary close management of personnel and operation.