Colonel (ret) Douglas Macgregor is a decorated combat veteran, the author of four books and a PhD. He is also Executive Vice President of Burke-Macgregor Group LLC, a consulting and intellectual capital brokerage firm based in Reston, VA. He was commissioned in the US Army in 1976 after one year at VMI and four years at West Point.
His groundbreaking books, Breaking the Phalanx (1997) and Transformation under Fire (2003) has influenced change inside America’s ground forces. His doctoral dissertation, The Soviet-East German Military Alliance, published as a book by Cambridge University Press in 1989.
In 1991, he was awarded the bronze star with “V” device for valor under fire with the Second Armored Cavalry Regiment that destroyed a full-strength Republican Guard Brigade on 26 February 1991. The Battle of the 73 Easting, the U.S. Army’s largest tank battle since World War II is the subject of his book, Warrior’s Rage. The Great Tank Battle of 73 Easting.
Macgregor has testified as an expert witness on national security issues before the House Armed Services and House Foreign Relations Committee. He is a frequent guest commentator on radio and television.
officials may be required to analyze a potential replacement of the
service's brigade combat team fighting formation, according to the
defense authorization conference report for fiscal year 2017.
the report, lawmakers seek information on the potential for
restructuring the Army with Reconnaissance Strike Groups, an
organizational construct that would replace BCTs with groups of 5,500 to
6,000 soldiers commanded by a brigadier general. Douglas Macgregor, a
retired Army colonel who developed the construct and is an executive
vice president of a strategic consulting group, describe the RSG in a
presentation to the Senate Armed Services Committee as a "self-contained
organization for combat; organized around [intelligence, surveillance,
reconnaissance], strike, maneuver and sustainment."
Senate-passed authorization bill included a provision requiring the
defense secretary and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff to oversee
the modeling of "an alternative Army design and operational concept" and
produce a report that assesses the value of having a pilot program for
the effort. The provision would also require officials to establish an
office to test, evaluate, and develop and validate the "RSG's joint
warfighting concept, required platforms and structure." The House bill
lacks such a provision.
to the joint explanatory statement accompanying the bill, the House
receded with an amendment that requires "the Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff and the Chief of Staff of the Army, in consultation with
the Commanding General, U.S. European Command, to each conduct a
separate analysis of RSG organizational design and operational concepts"
and provide a report to the Senate committee and the House committee.
The amendment also requires "a Federally Funded Research and Development
Center or 501(c)(3) to review and evaluate the reports." The document
also notes that the RSG was previously outlined in the 2016 National
Commission on the Future of the Army report.
to Macgregor's memorandum to the Senate committee, the RSG is "designed
to punch above its weight, mobilizing fighting power disproportionate
to its size," "unlike brigade combat teams." Macgregor's statement to
the NCFA states that the RSG consists of four maneuver battalions, one
strike battalion, one ISR battalion and one sustainment battalion. Under
a brigadier general, the RSG's "[command and control] structure
consolidates more combat power under fewer headquarters allowing it to
respond directly to a joint task force," according to Macgregor's
statement. A colonel would serve as chief of staff in the formation,
with lieutenant colonels holding primary staff positions.
organizational construct also differs from the BCT in regard to its
weapons systems. The RSG uses a common chassis vehicle, which would help
the Army drive down costs and cut down on delivery times while also
improving performance, Macgregor notes in the NCFA statement. The Puma
infantry fighting vehicle, a six-passenger German vehicle lauded by the
Congressional Budget Office in an April 2013 report as superior to both
the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the Ground Combat Vehicle in terms of
capability, serves as the common chassis in the RSG. Macgregor describes
the Puma as the "world's best infantry fighting vehicle."
Puma's 1100 horsepower engine, high power to weight ratio, modular
armor plus superior suspension performance allows the mounting of larger
weapon systems creating multiweapon variants on a single Puma chassis.
This represents a capability that cannot be achieved with other existing
platforms," Macgregor told the NCFA.
his memorandum to the Senate panel, Macgregor highlights the importance
of using the RSGs in the Army's current situation. Pointing out that
the service has reduced its numbers, Macgregor describes the RSG as "a
critical first step in the process of extracting more ready, deployable
combat power from existing numbers of soldiers in the U.S. Army."
test the capabilities of the RSG, Macgregor used the StrongPoint Combat
Power Builder and Combat calculator, a simulation method, to assess its
effectiveness against Russian forces and included the results in a
presentation to the Senate committee. Labeling the results as "dramatic"
in the presentation slides, Macgregor found that 23,000 Russian
soldiers in independent brigades were defeated by two RSGs with 11,000
to 12,000 soldiers, whereas 28,500 U.S. soldiers structured into BCTs
were defeated by the same adversary.