Ready or Not?

An F on its fit-to-fight scores gives the Army a black eye

It's like a routine inspection, but on a much grander, million-man, scale. Every month, in an arcane and complicated ritual tracking thousands of troops, tanks and tarpaulins, Army bean counters rate the readiness of each of the service's 10 divisions. Troops, weapons, logistics and training are all measured, then reviewed by commanders and tweaked if the results might give a misleading impression of a division's fitness to fight. The grades range from C-1--fully ready to wage war--to C-4, unprepared for battle. The marks warn the Army of impending problems and help the generals know when to turn up the spigots for...

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