Small Wars Journal

When we "reset the force"...

... let's not reset back to institutional folly like this:

Stifled Innovation? Developing Tomorrow's Leaders Today by Dr. Leonard Wong, US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, April 2002. Synopsis and emphasis by Cavguy at the Council.

Of the 365 days in the year, approximately 109 days are unavailable for training due to weekends, federal holidays, payday activities, and the Christmas half-day schedule. This results in a total of about 256 available days for company commanders to plan and execute training.

Requirements for mandatory training at the company level riginate from Army Regulation 350-1, Army Training, policy letters, command training guidance, and other directives. Scrubbing all levels of command down to the Brigade level, to include Department of the Army, Major Army Command (MACOM), Corps, Division, and installation level, for anything that generates a training requirement results in the identification of over 100 distinct training requirements...

... Note that, as expected, most directed mission-related training requirements come from Division-level or below. More importantly, most directed nonmission-related training requirements originate from DA and MACOM levels. This is critical since policy actions may be most effective in reducing the DA and MACOM requirements.

Incorporating the amount of time necessary to execute each directed training requirement (for example, training on "The Benefits of an Honorable Discharge" takes about 60 minutes a year) results in approximately 297 days of directed training.

Of the 297 days, about 85 percent (or 254 training days) is mission-related training and 15 percent (or 43 training days) is nonmission-related training.

The number of days required by all mandatory training directives literally exceeds the number of training days available to company commanders. Company commanders somehow have to fit 297 days of mandatory requirements into 256 available training days.

When we eventually get back to "normal" let's get back to the future.


UltimaRatioRegis (not verified)

Sun, 01/25/2009 - 6:29pm

My comments from the USNI site:

Daves post identifies a perpetual problem, and not just in the Army. 'Twas ever thus. Twenty years ago the same conditions existed. And when we added the leadership fad of the week (TQL, ORM, etc.) we had precious little time to focus on tactical and technical skills, or building unit cohesion. It represented at the Regimental and Battalion level a complete loss of focus on warfighting. More than once one could sit in an hour-long weekly staff meeting where nobody would say the word "artillery", not even once.

I am hoping (maybe against hope!) that actually fighting a war will cause a re-focus on what is really important. (ie.: training of individual and unit combat skills, equipment training and maintenance, cultural competence, and development of junior leaders.) This requires strong leadership at all levels of command, a proper prioritizing of competing demands, and an end to the zero-defects environment that seems to be persistently hanging on despite its obvious ill effects.

We are now entering a time when our company, battalion, and regimental (and brigade) commanders and staff, as well as our senior enlisted leaders, are combat veterans. If ever there was a chance to fix the situation that Mr. Dilegge outlines, its now.