U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command
FORT EUSTIS, Va. — Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno traveled to U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command headquarters, here, July 31, to receive briefings on TRADOC initiatives that impact both the current force and the Army of 2020.
Gen. Robert Cone, commander, TRADOC, welcomed Odierno and hosted the sessions, which included updates on the Warrior Leader Course, Army physical fitness training, Doctrine 2015, sexual harassment/assault response and prevention, and the latest on the Asymmetric Warfare Group, or AWG.
The first item of discussion was the proposed extension of the Warrior Leader Course, or WLC. Previously set at 17 days, the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy revised the pilot WLC program of instruction due to several factors, including changes in doctrine, emerging trends and Noncommissioned Officer Academy feedback, as well as input from numerous working groups and questionnaires.
“The force really wants more map reading and land navigation,” said John Sparks, director, Institute for Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development.
Based on this feedback, three iterations of the 22-day WLC were conducted at Fort Hood, Texas, March 27-June 14. The modified courses included land navigation, Army PT and increased leadership counseling; academics were limited to 8.5 hours per day.
“The challenge is to continue building upon the instruction after leaders return to their operational units,” Odierno said.
TRADOC is also preparing to re-establish the Master Fitness Trainer Course, or MFTC, which will provide commanders at all levels with certified fitness advisers, resulting not only in an increase in readiness, but more importantly, an overall increase in the health of the force.
“It’s not just about physical readiness training; it’s about health, fitness and well-being,” said Maj. Gen. Brad May, deputy commander, Initial Military Training, TRADOC.
The Initial Military Training Center of Excellence is initiating a pilot MFTC this summer to ensure appropriate steps are being taken to restore the physical fitness asset to all units.
Additionally, the program is expected to generate significant cost saving and cost avoidance for the Army through decreased accession losses, reduced injury rates, standardization of unit training, easier integration of new personnel into operational units, increased physical readiness of the force and increased discipline.
During the briefing, Odierno received an update on prevention efforts throughout TRADOC to reduce and eliminate sexual harassment and assault within the force.
Current efforts include cadre training on SHARP, values, ethos and prohibited practices, as well as the mandated use of “battle buddies” to reduce the likelihood and opportunity for sexual harassment and misconduct. Leadership will also conduct Quick-Look Assessment visits to ensure compliance with policies, procedures and treatment of Soldiers in training on installations.
Next, Lt. Gen. David Perkins, commander, Combined Arms Center, TRADOC, updated Odierno on Doctrine 2015, an effort to overhaul and streamline Army doctrine through a simplified, common, professional language.
“Within 90 days, we’re going to release to the force an unprecedented amount of doctrine,” Perkins said.
The goal is to create a top-to-bottom echelon of publications and manuals that provide top-level, easy-to-read doctrinal principals with supporting references that increase in length and depth of information.
Doctrine 2015 will make these references available at the point of need through interactive media, such as mobile applications, and explain the fundamental principles that guide the actions of military forces in support of national objectives.
The last item on the agenda was operational advising. Often called the “crown jewel of TRADOC” by Cone, operational advising is the core competency of the AWG, which conducts worldwide tactical observations and translates them into initiatives that contribute to future unit successes on the battlefield.
“The AWG is TRADOC’s direct link to the operational force and the operational environment,” said Col. Patrick Mahaney Jr., commander, AWG.
The AWG uses its core functions — observing and analyzing; identifying vulnerabilities and capability gaps; and developing solutions — to enhance Soldier survivability and effectiveness and enable the defeat of current and emerging threats.
“The (AWG) is exactly what we need to look at the future complexities of war,” Odierno said.
According to the command, TRADOC is leading the Army’s transition into the future by shaping the Army of 2020, developing adaptive leaders and organizations, modernizing equipment and revolutionizing training.