Down the rank and file of the entire United States Army from General to Private, it is incredibly essential that they are trained, equipped, physically and mentally tough to engage in and win wars. The correct implementation and execution of training is what assists the force in this accomplishment. The ability to perform well in all operating environments enables the Army to succeed. Training develops an operationally effective force with credibility that will make possible enemies think twice before engaging in conflict.
In the current operational climate, there is a sense of uncertainty where the next definitive wars will be fought. What assists us in mitigating irregularity is flawless training management. Readiness is key and what has kept the US Army at the top of the pyramid of projecting power across the globe. As officers we are charged with training our formations to the highest standards and making sure we are cross leveling our requirements with those of higher headquarters.
It’s imperative to have a tremendous training management plan so as to better strategize synchronization of resources, units, time and space. This can be accomplished with practicing discipline, planning training within long-range dates and short-range dates.
Discipline can be defined in Army terms as maintaining and understanding the highest of moral and ethical standards at all times, no matter who is observing, what environment you’re in or the circumstances. Discipline is just, fair, honest and uncompromising. Discipline is inherit within integrity and character. These traits are fundamental with US Army ethics and should be a cog in your unit training management as part of the Mission Essential Task List (METL).
As officers we must practice discipline when mounting our training glide path, whether it be for a small field exercise, deployment or going to the National Training Center (NTC). Discipline is principally important when following and integrating the company or battalion METL, developing collective tasks or effectively acquiring the required resources for training events.
Adhering to a long-range training plan or calendar allows commanders and platoon leaders to coherently communicate which tasks they should train for. It sets conditions and boundaries for operational training.
While doctrinally training management may begin at echelons higher than what we may operate as 2nd Lieutenants, it is imperative that we understand the relevancy of their actions and how it trickles down to our level. Higher headquarters personnel should be enabling lower echelons the ability to complete requirements so they can competently meet commander’s intent. Satisfactory time must be allocated to units to conduct tasks like requesting ammunition and land as well as preparing briefs. The “T-Week” concept is a sort of rubric for guaranteeing units submit information within the allotted time frame.
The T-Week concept is a type of framework planning tool that summaries checkpoints for training events. It assists leaders in ensuring actions required to execute training are completed on time.
Within your T-Week product you could display milestones through the pre-determined dates and methods for limited planning and preparation. Displaying the time frame of conferences and ammunition forecasts give leaders a conceptualized view of the upcoming time-hacks.
Leaders must be knowledgeable and have a pulse of planning factors when developing events. Once land and ammunition are “laid on”, the plan must be inspected and approved by higher echelons. This will trigger the troop leading procedures (TLPs) within the eight-step training model and will give units and leaders situational awareness. Thus, allowing leaders to effective develop a training guide path that is coherent and supports higher headquarters.
Even when resources become restricted or “low”, training should always be conducted as “tough, realistic, and intellectually and physically challenging.” Executing training within constraints certifies that units will be able to endure the rigors of deployment. When preparing and planning for training events such as field problems, situational training exercise (STX) lanes or live fires (LFX), they must be demanding and challenging. If not, our units do not progress or improve. As we should always be moving forward, end states should always certify leaders and Soldiers so as to enhance their confidence and competencies.
Additionally, when training is underway, it is recommended leaders from all levels be present. As Officers we are responsible for training that occurs in our units. Being present, visible, engaged and fulfilling our role at training is one of our many duties. Excellent leaders make sure training is being properly handled and implemented. Not only is there no activity that does not require supervision or inspection, by being present, credibility is added to the leaders “file” in their troop’s minds.
The Army’s Combat Training Center is a program that provides realistic combined arms training under the execution of established doctrine. At locations such as the National Training Center (NTC), Combat Maneuver Training Center (CMTC), and the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) units are provided the opportunity to increase proficiency in the most realistic battlefield conditions outside of the contemporary operating environment.
Continuing on, Brigade Combat Teams as other large organizations can not just jump onto a ramp, hop in a plane and attend these CTCs. Proper planning must be executed to ensure a smooth process.
Planning is easily guided by integrating In-Progress Review (IPR) meetings as a tool to monitor and direct the unit toward CTC tasks. Commanders use IPRs as a sort of quality control benchmark towards mission success. Information such as progress logistically, validating, and more are easily evaluated at IPRs and redirection can be directed as needed. Steady battle rhythms are maintained through the use of IPRs.
In conclusion, managing within the long range and short range with training are incredibly important and vital to the readiness of your ascribed unit. Using tools located within our Field Manuals and other reference material are integral to success. As officers and leaders, we must build coherent training plans that are aligned with higher headquarters and also challenge our leaders. As a military force we have the experience and tools to maintain a proper training management plan. To ensure we take full advantage of this capability we must develop, mentor and train continually.