July 12, 2012

TRADOC leaders discuss future fight, way ahead with 21st century training

By Sgt. 1st Class Kelly Jo Bridgwater
U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command

A focus on revitalizing home station training and incorporating more challenging leader development are two components set to earmark the Army’s way ahead for the fighting force and 21st century training.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — A focus on revitalizing home station training and incorporating more challenging leader development are two components set to earmark the Army’s way ahead for the fighting force and 21st century training.

During a June 21 professional forum sponsored by the Virginia Peninsula General Douglas MacArthur Chapter of the Association of the United States Army here, speakers from U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, including Gen. Robert Cone, TRADOC commanding general, gathered to talk about the Army’s future and the strategy behind changes to professional education.

“We are returning now, across the board, to a more balanced approach of maintaining a warrior ethos, maintaining the lessons of the last 10 years — but at the same time, changing the curriculum,” said Cone. “Let’s face it, when you are an Army at peacetime you become an Army of preparation, and we are focused on training and leader development, and I think that is what we (TRADOC) and Forces Command are grappling with these days.”

One panel discussion centered on the importance of Soldiers being able to train at their assigned duty station.

“Home stations and unit training strategies are sufficiently resourced to support commanders’ responsibilities to train and prepare Soldiers, leaders and units to successfully execute the Army mission in any operational environment they may encounter,” said Dan Dillon, TRADOC plans and operations.

What this means for the Reserve component is that any pre-mobilization training will be conducted at a unit’s home station, local training area, Regional Collective Training Capability or military installation.

The key is to keep Soldiers close to home; however, this excludes essential training that may only be conducted at combat training centers, TRADOC institutions or deployed locations.

It is critical to find the best way to adapt the learning environment to suit experienced combat veterans and those new leaders coming into the Army, according to Mike Formica, who is responsible for planning and overseeing the daily training that TRADOC is responsible for.

“Last March, we published the last Army training strategy, but we have recognized that we have this combat-experienced veteran force that is coming back, and is back on home station,” Formica said. “We need to make sure we have the type of home station training that will lead us to train for the future operation combat environment.”

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