Dave Dilegge points out an analysis by Dr. Leonard Wong that should be embarrassing to Army guys and worrisome to us if anybody goes a-lookin’…

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.

More at the link.

Posted by Chap in Army, Training & Education

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  • UltimaRatioReg

    Dave’s 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, it’s now.

  • Andy (JADAA)

    And this, in virtually all the uniformed services (and I do NOT presume to speak for my colleagues outside of the Navy but offer this universality out of observation) is one of the fundamental differences between “management” and “leadership.” It has indeed been “ever thus,” at least since the era when Richard M. Nixon’s signature adorned my commissioning certificate. I cheerfully and happily am grateful for some of the “new” training I received when some hard lesson is again learned by the blood of others. But excessive demands, totally disconnected from reality of what it takes to satisfy one administrative command or another cut across forces. I have heard this from submariners, DESRON Commodores and numberless CAG and Battle Group staffs.

    Besides “fad” management-by-another-name programs that extend down deep into the lowest level of organizational structure, we also have “training” mandated by the always popular high level official reaction to whatever perceived or actual malfeasance committed by a few but subject to popular media examination that raises it’s head. I will grant you that sometimes that training is really necessary. But let’s look at the personnel-years expended by generating and developing whatever mandatory training has been deemed from on high as utterly of the highest priority. The treasure in travel orders to train the trainers and to bring back home to train our units. And what of the lengthy tail that it demands by way of attendance verification, reports of training, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reporting in nature that take people’s time and effort to generate and transmit…where? More often than not, down a rabbit hole, never to see the light of day again. But, by gosh, we can prove we administered the training!

    This is where the need for leadership throughout the chain must come to the fore. Without someone, anyone with the authority and the responsibility to say “stop, enough, what does this gain us?”, and ask if by having this training will we be able to defend this nation by accomplishing this newest set of ‘mandatory’ training, we become yet another tired iteration of a barracks-bound force; we will look great at inspections and on paper we are “ready,” but when it comes to the hard work, the flotsam we will leave will be only so much waterlogged paper floating on an empty sea.

    Yet another example of no one willing to speak truth to power. Oops, got to go, my wife says I need more spousal sensitivity training! 😉


  • I was griping about just this thing to the local Education guy last week.

  • Jay

    Having served with the Army for a bit…many commands are giving their folks 12 days or more per year off. Yes, the famous “training holidays” that make a three-day weekend into a four-day weekend, and don’t count as leave. I don’t know if that included in the above calculation or not.

    Doesn’t close the gap entirely…but could help.