VILECK, Germany (July 15, 2015) — The Combined Arms Training Center, or CATC, conducted its pilot Unit Training Management Leader Development Course, or UTMLDC, here, July 13-17.
Archive for July, 2015
ARLINGTON, Va. (July 16, 2015) — During the Association of the United States Army’s latest “network hot topic” series last week, in Arlington, Virginia, Department of Defense and industry leaders shared their focus on the Army’s Operating Concept, or AOC, and how enabling mission command in a Joint and coalition environment is bringing its principles to life.
Fort Jackson Soldiers and civilians can issue a measured sigh of relief on hearing the Army’s decision to cut only 180 Soldiers and an as-yet-undetermined number of civilian workers on post.
The force-structure decisions announced at the end of last week call for the reduction of the regular Army from 490,000 to 450,000 Soldiers, as well as a reduction of 17,000 civilian employees by the end of fiscal 2018.
“The impact on the Fort Jackson/Columbia community will be negligible,” post commander Maj. Gen. Roger Cloutier said Friday after receiving an official count of the number of cuts at Fort Jackson.
“The Army looked at the critical mission that happens here at Fort Jackson, Cloutier said, and found that it “can’t happen anywhere else.”
Fort Jackson handles more Basic Combat Training Soldiers than any other post — roughly 54 percent of the total trained each year. It employs 3,500 Soldiers and 3,500 civilians.
Though the cuts were small, Cloutier said it was not time to gloat: “The 180 positions represent Soldiers and Families. … There are no winners on this thing.”
Plus, he said, others have been hit harder.
“There are installations and communities around the United States … I would ask that we remember them,” he said. “We’ve got to think about them as we go through his process.”
Columbia businessman Bill Dukes said the news was good but that any rejoicing should be tempered with concern for the Families of the 180 Soldiers who would be cut. Dukes, South Carolina’s civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army, also reminded the public that this round of cuts would not be the last.
“The community did come out in strength” to support Fort Jackson during a community listening session last March — a session Cloutier conducted as director of force management, Officer of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7. Then, an audience of 1,500 hundred – including elected officials, business people and educators — stressed the positive impact of the post on the local economy.
Cloutier assured them then that “your voices matter.”
On Friday, after saying with a grin that he had been out of the loop on force-reduction decisions “for the past 45 days,” Cloutier lauded the post’s “incredible partnership with the Midlands” and declared that “the take-away for the folks in the Columbia area (is), your voices were heard.”
Photo credit: Maj. Gen. Roger Cloutier, post commander, speaks to the members of the media about the Army’s force-reduction announcement Friday. Flanking Cloutier are Command Sgt. Maj. Dan Hain and Bill Dukes, South Carolina’s civilian aide to the secretary of the Army. (U.S. Army photo by Robert Timmons)
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, July 16, 2015) — The three women currently enrolled in the Ranger course on Fort Benning, Georgia, moved on to the Mountain phase portion of the course, July 11, after having met the standard to move out of the Darby phase.
The three women were not alone in moving to the mountain phase of the course. A total of 161 Soldiers completed Darby phase and moved into mountain phase, including three women and 158 men. Soldiers, who end up meeting the standards of the mountain phase of the course, will move to the Florida phase of Ranger course, Aug. 1.
In April 2015, for the first time in Army history, 19 women were allowed to participate in Ranger course as part of a Ranger course assessment. The assessment is a regular Ranger course, with all the same physical requirements. The Ranger course completion standards, to include prerequisites, phase performance requirements and graduation standards, were not changed as part of the assessment.
Assessing female Soldier performance in the Ranger course is part of an ongoing Army effort called Soldier 2020. That effort is meant to allow the Army’s best-qualified Soldiers an opportunity to serve in any position where they are capable of performing to standard.
The Ranger course begins with the Ranger assessment phase, also called RAP week. RAP week is followed by the Darby phase, which includes fast-paced instruction on troop-leading procedures, principles of patrolling, demolitions, field craft, and basic battle drills focused on squad ambush and reconnaissance missions.
The mountain phase consists of four days of military mountaineering training, four days of techniques training, 10 days of student-led patrols, and one administrative day, where the students are counseled on their performance.
The last phase of the Ranger course, on Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, focuses on skills needed to survive in a rain forest or swamp.
While just three female Soldiers from the initial Ranger course assessment remain, proponents of allowing women to become Rangers, including Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, remain positive that the pilot program will produce results.
“I think we have had many females, who have done such a terrific job preparing,” Odierno said. “I think we will continue to do that and we will just see how it goes from there.”
Photo credit: Soldiers participate in the Darby Queen obstacle course as part of their training at the Ranger course on Fort Benning Ga., June 28, 2015. Soldiers attend the Ranger course to learn additional leadership and small unit technical and tactical skills in a physically and mentally demanding, combat simulated environment. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Brooks)
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, July 15, 2015) — Soldiers should check their emails in the coming weeks for the chance to provide input on possible revisions to aspects of the Army uniform and wear policy.
Senior Army leaders, including Sergeant Major of the Army Daniel A. Dailey and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, have authorized an online survey across all major commands to receive feedback on several uniform topics.
“The Soldiers are the ones who actually wear these uniforms. The senior leaders like to be informed by as many Soldiers in the field as possible [on uniform changes,]” said Sgt. Maj. James H. Thomson of the Institute for Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development.
Survey questions include opinions on gender-specific headgear for drill sergeants. Since 1972, female drill sergeant campaign hats have featured a raised brim and, as of 1983, a deeper green color. The survey, designed to crosscut a large section of Soldiers, will ask if there should be a single campaign hat for both male and female drill sergeants.
Consideration of a gender neutral aesthetic is not limited to drill sergeant attire. The service cap is also being considered for conversion to a gender-neutral version. Today, the male service cap features a wide bill, while its female counterpart has a raised brim on either side. The survey asks Soldiers whether or not they see merit in continuing the distinction.
The survey additionally seeks input on prescribing the service cap as required headgear for senior noncommissioned officers and above, in lieu of the black beret, when wearing the Army Service Uniform, or ASU.
Dailey has suggested an optional “Eisenhower jacket” to be added as a more appropriate indoor alternative to the black windbreaker jacket. Named for President Dwight D. Eisenhower and designed in the late-1930s, the jacket is waist-cropped, includes additional pockets and does not require many adornments. The last modification of the shortened, British-inspired jacket was seen in 1965. The survey asks Soldiers’ opinion of a version of it for all ranks.
Outside of formal dress, the survey also asks for Soldiers’ thoughts on black socks with the physical training, or PT, uniform. The suggestion came up at several town hall meetings Dailey conducted, and is now being sent out across various commands for evaluation.
“We’re hearing from the force, and we want to hear a little bit more,” Thompson said.
The cost environment for the latest potential uniform changes is unknown, but the fiscal impact on both the individual Soldier and the Army will be considered before any decisions are made. The results of the survey will provide Army senior leaders valuable information on what uniform changes should be considered.
As a joint effort of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, or TRADOC, and the Army Research Institute, the uniform survey will be conducted in the coming weeks with results expected in early August 2015.
“The one thing about Soldiers is that they all have their opinions and like to share them when it comes to the uniforms,” Thompson said.
Soldiers, who are invited to participate in the survey, will get an email invitation with instructions on how to log in to the online questionnaire.
Photo credit: Changes to the Army drill sergeant campaign hats include a possible switch to either the male aesthetic, left, the female aesthetic, right, or a possible resdesign to be completely gender neutral. (U.S. Army photo)
Acquisition professionals are tasked to manage their program’s cost, schedule and performance. In many cases, managing performance can be the most challenging. This is because the program office not only manages the specifics that determine and define their capability’s requirements, but also maintains a relationship with the organization that manages and “owns” the capability’s requirement documents.