FORT BRAGG, N.C. (March 9, 2016) – Leaders from U.S. Army Forces Command and Training and Doctrine Command discussed Soldier 2020 during a senior leader summit panel discussion for the two commands here at Gen. George C. Marshall Hall.
Archive for March, 2016
FORT SILL, Okla. (March 10, 2016) — It’s been a long time coming: Full-scale gender integration is now a reality in today’s military. Fort Sill is making sure the integration is as smooth as possible.
Although Defense Secretary Ashton Carter made it official, Jan. 2, opening the last remaining ground combat roles to women has been a hot topic for several years in what is known as the Soldier 2020 initiative to develop readiness standards.
“The Army felt like we were doing a disservice to readiness by looking only at the male population in certain combat (military occupational specialties) MOSs,” said Field Artillery Proponent Office Sgt. Maj. Alexis Shelton. “(Women) are driving trucks in some of the most dangerous areas in the world,” he said of the types of jobs female Soldiers are already performing.
“It’s about readiness,” he emphasized. “It’s making sure we have the right people, from all genders.”
In anticipation of the elimination of the last barriers to women, the Army Medical Command’s Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine had to figure how to accommodate women in an equitable way, and also how to reduce male injuries and washouts in advanced individual training.
It began a rigorous series of tests designed to codify the types of High Physical Demand Tests necessary to be successful in a combat specialty such as 13B cannon crewman.
Fort Sill’s subject matter experts assisted in the study at Fort Carson, Colo., to “validate the task,” said Shelton.
ARIEM personnel were also at Fort Sill at the end of February working with Soldiers in basic combat training to help design the Occupational Physical Assessment Test (OPAT) for potential recruits to determine what MOS they can and can’t be trained in.
Shelton said some males are suffering injuries during training, or can’t meet the standards. “That gets back to readiness,” he said.
Before enlisting, recruits are given the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery to measure cognitive or mental abilities, and must meet medical standards. However, there is no meaningful physical test that will help a potential Soldier be successful.
The OPAT would be the physical determinant of which MOS a recruit can be considered for, and is expected to be implemented by June 1. The four tests to measure lower-body strength, lower and upper body power, and aerobic fitness will be the standing long jump, the seated power throw, strength dead lift, and aerobic interval run.
“Once a Soldier takes the OPAT at the reception station, more than likely the Soldier would have no problem with the high physical demands (in AIT),” said Shelton. “We’ll have two assessments in place before a Soldier even signs the contract to be sure we have the right Soldier in the right MOS.”
All Soldiers in Fort Sill’s 13B cannon crewmember and 13F fire support specialist military occupational specialties need to pass specific HPDT tasks to graduate. Female Soldiers have been working with the Multiple Launch Rocket System and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System for several years. They do not need to pass the HPDT because their jobs are mostly automated and do not involve high physical demands.
An AIT Soldier with C Battery, 1st Battalion, 78th Field Artillery, became the first female in the 13B MOS. Perhaps the hardest test was being able to move a total of 3,000 pounds of ammunition in 15 minutes, an action expected of a cannon crewmember in combat.
Pfc. Katherine Beatty of Inverness, Florida, had the advantage of being a power lifter with her Army infantryman husband, Charles, before enlisting. Beatty is a mother of a 2-year-old, and her success should lay to rest any doubts that women are capable of being part of a ground combat team. The next group of women scheduled for 13B training is due next month at Fort Sill.
Despite the standardization of HPDT and OPAT, there are still differences in the way men and women are scored on physical tests in basic combat training. “There’s a male and a female scale,” said Shelton. Forty sit-ups will earn a male a lower score than it does for a female, he said.
In addition to the physical requirements, the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command requires “safe and secure” housing for women.
Capt. Justin Lopez, C Battery, 1st Battalion, 78th Field Artillery commander, which is the AIT unit for 13B, said the goal is to have females housed in the same building as the rest of their team. One wing of that barracks is being remodeled to accommodate them. TRADOC requires that female housing has fire safe doors that lock from the inside, as well as closed circuit TV cameras in hallways and common areas.
“With fire safe doors, if an incident were to occur and they felt unsafe, they could hit a button and these doors would lock and no one could get in,” said Lopez.
When Beatty arrived as an AIT trainee a few months earlier than the expected first group of 13B women, she was housed in a separate barracks with other females. However, the rest of her training was exactly the same as that of the men.
“I keep going back to readiness,” said Shelton. “Because that’s what it’s about.”
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Mar. 8 – 9, 2016) – Senior Commanders and Command Sergeants Major from U.S. Army Forces Command, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Army Installation Management Command, the Army National Guard and Army Reserve met March 8 at Fort Bragg, N.C., for an remarkable symposium to collaborate and synchronize key Army initiatives and critical topics affecting Soldiers and Families, and “Shaping The Future Force.”
The historic summit, many years in the making, focused on key Army priorities: Maximizing unit readiness, realistic training, individual readiness, Army 2025, implementing Soldier 2020, Army University, unit sourcing for Combatant Commanders, installation management, leader development, and other vital topics affecting a rapidly changing Army and world.
“In this room we have commanders of the U.S. Army Centers of Excellence, commandants, commanders and command sergeants major from throughout Forces Command and Training and Doctrine Command, U.S. Army Reserve two- and one-star commanders, National Guard commanders and five Adjutant Generals,” said Gen. Robert B. “Abe” Abrams, in his welcoming remarks to this Total Army Force gathering.
Aligning with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley’s key Army priorities, Gen. Abrams discussed Forces Command’s updated mission statement, with its emphasis on readiness: “FORSCOM trains and prepares a combat ready, globally responsive Total Force in order to build and sustain readiness to meet Combatant Command requirements.”
“This is the first time the word ‘readiness’ is included in FORSCOM’s mission statement,” he pointed out. “We are all about building and sustaining readiness across the force.”
Given the high demand for FORSCOM units and conventional land-power forces in the active-duty Army, National Guard and Army Reserve, Gen. Abrams also discussed five ongoing challenges to sustaining Army readiness.
“Time … available time is our biggest resource shortfall,” Gen. Abrams said. He listed four other challenges, given the pace of military operations over the past 14 years: can’t assume technical and tactical competence/expertise; a general lack of repetitions in combined-armed maneuvers; the complexity of Mission Command systems and rapid rates of change; and ongoing Army force reductions and reorganizations.
“We’re reducing and reorganizing at the same time,” Gen. Abrams said. “This adds challenges to sustainable readiness … that goes across the Total Army Force.”
“We have to think differently about how we build and sustain readiness. The operating environment we’re going to fight in and operate in is completely different. The size of our force is different. Authorities are different. How we’re going to integrate as One Army is different. So there’s a lot of difference. We have to think differently about how we build and sustain readiness. ”
Army Training and Doctrine Command leaders also focused on readiness and today’s opportunities as the Army evolves.
“We design, acquire, build and constantly improve the Army,” said Gen. David Perkins, commanding general of the U.S Army Training and Doctrine
Command “That’s what we are for. That is what makes TRADOC a different organization than in any other army, because it is one-stop shopping. The Army command includes nearly 37,000 Soldiers and 13,000 civilians working in 26 locations through-out the United States.
In outlining TRADOC’s mission, Perkins described his organization as the U.S. Army’s “design & build firm,” much like an architect. TRADOC’s Army
Capabilities Integration Center lays out the blue print for the Army, while the U.S. Army Recruiting Command obtains the Soldiers, and the Combined Arms Center trains those Soldiers.
Gen. Perkins said FORSCOM is TRADOC’s “largest customer,” noting “Forces Command makes ready” the Army units: platoons, companies, battalions, brigades, etc.
As part of “develop the future force,” TRADOC and Forces Command are working on forward-looking operations associated with “Force 2025 and Beyond.” These include Army learning, development of Army and joint concepts, and a host of Army 2025 initiatives to shape the future Army. The focus is to improve the effectiveness the army and the joint force across the range of military operations in support of national strategic objectives.
Gen. Perkins emphasized that today’s main drivers of innovation in effective organizations are “information flow,” the collaboration of ideas and sharing of information;” and “decision rights,” empowering individuals to make decisions and take the initiative.
Army Installation Management Command Commanding General Lt. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl pointed out both commands are some of the largest customers of the Army’s 75 active-duty installations and garrisons. He outlined ongoing initiatives to maximize readiness by maintaining these Army posts’ vital services and infrastructure despite ongoing budgetary constraints. He also acknowledged the vital relationships and partnerships Army posts maintain with their neighboring civilian communities.
Both FORSCOM’s Command Sgt. Maj. Scott C. Schroeder and TRADOC Command Sgt. Maj. David S. Davenport emphasized the vital role of Noncommissioned Officers and enlisted Soldiers in meeting the Army’s current and future challenges. Both discussed continuing priorities associated with Soldier “talent management” and leader development. As part of the NCO 2020 strategy, the NCOs discussed the recently introduced “Select, Train, Educate, Promote,” or STEP, initiative.
“Select” means Soldiers who meet Army standards — based on their performance and potential — get the opportunity to compete for promotion. T — “Train” recognizes the operational domain’s responsibility in training Soldiers. E — “Educate” represents the formal education and training of developing leaders — that’s what TRADOC does. Education ultimately leads to “P.” P — “Promote” means Soldiers who have met all requirements will earn the rank and be officially promoted by U.S. Army Human Resources Command.
Command Sgt. Maj. Schroeder also reminded the summit’s audience that simple leadership actions keenly affect a unit’s teamwork and a Soldier’s morale, like a letter recognizing individual accomplishment, a photo from a ceremony, unit-level competitions and the vital role of teamwork, as well as the importance of experience, judgment and confidence among today’s highly professional enlisted force.
Given the focus on Soldiers, the TRADOC participants included over a dozen Army education centers displaying their latest resources and references for today’s tech-savvy warriors on the move: computerized references, robotic training simulators, tactical technologies and global cultural resources.
U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command recently hosted several guests from the United Kingdom during two visits in March. Check out the photos below to see who made the trip to TRADOC.
Edwin Mazzanti, deputy, Capabilities Development Directorate, Army Capabilities Integration Center, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, stands for a photo with Brig. Gen. Martin Moore, Head of Capability Combat Service Support, Army Headquarters, British Army, at TRADOC headquarters on Fort Eustis, Virginia, March 3, 2016.
Mazzanti hosted Moore’s visit to ARCIC, which provided UK visitors with valuable insights on ARCIC’s Sustainment Division and its role in logistics capability development in support of Army Warfighting Challenge solution strategies and Capability Needs Analysis. The UK team also discussed how to make sustainment interoperability and theater entry integral parts of upcoming Army Warfighting Assessments and joint training exercises.
The visiting party included Col. Nick Luck, UK foreign liaison officer to TRADOC, Lt. Col. Stephen Caldwell, UK foreign liaison officer to the Combined Arms Support Command; Maj. Simon Townsend, assistant S3 7th Transportation Brigade – Expeditionary and two UK staff officers, Lt. Col. Mark Stuart and Maj. Giles Fulford.
The UK team previously visited the Department of the Army G-4, the Combined Arms Support Command at Fort Lee, and planned to visit the 7th TB (X) at Fort Eustis before returning to the UK.
Lt. Gen. James Bashall, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and commander of Personnel Support Command, British Army, stands for a photo with Gen. David Perkins, commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, at TRADOC headquarters on Fort Eustis, Virginia, March 7, 2016. During Bashall’s visit, he received several briefings, including TRADOC’s role in the Army, the Human Dimension, Army Warfighting Challenges, and Soldier training, education and recruiting. Bashall and Perkins discussed various topics, including gender integration and women in combat, the importance of foreign liaison officers, and the large number of similar challenges faced by both armies.
U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command recently hosted the first ever State of NCO Development Town Hall, reaching thousands of Soldiers from across the force. The two-hour long event featured TRADOC Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport, and a number of other subject matter experts from the U.S. Army Reserve, National Guard and TRADOC.
Thank you to everyone who joined us for our first town hall, and a big thank you to those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make it happen. Because of everyone’s efforts, in just two short hours, we were able to have a conversation with thousands and share with them really important information about NCO development.
We estimate somewhere between 3,500 to 5,000 people watched the livestream. It’s difficult to know exactly how many Soldiers tuned in because many of our great units across the Army setup group viewing sessions. For example, check out the photo above of the 316 Cavarly Brigade out of Fort Benning, who gathered 300 NCOs together. What a great example of professionalism by those Soldiers and leaders! I applaud all the units that took the time and initiative to use this event as an opportunity to mentor and teach.
The town hall generated a lot of great dialogue. More than 3,000 people logged into the livestream chat board, and had a very active conversation with our experts from the Institute for Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development. It was also great to see our CSMs/SGMs from across the force logged into the chat board and actively answering questions.
We got a lot of hard hitting, but very interesting perspectives from the field, and we discussed many of them at our main table. It’s also clear to me that social media provided an important way for our Soldiers to connect with us. During the town hall, we fielded hundreds of comments and questions, and our event hashtag reached more than 1 million accounts of Twitter.
For those who were unable to attend, here is the link to the video recording of the town hall, chat room log of the discussion and the NCO 2020 Strategy.
Watch the State of Development NCO Town Hall below:
So in my mind, it was well worth the effort. In fact, 93% of the Soldiers who took our Town Hall survey said they would attend another event in the future. The survey gave us really good feedback. 69% of respondents describe the information quality as good or excellent, and respondents believed STEP was the most beneficial topic. Most importantly, we received more than 50 other suggestions were given for future topics through the survey.
I think the biggest piece of feedback on improving a future town hall that I received was that the event was too broad and covered too much information. And, I agree. Now that we’ve seen the demand and types of information people want, we can tailor future events.
Positive feedback I received was to continue these type of events. We heard you and have planned to cover each line of effort within the NCO 2020 Strategy over the remainder of the year. We planning to host another event this summer focusing on line of effort one – development. Panel members would include the NCO leadership from the Combined Arms Center who will be leading the effort on SSD and common core. This fall, we would then address line of effort two – talent management, with panel members from the TRADOC G1, HRC and DAG1. Finally closing out the year with the line of effort three – stewards of the profession.
So thanks again for all the feedback and we look forward to making the next one even better!
Victory Starts Here!
– CSM D