FM 7-1: 'How' of Army training to be Web-based
December 19, 2008
By J.D. Leipold
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Dec. 19, 2008) - With the release of the Army's latest field manual 7-0, "Training for Full Spectrum Operations," the deputy chief of staff, G-3, told Pentagon reporters Thursday that within three months the Army would be releasing FM 7-1.
"In about 90 days we're going to produce FM 7-1 as an adjunct to 7-0, which is the Army Training Network," Lt. Gen. James D. Thurman said. "It's the application doctrine to these principles of full-spectrum training."
Released Dec. 15, FM 7-0's four chapters address the breadth and depth of Army training concepts - the "what" of Army training.
FM 7-1 will be titled "Battle Focused Training." It will be Web-based and address the "how" of Army training. It will provide examples of concepts in 7-0 as well as training lessons and best practices for implementing the FM 7- 0 concepts.
"What we're trying to do in the Army is write things that are very succinct and direct," Thurman said. "For instance, in FM 7-0, chapter one talks about being trained for full-spectrum ops, chapter two talks about the principles of training, chapter three is the Army training system, then chapter four is the Army training management system."
FM 7-0 was designed to help develop an expeditionary Army, composed of Soldiers and civilians experienced and knowledgeable enough to be comfortable with operating anywhere along a spectrum of conflict in any type of operation, under any conditions. The principles and concepts are intended to produce leaders who can rapidly and easily adapt to changing, ambiguous situations.
"We think given what we'll be presented with is somewhere between regular warfare and major combat operations so that's how we want to focus our training and leader development," Thurman said. "We believe we can do that and build agile and adaptable leaders, then we can do just about anything across that whole spectrum of conflict."
A key element to FM 7-0 is that the commander decides which tasks his unit will train on in concert with his next higher commander in a pre-training briefing "dialogue." The dialogue also helps commanders decide the conditions for training, where they will jointly take risks and the resources need to replicate the training conditions.
"The one thing we can never lose is the fact that it's all about Soldiers and it's about Soldiers who win the war," Thurman said, "because that's who we ask to do these things; so we can never lose our Warrior Ethos, our training must be realistic, we must set those right conditions and reflect that right operational environment across the spectrum of conflict."
"Standards are constant. We're a standard-based Army, but leaders can change those training conditions to develop those Soldiers and leaders as they see fit," Thurman added.
"We can't train all the tasks that are required, but we must train on the most important task and that's where the commander comes into this, and we believe that what we've laid out in this manual is a clear way ahead of looking at how we continue to deliver full-spectrum forces across the full spectrum of conflict."