CAC Commanding General leads discussion on accelerating leader development
October 10, 2007
WASHINGTON (TRADOC News Service, Oct. 9, 2007) - Recently the commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Gen. William S. Wallace announced the Army's plan to accelerate leader development throughout the Army. At the Association of the United States Army National Meeting, Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, the Commanding General of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, led a panel to discuss more of the specifics of the plan and detail the way ahead for both TRADOC and the Army.
"This is not just another "study" of how to improve leaders in our Army," said Caldwell. "It's a focused look of "how to" accelerate leader development across all cohorts, components and domains in order to meet the increased leadership demands for the Long War."
Caldwell was joined on the panel by Maj. Gen. Montague Winfield, commanding general of the U.S. Army Cadet Command, Brig. Gen. Mark O'Neil, deputy commandant of the U.S. Army Combined and General Staff College, Col. Mark Jones, commandant, U.S. Army Warrant Officer Career Center, Col. Donald Gentry, commandant, U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy and Mr. Jim Warner, director, Civilian Development Office in the office of the Deputy Undersecretary of the Army.
The goal of the initiative is to accelerate and redesign leader development programs at all levels that fully support persistent conflict, an expeditionary Army with an offensive mindset, and that focus on winning our Nation's wars.
"We will evolve and implement officer, noncommissioned officer and civilian education systems that acknowledge those increased demands and conduct leader development training in ways that support our expeditionary Army, develops an offensive mindset focused on winning our Nation's wars," said Caldwell.
It is a tough mission to change the culture of learning at all levels of the leadership chain. During at a time when more then 230,000 Soldiers are deployed or forward stationed around the world makes the undertaking even more challenging.
"Our mission is to examine and analyze accelerating leader development programs to grow leaders for the future strategic environment," said Caldwell. "This will revise leader development programs for the 21st Century, synchronize programs with Army Force Generation Model (ARFORGEN), and ensure policies and procedures are in place to support the recommendations of accelerating the development of leaders."
There are already changes being implemented at all levels of leader development. At the junior officer level, there is a new course of Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC). BOLC I, is the pre-commissioning phase Soldiers take either through the United States Military Academy (USMA), Officer Candidate School (OCS) or Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).
In BOLC I, Soldiers learn Warrior Tasks, adaptive leadership development techniques, team building, among many other tasks. A new addition to the program includes cultural awareness training.
At BOLC II, lieutenants face a field leadership lab at Fort Benning, Ga., or Fort Sill, Okla. By the time officers complete BOLC I and II they have been trained in 71 leadership tasks.
At BOLC III, Soldiers attend Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC). This is a rigorous 33-day course in which they complete land navigation, weapons training, confidence training, and complete squad drills.
Each level of BOLC has a cultural understanding block of instruction. There are five levels of cadet cultural development; leadership, personal development, officership, tactics and techniques, values and ethics.
At the mid-level officer development, there are seven major recommendations. The intent is to increase educational opportunities across all cohorts, which will allow civilians to fill seats at courses that are normally reserved for the military.
The initiative will also increase Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, Multi-national (JIIM) opportunities across the Army. This will give Soldiers the opportunities to fill slots in other government agencies, such as the State Department, to expand their knowledge base.
"At the end of the day the mission is to implement officer, noncommissioned officer and civilian education systems that have evolved to acknowledge those increased leader demands," said Caldwell. "By accelerating Army leader development programs in ways that support our expeditionary Army, we are integrating the complexities of full spectrum operations in an era of persistent conflict."