Odierno discusses Master Fitness training, new doctrine during TRADOC visit
August 7, 2012
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FORT EUSTIS, Va. (Aug. 6, 2012) -- Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno traveled to U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command headquarters at Fort Eustis, Va., July 31 to receive briefings on TRADOC initiatives that impact both the current force and the Army of 2020.
Gen. Robert W. Cone, TRADOC commanding general, welcomed Odierno and hosted the briefing sessions, which included updates on the Warrior Leader Course, Army physical fitness training, Doctrine 2015, sexual harassment/assault response and prevention, and the latest on the Army Asymmetric Warfare Group.
Warrior Leader Course:
The first item of discussion during Odierno's visit to TRADOC was the proposed extension of the Warrior Leader Course, known as WLC. Previously set at 17 days, the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy revised the pilot WLC program of instruction due to several factors, including changes in doctrine, emerging trends and Noncommissioned Officer Academy feedback as well as additional input from numerous working groups and questionnaires.
"The force really wants more map reading and land navigation," said John Sparks, director for the Institute for Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development.
Based on this feedback, three iterations of the 22-day WLC were conducted at Fort Hood, Texas, from March 27 to June 14. The modified courses included land navigation, Army physical fitness training, increased leadership counseling, and academics were limited to 8.5 hours per day.
"The challenge is to continue building upon the instruction after leaders return to their operational units," Odierno said.
Master Fitness Trainer Course:
Originally developed in 1983, the Master Fitness Trainer Course, or MFTC, was based on concepts of health and fitness as prescribed by the American College of Sports Medicine and Army physical fitness doctrine. Due to costs and reshaping initiatives, the program was terminated in 1992; however, units continued to request and pay for MFTCs until 2001.
TRADOC is preparing to re-establish the MFTC, which will provide commanders at all levels with certified fitness advisers, resulting not only in an increase in readiness, but more importantly, an overall increase in the health of the force.
"It's not just about physical readiness training -- it's about health, fitness and well-being," said Maj. Gen. Brad May, TRADOC's deputy commanding general of Initial Military Training.
Additionally, the fitness program is expected to generate significant cost saving and cost avoidance for the Army through decreased accession losses, reduced injury rates, standardization of unit training, easier integration of new personnel into operational units, increased physical readiness of the force and increased discipline. The Initial Military Training Center of Excellence is initiating a pilot MFTC this summer to ensure appropriate steps are being taken to restore the physical fitness asset to all units.
To strengthen the emphasis on implementing physical readiness training doctrine Army-wide, TRADOC will transition TC 3-22.20 to Field Manual 7-22, Army Physical Readiness Training, and Master Fitness Trainers will train units on the doctrine in TC 3-22.20 in order to reduce injuries and improve Soldier performance. TC 3-22.20 focuses unit training on developing Soldier physical readiness required to perform Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills.
Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) implementation:
The chief of staff of the Army also received an update on prevention efforts throughout TRADOC to reduce and eliminate sexual harassment and assault within the force. Current efforts include cadre training on SHARP, Values, Ethos and prohibited practices, as well as the mandated use of "battle buddies" to reduce the likelihood and opportunity for sexual harassment and misconduct. Leadership will also conduct Quick-Look Assessment visits training installations to ensure compliance with policies, procedures and treatment of Soldiers in training.
Odierno also received an update on doctrine developments from Lt. Gen. David Perkins, TRADOC's Combined Arms Center commanding general.
"Within 90 days, we're going to release to the force an unprecedented amount of doctrine," Perkins said, referring to Doctrine 2015, an effort to overhaul and streamline Army doctrine through a simplified, common professional language.
The goal is to create a top-to-bottom hierarchy, or echelon, of publications and manuals that provide top-level, easy-to-read doctrinal principals with supporting references that increase in length and depth of information. Doctrine 2015 will make these references available at the point of need through interactive media such as mobile applications.
All 15 Army Doctrine Publications, or ADPs -- the top-level of Army publications -- each at about 10-15 pages, will explain the fundamental principles that guide the actions of military forces in support of national objectives.
Army Asymmetric Warfare Group:
Often called the "crown jewel of TRADOC" by Cone, the core competency of the U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Group is operational advising. The AWG conducts worldwide tactical observations and translates them into initiatives that contribute to future unit successes on the battlefield.
"The AWG is TRADOC's direct link to the operational force and the operational environment," said Col. Patrick Mahaney Jr., AWG commander.
The AWG uses its core functions -- observing and analyzing, identifying vulnerabilities and capability gaps, and developing solutions -- to enhance Soldier survivability and effectiveness and enable the defeat of current and emerging threats.
"The Asymmetric Warfare Group is exactly what we need to look at the future complexities of war," Odierno said.
According to the command, TRADOC is leading the Army's transition into the future by shaping the Army of 2020, developing adaptive leaders and organizations, modernizing equipment, and revolutionizing training.