At the request of Maj. Gen. Douglas A. Sims II and Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond S. Harris of the 1st Infantry Division, ARD coordinated with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research to pilot the Squad Leader Development Course and conduct a longitudinal study to determine efficacy of the training. During this pilot, ARD trained a total of 116 Soldiers on doctrinal leadership as outlined in ADP 6-22. Soldiers learned how to identify their leadership style utilizing their core values and marrying them with Army doctrine. The training culminated with Soldiers developing their leadership philosophy, something that none of them had ever considered prior to this course. Their leadership philosophy is based on who they want to be as a leader and holds them accountable to those values they hold true.
Some of the Soldiers who participated in the training said they felt as though they could immediately apply the knowledge gained within their organizations and improve cohesion and trust. They said they are hopeful the course will become solidified in the institutional training domain and that it should be provided to leaders at a junior rank and should be a prerequisite to attending the Basic Leader Course. They also said they appreciated the course was based on doctrine and aided them by breaking down the doctrine and making it actionable.
The final event of the week was a survey that was conducted by the control group of 136 Soldiers. The control group did not complete the SLDC and will help to determine the lessons learned during the longitudinal study. WRAIR will be conducting follow up surveys and interviews with all 252 Soldiers who participated in the event in April and May 2021.