The U.S. Army delivered its new training doctrine publication, Field Manual (FM) 7-0, Training, on the Army’s 246th birthday, June 14, 2021. The timing is significant because 242 years ago, Baron von Steuben published the first official training manual of the United States Army in 1779, after the Continental Army’s crucible training at Valley Forge.
Von Steuben’s manual and the readiness it produced yielded a force capable of defeating some of the finest infantry in the world. Nearly two and half centuries later, the Army’s newest field manual has the same objective — produce trained and ready forces that can compete and win in any operational environment.
The new FM 7-0 represents a transformation of the Army’s approach to training doctrine, introducing several changes from the previous edition. It is written in clear and concise language so leaders and Soldiers at all levels can understand and implement the doctrine.
Training Management Cycle
One of the most significant changes is the reintroduction of the Training Management Cycle as the core framework for unit training. It replaces the complex operations/planning processes and Mission Command Philosophy as the Army’s training mechanism. The Training Management Cycle is the process of identifying training requirements by Planning and Preparation, Execution, and the Evaluation and Assessment of training.
Leader Roles in Training Process
FM 7-0 also emphasizes the vital role of senior leaders and non-commissioned officers in the training process. Senior leaders develop and publish training guidance to focus the training efforts of their subordinates and provide the resources necessary to meet training requirements.
Commanders retain the responsibility as the primary trainers of their units. Non-commissioned officers give input to the development of training guidance, the prioritization of tasks, and the development of training schedules. NCOs also prioritize individual and collective tasks for training.
Training and Leader Development
Finally, FM 7-0 emphasizes the inextricable link between training and leader development. Leaders must invest time and resources to train subordinates. At the same time, training provides one of the best avenues to develop leaders. The experiences gained and lessons learned during training form a solid foundation for effective leadership.
The changes FM 7-0 introduced were all based on lessons learned and the needs of the Army. It marks a path forward for the Army to continue to strengthen readiness. The Army’s long-tradition of training —first established at Valley Forge in 1778— endures and remains focused on building capability to meet the demands in today’s complex and evolving operational environments.
The new FM 7-0 can be downloaded here.
Also check out the Army Training Network (ATN). It is an excellent tool to identify training and leader development resources. It provides a single secure gateway to access information, tools, and education to make training and training management more efficient.