FORT EUSTIS, Va. – The U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training virtually held their annual leadership forum Sept. 14 with commands throughout the United States.
The forum gave commanders an opportunity to discuss new or updated policies and initiatives while getting feedback on ways the Army can better train and transform new recruits into professional Soldiers that will increase Army readiness at their first unit of assignment.
Gen. Paul E. Funk II, the Commanding General for U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, opened the forum by emphasizing the importance of the Initial Entry Training enterprise.
“There is some passion here for what it is you do,” said Funk. “Frankly you change lives. You do that in the IET enterprise better than anybody else in the world.”
Funk also laid out his expectations for leaders to develop a command climate that is able to drive change.
“What I need you to do, and what we expect you to do, is find greatness,” he said. “More importantly, find that niche, find that place where that young man or woman can be successful, and then build on it.
Find a way for these young men and women to serve honorably and be part of something bigger than themselves.”
One of the topics discussed during the forum was expected changes to TRADOC Regulation 350-6, which prescribes guidance, policies, procedures, and responsibilities for managing and conducting IET, to include basic combat training, One Station Unit Training, and Advanced Individual Training.
The implementation of “Yellow Phase” during the first two weeks of BCT and OSUT is one of the changes expected to be adapted in the updated TR 350-6. This phase focuses on developing character and enhanced performance through things like military customs and courtesies, the Army Values, and physical readiness training.
The phase was effective in developing an early foundation in recruits and building teams. Funk said it was also key to ensuring the Army was able to continue training new recruits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Once you set the medical conditions you continued the mission,” said Funk. “That’s remarkable. When the nation stopped, we did not. We set the conditions and we continued to generate the force we needed.”
The forum also discussed how they plan to continue to implement Holistic Health and Fitness. Maj. Gen. Lonnie Hibbard, the USACIMT Commander, stressed the importance of integrating the principles of H2F throughout IET.
“We have a responsibility to train our Soldiers the fundamentals of functional fitness, prepare them for training in accordance with FM 7-22, get them healthy enough to survive their first term of enlistment, and more importantly, an Army career,” stated Hibbard.
Hibbard added that he was extremely proud of the work the entire IET enterprise has done over the past year, particularly during a pandemic, and expects to build off that momentum.
“As we go into the next year we can capitalize on the lessons we’ve learned, and more importantly, solidify the Army Training Camp methodology while instilling the basics and working the fundamentals so that we can provide outstanding Soldiers to the Army,” he said.