FORT EUSTIS, Virginia – A Soldier’s ‘Blue Book’ incorporates not just what trainees will do during initial entry training, but equally important, provides guidance for Soldiers to live by – as Soldiers for Life.
The updated U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Pamphlet 600-4, better known to Soldiers as the Army “Blue Book” introduces new Soldiers to the Army’s culture, history and organizations, and describes Soldier’s training as they transform from civilian volunteers to Army professionals.
The recently released digital Blue Book for smartphone provides information on what new Soldiers can expect for entry training, and puts the knowledge required of young Soldiers at their fingertips, whether as a study guide before arrival to basic training, and later as a handy reference for “What Right looks like”.
The Blue Book provides the Soldier’s first introduction to an array of topics such as proper wear of uniform and appearance, military customs, proper behavior, comprehensive health and fitness information, and includes helpful resources for new Soldiers, such as a guide to common Army acronyms and jargon. Most importantly, the Blue Book explains the Army’s Values, Ethics and Mission.
The digital Blue Book includes, numerous photos, illustrations and videos, helpful to Army Instructors as well as new Soldiers, and can be accessed directly online, without CaC card, for download on any personal device, smartphone, laptop, desktop computer or tablet at IMT Bluebook (army.mil)
THE HISTORY OF THE U.S. ARMY BLUE BOOK
During the early American Revolutionary War, there was little standardization or guidance for the duties and responsibilities of George Washington’s all volunteer citizen soldiers. The Continental Army lacked strong central command and was made up of state-run militias more often than not, operating independently of each other. Formed into militias, soldiers operated by rules and regulations drawn up their respective state legislatures. In 1777, a Prussian officer named Friedrich Von Steuben volunteered to help Washington to train troops and establish the identity of the U.S. Army as a coordinated fighting force, writing Continental Congress delegate Benjamin Franklin, who wrote a letter of recommendation to Washington.
In 1778, Von Steuben met Washington for the first time at the winter camp in Valley Forge, Penn. Washington was instantly impressed with Von Steuben's military bearing and forceful personality. By mid-March 1779, Von Steuben personally started training a 100-man guard company in the basics of soldiering. This unit still exists and is known today as The President's 100. In a short time, Von Steuben proved his ability as a drill master through his exceptional tact and experience. For these efforts Washington appointed him the Inspector General of the Army. Later that year, Von Steuben began organizing his ideas into print.
One year later, Von Steuben's publication, "Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States," was ready to be printed. Due to the war, however, there was a scarcity of paper. The first printer decided to bind the book with the blue paper he had on hand. This is how the book got the nickname: The Blue Book. In March of 1779, Congress endorsed it and ordered it to be used throughout the Army. Many of the state militias also adopted the Blue Book. In 1792, Washington pushed through the Uniformed Militia Act, which included the use of Von Steuben's regulations. Von Steuben’s Blue Book's guidelines on personnel management replaced the British model of class, station and social pedigree. Instead, Von Steuben melded all the ranks into a unified force, founded on an inflexible but even-handed chain of command. With clear-cut guidance, new Soldiers could accomplish what was expected of them. Through the course of the Revolutionary War Von Steuben continually simplified his writings, putting in plain language what needed to be learned, how to teach it, and why. In a remarkably short time the U.S. Army's discipline nearly matched that of the best professional European armies of the time. (Attribution, with thanks to Sgt. 1st Class Brian M. Shay, Army Sustainment Command)
ABOUT THE ARMY DISTRIBUTED LEARNING PROGRAM (TADLP)
Established by the Chief of Staff of the Army in 1996, the Commanding General of Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) was appointed the Executive Agent for TADLP and is the full-line authority for the centralized management and integration of the program. Located at Fort Eustis in Virginia, the TADLP Director is Mr. Michael Holt. The Army Distributed Learning Program (TADLP), improves Army readiness by providing tailored distributed training and education to Soldiers, leaders, and Army civilians from a responsive and accessible - frequently mobile - delivery capability. Distributed Learning (DL) is a modern, proven instructional model used by the Army to deliver individual, collective and self developmental training and education anytime, anywhere. TADLP leads the way in creating user-friendly, pliant and adaptable distributed and distance learning models that leverage emerging technologies to distribute learning across an array of portable devices in a variety of formats depending on the needs of the user. To learn more about the people and facilities of TADLP visit https://tadlp.tradoc.army.mil
ABOUT THE U.S. ARMY TRAINING AND DOCTRINE COMMAND (TRADOC)
The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) was created on July 1st, 1973. For nearly half a century TRADOC has fundamentally transformed the U.S. Army into the best trained, best equipped, best led, and best organized modern land power in the world today. TRADOC shapes Army forces through four primary functions: Recruitment and Training, Leadership Development, Doctrine and Integrating Capabilities. Headquartered at Fort Eustis, in eastern Virginia, TRADOC executes its mission through five subordinate commands and centers, U.S. Army Center of Military History, The U.S. Army Combined Arms Center (located at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas), The U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training and the U.S. Army Recruiting Command (located at Fort Knox, Kentucky). The command has a global perspective and oversees 32 Army schools organized under eight Centers of Excellence, each focused on a separate area of expertise within the Army (i.e. Maneuver and Signal). TRADOC trains more than 500,000 Soldiers and service members each year. To learn more about the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command visit their website at https://www.tradoc.army.mil/