The U.S. Army Quartermaster School’s Petroleum and Water Department is at the forefront of operationalizing the Army Learning Model. The Army Learning Model training environment relies on four pillars: virtual training tools, collaborative classrooms, instructor development (facilitating vs lecturing) and blended learning lesson development.
PWD’s digitization initiative has revolutionized the way Soldiers are trained. The end state is a connected sustainment community which employs virtual training tools for every petroleum and water piece of equipment across all three compos and learning domains (institutional, operational, and self-development). Providing virtual training capabilities at the point of need to active and reserve components are force multipliers that increase operational and tactical readiness, and reduce mobilization timelines. This digitization initiative provides learning opportunities tailored to meet today’s pocket learner and technology savvy generation. By 2022, three of nine Quartermaster military occupational specialties will transition to blended learning, with a projected course reduction of ~ two weeks per course (= Army $$ savings in the Training Program Evaluation Group).
Water Treatment Specialist (92W) Digitization Pilot
Blended learning lessons enable the use of technology, peer-to-peer learning, virtual tactical system set-up and operation and hands on training execution. Additionally, the products used in the classroom are available to download at the point of need for self-development and operational training requirements. PWD has proven there are significant benefits to transition to a blended learning environment. The 92W (Water Specialist) advanced individual training is the first course in the U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command to initiate the blended learning environment, paving the way for different Quartermaster School MOS courses to emulate.
Blended Learning Resourcing Opportunities
Using virtual training tools funded by U.S. Army Combined Arms Center – and developed through in-house technical subject matter experts, and contractors – PWD has streamlined program of instruction delivery. As an example, the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck Tanker Aviation Refueling System was a ten hour lesson and is now taught in eight hours. A review of other lessons revealed a similar yield, opening the door to course length reduction while increasing technical proficiency. This yield lends itself to changing the Training Program Evaluation Group resourcing model which currently disincentives centers of excellence to transition to the blended learning model. The focus of blended learning is to increase the efficacy of hands-on training and to sustain technical proficiency. Soldiers will always execute hands-on training on actual systems in a tactical environment. This experience indicates that Soldiers enjoy and learn rapidly in a virtual training environment, thus aiding in long-term retention. PWD is also utilizing these tools for distance and blended learning in professional military education and functional training to reduce resident time for courses that lend themselves to virtual training (= Army TDY $$ savings).