Commanders use a prioritized training approach to optimize limited training time and resources. As part of their long-range training planning, commanders determine the priorities for each proficiency and identify training opportunities for the next fiscal year (FY). FM 7-0, Training describes the long-range planning and preparation activities commanders follow which culminate in the publication of annual training guidance (ATG) and a long-range training calendar. Commanders at each echelon require time to conduct planning and incorporate their higher headquarters guidance. The Army Training Guidance Publication Cycle in FM 7-0 describes a cycle to synchronize long-range planning across echelons.
Annual Training Guidance
Annual Training Guidance provides the planning foundation for units to achieve their desired proficiencies in mission-essential tasks, weapons qualifications, and collective live-fire tasks for the upcoming FY. Both the Regular Army and the Reserve Component publish annual training guidance to focus their subordinate units’ training activities. The ATG provides subordinates a clear task and purpose of what to train, when it is trained, who is trained, and why they train. Once approved and published, ATG serves as a principal tool to synchronize and resource future training. ATG publication provides a predictable cycle for leaders and Soldiers, allowing them time to prepare and properly execute training.
Regular Army and Reserve Component Cycles
The Regular Army and the Reserve Component have different training guidance publication cycles that address their specific needs. The Regular Army cycle provides publication dates for Army Service Component Command down to the company level (See Table 3-1 in FM 7-0). It includes annual, semi-annual, and quarterly training guidance publication timeframes. The semi-annual and quarterly training guidance are an opportunity to refine the ATG as changes occur throughout the year. This cycle provides time for commanders at each echelon to properly conduct planning and engage in dialogue to facilitate parallel planning with their subordinates.
Annual Training Guidance publication is a top-down process that ensures subordinate commanders have the necessary training guidance required to formulate their echelon’s long-range training plans. As an example, Regular Army Brigade-size units receive guidance for the upcoming year from their higher headquarters approximately 12 months prior to the start of the following training year. The brigade commander and staff formulate their long-range training plan and obtain approval from the commander two echelons above during the Annual Training Briefing (ATB). Upon approval of the plan, the brigade publishes it as ATG to include a long-range training calendar.
The Reserve Component training guidance publication cycle addresses echelons down to the battalion level (see Table 3-2, FM 7-0). It provides a publication schedule for each FY and planning horizons at each echelon. A Reserve Component brigade or separate battalion publishes its training guidance covering a five-year planning horizon approximately 10 months prior to the start of the next FY.
Training Guidance Timeline
FM 7-0 uses an FY framework to place a common publication framework across echelons. FM 7-0 uses the start of the FY as the start of the training year. This common reference point allows for synchronization of planning and preparation and provides a predictable timeline for the Army. The intent is to publish training guidance in sequence by echelon from higher to lower. Sequencing publication allows subordinates to nest training guidance with their higher headquarters to achieve training goals. It facilitates subordinate long-range planning and preparation by providing timely and predictable timelines commanders can incorporate into their training battle rhythm.
The publication cycle enables concurrent planning between subordinates and their higher headquarters and provides sufficient time for subordinate leaders to incorporate approved guidance and complete their own planning. It provides a deliberate and predictable timeline units can incorporate into their training battle rhythm. Long-range planning at each echelon culminates in the publication of ATG and a long-range training calendar. The ATG describes training opportunities for the training year with expected training proficiency outcomes for their units. Execution of the events in the ATG provide commanders the opportunity to assess their units’ progress from their current training proficiency state to the desired proficiency goals.
The Training Management Directorate at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas is the Army’s proponent for training management. TMD manages, develops, and sustains Training Management doctrine, processes, products, and systems to enable training and training management across the Army’s Institutional, Operational, and Self-development training domains. Fundamental products of TMD include the Army Training Network (ATN), the Digital Training Management System (DTMS), and the Combined Arms Training Strategies (CATS). For more information on TMD products and services, visit ATN at https://atn.army.mil and be sure to check out the new FM 7-0 Training at https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/ARN32648-FM_7-0-000-WEB-1.pdf.