Theater Army Staff Course creates connectivity

By Robert MartinJuly 17, 2023

For the first time, the U.S. Army War College hosted the Theater Army Staff Course from July 10th to July 14th, bringing together 27 attendees from 14 different Army staff offices. Over five days, the participants received instruction on theater army history, doctrine, and strategic guidance, to name a few.

"The Theater Army Staff Course was developed at the War College to move into the staff of the Theater Army to have a course available to from Captains to Colonels, and civilians to address the theater strategic level of war," said Charles Anderson, TASC director. "We feel that this course reduces the learning curve in theater Army by introducing the students to mission-essential tasks, such as coordinating support for forces in theater, establishing intelligence architecture, and other warfighting functions,” he said.

The Theater Army Staff Course is vital for Army officers to expand their knowledge and refine their skills in theater-level operations.

"This echelon [Theater Army] of the Army is the most diverse and complex and maybe least understood," said Maj. Gen. David Hill, Commandant of the Army War College. The opportunity to address this with a mix of military and Department of the Army Civilians is significant."

"At a Theater Army level, integrating Army civilians and our rotating uniformed personnel in and out of those theaters is incredibly important. For one reducing the time for competency and having "time in the saddle" in the Theater Army helps rotating personnel understand it quickly and better," said Hill.

Attendees representing diverse backgrounds and experiences, the course encouraged a learning environment where participants exchange ideas, perspectives, and best practices.

"The diversity of the course was outstanding” said Maj. Gordon Rutledge, FORSCOM Plans. "They are representatives from each of the geographical Theater Army Service Component Commands and Army Command joint staff; the diversity of opinions and experiences have benefited the course," he said.

Theater Army Staff Course also provided numerous networking opportunities and Informal discussions to establish connections, exchange ideas, and build professional relationships that can prove invaluable in the future.

"One of the great things about attending a course in-person is that you create connectivity to people with similar needs and interests as you do," said Dr. Donna Witt, Army nuclear strategist. "You learn about them in different ways, for example, being in a class with theater armies, Forces Command, and the Center for Army Lessons Learned personnel. You are getting these diverse perspectives, but you are also realizing that this is a person you should know and talk to," she said.

The curriculum also focused on doctrine and strategic guidance, providing attendees with the necessary tools to comprehend and implement the Army's operational and strategic concepts; this aligns their thinking with the most current practices and adapts to the evolving nature of modern warfare.