Comprehensive Lessons Learned

Friday October 16, 2009

What is it?

A new publication summarizing key lessons learned from more than seven years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan that underpin capabilities development and integration. A lesson is knowledge or understanding gained by experience; it is learned when this understanding is put into action. The Comprehensive Lessons Learned includes insights from the Operating and Generating forces. Each lesson learned is significant, valid, applicable and describes a problem or issue that the Army may leverage for successful change.

What is the Army doing?

The Army has acted on each of the Comprehensive Lessons Learned, however, some still require more action. Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) is spearheading this effort. This conflict is a competitive learning battle against adaptive adversaries who fight by their own rules among the local population. The environment drives the Army to continuously adapt in order to succeed. In warfare, the side that learns faster and adapts more rapidly-the better learning organization-usually wins.

These key insights will shape our nation's perspective, strategic direction and necessary improvements to the Operating Force and Generating Force. During this era of persistent conflict, several information sources provide relevant and competing insights the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and operations by other land forces. We must be cognizant of the wide variety of sources, recognize divergent perspectives and assess the numerous strategic, policy, programmatic, acquisition, operational, tactical and analytical inputs that could inform and influence our decisions. Lessons learned that we accept must be based on facts.

Why is this important to the Army?

No military can remain stagnant and expect to prevail on today's battlefield. The United States Army is a learning institution. The active solicitation and validation of lessons learned directly affects our Army's ability to adapt and succeed. The Comprehensive Lessons Learned helps strengthen our units with the latest materiel and non-materiel solutions to meet operating environment challenges. Further, the fact-based approach to lessons learned helps implement the highest payoff actions while minimizing the likelihood that our Army will learn the wrong lessons.

What does the Army have planned for the future?

TRADOC will assess and codify lessons learned from the Army and other sources for an annual publication of Comprehensive Lessons Learned. TRADOC will remain diligent to compile, assess, determine and validate key lessons that will drive the development and integration of new Army capabilities.


TRADOC Web site





Army Professional Writing







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2009 Commemorations :

Year of the NCO

Year of the Military Family

100th Anniversary of the Chaplain Assistant

October 2009

Army Domestic Abuse Prevention/Awareness Month
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
National Depression Education and Awareness Month
Energy Awareness Month


"…I believe we need to develop a more rigorous analytical framework before moving forward – the type of framework that will be provided by the Quadrennial Defense Review. I should note that this will be the first QDR able to fully incorporate the numerous lessons learned on the battlefield these last few years. Lessons about what mix of hybrid tactics future adversaries, both state and non-state actors, are likely to pursue."

- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Carlisle, Pa., Thursday, April 16, 2009

Remarks by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at the Army War College, Carlisle, Pa.


Year of the Noncommissioned Officer

"The standards that are given by the Army - whether it be our leadership values, our equipment we use or the training we employ - are so critical. These aren't things that were just thought up [on the] spur of the moment; these are things that men have sweat blood for, to develop, so that we have better tactics, techniques and procedures than any other country and because of that we're able to adapt on the battlefield more readily and quickly than any other force in the world."

- Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Nein, Kentucky Army National Guard, giving a briefing at the Army's Sergeants Corner at the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting, Washington D.C.

Year of the NCO: Distinguished Service Cross recipient outlines keys to success


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