Three Land Warfare Papers, published by AUSA’s Institute of Land Warfare, have been selected for presentation during the Association’s 2010 Annual Meeting.
"Today’s Training and Education (Development) Revolution: The Future is Now!" by Maj. Donald E. Vandergriff, USA, Ret., (Land Warfare Paper 76, April 2010) discusses the changes the Army is making to its educational system to provide soldiers with the best tools for success on the battlefield.
Today’s highly complex operations have emphasized the importance of quality decision making at junior levels.
Even with modern command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities, the noncommissioned officer or junior officer on the ground often has the clearest situational awareness and thus is likely to make the best decision – but only if he or she is equipped, intellectually and culturally, to properly assess the situation and creatively arrive at the best solution.
The Army’s new approach, Outcomes-Based Training & Education (OBT&E), is an educational philosophy that both teaches both skills and aids the development of leaders, using the Combat Applications Training Course (CATC) and the Adaptive Leader Methodology (ALM).
According to Vandergriff, these new training and education tools will produce the kind of flexible, adaptable soldiers and leaders the modern battlefield demands.
"Assembly Line to Custom Design: Reforming the Officer Development System" by Maj. Kent W. Park (Land Warfare Paper 81, October 2010) discusses a whole-of-government approach to address future security threats. This approach calls for government agencies to leverage civilian expertise to provide integrated "soft-power" solutions to complement proven "hard-power" options.
According to the Obama administration, combining the two into an effective strategy ("smart power") will become the centerpiece of future U.S. foreign policy. However, the U.S. government currently lacks the capacity in its military and civilian agencies to carry out this strategy, and the current education system for national security professionals, including the U.S. Army, does not routinely develop personnel with broad-based experience and skills.
As a result, the institutional cultures do not reflect or reward these skills and attributes. While structural reforms are still necessary, they will be of limited value without giving appropriate attention to institutional culture, education and multifaceted career management. Investing in the development of junior officers is the most effective way to shape organizational culture. This bottom-up approach requires a long-term perspective, says Park, but it will create the most durable cultural change.
Park, a public service fellow at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, is pursuing a master’s degree in Public Policy. An active duty Infantry officer, he previously commanded a Stryker-equipped infantry company deployed to Mosul and Baghdad, Iraq.
"A Shot in the Dark: The Futility of Long-Range Modernization Planning" by Lt. Col. Eric A. Hollister (Land Warfare Paper 79, October 2010) shows why the utility of long-range future modernization planning should be revisited in this era of persistent conflict. According to the author, the complexities of the environments for which the Army is required to plan makes predicting the future – and being prepared for the next war – impossible.
The rising costs of technological advances associated with weapon development and modernization, coupled with political, economic, environmental and other variables, make long-range planning based on best-guess requirements both expensive and dangerous.
Hollister examines these problems through a study of the changes that occurred during the post-Vietnam era, a review of past Army future studies and a discussion of the Army’s most recent attempt at modernization, the Future Combat Systems program. The paper uses the National Security Strategy, the Quadrennial Defense Review and the Army Modernization Strategy to suggest a framework for future modernization, and recommends a less risky method for long-range future studies.
Hollister is an Army force manager currently developing and teaching force management curriculum for the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan. His previous assignment was as the 25th Infantry Division’s force integration officer, where he spent15 months in Iraq providing force management support for the Multinational Division-North.
The ILW Paper Presentations take place on Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 9 to 11 a.m. in room 150B of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington. This event is open to all Annual Meeting attendees.