View Full Version : Question 1: Doctrine and Education Alignment

08-14-2009, 02:50 AM
Is there any documentation, guidance or general orders on aligning education with doctrinal changes? I'm especially interested as an outsider viewing the military on how changes in basic expectations are pushed through the military education system. What if any planning is done to insure that those who have already passed through a portal of education are re-trained on substantive changes in expectations?

Consider the scenario that a soldier is given NBC training (I know it is now called CBRN in some places). When that training is delivered doctrine might suggest blowing an agent in place as a method of destruction. Then it pointed out that this is woefully incorrect as it can disperse a chemical agent rather than fully destroy it.

Willingly not looking at specifics how would such a change be pushed through quickly? Can it it be done quickly?

08-14-2009, 01:55 PM
I know you are looking for the TSLC to answer this question... to be honest probably the wrong population since the audience is primarily 2, 3, and 4 star GOs...

Yes it is mandated and expected that doctrinal changes be rapidly reflected in the content of PME instruction... of course that is easy to say/write and tough to execute for a whole series of reasons from pragmatic to idiosyncratic...

A change in say Air Defense Tactics that almost entirely effects air defenders is somewhat simple to implement... the doctrine is writen at the branch very self contained and this localization and professional interest tend to make the changes fairly straight forward...

It gets far more difficult when you attempt to integrate changes found in FM 6-22 Leadership for example.... this requires changes in the POI of nearly every PME course... not to mention there isn't a small group instructor who doesn't think they have a good handle on the topic of leadership... not to mention most are somewhat busy and can easily rationalize a delay in adapting course content... yada yada yada.... mostly excuses (good and bad)... However, the fact is that while directives and regulations mandate that new doctrine be quickly integrated, in practice its not, despite how loudly some might protest to the contrary...

I forgot to mention that the TRADOC TR 350-70 "Systems Approach to Training" was a fine document for sytematically making instruction somewhat uniform... this was good in a fairly static world, but has been routinely ignored since 9/11 (this is mostly good, but has resulted in a whole bunch of roll your own instruction)... its in the re-2write process as I understand time will tell whether it is enough of a departure from the practices of old to keep up with the current demands...

I apologize for keeping the transmit button mashed...

Live well and row

08-14-2009, 02:09 PM
Hi Hacksaw,

Good points. One of the things that I have been dealing with, and I know Sam has as well, is the distinction between a skill that can be trained and a competency that must be educated (see his Question #2 thread (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=8101)). In a rational world, this would imply differences in institutionalization processes.

One of the ways I've been thinking about it is, I'll admit, pretty odd. It starts with the basic position that all training / education / learning should involve actual physiological changes in the student. For example, many skills relate to muscle memory - the construction and reinforcement of a pattern of action in the muscles and sense of the student.

Now, muscle memory can be repatterned fairly quickly, but it is a somewhat different case when we are dealing with competencies that must be educated. Competencies are based in neurological patterns in the brain, and the deconstruction and reconstruction of those patterns usually takes a minimum of three months (assuming that the neural connections were myelinated in the first place). So, in order to get the same level of effect, a) you have to spend a lot more time on it, and b) you frequently have to tailor the experience for the individual (b/c of differential learning styles).

These differences would, IMO, require different forms of institutionalization in order to be effective.

08-18-2009, 04:43 PM
As the saying goes, I'm not a TRADOC spokesperson and my personal knowledge is somewhat dated... I did, however, stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night...

All great grist... There are those in TRADOC (a monolithic term) who think along your lines... tailored experiences for tailored needs (whether training or education)...

That said, I would call that the "sprint phase" and most of TRADOC is in the roll from belly to back in comparison... again I am sure there are pockets of excellence that may take exception to that characterization, but the fact of the matter is that merely getting current doctrine and operational environment reflected in the curriculum seems a monumental task:eek:

Yet, it is absolutely fair to characterize US Army PME as best in class in comparison to like institutions