SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > The Small Wars Community of Interest > TRADOC Senior Leaders Conference

TRADOC Senior Leaders Conference Discuss issues from the TSLC.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-09-2010   #1
SWJED
Small Wars Journal
 
SWJED's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Largo, Florida
Posts: 3,988
Default TSLC March 2010

Army Learning Concept for 2015
by Martin Dempsey

Army Learning Concept for 2015 - Thinking Soldiers – Learning Army!

The operational environment is exceptionally complex with an expanding array of threats. Increased competitiveness is the norm. Recognizing that fact means that in order to prevail in future conflict we must first win in the competitive learning environment.

To that end, we are developing an Army Learning Concept to describe a 2015 learning environment that will be more effective in meeting the needs of our Soldiers and leaders. Derived from major themes of the Army Capstone Concept and the Army Leader Development Strategy, it will provide the basis for building and adapting our learning models and future information needs while ensuring we still deliver the high-quality content our Soldiers need and deserve.

The Army Learning Concept for 2015 will guide all Soldiers and leaders through a continuum of learning for the duration of their careers. We are going to cut the chaff and augment the most effective aspects of our current learning system while ensuring relevant and rigorous training and education is available and accessible, and not just on the institutional side of the Army. This is a shared responsibility between the operating and generating force as we lead the Army into a future characterized by its persistent learning environment.

SWJ Editor’s Note: The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command is conducting a Senior Leaders Conference this week. While invited, SWJ could not attend due to scheduling conflicts. That said, we’ve asked TRADOC to provide us short “snap-shots” from the SLC for posting here. General Martin E. Dempsey is TRADOC’s Commanding General.
__________________
Small Wars Journal
SWJED is offline  
Old 03-12-2010   #2
TheAdamBomb
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 7
Default TRADOC leadership shows drive and focus at TSLC

The TRADOC leadership is leaning forward in the saddle, and they are ensuring that their subordinate leaders are leaning forward as well. The Army Learning Concept just took one giant leap toward implementation at the recent TRADOC Senior Leaders Conference. GEN Dempsey set the stage with impassioned personal guidance and informative presentations by three members of academia.
The first of the three was John Rendon, a veteran of government service and consulting who has an in-depth understanding of our technologically driven culture and how it has impacted governments and militaries.
The second presenter was Ori Brafman, who spoke on the power of decentralized organizations, their genesis, and how a centralized organization might effectively combat them.
The last of the presenters was Tony Wagner, a lifelong educator and advocate of redesigning the entire educational system in the United States to focus on learning vice teaching.
Armed with the CG’s guidance and the ideas and information of the three speakers, the attendees broke into working groups to address various aspects of Army learning. Technology, blended learning, initial military training, captains courses, and even the Army War College were all put under the microscope and subjected to intense scrutiny by motivated leadership who are eager to improve how soldiers learn.
As we sat listening to the backbriefs from those break-out groups and heard about programs already underway, efforts already completed, and new ideas, you got the sense that this is not a flash-in-the-pan change effort. This is not something that will die on the vine when GEN Dempsey PCSs from Ft Monroe. This is institutional.
For instance, Initial Military Training (IMT) has already redesigned aspects of their training program to maximize short- and long-term learning of certain warrior skills, and this redesign has shortened Training Support Plans (TSPs), Terminal Learning Objectives (TLOs), and Enabling Learning Objectives (ELOs) documents. While this pilot program is just starting, and the first results will not be seen until June 2010, the Army has learned how to more effectively communicate what it wants of its students and instructors as evidenced by the shorter documents.
In another instance of the Army taking the bull by the horns is the pilot program which will put handheld devices (iPods, for example) into the hands of individuals in the Delayed Entry Program. These iPods will be filled with apps for warrior tasks and skills. The theory is that these individuals will learn the skill or task more quickly and completely than an individual who did not have access. If the pilot program is successful, it will become more widespread. Moreover, it will pave the way for the Army to include handheld devices as part of the basic issue in order to perpetuate the use of mobile technology as a battlefield multiplier.
TRADOC leadership understands the responsibility placed upon them by the American people: to train and develop soldiers and provide the necessary doctrine to allow America’s all-volunteer force to defeat its enemies. Anyone who sees the focused activity of these leaders will realize quickly that the Army is adapting in ways heretofore unprecedented. GEN Demspey said it best when he said, “Institutional adaptation is more than an aspiration; it’s an imperative.”
TheAdamBomb is offline  
Old 03-12-2010   #3
Hacksaw
Council Member
 
Hacksaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Lansing, KS
Posts: 361
Default This paid promotional program was brought to you by the people at Fortress Monroe

Hmmmm....
Proof is in the execution...
It is far easier to assemble the flag officers and have earnest discussions than it is to move the "institution", but it is a start...
However, and I think this is critical, not sure any of the outcomes/initiatives described fall into the category of outcome based training/education...
I really wish I wasn't so skeptical, but I think I'll withhold my enthusiasm...
__________________
Hacksaw
Say hello to my 2 x 4
Hacksaw is offline  
Old 03-12-2010   #4
Bill Jakola
Council Member
 
Bill Jakola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 66
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAdamBomb View Post
The TRADOC leadership is leaning forward in the saddle, .

Anyone who sees the focused activity of these leaders will realize quickly that the Army is adapting in ways heretofore unprecedented. GEN Demspey said it best when he said, “Institutional adaptation is more than an aspiration; it’s an imperative.”
Also of note the Senior Leader Conference again incorporated military bloggers to provide both transparency and gain additional points of view. Here is one video clip posted by Troy Steward blogging for YouServed.

http://www.vamortgagecenter.com/blog...roe-to-eustis/
Bill Jakola is offline  
Old 03-12-2010   #5
marct
Council Member
 
marct's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 3,682
Default

Bill, we're hearing a lot of talk about the Army Learning Concept but, outside of rhetoric, there isn't much in terms of conceptual details. Have any initial white papers been produced or are there any drafts in the For Comment stage that can be shared?

Cheers,

Marc
__________________
Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
Senior Research Fellow,
The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
Carleton University
http://marctyrrell.com/
marct is offline  
Old 03-12-2010   #6
TheAdamBomb
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 7
Default Response to Hacksaw

I agree that the effort required to move a boulder is significant, but with teamwork and focused effort it can be done. Tony Wagner (one of the speakers at TSLC) said that change occurs incrementally, so we can expect incremental progress in this regard. But I submit that there is another way. Evolution did (does) not happen incrementally or on a steady glidepath. It occurs in fits and starts. For eons there will be a near-plateau effect of change, and then, for no discernible reason, lifeforms will make great leaps along the evolutionary path. I have not read any articles or findings that have revealed the nature of these leaps, but there had to have been some sort of catalyst.
I'm too old to be naive and too young to know everything, but who says that the catalyst for the evolution of Army Learning wasn't sitting in the room in Williamsburg earlier this week?
I welcomed the sight of so many leaders who were leaning forward through thought and action. The proof is, indeed, in the pudding, but we should all be eager to work on any program whose end goal is the improvement of a soldier's ability to learn.
TheAdamBomb is offline  
Old 03-12-2010   #7
Bill Jakola
Council Member
 
Bill Jakola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 66
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by marct View Post
Bill, we're hearing a lot of talk about the Army Learning Concept but, outside of rhetoric, there isn't much in terms of conceptual details. Have any initial white papers been produced or are there any drafts in the For Comment stage that can be shared?

Cheers,

Marc
The ALC white paper is due in about 90 days; but I will ask our writers to give us an early peek.

Bill Jakola
Bill Jakola is offline  
Old 03-12-2010   #8
marct
Council Member
 
marct's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 3,682
Default

Hi TAB,

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAdamBomb View Post
Tony Wagner (one of the speakers at TSLC) said that change occurs incrementally, so we can expect incremental progress in this regard. But I submit that there is another way. Evolution did (does) not happen incrementally or on a steady glidepath. It occurs in fits and starts. For eons there will be a near-plateau effect of change, and then, for no discernible reason, lifeforms will make great leaps along the evolutionary path. I have not read any articles or findings that have revealed the nature of these leaps, but there had to have been some sort of catalyst.
I assume you are talking about a punctuated equilibrium model of evolution here and it is, IMO, a minor possibility. The "changes" you refer to do happen for quite discernible reasons: fluctuating environments, parcellation and local extinctions being the main ones (cf W. Calvin, Six Essentials). Applying these to the current situation vis a vis "learning" / "education" within TRADOC is somewhat tricky.

The first catalyst, fluctuating environments, appears to have a certain amount of face value until you look at the actual environment in which TRADOC operates, i.e. competition between organizations for funding within the US governmental structure. Still, an argument can be made along those lines.

The second and third catalysts, parcellation and local extinction, are barely applicable to TRADOC in the current situation, although parcellation has more applicability than local extinction (for this, think about the fall of the Soviet Union).

What we are dealing with, at least in general, evolutionary terms, is a combination of these three catalysts operating on different time spans. Since cultural evolution operates differently than biological evolution, we have to be careful about extending the theory to it either really or rhetorically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAdamBomb View Post
I'm too old to be naive and too young to know everything, but who says that the catalyst for the evolution of Army Learning wasn't sitting in the room in Williamsburg earlier this week?
A point mutation argument? Unlikely in the extreme unless there was a catastrophic event along the lines of a Road to Damascus conversion that hit the entire group assembled there . Far more likely that the event marked a slight "hardening" of selection criteria and, in all probability, only of positive selection criteria.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAdamBomb View Post
I welcomed the sight of so many leaders who were leaning forward through thought and action. The proof is, indeed, in the pudding, but we should all be eager to work on any program whose end goal is the improvement of a soldier's ability to learn.
I saw a similar attitude at the TSLC last August, and I have been using it as an excellent example of how to conduct cultural engineering inside an hierarchical organization. I would urge you, however, to beware of group think memes such as "we should all be eager to work" since that is, actually, counter to the stated thrust of the entire revamping of the PME system.

Cheers,

Marc
__________________
Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
Senior Research Fellow,
The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
Carleton University
http://marctyrrell.com/
marct is offline  
Old 03-12-2010   #9
marct
Council Member
 
marct's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 3,682
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Jakola View Post
The ALC white paper is due in about 90 days; but I will ask our writers to give us an early peek.

Bill Jakola
Thanks Bill, I appreciate it.
__________________
Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
Senior Research Fellow,
The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
Carleton University
http://marctyrrell.com/
marct is offline  
Old 03-12-2010   #10
wm
Council Member
 
wm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: On the Lunatic Fringe
Posts: 1,237
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAdamBomb View Post
I agree that the effort required to move a boulder is significant, but with teamwork and focused effort it can be done.
. . .

The proof is, indeed, in the pudding, but we should all be eager to work on any program whose end goal is the improvement of a soldier's ability to learn.
Mere focussed teamwork does not always yield success. Teamwork and effort must be focused rather specifically (AKA in the right way) in order to achieve the desired goal--a team of 10 whose members can each lift 100 pounds cannot lift a half ton boulder if each applies his or her lift power sequentially (sequential effort being one way of focusing effort). Nor can they lift the boulder working in unision (another way of focusing effort) unless they they can all get a good grip on the rock at the same time.

While working on a program with a noble goal may be satisfying, I think it is even more satisfying to work on a program whose method of attacking the problem has more likelihood than a snowball's chance in hell of attaining the desired goal. I have seen nothing yet that shows how, what is being bruited about the new Army learning system is, to quote Immanuel Kant, to be "by means of one’s representations, the cause of the objects of those representations." In other words I'm still waiting for some to show me how talking about the goal will actually get us to it. Even if we are clear about the nature of the problem, I am not so sure that this clarity will also disclose the way to solve the problem. Knowing that we have to move a rock that is mighty big does not quite tell us to get it moved. (And, yes, I am repeating my biggest criticism of FM 5.0 for those who were following that thread)
__________________
Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit
The greatest educational dogma is also its greatest fallacy: the belief that what must be learned can necessarily be taught. — Sydney J. Harris

Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-12-2010 at 09:39 PM. Reason: Last paragraph deleted by Moderator and PM to author
wm is offline  
Old 03-12-2010   #11
TheAdamBomb
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 7
Default Learning

Marc

Thanks for the update on evolutionary science. I'll peek into your hyperlinks (no inadvertent euphemysm intended) to start the learning.

One thought kept hitting me at the conference, and that was the collective desire to discover the answer to their stated problem. I will not go into the philosophy of "Have they asked the right question?" Let's assume they have.

I saw the focus of attention being either aimed at academia or aimed inwardly. Stated another way: our problem will be solved by smart, non-military personnel, by ourselves, or both. As a Marine, I vividly remember having to endure training evolutions where my mind and body were exhausted and tested. Physical tests had required goals; mental/leadership tests, on the other hand, had no stated goals. In fact, I'm pretty sure that those tests were designed to be un-winable.

I don't know how the Army's leadership and critical thinking training is any different than the Marine Corps', but it would seem to me that the Army would look at the playbook of the sister services to see if there's anything worth gleaning.
TheAdamBomb is offline  
Old 03-12-2010   #12
Hacksaw
Council Member
 
Hacksaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Lansing, KS
Posts: 361
Default In Re: Adam

I envy you your enthusiasm...

Perhaps I'm responding to what I consider (of course it is only an opinion) your hyperbole in describing a TSLC that doesn't appear much different than those I was privy to participate/observe in the past...

If you were to ask a sampling of SWC members and asked who is one of the more consistent/fair defenders of TRADOC, I would hazard a guess that I would be on most folks short list (short because there aren't too many taking up the TRADOC cause on this forum)...

I typically take up that stance because i know from experience that there are a lot people with the best of intentions attempting to support Soldiers needs to the best of their abilities...

and when I find that opinions based on experiences that are nearly a decade old are offered as fact - I'm usually the first to highlight how that opinion is in many cases out of date and not reflective of today's reality...

I note all this for no other reason than to make this one point...

What you have described is not in fact new... it may be (is) needed... it is welcome... but the fact that the commandants assembled in small groups and held a BOGSAT - Brainstormed some ideas, and then used the outbrief to highlight a particular initiative/pet project that they are working... does not constitute change much less a "giant leap" or "unpresedented"...

and to characterize it as such does little but sound like fingernails on a chalkboard... and if the intent was to inform/generate support for the TRADOC CDR's direction/intent... give us fewer superlatives and more details

That felt harsher than intended... does prolonged exposure to SWC make you grumpier??? Ken WiLF???
__________________
Hacksaw
Say hello to my 2 x 4
Hacksaw is offline  
Old 03-12-2010   #13
marct
Council Member
 
marct's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 3,682
Default

Hi TAB,

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAdamBomb View Post
Thanks for the update on evolutionary science. I'll peek into your hyperlinks (no inadvertent euphemysm intended) to start the learning.
The Calvin article is probably the best I've ever come across in terms of abstracting crucial structures / ideas for evolutionary theory from biology to a wider application.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAdamBomb View Post
One thought kept hitting me at the conference, and that was the collective desire to discover the answer to their stated problem. I will not go into the philosophy of "Have they asked the right question?" Let's assume they have.
Hmmm, I do have problems with that assumption . Even if the have asked "the right question", it is only "right" at a particular point in space and time and, as things move away from that point, the validity of the question gets less and less. Same problem with the assumption that there is an answer (singular). Since we are actually dealing with a changing environment, even when we have a pretty good model of what the change trends are, both the question and answer need to be cast at a structural / processual level which, on the whole, tends to be selected against in the current bureaucratic environment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAdamBomb View Post
I saw the focus of attention being either aimed at academia or aimed inwardly. Stated another way: our problem will be solved by smart, non-military personnel, by ourselves, or both. As a Marine, I vividly remember having to endure training evolutions where my mind and body were exhausted and tested. Physical tests had required goals; mental/leadership tests, on the other hand, had no stated goals. In fact, I'm pretty sure that those tests were designed to be un-winable.
Well, when I teach, I tend to try and teach people how to recast problems away from their assumptions; win/loose being one of those assumptions (zero-sum games rely on specific environmental characteristics which may not be applicable). For the past couple of months, I've been trying to apply that teaching model to look at how red teaming should be operating, and what sort of mental "shifts" would be necessary. It's been (and is) and interesting exercise .

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAdamBomb View Post
I don't know how the Army's leadership and critical thinking training is any different than the Marine Corps', but it would seem to me that the Army would look at the playbook of the sister services to see if there's anything worth gleaning.
Probably. There's also some excellent work coming out of the Intelligence area as well on critical thinking skills, some of which I use in my courses. The one, truly neglected area I'm seeing is in the performance arts which, IMO, is a big error given our current opponents.

Cheers,

Marc
__________________
Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
Senior Research Fellow,
The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
Carleton University
http://marctyrrell.com/
marct is offline  
Old 03-12-2010   #14
TheAdamBomb
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 7
Default

Marc
With the absolute intent to sound flippant and snarky yet still wanting some insight, which aspects of the performance arts are being neglected as a source of study for the military? Are we to win the war through interpretive dance?
TheAdamBomb is offline  
Old 03-12-2010   #15
TheAdamBomb
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 7
Default

I blog externally at my Google blogspot "The Adam Bomb."

Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-12-2010 at 09:40 PM. Reason: Amended by Moderator and PM to author
TheAdamBomb is offline  
Old 03-12-2010   #16
Ken White
Council Member
 
Ken White's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,060
Default Probably...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hacksaw View Post
...does prolonged exposure to SWC make you grumpier??? Ken WiLF???
Can't speak for Wilf, of course...

I agree that you're one of the more supportive folks with respect to TRADOC -- and I'm one of the least. I acknowledge it is needed and generally tries but do believe it is unduly bureaucratic and excessively cautious. After seven years of working in the environment (admittedly 30 years ago -- and it has not changed much in the intervening years...) I am very much in agreement with you:
Quote:
i know from experience that there are a lot people with the best of intentions attempting to support Soldiers needs to the best of their abilities.
and that is very true, good and is the saving grace IMO. OTOH, this is also correct:
Quote:
What you have described is not in fact new...does not constitute change much less a "giant leap" or "unpresedented"...
Ken White is offline  
Old 03-12-2010   #17
William F. Owen
Council Member
 
William F. Owen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
Posts: 3,947
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
Can't speak for Wilf, of course...

I agree that you're one of the more supportive folks with respect to TRADOC -- and I'm one of the least.
Sorry for late on parade. Sabbath and all that....

I have no real issue with TRADOC per se, except they have produced some very badly written, virtually incomprehensible documents, that do nothing to improve understanding or practice. The latest FM5-0 draft being a real doozy - Apart from that, I'm sure they must do a bang up job!
__________________
Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

- The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
- If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition
William F. Owen is offline  
Old 03-12-2010   #18
Hacksaw
Council Member
 
Hacksaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Lansing, KS
Posts: 361
Smile I suppose that settles that...

Prolonged exposure to the SWC does make you less tolerant and more cranky
__________________
Hacksaw
Say hello to my 2 x 4
Hacksaw is offline  
Old 03-12-2010   #19
marct
Council Member
 
marct's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 3,682
Default

Hi TAB,

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAdamBomb View Post
With the absolute intent to sound flippant and snarky yet still wanting some insight, which aspects of the performance arts are being neglected as a source of study for the military? Are we to win the war through interpretive dance?
Not interpretive dance per se, but a study of poetry would be extremely useful to understanding the underlying narratives of most of our current opponents. In addition to that, a large number of AQ inspired engagements are quintessentially performative in that they are designed as performative acts for a broader audience than those in theatre (think diasporic communities). The problem with the engineering mindset that dominates most militaries is that you/they think in terns of immediate geographic effect, while most of our opponents are looking towards a much broader audience, hence the necessity to study performance arts.
__________________
Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
Senior Research Fellow,
The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
Carleton University
http://marctyrrell.com/
marct is offline  
Old 03-12-2010   #20
Ron Humphrey
Council Member
 
Ron Humphrey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Kansas
Posts: 1,099
Thumbs up Thank you so much for saying this

Quote:
Originally Posted by marct View Post
Hi TAB,



Not interpretive dance per se, but a study of poetry would be extremely useful to understanding the underlying narratives of most of our current opponents. In addition to that, a large number of AQ inspired engagements are quintessentially performative in that they are designed as performative acts for a broader audience than those in theatre (think diasporic communities). The problem with the engineering mindset that dominates most militaries is that you/they think in terns of immediate geographic effect, while most of our opponents are looking towards a much broader audience, hence the necessity to study performance arts.
Been searching for a simple way to explain exactly that and hadn't been able to do it.
__________________
Quote:
Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur
Ron Humphrey is offline  
Closed Thread

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Counterinsurgency exercise, near Boston, 8 March Meh RFIs & Members' Projects 1 02-22-2009 02:03 AM
Marine Corps Center for Lessons Learned Newsletter DDilegge Miscellaneous Goings On 19 02-10-2007 04:58 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9. ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design © 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation