Many “old-school” leaders lament the loss of the art of training management over the past decade and continue to remind us that we will have to get back to it. Properly managed training should be a top priority for units in their train/ready phases. However, few of our Company-Level leaders have been properly trained in the 8-Step Training Model. Training is one of the most important things we do, and it has to be said that training planning is the most important thing we do on a daily basis as leaders. Yet, oftentimes we don’t even use training management in planning and executing our training. Therefore, here is an overview of the 8-Step Training Model is the best way to teach proper training management.
Step #1: Plan the Training. You have your higher OPORD, identified your specific and implied tasks, and now it is time to develop your training plan for the upcoming IDT weekend. Here is a systematic approach as provided by the 8-Step Training model which will help ensure you nothing is overlooked. I personally write each of these things down in my notebook before I write my OPORD.
- What is to be trained? This is a No-brainer, from OPORD and intent…
- What is the METL assessment? What specific METL task is the training fulfilling? Try to ensure that every training event supports the METL.
- Who is to be trained?
- ID Instructor/Asst. Instructor: Who is my SME in this particular area? Who is qualified to train this event?
- Date Training was Planned
- Date Training Will Be Executed
- Is the Training Site Coordinated? Will another Platoon require the classroom at the same time? Will I have to draw a range?
- Are All Resources Coordinated? Will I need to submit a draw form for vehicles? Have I talked with the FTUS Training NCO? Are my range boxes prepared?
- Materials, Training Aids Required. Make a list of everything! Check them off as you acquire them.
- Has a Risk Assessment Been Done? Often always overlooked, but it is very easy to do during the planning process than at the last minute before your IDT weekend.
Step #2: Train the Trainers: This is where the rubber meets the road. You begin to collaborate with your NCOs, who are the trainers and lay out your intent and overall plan. Some things that should be considered are:
- Has the Trainer’s Training Outline Been Reviewed? This is where you provide oversight to ensure that your training intent is being met. Does the timeline make sense? Does it flow? Does it meet your intent?
- Is the Trainer Technically and Tactically Proficient? This may be silly, but you should have considered this during Step #1. Nonetheless, always think about the qualifications of your trainers.
- Does the Trainer Have/Understand the Task, Conditions and Standards? Again, this must be clear and they should provide this in their outline. If it is not included, assist them in developing it through your guidance and the standards provided by doctrine.
- Review References: Are the FMs, TMs and other doctrinal sources up to date? I know our gunnery manuals and standards have changed a few times in the past year or so and I would imagine every MOS is no different. Review internet resources as well. Are they accurate and referencing doctrine or is it personal opinion?
- Is the Trainer’s Evaluation Procedure in Compliance with the Training Objective? Take a look at how the Soldiers will be evaluated. Are the metrics aligned with what you are looking to measure? Are they accurate?
Step #3: Recon the Site:
- Location of the Training?
- Is the Site Suitable for the Training? Do you need a projector? Is the room large enough? Is the range capable of handling large caliber weapon systems?
- Is it Easily Accessible for Emergency Case?
Step #4: Issue Order
Step #5: Rehearsals: To me, this does not happen enough. It can be something as simple as a verbal walk-through of the training or how the training will go down. Talking with the trainers will reinforce your expectations and reinforce their understanding of the plan. This is probably the most important step of the 8-Step Training Model.
- ID Weak Points in the Training Plan
- Does the Training Flow? Are groups of Soldiers sitting and waiting for another training station to finish up? Are Instructors waiting for Soldiers to train?
- Is there Sufficient Time for Training? Is there enough time to prepare equipment prior to the practical exercise?
- Are the Training Aids/Materials Present and Operational? Have you arrived at the range to find the targets don’t pop up? Are there bore-sight panels on-site?
- Did you review pre-execution and pre-combat checks?
Step #6: Execute: This is where you ensure that all your hard planning work is executed to standard and your expectations. Here are some things to consider:
- Is the Training Conducted to Standard?
- Are Soldiers Accounted For?
- Is Everyone in the Proper Uniform?
Step #7: Evaluate the Training
- Was There an Evaluation Done After the Training?
- Were the Training Objectives/Standards Met?
- Were the Materials/Training Aids Sufficient?
- Is the AAR Done?
- Are the Training Results Recorded in a Leader’s Book?
Step #8: Retrain
- Be Prepared for Opportunity Training
- Review References
I highly recommend that all Company-Level leaders print out a copy of the 8-Step Training Model and keep it in their Leader’s Books. I know personally, that I have referenced it so much in my training planning that it has become reflex. I urge you to always try and utilize this model in your training planning.
Do you have any questions? Just post them below.