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Army Revamps Training Efforts with New Manual

Washington Report

Army leaders are set to release a new training manual that focuses on small-unit readiness, rather than the large combat training center rotations that have become a fixture of training cycles.

The updated FM 7-0 seeks to simplify leaders’ approach to training while putting fewer demands on units preparing for missions, according to Military.com. It is the first update to the manual since 2016 and is designed to take a “back to basics” approach.

Changes to the training manual were spurred, in part, by a force worn down by a long string of deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, coupled with intense training-cycle rotations, officials said.

“The idea was, ‘Let’s make this more simple,’ because we have had a force that has been engaged in rotations for the past 15 or 20 years, so now we are trying to get back to some fundamentals,” Bill Bronson, the author of the new doctrine and a doctrine writer for the Army’s Combined Arms Center, told Military.com. “So, the idea was to create this manual that created a framework that is easy to read, simple to understand and pretty straightforward to implement.”

The manual will help officers and sergeants set priorities, but officials said it will not dictate unit training plans. Instead, leaders will leave that to the unit commander based on the strengths and weaknesses of their personnel.

“I have run into a lot of commanders who think they need to train everything,” Bronson said. “A commander has got to sit down and think about his past training, he’s got to think about his future training, he’s got to think about the training mission, he’s got to worry about resources and the time available, and that is a tough question for a commander to deal with.”

The manual is part of a larger effort to return emphasis to small-unit tactics.

Last year, leaders announced they would eliminate requirements for units to conduct brigade and battalion live-fire exercises and other training prior to combat training center rotations.