News: AWG Adaptive Soldier Leader Training and Education MTT assists ALM 2015 implementation
Story by Lt. Col. Sonise Lumbaca
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md.—Members of the U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Group are assisting the Army with incorporating aspects of the Army Learning Concept 2015 within its forces through its Adaptive Soldier Leader Training and Education Mobile Training Teams.
The Army Learning Concept 2015, developed by the Training and Doctrine Command, is an ongoing priority that is currently reworking how the Army trains and educates its soldiers. ALC 2015 recognizes that forces operating within an era of persistent conflicts require soldiers with both tangible and intangible attributes refined to a higher degree than in the past. The AWG ASLTE MTT assists the Army’s training and education community to develop adaptive, thinking soldiers and leaders capable of meeting the challenges they will face in the future operational environment.
For over a year now the AWG ASLTE MTT, under the direction of the TRADOC, has been traveling to various Centers of Excellence and Army Schools to assist with efforts to implement ALC 2015 into lessons and courses. A key component is understanding how to design training that develops the nine 21st Century Soldier Competencies. The AWG was charged to spearhead this aspect of the initiative due to its success with its own adaptability program, the Asymmetric Warfare Adaptive Leader Program, which is a 10-day resident program that operates quarterly out of Fort A.P. Hill, Va.
“The Adaptive Soldier Leader Training and Education is about enhancing adaptability in training and education,” said Sgt. 1st Class Keith Pruett, an AWG member and the noncommissioned officer in charge for the MTT. “ASLTE is important because it provides a grounded and behaviorally anchored philosophic approach to meet the real needs of Army learners and prepare them for any potentialities of the operational environment. It is an approach that concentrates learning on principles that span all aspects of warfare and encourages development of genuine knowledge with practice.”
The ASLTE MTT allows the AWG MTT members, a.k.a. AWG Guides, to demonstrate aspects of the continuous adaptive learning model to CoEs and schools across the Army. In modeling the Adaptive Learning Model 2015, the AWG Guides are able to provide a comprehensive and conceptual approach to help instructors, training developers and quality assurance evaluators transform old practices with new concepts. ALM 2015 is the operational term for the Continuous Adaptive Learning Model. The ALM signifies the shift from concept to deliberate actions that will change Army learning methods and processes from a platform-centric, location-dependent model, to one that is adaptable to learner needs.
“It bridges the techniques and methods traditionally associated with both training and education in order to develop Soldiers and enhance their potential,” Pruett said.
So far, the ASTLE MTT has visited ten CoEs and school houses to include Fort Benning, Fort Huachuca, Fort Sill, Fort Lee, Fort Leonard Wood, Fort Jackson, and Fort Rucker. The overall responses from the participants have been enthusiastic and positive.
“This is a movement that in the field of education we’ve had for years, and it is putting students in the center of instruction and doing best practices to make sure that students understand the learner is a learner centric environment. The ASLTE process really follows along with those best practices,” said Dr. Lorae Roukema, an AWG AWALP and ASLTE consultant who is also an associate professor at Campbell University, N.C. “And being able to seed in or layer in the intangibles, those competencies, the 21st Century Solider Competencies is extremely important because we just don’t want people who have a lot of knowledge. We want people who have skills and abilities to be able to work in groups, [and to] think for themselves.”
While soldiers overall are the key audience that the concept aims to target, the ASLTE MTT is focused on a different audience in order to increase the visibility and speed in incorporating ALM 2015.
“The target audience for the ASLTE MTT is what we call the ‘triad;’ instructors, training developers, and quality assurance personnel from the CoEs,” said Pruett.
Pruett believes that these individuals have a direct affect on the course design and instruction down to the student level. Educational change at this level would ensure possible continuity within an institution for ALM 2015 implementation, he said.
Master Sgt. Norman Rentschler had the opportunity to participate in the MTT when it made its round to Fort Huachuca, Ariz. Rentschler is a Military Intelligence subject matter expert with the Utah National Guard and currently works at the intelligence school house there.
“To me, this [ASLTE] MTT is really getting the quality assurance office, the instructors and the course developers together in one room, teach them what ALM 2015 is, and gives them some examples of how to implement it,” said Rentschler. “We took an [intelligence course] lesson plan and we modeled it after the principles that were taught here. And basically, to me, it was getting everyone in one room, showing them the principles, seeing that they have success with the principles so that they can go back to their individual units and responsibilities and implement it.”
“For a majority of the participants, they leave with a better idea or way ahead to effect change in their courses by incorporating ALM 2015 with an ASLTE approach. They leave here with [their own] modified lesson plans with examples of ways to move forward,” Pruett said.
“I am benefitting from [the ASLTE MTT] because although I am a life-long educator, it reaffirms everything that I’ve learned as an educator, and it commits me to working through that instructional model that the Army would like to see,” said Sandy Cozect, an instructional designer with the Learning Innovation Office at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. “So for me, it’s been a benefit, it’s been a reaffirmation, a review of the materials and just the kind of thing you’re going to leave, not only feeling good about the training, but with some real tools that you can use to develop the kind of trainings and educational products that the Army is looking for.”
The tools that Cozect is referring to are the methods and techniques used during the five day ASLTE MTT; for example, the participants run through a series of indoor and outdoor practical exercises that at face value seem unrelated to the ASLTE process, but as the week progresses, the participants are able to relate and translate the PEs to the ALM 2015 process.
“I like [the PEs] because I know that any kind of activity stimulates thought and brain activity. And so for me instead of sitting and receiving a long drawn out lecture, it has allowed me to process, to get up and move around, to do all the things that will stimulate long term retention and internalizing some of the lessons that they want us to receive here,” Cozect said.
The culminating event for the ASLTE MTT involves taking an actual school house lesson plans and applying the methods learned during the week.
While the ASTLE has provided a platform to assist CoEs in understanding ALM and its role within ALC 2015, there are still some challenges with how some organizations are going to manage how the learning concept is interpreted and implemented.
“The challenge is on me to articulate what I know from this [particular course I am responsible for] and how I want to implement it to my chain of command; but it shouldn’t be hard,” Sgt. 1st Class Tomas Eggers, a master instructor at the U.S. Army Sniper School at Fort Benning, Ga. “It’s still going to take time because there’s going to be a huge cultural shift. It will be easier in some respects, but it’s going to be a generational shift.”
In the end, the benefits continue to outweigh the little cost of implementation.
“I think our soldiers do a very good job downrange right now. I think that [ASLTE] will make them more confident, more comfortable with having to be on those autonomous situations and be comfortable with taking initiative and doing things on their own,” said Roukema.
The U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Group provides Operational Advisory and Solution Development support globally to the Army and Joint Force Commanders to enhance Soldier survivability and combat effectiveness, and enable the defeat of current and emerging threats in support of Unified Land Operations. It is the “operational arm” for TRADOC.
This work, AWG Adaptive Soldier Leader Training and Education MTT assists ALM 2015 implementation, by LTC Sonise Lumbaca, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.
Date Posted:07.15.2013 09:45
Location:FORT MEADE, MD, US
Hometown:FORT BENNING, GA, US
Hometown:FORT BRAGG, NC, US
Hometown:FORT HUACHUCA, AZ, US
Hometown:FORT JACKSON, SC, US
Hometown:FORT LEE, VA, US
Hometown:FORT LEONARD WOOD, MO, US
Hometown:FORT SILL, OK, US