Training strategies have two primary components: initial and sustainment training. Both may include individual and collective skills, but initial training is critical. With initial training a soldier retains a correctly taught task that he has learned well. With such training, he can easily sustain or quickly regain his performance. Thus, leaders must conduct initial training correctly and well.

a. Trainers use standard, common, and current procedures. Regardless of how well skills are taught or learned, individual and unit skills decay over time. How fast and how much skills decay depends on many factors. Personnel turnover is a primary factor in the decay of collective skills. Other factors include the difficulty and complexity of the tasks.

b. When the unit loses critical crewmembers, it must quickly train new gunners to restore unit proficiency. If too much time passes between initial and sustainment training periods or if the unit alters the established training doctrine, skills erode and the unit might have to completely retrain its MK 19 gunners.

c. A critical step in the Army's overall training strategy is to train leaders and trainers first. Leader courses and unit publications help develop officer and noncommissioned officer (NCO) proficiencies needed to plan and conduct marksmanship training. These resources also help leaders learn how to evaluate the effectiveness of unit marksmanship programs. Proponent schools provide training support materials. These materials include field manuals, training aids, training devices, simulators, and programs of instruction that serve as the doctrinal foundation and guidance for training the force.

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