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                  Within a Basic Combat Training (BCT) Battalion, the organizational environment is not the same as a unit that trains and prepares for conflict. In a BCT Battalion, we train and prepare individuals for the rigor of our profession. The focus is less on collective performance and more on the individual. This requires constant leader attention to the micro, while maintaining a
view of the macro. It’s easy to lose focus on the individual given the volume of trainees BCT Battalions transform into Soldiers every 10 weeks. Nevertheless, we have to prioritize effective training TTP’s that can be replicated and produce a disciplined and fit Soldier who is proficient in the Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills. This requires consistent leader presence, monitoring of the POI, providing our cadre opportunities to increase training proficiency and building processes that enable the accomplishment of our mission. It takes an immense amount of discipline to execute a 10 week BCT Cycle well, reset, then do it again. Often times, our most
difficult challenge
isn’t navigating our
formations into the
band of excellence,
it’s maintaining
that excellence;
being consistent
with our leadership,
process, product and
outcome every cycle.
During our
planning for
executing split
Battalion operations,
we began by focusing
on processes. At a
minimum, we wanted to continue to do routine things routinely. Nearly every process we identified and planned for was refined during execution from our NCO corps. This rapid cycle of implement, assess, refine and implement again was enabled
by our Platoon and Company level cadre. Their agility and understanding of the Battalion vision proved vital. However, larger challenges faced the leadership as we prepared for our move: How do
we maintain a cohesive team? How do we prevent a “have” and “have not” mentality? How do we ensure that our cadre remain committed to the success of
a split Battalion versus just being compliant and eroding our culture of excellence.
From a Company and Battalion leadership perspective, maintaining a cohesive team would be easy enough. We have enough touch points with each other throughout the week that we remain well connected. Our concern was with the Drill Sergeants, Platoon Leaders and Company training rooms. Being co-located in the relocatable barracks provided the opportunity and ease of natural interaction among the Battalion. We didn’t want to add anymore burdens to an already busy schedule, so instead, we sought to optimize what we already had.
The Command Sergeant Major implemented
an NCOPD schedule that was published in our Annual Training Guidance to gather all the NCO’s together, not just for learning but fellowship as well. Monthly Officer PT also continued and we added
a breakfast that followed it to increase interaction
Opportunities and Challenges
  amongst the Platoon Leaders. Lastly, we prioritize the early and often engagement of our cadre for issues and potential solutions. This “challenge” of maintaining a cohesive team, quickly turned into an opportunity to increase the Battalion’s team dynamics. From a Battalion perspective, we have implemented several recommended initiatives from our junior leaders as a result of the actions we took above. One example is including Warrior Task and Battle Drill training into our LPD’s for our Platoon Leaders. Another example is refining the way our FTX’s are conducted to include more practical
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