Page 81 - Jackson Journal
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                  Ardant DuPicq’s Battle Studies: Ancient
and Modern took on a lot of these questions to inform us that the answer lies in the fact that
the moral component (human dimension) of
war outweighs the material forces of war (the advances in destructive technology). A separate study commissioned by the US Army Heritage and Education Center’s (USAHEC) Historical Services Division at the US Army War College produced a similar conclusion in the study of BCT POIs from 1918-2019:
“Technology has changed over the years, and training has adapted, but technological change has been a less important factor than the oscillation between wartime and peacetime methodologies. Changes in technology have not changed the core functions in which the Army trains its new Soldiers: lethality and survivability. The unvarying trend for the last century shows an increase in lethality and survivability skills after the nation enters combat, often learning harsh lessons. As soon as the conflict ends, however, the training emphasis reflexively moves back toward garrison-type activities.”2
With this in mind, the construct of “what
a culminating exercise in BCT should be”, and frankly the POI itself, becomes clear. First, caution should be taken to not allow technology to become the focus of the POI nor its culminating event. An Army must first build the capacity of its human dimension through “organization, discipline
and cohesion” to enable conditions that allow an individual to temporarily suppress their primal fears and continue as part of the collective fight toward victory.3 Our doctrine on the theory of war and warfare and people focused strategies reflect the same lines of thought. Second, in periods of competition short of conflict, our Army cannot afford to repeat its past mistakes of straying too far
away from a focus on a Soldiers core warfighting functions. The USAHEC study defines these
as lethality and survivability, but they are more commonly understood as a Soldier’s ability to shoot, move, communicate, survive, and protect.
So, what is an MDO capable or ready Soldier, and how does BCT make one?
As identified in the “Fort Jackson 2028 White Paper: Building a Soldier’s Foundation for Multi- Domain Operations – Forging the Way Forward” (June 2020), the base design of an MDO Soldier does not change from what we desire in a Soldier today. Of the adjectives associated with a Soldier within the MDO Concept and The Army’s People Strategy, intensity, rigor, and complexity stand-
out as chief descriptors for Soldier training; while, mental and physical resiliency, fitness, durability, endurance in degraded and austere conditions, adaptability, aggressiveness, team cohesion, lethality, and discipline are most commonly used
to describe an MDO capable Soldier. At their base, these seem the qualities desired of all Soldiers
and training since the advent of modern Armies. So, if we take them as enduring truths, those qualities become a clear set of priorities along with proficiency in the aforementioned Soldier’s core warfighting functions to arrange the entire POI toward a culminating event that better CERTIFIES each graduate’s mental, physical, and psychological preparedness to participate in the rigor of LSCOs as a cohesive member of the team.
As such, the identified problem reveals itself: How do we shape a common culminating event
in a BCT environment that CERTIFIES ALL GRADUATES possess the REQUIRED BASELINE
Evolving The FORGE
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