The 80th Training Command: The National Training Command-The Army School System

By McLaren, John | Army, June 2011 | Go to article overview
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The 80th Training Command: The National Training Command-The Army School System

McLaren, John, Army

The 80th Training Command (TC) (The Army School System) has had a long, proud history in service to the nation in World Wars I and ? as an infantry division, a training division and now a training command. The unit's history of service continues today. Since 2001, in response to the horrors of the attack on the United States, the 80th Division and Training Command has deployed close to 5,000 soldiers in support of operations across the nation, to many areas of the world, and to combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2005 and 2006, the 80th deployed more than 700 soldiers to Iraq - its largest contingent to go to war since World War ?- to Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq and the Iraq Assistance Group. With Multi-National Security Transition Command, 80th soldiers trained and supplied the Iraqi army and police. With the Iraq Assistance Group, 80th soldiers staffed military transition teams as advisors to the Iraqi army at the battalion, brigade and division levels operating with the 1st, 3rd and 5th Iraqi army divisions as they began operations for the first time after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.

In 2008, the 80th Division became the 80th Training Command (The Army School System). This was a different mission with a new construct under the Army Campaign Plan Decision Point 74 (DP74). The command continues to deploy soldiers to operational and fiinctional units in support of current operations. In addition, it prepares soldiers to fight and to train the soldiers needed to serve operational and functional units across the Army - active and reserve.


Several years have passed since the 80th Training Command was established as the primary provider of military occupational specialty (MOS) training for combat service and combat service support soldiers in the reserve components. The implementation of this decision has revealed several areas that warrant scrutiny. Under DP74, transformation was a key term; however, this term went beyond the consolidation of training divisions under one command. The goal in moving forward beyond DP74 is focused on a conceptual change in how we train soldiers to meet the demands of an operational Reserve. The concept change will ensure better support to current operations and is the real task of DP74. The precepts of planning, preparing, budgeting and executing institutional training, while not spelled out, have become the nexus for fraining soldiers over the next 20 years.

The 80th TC, with its headquarters in Richmond, Va., has just completed its second year of transformed operations as a nationwide TASS command. Since October 2009, the 80th has been under the operational control of Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). This marks a radical departure from the traditional legacy "individual haining" mission managed by the Army Reserve.

To understand why Army Reserve individual haining has transformed to this new structure, we must review some of the history of how we got here. During the post- Vietnam War era, the Army recognized that it had a potential need to rapidly train soldiers for a major war. To respond to that mission, 12 Army Reserve haining divisions (TDs) were formed, conducting primarily infantry one-station unit training. National strategy at the end of the Cold War and the Gulf War resulted in changes to this structure; the 12 Army Reserve TDs became six regional TDs.

Under DP74, gone was the old structure of regional units. The 108th Training Command assumed nationwide responsibility for all initial entry training. The 80th TC assumed responsibility for The Army School System MOS development, qualification and technical phase training. The 84th TC was assigned leader development, and the 75th TC became the battle command trainers, ensuring that units deployed with the combat skills necessary to live, work and fight on the battlefield. Currently, the 84th TC is changing again to become the reserve components' collective trainers, filling a criticai need in the force.

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