TRADOC Turns 30

Article excerpt

"I think you should train a man for the job he is going to perform, and then you can educate him so that the intellectual and moral environment in which he pursues his particular job will be enhanced."

--From "Changing an Army" by GEN William E. DePuy, first commander of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command

WHO'S responsible for excellence in training? Who's responsible for the man-machine interface to make sure units know what they're doing and how they're trained on their equipment? In fact, who's responsible for the organization of the Army the way it is now?" asks Jim Stensvaag, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command historian.

"It's all TRADOC."

Since it's creation 30 years ago this month, TRADOC has been leading the Army into the future through training, developing officer and noncommissioned officer leaders, and creating materiel and doctrine that tells commanders and soldiers how the Army will fight.

"GEN DePuy and other leaders were already thinking about the post-Vietnam Army when TRADOC was activated in 1973," Stensvaag said.

"Before TRADOC, if new doctrine was written or a new piece of equipment came into the Army, there was no guarantee soldiers would be trained to reflect the changes," Stensvaag said. "GEN DePuy's focus was on making sure that each soldier was trained, knowing what he was supposed to do and how to use his equipment to do that job."

DePuy led the study that resulted in the creation of TRADOC and Forces Command. He then became the first TRADOC commanding general.

TRADOC has maintained DePuy's attention to training soldiers and leaders. The command is now changing its organizations and processes to lead the Army through Transformation as the agent for design of the objective force. Its leaders believe that as the Army transforms, TRADOC must be capable of responding correctly and quickly.

One of these leaders is Mike Starry, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Doctrine, Concepts and Strategy (DCS/DCS), who has seen how TRADOC has helped change the Army over a career spanning from 1971 through 1998. …