In this article we will explore a quick and easy way to built a unit training calendar. The following information is an extract from the book Mechanics of Company Command by CPT Bryan Langley. It is a great book that is perfect for senior NCO’s and Commanders who desire to broaden their knowledge of unit operations.
Extract Pages 195-196
Developing the Course of Action
The simplest, quickest way to plan training is the “white tower” approach. For this you sit down with your first sergeant and maybe your executive officer and go over the calendar for the quarter.
Using Steven Covey’s “biggest rocks” method, you fill in the calendar with the highest priority events first (such as a quarterly culminating training event), then add the less important things. Depending on your unit, your priorities might look like this:
- Training holidays
- Brigade/battalion training events (such as a sports week)
- Mandatory group training events (EO, SHARP, seasonal safety, etc)
- Cyclic inventory layouts
- Qualification ranges and preliminary range instruction dates
- Scheduled maintenance services (these should be on the training calendar because operators need to be available to assist with services)
- Key Collective Task Training
- Low density training (when CBRN, human resources, or supply personnel meet with their respective battalion staff section NCOICs)
- Emergency deployment readiness and/or combat load retrieval exercises
- New comers briefings
- Ceremonies (promotion, retirement, and ETS)
- Sergeants Time Training and Warrior Task and Battle Drill training
- Physical fitness tests and body composition test dates
- Family Readiness Group meetings
- Professional development/Warrior Adventures Quest events
The advantage to the “white tower” approach is that at its conclusion you have a solid grasp of what events will happen throughout the next three months. For units with a significant garrison mission (such as headquarters or logistics companies), you may only have one day a week to really train anyway.
The disadvantage is that you have drawn up a plan that will affect everyone in the unit, but only involved the small circle around you-the rest of the unit is left to simply show up and do what they are told.
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