by Captain Andrew L. Hergenrother
To be successful in combat, the Army must train continually to
develop and maintain combat ready soldiers, leaders, and units that
can perform assigned tasks to specific standards.
|Battle Focused Training
Applying standards to training is essential to all battlefield operating systems (BOSs). The Intelligence BOS is no exception. FM 34-1, Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Operations, clearly states, "Standards provide commanders a means of measuring
intelligence readiness and equipping subordinates with clearly
defined training objectives."We are all familiar with task, conditions, and standards. How often have we heard, "Train to standard not to time?" General Carl E.
Vuono stated in FM 22-100, Military Leadership, "A leader must
know, and always enforce, established Army standards." Yet, do we
really know what are standards, where to find them, and how to
What is a Standard?
Staff Sergeant Judd Sweitzer wrote an article for The NCO Journal, Summer 1994, titled "The Standard is the Standard is the Standard." In it he states, "We must train our soldiers to standard. We must challenge our soldiers, push them to meet our most strenuous
demands, and hold them responsible for their actions. If we can do
this during peacetime, they will be ready for the rigors of
combat." For me, there is no clearer reason for establishing and
enforcing standards than the fact it saves lives.
For those in the military, standards are associated with a clearly
defined set of conditions applied to a specific task. The Army
provides standards for military training in field manuals, training
circulars (TCs), mission training plans, drill books, soldier
manuals, and Army regulations (ARs). Where training standards are
undefined, leaders and trainers establish them based on existing
doctrine, ARs, and the guidance of superiors. In so doing, leaders
must ensure the standards are challenging, attainable, and easily
The development of standards applicable to intelligence and
electronic warfare (IEW) is uniquely challenging. Military
intelligence (MI) professionals operate at all levels. MI soldiers
train to be everything from geopolitical analysts at national-level
agencies to ground surveillance radar operators supporting infantry
battalions. With all the diversity associated with IEW operations,
the application of standards remains key to successful training and
The U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca published three key manuals that provide standards for training and evaluating
tactical IEW operations. They are--
- TC 34-10-20, MI Combat Assessment Tables. This circular addresses critical tasks, conditions, and standards for tactical
IEW operations from crew through battalion. Although outraced by
modern technology, TC 34-10-20 remains a valuable tool that
trainers can use to evaluate preparation, movement and site
preparation; collection and jamming operations; reporting; mission
management; and movement and redeployment.
- TC 34-10-20-1,MI Collective Training Standards Document, Volume I. Volume I provides MI commanders with information that
will help them develop a tactical training evaluation program. It
specifies tasks, conditions, and standards for G2 staff, MI
battalion staff, interrogation platoon, and counterintelligence
- TC 34-10-20-2, MI Collective Training Document, Volume II. TC 34-10-20-2 lists tasks, conditions, and standards applicable to
tactical training and evaluation. Specifically, it covers the
tasks for the ground surveillance radar platoon, QUICKFIX platoon,
collection and jamming platoon. The circular also provides company
and platoon common collective tasks. Again, this manual provides
another detailed collection of tasks, conditions, and standards
that is somewhat dated but still useful.
Changes in technology, doctrine, and potential adversaries have
forced commanders to refocus their mission essential task list
(METL). No longer is the training emphasis on fighting mobile
armored and mechanized warfare against a known, well defined enemy.
Today's Army must have the ability to respond quickly and
decisively to global requirements. Thus, commanders must reevaluate
and update old standards. This dynamic process of fine-tuning
standards is a leader's responsibility and applies to all BOSs.
General William W. Hartzog, Commanding General, U.S. Army Training
and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), in a May 1995 message1 to the field,
highlighted the dynamic environment that exists in the Army today.
In this message, he established support requirements for the
Experimental Force (EXFOR) in the Advanced Warfighting Exercise
(AWE) for Task Force XXI. General Hertzog specifically tasked his
TRADOC organizations to deliver new doctrine, training, combat
development, and experimental design initiatives to the EXFOR, the
2d Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas, by 1 June 1996. He expects
doctrinal updates in tactics, techniques, and procedures from
platoon through division. Training deliverables focus on
digitization of the battlefield. The combat developers must look at
organizational design from team through brigade. This includes an
evaluation of the communications and digital operational
architecture. Finally, General Hartzog expects a complete
experimental design to be tested and ready by 1 June 1996 no small
task. However, this deadline is indicative of the fast-paced
environment in which we live.
Battle focused training must
be understood by all commanders.
It is no wonder that MI professionals must be more than analysts,
operators, and maintainers. In addition to being the subject matter
experts on tactical- through national-level IEW systems, they must
understand communications and automated processing technology. The
MI soldier must also be on the cutting edge of developing and
executing information operations. This diversity of skills,
knowledge, and focus makes it difficult for MI leaders to establish
IEW training standards.
We now know what a standard is, and where to find tactical IEW
standards. What remains is how to apply them. The lessons contained
in FM 25-101 are indispensable if commanders are to apply standards
FM 25-101 states, "Commanders must establish a safe, realistic training program that is based on and enforces the Army's standardsof performance." Further, commanders must "observe and assess theexecution of subordinate training at all levels to ensure trainingis conducted to standard. Leaders must demand training standards be achieved.... It is better to train to standard on a few tasks than
fail to achieve the standard on many. Soldiers will remember the
Battle focused training must be understood by all commanders. The
unit METL is derived from war plans and external directives. Once
approved, the next higher level of command consolidates the METL of
subordinates. The higher command screens the METL to determine
which tasks are critical to the success of its METL. These now
become the battle tasks of battalion and higher units. This
analysis allows commanders to focus on a few key tasks. Once
narrowed down to a few tasks, the application of conditions and
standards becomes less difficult.
The commander is the primary trainer. He is responsible for
ensuring that training is to standard. A commander can only do this
if actively involved in all aspects of planning, execution, and
assessment of training. Anything less than the strictest adherence
to established standards reduces mission effectiveness and could
ultimately costs lives in some future force projection operation.
1. Memorandum, HQ TRADOC, 22 May 1995, subject: Deliverables to the
EXFOR by 1 June 1996.
Captain Hergenrother is currently the commander of Company D, 309th MI Battalion, at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. His previous assignments
include company executive officer, mechanized infantry battalion
S2, armor brigade S2, light infantry brigade S2, MI battalion
assistant S-3, and division G2 operations officer. He served as a
G2 operations officer during Operation JUST CAUSE. His degrees
include a Bachelor of Science from the University of Albuquerque
and a Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the Defense