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Training and Doctrine Command

The Army Training and Doctrine Command [TRADOC] has two primary missions: to prepare the Army for war and be the architect of its future. TRADOC ensures synchronization of the doctrine, training, leader development, organizational structure, and materiel readiness, ensuring the Army is the best that it can be and that US solders are trained and ready. TRADOC accomplishes this mission on 15 installations across the United States. TRADOC has 27 schools, about 10,200 instructors, and provide training to over 390,000 active and reserve component soldiers. TRADOC is responsible for institutional, unit, and self-development training programs for all soldiers, leaders, civilians, and units. It provides a progressive, developmental, and life long learning experience for leaders and soldiers that complements and enhances their experience in the field.

Charged with the major Army missions of individual training and combat developments, the Army Training and Doctrine Command, or TRADOC, was established as the U.S. Army's overall development command in July 1973. Coming into existence in the period of American defense policy reorientation from Vietnam to NATO Europe and the challenge of the Warsaw Pact buildup, TRADOC in the 1970s and 1980s carried through sustained programs of training reform; weapon, equipment, and force modernization; and doctrine revision. Those efforts fundamentally transformed the Army into a modernized, trained and ready force.

The year 1998 marked the 25th anniversary of the Army's establishment of the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), as the major innovation in its post-Vietnam War reorganization. Skeptics predicted that the new organization would not survive the test of time, but at 25, TRADOC has existed longer than any of its predecessors. The other major component of the 1973 reorganization of the Army in the United States, Forces Command, or FORSCOM, also observed its 25th anniversary in 1998. What was new in the idea of a training and doctrine command was focus. The TRADOC-FORSCOM arrangement solved the span-of-control problem, put combat developments back into the schools, and focused the development of the Army's tactical organizations, weapons and equipment, doctrine, and the training of soldiers in that doctrine, in one command.

TRADOC commanded twenty major installations on the day it was established. The command lost one installation with the inactivation of Fort Wolters in June 1974, when its basic tenant, the U.S. Army Primary Helicopter School, was discontinued, eliminating one of TRADOC's specialist schools.6 Two more TRADOC installations were transferred the following year. In keeping with the Army's mid-1970s goal to rebuild to a 16-division Active Army force, the Department of the Army took steps to activate divisions at Forts Ord and Polk. That move changed the primary mission of those installations from individual training to unit stationing. Departmental orders transferred both posts to the Forces Command on 1 July 1975, though initial entry training continued at both posts through 1976. Thereafter until the late 1980s, TRADOC commanded 17 major installations. Several of those additionally commanded subinstallations in their vicinity.

Consolidations in the late 1980s resulted in the loss of two TRADOC posts and the gain of one. Several years of planning resulted in the consolidation of all engineer training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. on 1 June 1988, when the U.S. Army Engineer Center and School was relocated there from Fort Belvoir, Va. On 2 October 1988, the Missouri post was redesignated the U.S. Army Engineer Center and Fort Leonard Wood. Command of Fort Belvoir was transferred one day earlier to the U.S. Army Military District of Washington. Late in the period, plans to move and consolidate TRADOC's Intelligence School, Fort Devens, Mass. with the Intelligence Center at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. by 1994 led to transfer to TRADOC of Fort Huachuca from the U.S. Army Information Systems Command on 1 October 1990. As diminishing Cold War pressures prompted overall Army reductions beginning in the late 1980s, consolidation planning resulted in the phase-out of training at Fort Dix, N.J. in 1992. On 1 October 1992, command of that TRADOC installation passed to the Forces Command, reducing TRADOC posts to sixteen. Base realignment procedures brought Fort Ord from FORSCOM to TRADOC in the late 1990's, but only to supervise closure of the California post.

The mid-term force projected for the early 21st century was the focus of most force design activity in the mid-to-late 1990s. That design project, titled Force XXI, began on 8 March 1994 when Chief of Staff of the Army, General Gordon R. Sullivan, directed the start of the major campaign effort to lead to the future Army in the early years of the next century. Progressing toward incremental realization at the year 2000, the Force XXI redesign was the last of the major operational Army reorganizations of the 20th century and would supersede the Army of Excellence which had been implemented in the mid-1980s.

Digitization was the key to the whole vision of Force XXI. Digitization was literally defined as the uses and applications of computer keyboard-generated communications. It originated for the U.S. Army in the early 1990s in the testing out and early linking of digital systems on board Army vehicles and other equipment - a concept known as "horizontal technology integration." The concept of a digitized battlefield sprang from that emerging idea. In theory, the electronic linking of a real-time (or near-real-time) visual display of the ongoing battle to every unit and weapon system in a battle force permitted common situational awareness by all the soldiers and leaders engaged. The network of awareness allowed the commander to command, control, and synchronize all elements of his combat power with a knowledge and quickness far exceeding the enemy commander's.

The DoD's 2005 BRAC Recommendations would relocate TRADOC to Fort Eustis, VA. TRADOC HQs would be moved to Fort Eustis in order to remain within commuting distance of the Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) HQs in Norfolk, VA. JFCOM oversees all joint training across the military.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:37:21 ZULU