Battalion Commander Assessment Program: Documentary

An interesting look at how the US Army now selects its Battalion Commanders:
Seems they have really given this some thought.
 
An interesting look at how the US Army now selects its Battalion Commanders:
Seems they have really given this some thought.
Right school, right parents, right horse, what is there to give any thought to?
 
The documentary began with the statement that the Army spent more money training a Ranger private than its battalion commanders. (I think they may have missed the cost of progressing an officer from subaltern to colonel). Yet there didn't appear to be any training included as part of the assessment programme. It seemed that the assessment was of a candidate's "natural ability".

I would have thought that training to achieve the required goals of the assessment would have been worth a few defense dollars as would further training leading to provisional appointment before being made substansive. Or maybe this does happen but wasn't mentioned in the documentary.

The blind assessment was an interesting idea though. Much like a discussion on ARRSE where you don't see the body language of the other people who participate. Except that it's probably not much like a discussion on ARRSE.
 
The British Army would do well to incorporate the idea of peer and subordinate review. This could be done very simply by inducting each candidate as a new ARRSE member and, after a period of a month, seeing which forums they have mostly engaged with and their "like/SABC" quotient.
 
There are lots of interesting and good articles on this.

Suffice to say I've pushed it into 2SL - nil response so far!
 
The documentary began with the statement that the Army spent more money training a Ranger private than its battalion commanders. (I think they may have missed the cost of progressing an officer from subaltern to colonel). Yet there didn't appear to be any training included as part of the assessment programme. It seemed that the assessment was of a candidate's "natural ability".

I would have thought that training to achieve the required goals of the assessment would have been worth a few defense dollars as would further training leading to provisional appointment before being made substansive. Or maybe this does happen but wasn't mentioned in the documentary.

The blind assessment was an interesting idea though. Much like a discussion on ARRSE where you don't see the body language of the other people who participate. Except that it's probably not much like a discussion on ARRSE.
WRONG! He specifically says "selecting" a private soldier to join the ranger battalion. Definitely no mention of the previous, continual(?), training to which they have been subjected, and benifitted . . . or ignored.
 
. . . . I would have thought that training to achieve the required goals of the assessment would have been worth a few defense dollars as would further training leading to provisional appointment before being made substansive. Or maybe this does happen but wasn't mentioned in the documentary.

The blind assessment was an interesting idea though. Much like a discussion on ARRSE where you don't see the body language of the other people who participate. Except that it's probably not much like a discussion on ARRSE.
I distinctly remember promotion examinations, at each stage up to and including my Majority . . . and, the coaching, courses, "training", received preparatory to those specific promotion of exams.

I understand (selection and), attendance at Staff College, to be "training" . . . the dissemination of information, knowledge.

That was certainly my experience attending Juniour Division, Staff College.

There was certainly - however - some form of "continual assessment" by the Syndicate Leader, who produced an end-of-course "report".

Not sure if it was a measure of his surprise (against his expectations!), but my "report" was to positive, complimentary, my SO1 (unofficially) let me have sight of it!! :) .
 
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Caecilius

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There are lots of interesting and good articles on this.

Suffice to say I've pushed it into 2SL - nil response so far!
I like it as an idea and I'd welcome it's introduction in the UK. Not sure what the selection is like to be in charge of a boat, but selection for unit command in the army is just a normal-ish APC board based on your previous reports.

Fun fact: the US process is based, in part, on aspects of the Delta selection process.
 
There are lots of interesting and good articles on this.

Suffice to say I've pushed it into 2SL - nil response so far!
Any senior Officer looking at, considering, this . . . must be asking themselves if they would have been selected/passed under the "new" system, to be where they are now!! ;) .

A most salutary experience, process, I would imagine :) .
 
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I like the peer/subordinate review element. The remainder is pretty "meh" - all very worthy and impressive but given every aspect will be gamed as thoroughly as the board system it is likely to produce very similar results.

So the more interesting question - unanswered in the film - is what different qualities are the US Army looking for? Beyond promoting fewer toxic leaders a la Colonel Kunk, obviously.

And, to avoid toxic competition to conform to a new single brand of model commander, wouldn't employing several different selection processes reduce unintended consequences & enable greater heterogeneity?
 
You weren't Int Corps, were you? That was a special-to-Arm skill.
NO!! . . . my comprehensive service/wide experience was solely (until later years), within the glorious, and expansive, RCT !! :) .

[/PERSEC]
Primarily "rubber wheels" third-line General Transport. But, I did enjoy the "Boat Handling" course, and "driving" HMAV "Something", towards Marchwood, whilst getting in the way of a much faster and bigger RN frigate behind us ("Rules of the sea, Sir. Hold your course"). I was Movements trained/qualified, and was given "command" of a Movements Squadron "in-the-field". (Well . . . it was on a BAOR exercise ;) ). I was also OC St Pancras Rail Detachment, whilst posted to Joint Services Movement Centre(?).
[PERSEC]


Pertinent to this thread, and the training/selection for Command . . . and the - then - necessity/requirement to interact with other/different Corps/Regts.

I do not think it is unusual, that until that level, one's military experience/work, will/would, have been limited to the particular skills, tasks/responsibilities, WITHIN one's own Corps/Regt ?!

I did (unfortunately) have some early interaction with the RAOC :( . Responsible for out-loading 4PD Varendorf(?), and turning-round TWO Regiments of DROPS vehicles, I had to deal with a closed-minded, obstructive, offensive little RAOC Officer - which didn't help. Out-loading an ammo dump at Arsbech(?), I saw an ROAC SNCO changing-round the commodity tag/labels on the (representative) 1-tonne palettes (of bricks), to suit the nature of the ammo demanded. The exercise was as important for the RAOC book-keeping, stock control, which proved to be none-existent. And, as OC of a Traffic Regulating Centre (controlling/monitoring the in-out progress of the RCT vehicles), I witnessed the whole "war" - well exercise - come to a day-long grinding halt, as the "stackers" decided to take-time-out, to count/add-up, if what they actually had on the ground, reflected what the(ir) paper-work SAID they should have.

The "information" disseminated at Junior Division, Staff College, was informative and interesting with regard to the details of what the rest of the army did; but also, how the RCT fitted in with, and contributed to, the overall "whole".

Which is why - earlier - I suggested that I regard (my experience of) our UK Staff College, to be primarily training, rather than a selection process.
 
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Auld-Yin

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For reasons known to Google I regularly get US Armed forces newsletters and news articles in my 'interest' list. Many of these news articles about the US armed forces tell the story of commanders being removed from command because they had lost the "trust and confidence" of their superior. I realise the US armed forces is huuuuuge but the number of sackings must make the grown-ups look at the selection process.

It just seems strange that there are so many of them, at one point towards the start of this year they were coming in about one a week with one or more individuals' names. The other strange thing is the willingness of the US armed forces to announce the sackings of officers (and some senior NCOs) in such a public way. The humiliation to the individuals must be enormous plus with the numbers being shown it brings in the questions about the system as per my first paragraph.
 
For reasons known to Google I regularly get US Armed forces newsletters and news articles in my 'interest' list. Many of these news articles about the US armed forces tell the story of commanders being removed from command because they had lost the "trust and confidence" of their superior. I realise the US armed forces is huuuuuge but the number of sackings must make the grown-ups look at the selection process.

It just seems strange that there are so many of them, at one point towards the start of this year they were coming in about one a week with one or more individuals' names. The other strange thing is the willingness of the US armed forces to announce the sackings of officers (and some senior NCOs) in such a public way. The humiliation to the individuals must be enormous plus with the numbers being shown it brings in the questions about the system as per my first paragraph.
"commanders being removed from command because they had lost the "trust and confidence" of their superior" . . . which also raises as many questions (as answers!), about the perception/appreciation by, understanding/comprehension of, the "superior" officer, doing the sacking :( !!

 

Auld-Yin

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Looking at some of the cases reported, the "losing trust and confidence" seems to be the catch-all for getting rid of someone.
 
Looking at some of the cases reported, the "losing trust and confidence" seems to be the catch-all for getting rid of someone.
In a couple of recent cases in the USMC,the loss of 'trust and confidence' resulted from arrests for drink driving and domestic violence.
 

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