For Walkthrough Wednesday, we are continuing the discussion on the Integrated Weapons Training Strategy and the changes that are going to be taking place in doctrine.
Master Jhoon Rhee, considered the father of American Tae-kwon-do, is cited with saying: “Discipline is the habit of taking consistent action until one can perform with unconscious competence. Discipline weighs ounces but regret weighs tons.”
This ties into our discussion on the IWTS in that units have not taken consistent action to get to the level of true weapons mastery, which is unconscious competence. Mostly, it has come from the fact that there truly was not a coherent strategy across all platforms to develop unconscious competence in our weapons.
The Maneuver Center of Excellence in the process of revising the doctrine that we are using. This means all weapons doctrine (Individual, Crew-Served, and Special Purpose) will be being updated to reflect the changes we mentioned last week for tier four. This will then reflect in the doctrine that is changing for tiers three through one. This doctrine should be updated by the beginning of the next fiscal year.
The Integrated Weapons Training Strategy will provide units an objective, honest assessment of what their Paratroopers are capable of doing. This is reflected in Table VI for all tiers being externally evaluated, to include individual qualifications. In doing this, units will have to take a look in the mirror and realized that what has been reported, does not necessarily reflect what they are truly capable of.
This reflects back to one more point I keep hearing requested: More ‘Advanced Rifle Marksmanship’ for units. Units keep seeing the need for an ‘advanced’ level skill-set without a firm knowledge of how their ‘basic rifle marksmanship’ is looking. These units fail to reflect on the Maxim Master Jhoon Rhee, quoted at the beginning of our article.
Instead of going for an ‘advanced’ skill set, what we should be striving for is the refinement of the basics. Knowing what our ‘one-rep max’, to use the weight-lifting vernacular, is, is a great start for this. Having a way to know what it takes for my paratroopers to conduct a tactical, emergency, or administrative magazine change. Having a way to know how long it takes to assume a position and achieve a set standard of accuracy so that when I go to do dry-fire drills F-H with the respective weapon, I know what time I should be shooting for to get that shot off. Knowing what my time is for a shot from the various carry positions with a reasonable accuracy standard.
All of these things will make our paratroopers better overall, and build that ‘advanced’ skill sets that units are looking for. But without it, it takes longer to achieve the ‘advanced’ skill set, because the solid foundation is not there.
The unconscious Competence that ‘advanced’ level shooters have, is because they have done the repetitions beforehand. The analogy I like to use is this: you can’t expect to score a three hundred on the Army Physical Fitness Test if you haven’t done any Physical Training prior to the test.
Just like in our PT test example, the only way to achieve ‘advanced’ level weapons mastery is to put the repetitions in beforehand and know what you are capable of, so when you transition to dry-fire, you have a benchmark to build from.
So to sum up, we’ve discussed the changes that are coming with the Integrated Weapons Training Strategy, and how we can use this to advance to weapons mastery, not just ‘advanced’ marksmanship.