New System of Training Troops of the ACR
Technology is being modernized, new technologies are being developed and knowledge acquisition is being invested in. But without people – well-prepared soldiers – none of this would matter. The Chief of the General Staff always says that “soldiers are the most valuable thing the army has.” Therefore, an intra-ministerial comment procedure is currently underway for the ACR Operational Training Doctrine, which will be one of the basic pillars in the development of troop training for the next decade. Today we will introduce the first part.
Changing the system of troop training is not a simple one-time task or a question of a few weeks. The Department of Army Training Development, which belongs to the MoD Force Development Division, is responsible for the conceptual and methodological management of this area, including the reserves of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic. It is also responsible for the development of the teaching and training base and service Physical Education at the Ministry of Defence. “The key to the development of these areas is their synergy. We are currently completing the optimization of part of the institutional training, specifically the career training of officers and the collective training of the army. Revisions of other areas of training will be completed soon,” says Colonel of the General Staff Petr Milčický, Director of the department.
Three areas of preparation
The whole concept of training personnel in the Army of the Czech Republic deals with three areas of training. Institutional preparation, which is the preparation of an individual for the performance of functions in service positions. It is studying at military schools and educational facilities (to meet qualification conditions), as well as preparation at training facilities (to meet qualification requirements). The second area is collective preparation, i.e. the preparation of units at ACR facilities. And the last is individual preparation. This is the individual training of a soldier, which takes place from the entry of an individual into the military, throughout the entirety of his or her career.
In general, the training of a soldier who has just joined the army is always initiated by basic training. This will provide him or her with the basic skills and habits that are necessary for all soldiers. Next step is the specialized training that will provide soldiers with the prerequisites to perform their function at the unit. Specialized courses are also part of the training. Career training will enable the soldier to acquire the necessary competencies for further career growth in the relevant rank corps, regardless of his or her expertise. The specific training of a soldier then prepares him or her for the performance of his or her function in foreign operations, international structures or, in the general sense, other specific activities. As part of the institutional training, the department led by Colonel Milčický focused on the career training of officers. “There are a total of eight military career courses within the ACR. Five of those are intended for officers and generals. As part of their further development, we also plan to take into account the needs of the active reserve units,” says Colonel Milčický. In accordance with the Concept of Staff Training for the needs of the Ministry of Defence, there are three basic requirements for the content of these career courses. “The courses should be continuously updated in accordance with new trends in the field of military art and predictions of the development of the security environment. Furthermore, their compatibility with NATO training should be ensured, taking into account national specificities of training. The last requirement is to ensure continuity between the various levels of career training,” explains Colonel Milčický.
Collective training should ensure the full readiness of troops for operational deployment according to their designation, in the full range of possible operations. It is a continuous process of generating new required target capabilities, planning their achievement and subsequent implementation and evaluation of results to maintain and improve the capabilities of soldiers and units, in which the individual phases follow one another and alternate cyclically. Based on the analysis of new findings and current requirements for the development of ACR capabilities, the ACR Operational Training Doctrine was proposed in 2019 as a newly created doctrinal framework for this area of the military. It is currently in the approval process. Once approved, the related regulations and troop training programs will be amended.
In the next part, we will take a look not only at individual preparation, but also at the reasons for changing the operational preparation.