Army Training:

Prioritizing and Following Up on Lessons Learned Should Minimize Recurring Weaknesses

NSIAD-93-231: Published: Sep 15, 1993. Publicly Released: Sep 15, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the effectiveness of the Army's program for: (1) assessing the performance of units during their rotations at combat training centers; (2) identifying the lessons learned from battlefield experience; and (3) disseminating information so that training and doctrine can be modified to avoid repeating the same mistakes during training exercises.

GAO found that: (1) the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) has overall responsibility for the Army's lessons learned program and has assigned responsibility for the program to its Combined Arms Command; (2) despite the lessons learned program, Army units repeat many of the same mistakes during maneuver exercises at combat training centers; (3) the TRADOC program lacks procedures for assigning priorities to the lessons learned; (4) TRADOC lacks follow-up procedures for tracking use and impact of lessons learned; and (5) the schools are not held accountable for ensuring that identified problems are resolved.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of the Army provided guidance to TRADOC regarding interpretation and compliance with Army Regulation 11-33 and the establishment of a system for assigning priorities to problems identified at the combat training centers. TRADOC formally implemented a program--the TRADOC Remedial Action Program--to accomplish this purpose in April 1994.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Commander, TRADOC, to establish a system for placing priorities on the problems identified at the combat training centers. A starting point for this effort may be the new priority issue list being formulated by the Center for Army Lessons Learned.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: TRADOC has established procedures to assign responsibility for developing remedial action plans and tracking the resolution and status of specific issues.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Commander, TRADOC, to establish procedures for tracking the schools' use of lessons learned and for holding the schools accountable for resolving the identified problems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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