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The Active Guard/Reserve Instructor Share Program

The Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) was established in 1881 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to provide Army majors with a world-class military education. Since then, the CGSC curriculum has evolved steadily and expanded to ensure that unit commanders receive competent, prepared majors who are trained in current, relevant warfighting doctrine and concepts, including logistics support.

The most recent of those changes occurred when CGSC implemented the Intermediate-Level Education (ILE) curriculum at the resident school at Fort Leavenworth. At the same time, the Nonresident Studies School, which is now known as the School of Advanced distributive Learning (SAdL), began work to implement the ILE curriculum in The Army School System (TASS) battalion and correspondence course venues by the end of 2005. The Army’s Active and Reserve components both benefited when, as part of this change, the U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC) and the 84th Army Reserve Readiness Training Command (ARRTC) at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, agreed to provide Active/Guard Reserve (AGR) instructors to teach full time on the logistics staff at CGSC.

Program Origin

The AGR instructor share concept began in 2003 when Lieutenant General James R. Helmly, then the Chief of the Army Reserve, visited CGSC to address the class of 2004. During that visit, Lieutenant General William S. Wallace, then Commandant of CGSC, and General Helmly initiated a collaborative effort to develop a program that would help both the Active and Reserve components reach a “common goal of making [the] officer education system first class, and [enable the Army] to better execute ILE for [the] entire officer corps, both Active and Reserve.” At that time, Generals Helmly and Wallace determined that the students and faculty at CGSC “would benefit from gaining additional well-qualified instructors [who could] better enable the school to handle the increased student load. In exchange, the TASS battalions would receive experienced CGSC instructors who could pass on their experiences captured at Fort Leavenworth [to the Army Reserve].”

The actual program began in August 2005 when the 84th ARRTC provided one instructor from its Leader Development Directorate to serve on staff in the CGSC Department of Logistics and Resource Operations (DLRO). The initial plan called for three AGR instructors, but that requirement was scaled back because of force structure issues resulting from Base Realignment and Closure 2005 decisions.

For the pilot program, the officer who would fill the DLRO instructor position needed to have a proven logistics background and meet as many of the following requirements as possible—

  • Be a CGSC graduate (preferably the resident course).
  • Possess Active-duty combat zone logistics experience, preferably with a 90A (Logistics) area of concentration (AOC).
  • Have a master’s degree.
  • Successfully complete a rotation at one of the Army’s combat training centers (CTCs).
  • Successfully complete a “branch qualification job” (such as an S­3 or executive officer).

The candidate chosen was a school-trained Army Medical Department logistics officer with a 70K (Health Services Materiel) AOC who met all of the criteria except for the 90A AOC.

How the Instructor Share Program Works

When he reports for duty, an AGR logistics instructor begins an intensive tiered training program that qualifies him to receive the instructor additional skill identifier (ASI) 5K. The program ensures that the individual possesses the knowledge base and skills he needs to conduct adult education as a member of a CGSC teaching team.

First, the instructor completes Phases I and II of the CGSC Faculty Development Program to learn the basic construct and applications of the adult learning model. After that training is completed, the new instructor attends course-specific DLRO logistics and force management training sessions and shadows experienced DLRO instructors as they use the adult learning model and apply various teaching techniques in the classroom.

Next, the instructor team-teaches classes with those same DLRO instructors. Finally, he completes instructor certification by solo-teaching a lesson to one of the CGSC student staff groups. Once the AGR officer is certified, the Director of DLRO assigns him to a teaching team.

In addition to the certification process, AGR logistics officers participating in the instructor share program have a variety of opportunities to enhance their teaching skills and knowledge base. Like all DLRO instructors, they can attend the 4-week Army Advanced Force Management Course at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and Phase III of the CGSC Faculty Development Program (Lesson/Course Author Training).

DLRO also requires all of its instructors to “re-green” annually. This program gives AGR instructors an opportunity to see Army transformation in action by participating in Active component unit training. For example, an instructor can “right-seat ride” with an Active component unit at one of the Army’s CTCs. Or, if he prefers, he can participate as a member of a Battle Command Training Program (BCTP) team as it evaluates a division’s warfighter exercise (WFX) or mission rehearsal exercise in preparation for pending Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom rotations. For example, one AGR logistics instructor gained valuable institutional logistics knowledge by traveling to Fort Hood, Texas, with BCTP Team B to evaluate the 1st Cavalry Division during its weeklong WFX.

Program Benefits

The AGR instructor share program is a “win-win” situation for both the Active and Reserve components for three reasons. First, it improves the academic experiences of students in the resident and SAdL courses by drawing from the knowledge base of both components. Second, it allows the Army Reserve to develop highly qualified subject-matter experts with a functional knowledge of logistics and force management concepts at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels. Third, it provides the Reserve components with highly competent logistics officers who are ready to assume command and staff positions in logistics units as the Army institutes its new Logistics Branch.

Before the inception of the instructor share program, the resident CGSC and SAdL courses had no real linkage. TASS battalion instructors had to meet minimum certification requirements in order to teach at CGSC, but SAdL instructors had no real reachback capability to get answers to logistics curriculum questions. As a result, some of the blocks of instruction lacked the quality needed and expected of a world-class educational institution.

The AGR instructor share program allows the selected AGR officers to become fully trained and certified instructors who possess up-to-date information on logistics and force management issues, which underpins a reachback capability. They can use these skills to work with TASS brigade commanders on curriculum issues or mentor TASS battalion instructors as they prepare to teach specific ILE courses.

The AGR instructor share program received an additional boost when the 84th ARRTC provided two additional AGR officers to Fort Leavenworth—one for the SAdL and the other for the Battle Command Knowledge System (BCKS). The SAdL officer serves as a critical liaison between CGSC and the SAdL as the SAdL’s old legacy course transitions to the new ILE course now taught at the TASS battalions and on line. The BCKS officer is instrumental in collecting Army Reserve-related issues for inclusion on the BCKS Web page at https://bcks.army.mil. This site is designed to be a one-stop source of answers to almost every type of question Soldiers may ask in today’s Army. The site, which is available to registered AKO users, features various professional forums; a collection of regulations, maps, and training files; and lessons learned from the Global War on Terrorism. The BCKS Web site is especially helpful to SAdL students in CGSC courses.

AGR instructors, the SAdL liaison officer, and the BCKS liaison officer are available to help address the unique curriculum requirements and academic needs of resident CGSC and SAdL students and faculty. They also are uniquely qualified to provide institutional knowledge to unit leaders seeking current logistics doctrine and information.

At the end of their teaching tours, AGR instructors are true logistics and resource management subject-matter experts who are ready for follow-on assignments as battalion commanders or staff officers in Reserve logistics units. They can train and mentor unit personnel on doctrine and tactics, techniques, and procedures; or they can serve in TASS battalions, where they can train Reserve component instructors to ensure that SAdL curriculum standards are maintained. As General Helmly said, “The experience gained by [AGR] instructors [will] be invaluable to the TASS battalions, strengthen them professionally, and forge a strong tie between TASS battalions and the parent school.”

CGSC has come a long way since it was established. The 84th ARRTC’s willingness to support the vision of Generals Helmly and Wallace reflects confidence in the AGR instructor share program. It has already paid great dividends to both the Active and Reserve components, and it enables CGSC to continue its tradition of providing a world-class education to the military’s future leaders.

Major Paul Wakefield is assigned to the 84th Army Reserve Readiness Training Center at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, with duty as an instructor for the Department of Logistics and Resource Operations, Army Command and General Staff College. He has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Weber State University and a master’s degree in administration and management from Lindenwood University.