Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Ex-Fort Carson sergeant remaking Army training plan

By Tom Roeder Updated: February 24, 2014 at 4:05 pm 0

A former Fort Carson sergeant is working on a plan to revolutionize how the Army trains soldiers.

Command Sgt. Maj. Dan Dailey, the top enlisted man at the Army's Training and Doctrine Command in Virginia, is putting the finishing touches on a new system to train sergeants and turn soldiers into leaders, with a heavy emphasis on Internet delivery.

"Providing training through distance-learning means saving us millions of dollars per year," said Dailey, who served in Colorado Springs for a decade, including a stint as Fort Carson's top enlisted soldier and as a senior enlisted leader at the brigade and battalion level.

Training and Doctrine Command is revamping the Army's training techniques as the force moves from combat in Afghanistan.

Dailey said the change means an increased focus on the basics, age-old Army skills such as the ability to deploy quickly to fight in uncertain situations.

"It's an opportunity to put things back in perspective and for training our soldiers on our doctrine," he said.

Based in Fort Eustis, Va., Dailey's command oversees Army training from the first day of basic training forward.

While serving as a senior enlisted adviser to the command's top general, Dailey also oversees the Army's Sergeants Major Academy and Institute for Noncommissioned Officer Development.

On the job since leaving Carson in 2011, Dailey said he loves the mission.

"You can really make a difference," he said.

Since its inception in 1973, the command has helped the Army deal with changes by envisioning and building the military of the future.

The command is moving toward online schooling for two reasons. The first is money.

The Army in the past has spent lavishly on sending troops to school as they advance in their careers. The money went for everything from plane tickets to temporary housing.

Now, the Army can save that cash by bringing many schools to the troops electronically.

And the second reason, Dailey said, is that the latest generation of troops is more comfortable with online learning.

"When we grew up, we were a pencil and paper society," Dailey said. "It is amazing how intelligent our young soldiers are today."

The command last year launched a seven-year program to redevelop training throughout the Army.

"We're going to make some very broad changes," he said.

But fundamentals won't shift. A focus on character and leadership remains. A grounding in moral decision-making on the battlefield is paramount.

And for soldiers, that training will stay close to home.

"Nothing is going to replace the leadership at the organization level to do just that thing," Dailey said.

Dailey, who deployed to war five times from Fort Carson, said he relies on the lessons he learned from leaders in Colorado Springs.

The difference between successful combat units and those that falter is easy to explain, he said.

"The difference is leadership," he said.

Dailey has six months left at Training and Doctrine Command and doesn't know where he's going next.

After 25 years in uniform, he does know one thing about where he has been.

"As long as you aspire to be something, the Army is going to provide you that opportunity," he said.

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