Is a troop of soldiers correct English

Federal Army

Military leadership 3

Since January 2013, the demand for a shorter training period due to the changed framework conditions in the Austrian Armed Forces has been taken into account and a new course in Military Leadership 3 (MilFü3) has been offered at the Army NCOs' Academy. The future staff sergeants are even better prepared for future challenges thanks to the modular training system.

For many decades, the armed forces have produced officers and NCOs who are comprehensively trained and can therefore be used in a variety of ways and deployed flexibly. This is all the more necessary in an environment with changed threat scenarios and incalculable probability of crises and conflicts (see page 41). The tasks have basically not changed, they have just become more diverse. Of course, the implementation of modern technical equipment also in everyday military life requires solid training that is longer instead of shorter. The ÖBH will also have to rely on comprehensively trained soldiers in the future. Our most important resource is people. To save on training here would be the wrong approach. In particular, operations such as (security police) assistance in Germany, but also operations of national reserves abroad, should be considered. Self-protection measures by supply workers are also included. This type of mission requires forces trained in infantry, less heavy equipment such as tanks or artillery. Basic knowledge of infantry is required for every soldier. In this context, reference should be made in particular to the planning guidelines of the General Staff for the period from 2013 to 2016, which states: "All branches of service, associations and units are suitable both in their branch of arms and as infantry for protective operations at home as well as assistance services." Accordingly, it can only be logical that all prospective staff sergeants also have to undergo the necessary training.

Basically, the training to become a staff sergeant (basic training for the MBUO1 - military professional sergeant 1) is divided into a general part at the army sergeant's academy as well as specialist training at the respective technical and weapons schools (course leadership, organizational element 3). This basic training is designed in such a way that any retraining in the subject can take place without much additional effort.

So far (1st to 8th MilFü3)

Up until the end of 2012, training to become a staff sergeant comprised:

  • Introductory course (five weeks, 25 days of training);
  • Course in Military Leadership 3, MilFü3 (21 weeks, 105 days of training);
  • Leadership course, organizational element 3 at the corresponding weapons and technical school (duration different and therefore not comparable).

Before we take a closer look at the reasons for the shortening of training, two errors must be cleared up beforehand.

The first error concerns the assertion that the prospective sergeant of all arms is trained on the model of the fighter platoon and thus as a commander of a fighter platoon. Rather, however, the management of an infantry platoon is trained and practiced on the simpler model of an alarm subunit. Armament and equipment are reduced to the bare minimum (the strongest armament is a machine gun at most). The aim is, as a prospective platoon commander, to learn not to give orders directly to the soldiers in the individual groups, but to lead them through intermediate superiors! The deposits and the threat picture are adapted to this fact. The principle of training methodology is: "From the simple to the difficult, from the part to the whole!" A second mistake: The so-called final exercise cannot methodically correspond to the application level, but always only to the training level. For individual course participants, this is the consolidation level. The application of what has been learned can take place at the earliest with the troops in the respective organizational element (combat community)!

Changed framework conditions

The following considerations and evaluation results have led to a need for changes to the MilFü3:

  • Avoidance of double training in the entire career path;
  • increased needs orientation when loading courses;
  • general streamlining of basic training (shift from general to subject-specific training);
  • Reduction of the overall training offer;
  • Creation of an earlier availability of personnel in the troops or with the respective consumer by streamlining training;
  • Basic considerations about the second role function for the direct fulfillment of domestic tasks in protection;
  • Sharpening of training in terms of the highest probability of occurrence;
  • Reduction of training time through implementation of distance learning.

Maintain the tried and tested

In the sense of networked thinking, a framework is issued on the MilFü3 in the operational part / management block, which serves as the basis for all further considerations and actions. It is the basic material for staff training as well as the background for the training methodology and leadership training. The methodology is conveyed on the basis of management training and fictitious deployment preparation. Based on the expected threats and tasks (framework), the course participants derive and train the necessary techniques. The training methodology is a means to an end here. The analytical procedure is shown on the model and the prospective platoon commander or NCO is used as a training manager. As before, the training of foreign deployment-oriented topics (Peace Support Operations - PSO) is planned. Wherever possible, the contents of the NCO-PSO basic course and the individual experience of the course participants are taken into account. The aim of the training at MilFü3 is the level of platoon and half platoon commander or general NCO on deployment abroad (stabilization operation), corresponding to a [Junior] Staff NCO Course for Peace Support Operations ([J] SNCO-PSO). However, 20 to 30 percent of the participants still did not complete an assignment abroad. In addition to imparting advanced PSO basics, this training also serves to reduce fear of the unknown.

Despite initial discussions, the staff service module is retained. According to the principle of the management process "think two management levels above your own, assess two management levels below your own and command one below", as a (prospective) platoon commander, an understanding of the level of small units and thus staff service is required. A lot of positive feedback from former course participants shows this need. Only the knowledge of these interrelationships and the importance of the individual levels and their interaction enables the best possible and effective fulfillment of one's own mandate in the interests of the cause and the superior. For this purpose, the basics of staff service are conveyed for a better understanding. Other modules, such as military studies, make it easier to understand the connections and deepen the teaching content. With the involvement of the course participants, the range of services of the military branches as well as the combat of combined arms and the use of combined forces are shown in presentations.

IT training

The HUAk offers course participants the acquisition of the European Computer Driving License (ECDL - European Computer Driving License), which consists of the modules listed in the table on the right (50 percent are to be worked out in self-study):

Modules 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 are taught and tested (standard procedure via the Internet), whereby modules 2, 3 and 6 are relevant under service law (repeat test, if negative), participation in modules 1 and 4 is compulsory. In order to acquire the ECDL, it is necessary to successfully complete the above five modules as well as two others. In the first draft for the new MilFü3, IT training is only planned in the management block. However, PC knowledge is essential at the beginning of the training for the preparation of lessons and other documents by the course participants. It is planned to hold the IT training from 2014 (or from the 12th MilFü3) alternating with the foreign language training, including the examination, in the tried and tested manner. The short English training (Military English only) is also carried out alternately with the IT training. The duration of this shortened English / IT training will in future be a total of ten training days (including gender mainstreaming).

Entrance examination

As before, the admission test is carried out the day before the actual course begins and includes the general fitness test for all aspirants (push-ups and 2,400-meter run with age limit) and, with the exception of military pilots and aircraft technicians, a multiple-choice test "Leadership and tasks in Commitment". The course places are allocated according to the ranking of the number of points achieved and priority in accordance with the requirements of the service authority. If you do not get a place for the immediately following course, the positive admission test also applies to the two subsequent courses. In addition, all applicants must be able to prove at least the English language skills of the performance level "in B" (according to NATO-STANAG 6001: 1 + / 1 + / 1 + / 1). Anyone who can prove a higher classification at the beginning, i.e. at least the qualification requirement "B" (2/2/2/1 + according to NATO-STANAG), only has the block training "Military English" (30 teaching units - UE) for reasons of savings. to be completed. After that, the assignment of duties is interrupted until the next required training step. All others have to complete the entire English course (165 units including service law examination, approximately four weeks).

New from 2013 (for the first time from 9th MilFü3)

The legal basis of how

  • the ordinance of the BMLVS on basic training for the application group MBUO1 (basic training ordinance MBUO1),
  • the implementation regulations for staff sergeant training based thereon (DBStbUO 2013; by BMLVS) and
  • the curriculum for staff sergeant training (MilFü3; decreed by BMLVS),

are the basic documents for the detailed goals, the annual planning, the curriculum and the duty roster. The training goal for the staff sergeant is thus set according to the curriculum as follows:

The graduate of the MilFü3 has the basic ability to lead and train a sub-unit in the procedures for securing combat based on standard situations, independent of the weapon type and function. In addition, he is capable of qualified staff work and general professional execution as a staff sergeant in the small unit in peacetime and in action [...] (Note: Procedures for securing the battle are, for example, reconnaissance, reconnaissance, security, march, guard, surveillance) .

In order to meet the need for changes mentioned above, the introductory courses were no longer carried out in the second half of 2012, as this content will be offered integrated in MilFü3 from 2013. Those candidates who have already completed introductory courses will be credited with this content. The assignment to the MilFü3 will be interrupted for this period. The list does not include the admission test with one day and the final seminar with a duration of two days, including the ceremony.

For methodological and organizational reasons, the MilFü3 will in future be offered in module form in order to avoid double training and to enable participation more precisely in terms of time (e.g. if the introductory course has already been completed, the assignment of the course participant will be interrupted for the period in which that content is taught).

Since the MilFü3 only lasts about 19 weeks from 2013, it can be offered a total of three times over the calendar year. The table on the right shows this in principle, the class size is assumed to be 28 course participants.

Personnel structure

Due to the overlapping courses (see 2013 annual plan) with sometimes up to six classes (!) At the same time, the teaching staff is deployed flexibly. The main focus is on the leadership block. The institute's own teaching staff is supplemented by staff from Institute 3 (body training staff, political education, pedagogy, etc.) as well as guest teachers (English and legal studies).

Some of the changes listed above and their possible effects are detailed below.

Physical performance of the course participants

The cancellation of the training to become a state-recognized apprentice for general fitness without replacement is to be seen as a serious saving measure. As a result, this training is no longer offered in a career course in the Austrian Armed Forces, but from 2013 only via the Army Sports Center in cooperation with the federal sports academies (the plan is to offer three training courses and one coaching course annually). The challenge now is to first provide the course participant with the missing basics for effective and efficient self-training. (Note: The training content of the "physical training instructor" of the group level, which is conveyed at the MilFü2 in the training to become a sergeant, is to be classified as insufficient in this regard.) For many sergeants there is also a lack of basic knowledge for their future use as directors at the Physical training in the train frame. Because "the leader not only has to know the intended exercises in detail, but also be able to prepare, lead and follow up the training unit according to methodically correct points of view (...)." (DVBH physical training, part I, p. 25). The HUAk tries to take this fact into account and in future at MilFü3 to convey a minimum of methodological and content-related basics of training theory in the remaining 76 teaching units of physical training in addition to actual physical activity.

The 76 teaching units of physical education mean on average only two sports hours per week (because two teaching units correspond to 60 minutes of sports and 30 minutes of preparation / follow-up). A large part of these teaching units will, however, be required to impart the necessary training basics. Since maintaining physical fitness over a longer period of time is only possible with an average of at least three hours of sport per week, maintaining or increasing performance is only possible if the course participants exercise their own responsibility accordingly.

The service law examination in the physical training module consists of the following elements:

  • 2 400-meter run (without push-ups!), At least 30 seconds faster than the corresponding age limit; This will be credited to anyone who has already performed this service in the admission test;
  • Obstacle course (not for military pilots and aircraft technicians): The obstacle course (500 meters, 20 standardized obstacles) in one move under six minutes (women under 6:30 minutes);
  • Women: use of an auxiliary base at obstacles 10 (Irish table), 15 (pit) and 17 (high wall) as well as omitting obstacles 1 (rope ladder), 8 (sloping wall), 12 (beam stairs) and 16 (ladder);
  • Men from age group 40: skip obstacles 1, 8, 12 and 16.

The question about the scope of training in the legal module comes up again and again. In the training of federal employees, in particular, the legal content must be comparable and creditable in order to make it possible to switch to another group of people (e.g. from military personnel to civil servants), even across departments. Nevertheless, the question remains whether this scope should not only be communicated when the need arises. The option via distance learning cannot be ruled out here either. This fact would shorten the course by up to two weeks in one fell swoop.

Service check

The examination subjects for the service examination are listed in the table (see booklet page 44 below) (the exceptions for military musicians have been deleted and are therefore no longer taken into account):

The exemptions for military pilots and aircraft technicians do not only apply to the exams, but also to participation in the command block. In extreme cases, a candidate has to be present for only five days after passing the admission test and having the appropriate English qualification. B. has completed one of the last introductory courses. All that is missing is the Military English and Gender Mainstreaming courses. However, he must take the physical training exams (2,400-meter run 30 seconds faster than the age limit, no push-ups), unless these limits have already been met during the admission test.

Effects and trends

The concentration on training sections and courses in module form not only enables targeted, but also easier cooperation with participants from armed forces from other nations.So far in the first half of the year, one guest student from the Swiss Army has been represented at the MilFü3 or former staff sergeant's course since 2002, as well as a few guest students from Hungary and Croatia. This cooperation should also be continued in the future. Participation in the leadership block is particularly useful for this purpose. The good cooperation in the field of staff service training, which has been running since 2007 with the school for military police and staff service in Hanover, is also part of this.

The implementation of distance learning with all its possibilities (forums, virtual classrooms, etc.) is becoming a reality: the teaching staff is being trained as teletutors, the necessary ICT equipment is being procured, and the necessary legal framework (in matters of legal auditing, data protection, etc.) are in progress. In any case, it is envisaged that ten subjects of the 10th MilFü3 will be trained in distance learning courses to be defined in more detail over the summer of 2013 after appropriate instruction. (Note: At the time of the editorial deadline in November 2012, the essential fundamentals or key data of the BMLVS were still pending. Therefore, the start of this pilot project can be postponed to a later date.) In future, all topics that are mainly pure learning content will be a basic requirement included, to be assessed as suitable for distance learning and to be made suitable for distance learning. These include, in particular, basic courses in the modules "Leadership and tasks in action" and staff service, but also legal studies, political education, English, military studies, training methodology, psychology, etc.

Exceptions to the participation in the course are always questionable. Nevertheless, the fundamental question must be asked here: Does every non-commissioned officer who is striving for a higher-quality job have to complete training to become a staff non-commissioned officer? As long as this is coupled with the evaluation of a certain job in the civil service, the question must actually be answered with yes, or special contracts are to be given to these people. The considerations on the requirements for all soldiers preceded the article.

Despite all the cuts and changes, the fact remains that the prospective staff sergeant is not only allowed to be a pure "receiver of orders" in the sense of order tactics, but rather a networked thinking and acting in the sense of the superior departments and commanders is required. The soldier of the future is characterized by the ability to recognize causal relationships and their effects. The aim of the MilFü3 is also to provide help for self-help. For example, when an order has been received, the main question is: Where can I find relevant information that will enable me to fulfill my order, and how do I process it (correct reading of regulations, analyzing different basic information, making comparisons, carrying out assessments [management procedures], etc.)?

Necessary changes and adjustments should therefore serve this purpose alone in order to be able to say again in the future, after completing training as a staff sergeant, at the ceremonial farewell at the HUAk and the "handover to the troops": "(...) contemporary and future-oriented trained! "

Author: Lieutenant Colonel Bernhard Schulyok, born in 1967. After being retired from the Theresian Military Academy in 1992, "Novara class", employed as a platoon commander and training officer with the 21st Landwehr Trunk Regiment in Vienna. Teaching group officer at the military academy 1993/94; From 1995 to the end of 1999, he was in command of the 1st Jäger Company of the Vienna Jägerregiment. Since January 2000 at the Army NCOs Academy, commander teaching staff & main teaching officer (responsible for the implementation of the "Military Leadership 3 course", formerly "Staff NCO course"), currently participant in the 3rd FH master's degree in Military Leadership at the LVAk. Foreign use as S2 at AUCON11 / KFOR. Militia function: Deputy Commander of the Jäger Battalion Vienna 2.