DVIDS – News – USARCENT Hosts Course to Bridge Education Gap, Strengthen Theater Army Personnel

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, SC – During the week of August 8-12, soldiers and civilians from U.S. Army Central attended the Theater Army Staff Course at Shaw Air Force Base in Patton Hall.

The course was led by instructors from the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) and included participants from all USARCENT personnel, including senior civilian government employees, officers, and non-commissioned officers. The Theater Army Staff Course is designed to reduce the learning curve for newly assigned theater army staff members and improve their knowledge of doctrine to integrate with operations and strategies in theatre.

Dr. John Bonin, professor of concepts and doctrine at USAWC, first noticed the shortcoming in theater teaching and immediately brought it to the attention of his superiors. This resulted in the creation of the Theater Army Staff Course.

“It’s an idea I had many years ago,” Bonin said. “We’ve always done a good job of educating up to the division level, but never so high.”

This week-long course was specifically designed to link soldiers and civilians to the teachings of Army doctrine. The course helps to train better educated civilians, staff officers, and non-commissioned officers who are prepared to effectively execute their assigned mission as a theater army. Some of the topics included Theater Establishment and Force Sustainment, discussed in 5 lessons, and Joint Operations Area Establishment and Sustainment, which was discussed in 4 lessons.

The Commanding General of US Army Central, Lt. Gen. Patrick Frank, toured the course and explained to attendees the importance of Army doctrine and what is done in theater.

Frank said, “The military is based on doctrine. He is there to guide us and, in the moments when we think we are deviating from it, he is there to put us back on the right path. With this, it is our job to prepare the theater and with our support, we can provide the framework for General Kurilla (the commander of CENTCOM) so that our brothers and sisters can return home.

Former U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. (Retired) Joseph Votel attended the course as a capstone, where he composed virtually to provide context and his experiences as a former commander. fighter in the region. He then took the time to answer questions from the group.

Former U.S. Army Central Deputy Commanding General Major Gen. (Ret.) Doug Crissman, helped run the course as the lead mentor. He played a key role in the design and development of the course.

When asked what he hopes military and civilians have learned from this course, Crissman said, “I hope they gain a better understanding and appreciation for the doctrine. I also hope they have learned why the theater army is necessary and why their actions are critical to our ability to fight and win our nation’s wars.

Date taken: 08.12.2022
Date posted: 25.08.2022 14:42
Story ID: 428041
Location: SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, South Carolina, USA

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