This is a guest post by Ron Lundy, TAPE’s U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) Task Leader, Training Resource Model (TRM), Army Training Models (ATM).
I am a retired soldier with over 30 years in uniform, who had the privilege of wearing several hats over the years spent as an infantry soldier, Reserve Officers’ Training Corps adjunct professor, congressional liaison, and strategic planner, to name a few. I had the opportunity to live and work in places across the globe including Fort Benning, GA, Fort Lewis, WA, Turkey, and various places in Germany, with a number of deployments thrown in for good measure.
Each military assignment provided memorable experiences, knowledge, and learned skillsets that provided building blocks and opportunities that shaped my character as a soldier. The last 16 years of service were served as a part of Headquarters, Department of Defense (DoD), assigned to the Pentagon, and where all preceding lessons stood as a lighthouse to help navigate assigned and accomplished tasks.
During this time, I worked as a congressional liaison for the Army and a strategic planner assigned to various positions from Headquarters, DoD Deputy Chief of Staff G3 Army War Plans to work with all Services (Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy) on both the Joint Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, which was my last assignment in uniform. Afterwards, I spent a number of years working as a strategic planner for the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command prior to joining the TAPE team.
Army Training Models (ATM)
TAPE has served the Army (all three components – active Army, Reserves, and National Guard) for over 15 years and the ATM contract for almost 13. This timeframe is the result of dedication and hard work formulated by the founders and strengthened by the TAPE team – an enduring work ethic that is important to both TAPE and the Army.
On ATM, the TAPE team works as a part of a whole dedicated to helping the Army determine resources required to fund Home Station Training. Our work directly informs the monetary requests that are sent to Congress for budgetary and other legislative action. My part is to work alongside other ATM members to help calculate and provide resource packages required to conduct and support training, maintenance of unit equipment, and the sustainment of day-to-day operations. My work focuses on the USAR portion of ATM. Others work on different portions, such as the Regular Army Model and the National Guard Model within TRM.
Again, this is only a part of the whole of information TAPE provides the Army. Other pertinent pieces are the Institutional Training Resource Model (ITRM) and Aviation Training Resource Model (ATRM). There are two other equal parts, albeit, inclusive of information TAPE provides to the Army besides TRM, ITRM, and ATRM. Those being the Battalion Level Training Model and the Manday Resource Model (MRM). Each of these provides complementary insight into training. Regardless of all these different elements, we all work together as a team to put together the right response and overall package, regardless of what client we are serving.
The TAPE Team
The one thing that stood out to me from my first day here is the team’s dedication and professional manner in simply responding to a client’s request for information, and how they strive to provide their best every day. I have found that each TAPE team member stays relevant through discussion, conferences, review of professional publications, and daily interaction with the client. Each activity, be it reading, review, or continuing conversation, has bought TAPE a plethora of goodwill – an attitude of self-sacrifice that permeates TAPE, the Army, and many others that the work here touches through its action.
This is no different when the winds of leadership change within the Army, as it sometimes does; for us, here at TAPE, it allows us an opportunity to work with differing mindsets and requirements. In either case, we get to talk to, embrace, and work with new prevailing thoughts to ensure we understand exactly what they need and can provide the right response to their request. The team lays out potential challenges and provides mitigating solutions for the client to help maintain relevant and credible training requirements.
Since training is such an important tenant of Army readiness, TAPE touches every aspect of the Army – all Army units, schools, headquarters, commands, intelligence, cyber, special operations forces, psychological operations, and more. My experience within Army War Plans taught me how to look at things on a strategic level, which will be invaluable as training requirements shift to address things like electronic and cyber warfare as the Army moves toward its new operating concept of Multi-Domain Operations. We get to help provide and/or support an answer to old but preeminent questions: What will it cost to train soldiers to be proficient? And, how will that impact Army policy and doctrine? TAPE will be there to help answer these questions.