The last 12 years of the 75th Training Division The Headquarters of the 75th Mission Command Training Division (MCTG) is in Ellington Fields, Houston Texas. The physical address is 14555 Scholl Street, Houston, TX 77034 and phone number is 1 (832) 766-0874. The mission of the 75th Division (Training Support) was to plan, prepare, synchronize, support, and execute Lanes Training and Battle Command Staff Training for designated units in the Fifth United States Army area to enhance their readiness.
By the early 2000s, the Division structure included the Headquarters, 75th Division; 1st Brigade located in Houston, Texas; 2nd Brigade at Fort Sam Houston, Texas; 3rd Brigade at Fort Riley, Kansas; and 4th Brigade at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. As an Active/Reserve component training support division headquartered in Houston, Texas, the 75th Division provided vital support during the Global War on Terror (GWOT). Mobilized for the first time since World War II in January of 2003, soldiers from the 75th Division mobilized 1,617 Reserve Component Soldiers during the initial 2003 mobilization.
The 75th Division subsequently executed missions in support of Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. In 2003, the 75th Division sent soldiers to 6 Power Projection Platforms and trained nearly 40,000 soldiers from 998 National Guard and Reserve units. The Soldiers mobilized and trained units at Fort Hood, Fort Bliss, Fort Sill, Fort Polk, Fort Riley, and Fort Leonard Wood. More than 30 observer/controllers from the 75th Division (Training Support) spent 6 months in late 2003 near Kabul, Afghanistan training members of the Afghan National Army.
They worked with Coalition Joint Task Force 180, headed by the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). Upon arrival at Camp Phoenix, the soldiers separated into sections focusing on finance, light infantry, and installation operations. The 75th Division soldiers worked closely with Afghan soldiers to teach advance infantry tactics, organizational skills and leadership, for instance. They also served as examples of how professional Soldiers look and act. During 2004, the 75th Division supported the Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq (MNSTC-I) with 50 soldiers that made up 5 separate Coalition Military Assistance Training Teams.
Two Purple Hearts were awarded to 1st Brigade, 75th Division officers during this mission with the Iraqi Army. In 2004, the Division trained 27,532 Soldiers from 571 reserve-component units. The 75th Division managed and conducted post-mobilization training at Fort Hood for the 39th Brigade Combat Team (Arkansas Army National Guard), 256th Brigade Combat Team (Louisiana Army National Guard), and 56th Brigade Combat Team (Texas Army National Guard). All 3 brigade combat teams subsequently deployed to Iraq in support of various multi-national force missions.
In 2005, over 150 Soldiers, primarily from the 2nd Brigade, 75th Division deployed to Iraq to undertake the specialized task of training the Iraqi Special Police. Both groups, with the assistance of other coalition forces, helped the Afghan and Iraqi forces develop their own officer and non-commissioned officer corps. The Army’s transformation in the 2000s necessitated restructuring the roles and missions of First US Army and Fifth US Army to support reserve component modularity and the Army Force Generation process known as Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN).
First US Army’s training mission expanded on 16 January 2006 to include training, readiness oversight and mobilization for US Army Reserve and National Guard units throughout the continental United States and two US territories. The transition of the expanded geographic mission began in mid-December 2005 with the transfer of authority between First US Army and Fifth US Army for the Western United States. Previously, First Army trained, mobilized and deployed US Army Reserve and National Guard units in the eastern United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
By 2006, the 75th Division was assigned directly to US Army Reserve Command as a training command. In 2006, the 75th Division stood up a full Division Forward headquarters at Fort Hood to support the post-mobilization training of the Texas-based 36th Combat Aviation Brigade. During this same timeframe, the 75th Division trained the multi-service Iraqi Assistance Group teams and units deploying in support of the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) mission in the Balkans. In November 2007, the 75th Division was reorganized as a battle command training division.
The Division became headquarters of a coast-to-coast operation involved in planning, supporting, and coordinating the missions of its nationwide battle command training brigades. To support this, the former 1st Brigade, 91st Division (Training Support) at Camp Parks, California was reflagged the 5th Brigade, 75th Division in October 2006, with Battle Simulation Training units from the 78th, 85th, and 87th divisions joining the 75th Division in 2007. The title of the Division was subsequently changed to mission command training, though the subordinate brigades remained tasked with battle command training.
In December 2008, members of the 75th Division Headquarters along with 1st Brigade, 75th Division Headquarters and the 1st and 2nd Battle Command Training Groups of that Brigade relocated into a newly constructed 173,000 square foot Armed Forces Reserve Center located at Ellington Field in south Houston, Texas. Also in 2008, the MNSTC-I had tasked the Division to augment their forces with 130 Soldiers. On 16 October 2009, the first of 6 detachments departed from Fort Benning, Georgia to serve within the Iraqi theatre of operations. In October 2010, those deployed began their return with no injuries or casualties” (http://www. lobalsecurity. org/military/agency/army/75d. htm). During 2010 and 2011, over 175 battalion and brigade size elements were exercised at military installations across the United States by elements of the Division to support our mission in Afghanistan, Africa and Sinai. Our latest missions in 2012 include support to our training mission in South Korea. The last 10 years of Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts had keep our division on a high-tempo of training missions to prepare the commanders and staff of deploying units to make sure they can lead their units in combat.
For the new one year order of mobilization that started the numbers of soldiers authorize were around 500 soldiers in all the division to continue supporting the training of deploying units as the previous years. The starting date for this new mobilization is June 2011, but in May 2011 the word is out that next mobilization numbers are dropping to around 150 or less. With the closure in Iraq and the future reduction of units in Afghanistan, the need for deployment training is starting to slow down.
Normal procedures is being to split in equal numbers to fill the require slots among the five brigades and a small number to support the Division Headquarters. For the next deployment order in 2012 they follow the same procedure of tasking each brigade equally. The following was the timeline of events on orders and guidance to execute the next deployment mission: JUN 2011 – Brigades are each task to start selecting personnel to fill their assign numbers of the 150 total seats for the 2012 Mobilization order.
DEC 2011 – During the Division Commanders Conference, Brigade Commanders started bringing the issues they are having filling the futures slots, due to the change of policy with the relocation of mobilize Soldiers to selected training bases and some to Ellington Field. Soldiers willing to work on one-year orders are now being told they have to move to one of the three military bases where the planning and training missions of these units will be conducted. APRIL 2012 – The Division decided to be in control of all 150 mobilize Soldiers and create a special group or Task Force to lead all planning of the training missions.
No detail guidance how is going to be organize and who exactly is going to be in charge. Everybody will be located at North Fort Hood (NFH), TX and Camp Shelby, Mississippi. MAY 2012 – JUN 2012 – Soldiers are staring the process of de-mobilization and go back to their civilian job and regular reserves status. Some Soldiers are selected to be put on short term (90 days) active duty orders to be able to exchange information and take over the responsibilities for the buildings and equipment being use by the mobilize 75th Division Soldiers.
MAY 2012 – New guidance are given reference the organization of the new Task Force and places of duty for the future mobilize Soldiers. The Deputy Commander of the Division is the Task Force Cdr and the three locations will be NFH, TX; Camp Shelby, MS and Ellington Fields, TX. JUN 2012 – Task Force is still filling the slots and new mobilization orders are filtering in and all key leaders are not being identify that will be responsible for each one of the three cells (one for each location). ?
Problem Statement Failure of the division to start the planning of the 2012-2013 mobilization on time and using the proper procedure to develop a plan known as “Military Decision Making Process”; had cause the Division the ability to provide better and more clear guidance to their subordinate units. Communication is slow and broken in some cases, causing the subordinate commanders the ability to prepare for the changes, adjust for the new policies and reduce the natural resistance for change on the Soldiers.
With the draw-down of the Military Forces from Iraq and now Afghanistan, budget reduction and future shrinking of the Active Military Forces, this high-tempo mission will be coming to an end. The Division is still being asked to keep doing the same mission but with less personal in full-time status. The Division option is to use reserves Soldiers in normal reserve status. This mean the commanders can order Soldiers to participate or support this mission using their mandatory 14 days of annual training (AT) and their one weekend a month to help for plan some of the exercises.
The Soldiers that desire and can stay away from their civilian jobs for more than 14 consecutive days or do these 14 days twice or more a year, they can be provided special orders all the way to 180 days more. Soldiers willing to work on one-year orders are now being told they have to move to one of the three military bases where the planning and training missions of these units will be conducted. Before, Soldiers were able to stay at their home units and travel to the training location where the exercise was going to be conducted.
Mobilize Soldiers were provided housing allowance if they had to live at another location. This new policy will have a major impact on the Soldier finances, due to the coast of living difference and having to maintain two households without assistance. The cost of living is base on where they assign the mobilize Soldier, not where there family or house is located. Because of these new policies fewer Soldiers are mobilizing or want to stay mobilize, causing the loss of highly skilled and experience Soldiers on a full-time status.
Also, getting Soldiers to volunteer to fill all the required full-time position had become a challenge. The constant change of plan or guidance had kept the Soldiers and lower leadership frustrated, and their moral is starting to be affected. Some of the Leadership and Soldiers are not too happy with the decisions the 75th Division is taking to minimize the impact on the quality of the training provided to our client unit with the new restrictions on mobilize personnel and budget allocated for the mission.
On an effort to fill all 150 positions available the unit open this slots to be fill with personnel from outside of the 75th Division. This can be a double edge sword if the selection processes don’t do a good job selecting the right candidates: First, the good part of this action is that it will bring fresh knowledge and experience to the unit; second, the bad part if it can bring inexperience trainers or personnel with the wrong skills that will have to be train before we can use them to support the missions.
This will take 2 to 3 month out of the 12 months of the mobilization this Soldier is ready for the mission. “Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) is an iterative planning methodology to understand the situation and mission, develop a course of action, and produce an operation plan or order” ( ADP 5-0, Army Pub, May 2012). By looking at the timeline you can see the Division failure to follow this methodology and this was the main cause for failing earlier identification and potential solutions for the issues mention above.
The following are some of the issues identify cause by the changes in policy, possible failure of the leadership to identify or react to these issues in a timely manner, the effect on their subordinates and poor communication: 1-How the Division or the new Task Force (mobilize team) created is expected to accomplish the missions with fewer personnel, and without a clear date when the members of this Task Force will be on orders to start working the missions? -Why do we waited so long to make these decisions or attack a problem that we knew was coming a year ago, when we knew the troops were going to start leaving Afghanistan and the president already provided guidance to start reducing the force? 3-Can all these questions or issues related to politics, leadership or combination of both? Internal or external to the division? 4-Could it be a communication problem? 5-What effect the lost of experience will have on the quality of the mission? How do we overcome this challenge? -Why our leadership seems to not push back to their higher when they keep tasking the division with missions like we are still fully staff (in reference to full time personnel)? ? Literature Review Article: Army May Have To Cut Reserve and Guard (http://www. usnews. com/news/articles/2012/02/21/nowhere-to-turn-guard-reserve-cuts-would-be-next) “Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno told reporters in Washington that the ground service was able to fashion a 57,000-troop reduction plan without “touching” the Reserve and Guard ranks.
But if Congress fails to pass legislation this year that would head off more military spending cuts, Army officials would have no choice but to slash more active-duty troops and the two reserve components. ” (Bennett, 2012) Department of Defense Strategic Guidance – Sustaining U. S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense “Sixth, the Department will need to examine the mix of Active Component (AC) and Reserve Component (RC) elements best suited to the strategy.
Over the past decade, the National Guard and Reserves have consistently demonstrated their readiness and ability to make sustained contributions to national security. The challenges facing the United States today and in the future will require that we continue to employ National Guard and Reserve forces. The expected pace of operations over the next decade will be a significant driver in determining an appropriate AC/RC mix and level of RC readiness. ” (Sustaining U. S. global, 2012) “President Obama yesterday put in a rare appearance at the Pentagon, flanked by the four service chiefs and his Secretary of Defense.
Saying that now is the time to cash in a peace dividend, he unveiled plans for a significantly slimmed-down military. This dance was choreographed to convey strength. Everything else about it showed how domestic entitlements are beginning to squeeze the U. S. military”. ( Obama’s defense drawdown 2012) All these articles support the fact of the reduction of personnel for deployment training and the very low possibility of the US Army Reserve Command approving more people to mobilize for this mission.
Our Field Manual – Operations Process, describe in detail the MDMP methodology and doctrine, that if the Division Staff would had started using back in April 2011 when we first were told about the reduction in personnel to 150 Soldiers; would had help identify a lot of the issues we are working on today, develop contingency plans, provided clear guidance to the subordinate commands and would had started the “unfreezing” step of the phases of planned change (Schermerhorn 2010, p. 354) to adjust and implement changes. If you look at the fig B-1 on page B-3 from FM 5-0, you will see a chart that describes the MDMP methodology.
In that picture you will see the production of three Warning Orders (WARNO), to help facilitate parallel planning with your subordinate units to develop a plan to meet our goals and complete the mission. Because, you are doing parallel planning you are working with your subordinates on identifying the issues and finding a common solution. By the end there will be no surprises and the subordinates would have being getting guidance throughout the planning, for them to develop their specific plan to execute their portion of the mission.
On ADP 5-0, Operation & Planning, page 8, you will see the following: “The MDMP facilitates collaborative and parallel planning as the higher headquarters solicits input and continually shares information concerning future operations with subordinate and adjacent units, supporting and supported units, and unified action partners through planning meetings, warning orders, and other means. Commanders encourage active collaboration among all organizations affected by the pending operations to build shared understanding, participate in course of action development and decision-making, and resolve conflicts before publication of the plan or order. You can see were the Army Doctrine support the active collaboration among organizations affected by a change or new plan. Again you can see a relation or similar effect of using this methodology with using the steps of the phases of planned change (see page 353, Schermerhorm 2010). When you look at the vertical structure of our organization you can identify the issue of failure of the staff elements (or units) of the organization to provide specialize expertise and guidance to the line units ( in our case the brigades and battalions) for them to be able to conduct the mission as expected by the division (Schermerhorn 2010).
Staff units were not identifying the issues or providing solutions to the brigades on a timely matter. Another potential factor for the lack of planning is the culture of the unit. Some of the authoritarian behavior that exist and is accepted, may had led to fill that plan for changes is not important, because the attitude is “Change is going to happen no matter what, so suck-it up and drive on”. Also, the fact that some of the higher rank personal had being with the unit for a long time and feel they don’t need to provide too much guidance.
They are use to “will make it happen attitude” from the subordinates units that they fill they don’t need to provide that much guidance for the mission to be successful. ? Analysis Base on the present findings this is a failure to address a potential issue on time and had a contingency plan in place. The findings prove that most of these issues can be directed or point toward the Leadership, but mainly the staff section of the division command. They are the ones responsible to provide the mission and end state that will let the team know when they complete the mission, and the task or guidance how to get there.
If the staff would had conducted a good MDMP it would had identify the issues ahead of time, and would had develop the solutions. One thing everybody knows, but we fail to identify is the issue with the natural resistance for change; once we realize and accept that part, we will consider the best way to deal with resistance. Our textbook cover the phases of planned change that provide guidance on how to introduce a change in the organization in three phases – unfreezing, changing and refreezing (Schermerhorn 2010, p. 53). We can see where the MDMP would had indirectly make the Division go through the three phases has they do parallel planning with the subordinate units. Especially the first two phases and the third would had taken place when the unit had executed the plan develop during the MDMP. The change would had being accepted because the subordinate or line units would had help develop the plan to establish the new change and the already understand the purpose of the change.
Communication is key on making sure everybody knows what is expected of them, clear guidance on how to do the job and coordination of efforts. This communication should be done in person and in writing. Leaders need to enforce the rules and use of Army Doctrine when it comes to developing plans, following rules and communication, but need to stop being less autocratic when it come to developing a plan and introducing a change. The autocratic style (http://www. nwlink. com/~Donclark/leader/leadstl. tml) that our leaders or staffs are being using to implement the new plan of execution is causing more problems because is not providing the proper detail of instruction needed to execute. Too many variables unanswered causing constant changes of direction in the plan, which causes the frustration of the followers (in our case the Soldiers).? Possible Solutions 1-Set a plan of action to help the Division solve these issues; by using the accelerated version of MDMP. This will help identify the issues and provide solutions, but the staff needs to have a representative from each of the subordinate units.
Because time is of essence, the commander need to be more involve and provide constant guidance and decisions to move the process through the steps a lot faster, without losing quality in the solutions. 2-Identify where immediate changes need to take effect to help solve the issues of meeting immediate goals (client units to be train in the next 90 and 120 days out). 3-Leadership need to make sure his staff is communicating with the subordinate units and bringing the best courses of
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