The U.S. Army's bottom-up training revolution By Don Vandergriff

My good friend Don Vandergriff has an outstanding article out on bottom-up training and leadership. The approach is outcome based and works at developing both cognitive decision making abilities and physical skills sets necessary to accomplish today's complex problems.

 To achieve this goals, schools for soldiers must constantly put students in difficult, unexpected situations and then require them to decide and act under time pressure. Schooling must take students out of their comfort zones. Stress--mental and moral as well as physical--must be constant. War games, tactical decision games, map exercises, and free‑play field exercises must constitute the bulk of the curriculum. Drill and ceremonies and adherence to "task, condition, and standards" (task proficiency) in the name of process are not important except in a few cases.

This type of training is  teaching those participating, how to think, instead of the standard what to think methodologies. Look at the policy and procedure driven world we in law enforcement work in. Is it working? Are we effective on the street in a complex, unexpected dynamic encounter? In my view we are not at the patrol level appropriately prepared for the emerging threats that lie ahead. Leadership as well needs to get a grip on this reality and creating and nurturing more full spectrum police officers who can both  officer friendly a stolen lollypop out of a 5 year olds hand at one moment to adapting to an ongoing deadly active shooting situation in the next. The appropriate type of training is required if we are to be truly effective!

Put simply, outcome based training looks for results and is best described as developmental training. It puts a burden of professionalism on the shoulders of the student while the instructor determines how they get results. This is much like mission orders or tactics where the "how" is left to those executing the mission with little or no oversight from higher authority.

Go to the Washington Post for the complete article