The Army is redesigning how it helps soldiers transfer the knowledge and skills learned on the battlefield into a civilian-world education.
Sgt. Major Dan Dailey told Federal Drive with Tom Temin that it’s time to transfer the lessons many soldiers learn about leadership and risk taking from the field to the classroom.
“For 240 years we’ve been giving our soldiers the best training possible to be able to accomplish their mission and their job on the battlefield,” Dailey said during this week’s Association of the United States Army conference and exposition in Washington, D.C. “What we haven’t done is equated that to how it translates to civilian occupations once they get out. As part of our new Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program … we’re working with industry, we’re working with our partners out in academia in the civilian sector, and we’re trying to match those skills with jobs that frankly need to be filled by our great soldiers that are leaving. We’re working to credential them and give them college credit.”
Dailey said that under the developing Army University construct, the service will consolidate education organizations under one structure and will target the entire Army population including officers, sworn officers and soldiers.
“The true benefit of it comes to soldiers, because that’s where the biggest change is going to occur with the Army University,” Dailey said.
The program has two tracks, Dailey said. There’s one for soldiers that want to enter the trade market with certification that’s applicable to the civilian sector. Another for the academic side, where soldiers will work with a sponsoring university to finish a degree in a subject they want, Dailey said.
“Our focus will always remain on the necessary skills that our soldiers need to fight and win on the battlefield” Dailey said, adding that the program “will allow the tax payers to capitalize on the training and education [soldiers have] already received, so we’re not duplicating those with the universities.”
Dailey said the Secretary of the Army John McHugh has signed off on the initiative and throughout the next few years the Army will stand up the program, center it around the schools at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and administratively join “those universities and academically accrediting our courses, so in the future when our soldier goes to one of their levels of professional military education … or basic training, at the end we will produce a transcript for them.”
Dailey said his office’s role will be to “lead our soldiers on the right path, and to make sure that as we build non-commissioned officer education, it complements our civilian education along the way.”
“What we’re truly trying to build, it’s a progressive and sequential education system that builds on the foundation principles of the knowledge, skills and attributes that we give our soldiers and make sure that in every opportunity it equates to transition jobs in the civilian sector,” he said.
Dailey said the Army’s online curriculum will also continue to grow. It currently boasts more than 1,600 courses and has 1.1 simultaneous users.