Pitfalls of the Past: Learning Disabilities That Hinder TRADOC's Institutional Agility
Technical Report,24 Jun 2014,21 May 2015
US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth
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After more than a decade of conflict, the US Army finds itself trying to learn the lessons of the last war while preparing to defeat emergent threats. As the Army prepares to operate in this uncertain future, the US Army Training and Doctrine Command TRADOC plays a pivotal role in shaping its future. TRADOC, as part of the institutional Army, must be agile and adaptable to provide the right doctrine, training, and education to enable the Army to win in a complex world. Comparison of todays TRADOC with the organizations on which the Army relied in two similar periods in its history, the interwar period from 1919 to 1939 and the post-Vietnam period from 1973 to 1982, reveals the strengths and weaknesses that influence TRADOCs and the US Armys institutional adaptability. While successful organizations might display many of the traits of learning organizations, as described by organizational theorist Peter M. Senge, they may also possess learning disabilities that hinder their potential. Analysis of TRADOC today through comparison with the historical cases indicates learning disabilities persist that limit TRADOCs institutional agility. Although they will not necessarily prevent TRADOC from transforming, they might generate unwanted pushback from the field and the nations policy directors.