Lengyel: More Training Requires Change

NGAUS Washington Report
March 20, 2018

 Photo courtesy of AUSA

Additional annual training days for some Army National Guard units will likely cause some citizen-soldiers to find other jobs in the Guard, Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, said last week.

As part of the Army Guard’s 4.0 initiative, heavy armored brigade-combat teams and Stryker brigade-combat teams will see an uptick in rotations to the combat training centers. Four brigades instead of two will train at the centers each year beginning this year. That will go up to seven brigades next year. Soldiers may spend up to 60 days training.

“We’re in cycle one of this,” Lengyel told an Association of the United States Army forum, according to Army Times. “The trick for us is to see how are we going to be able to do this in cycle two and three and beyond. Is this sustainable? We tend to think it is, but I predict there will be some changes.”

Soldiers unable to spend that amount of time away from their civilian jobs will have to cross-train into a new military specialty or perhaps leave the force. Others will remain with their units and work out the additional time away with their employers.

“Some of these people will be able to adapt and they’ll do it,” Lengyel said. “As we recruit new people into the bottom of the organization, they won’t know any different, and it will be the new way the Army National Guard works.”

Lengyel said the new initiative designed to prepare Guard units for rapid deployment in a period of high demand would be helped by more full-time Guardsmen to maintain the equipment that will get greater use.

“With the full-time force there to do it, we’re not going to be able to maintain that,” Lengyel said.