The Ryan Review
The Australian Army possesses all of the ingredients for a world class, education, training and doctrine system. It recruits some of the finest young men and women the nation has to offer. It is the beneficiary of very good training infrastructure and a well trained instructor workforce. The Army actively thinks about an seeks to shape its future3as part of a joint and Defence approach. And as the Fundamentals of Land Power explains, the Army does possess a ‘training culture’.
And yet, these assets separately do not guarantee a world class education, training and doctrine system now or into the future. The constituent elements are – to varying degrees – sound, but they are not knitted together in a cohesive, unified system within Army that is guided by strategic view of Army’s future human capacity needs. And the current system is not fully exploiting ‘futures’ studies and forward planning to ensure the Army is able to generate individual and collective professional mastery over the next two decades.
As the study finds, the Army’s training system is not broken. However, the Army has not knitted together its education, training and doctrine within a broader strategy for human capacity needs. It loosely connects the broad span of activities that Army conducts internally and with its joint and Defence partners. Consequently, it is not possible to conclude with certainty that the Army’s training, education and doctrine is appropriately oriented for the future. Further, without more detailed strategic guidance and objectives on future needs for individual and collective professional mastery, potential gaps in human capacity needs may be hidden.
In thinking about the future of the Australian Army and its education, training and doctrine, the study team has consulted broadly across the Army and beyond. The team sought and gained insights from schools and combat units, soldiers and officers, instructors and students. The study team received advice and opinion of varying quality. Much was evidence-based, but not always. The vast majority of those engaged believed our approach to education, training and doctrine is not currently broken, but is not as effective as it should or could be. At the same time, many opined that our Army has the intellectual wherewithal to be world class in this regard.