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Critical task site selection boards: vital to the Army.

The battlefield of the future will be increasingly complex. The Army may find itself involved in operations in a variety of sophisticated environments, requiring new systems with advanced information technology. Soldiers will conduct activities ranging from battles against major regional powers to stability operations within failed states dominated by competing paramilitary factions. Conflict, wherever it may occur, will share several characteristics: expanded areas of operations, urban and other complex terrain, and multidimensional operations.

The Army's peacetime mission is to prepare for war to meet the ever-changing challenges on the future battlefield. The 15th Regimental Signal Brigade's mission is to train Soldiers to fight, win, and achieve full spectrum dominance on the future battlefield. To accomplish our goal, the 15th Regimental Signal Brigade must ensure that training is task-based, performance-oriented, horizontally and vertically aligned, and realistic to achieve combat-ready capabilities. One way that we strive to achieve our goal is through the conduct of an effective tool called the Critical Task Site Selection Board.

So, just what is a CT/SSB? Why is it vital to the Army and how does it impact the Army? In what way can the war fighting units help the 15th RSB effectively use the CT/ SSB to meet the future needs of an advanced technology enhanced Army XXI?

A critical task site selection board is a management device which serves as a quality control function when determining what are critical tasks and where these tasks will be trained (site selection), either in the resident schoolhouse or in the unit. Board members are composed mainly of subject matter experts who include Active and Reserve personnel, as well as, adequate civilian representation. The board reviews the total task inventory and job performance data and recommends tasks for approval to the appropriate authority as critical tasks. CT/SSBs are conducted to provide a systematic selection and prioritization of tasks for job requirements. Results provide data on appropriate skill level of tasks, training during mobilization and peacetime, training site selection, distance training consideration, modeling and simulation decisions, and accurate audit trail.

The CT/SSB members determine the critical tasks for their military occupational specialties. Individual training is training of individuals to prepare them to perform critical tasks to standard, accomplish their mission and duties, and to survive on the battlefield. Critical tasks must be trained, and they may be trained either in the resident schoolhouse or in the unit.

The critical task site selection board is a part to the Systems Approach to Training process. The CT/SSB process begins with job analysis. Job analysis starts when a need analysis identifies a training development requirement to create a new job, restructure an existing job, merge or consolidate jobs, or divide a job into two or more jobs. The job analysis data is collected from surveys (sent through email, Internet, or regular mail), interviews, or site visits.

Job analysis is used to identify individual critical tasks (including leader tasks) a job incumbent must perform to successfully accomplish his/her mission and duties as well as survive in the full range of military operations. The individual tasks are the critical tasks for that job.

They may be one of four types:

* Common Soldier Tasks,

* Common Skill Level Tasks,

* Branch Specific Tasks, and

* Shared Tasks.

The following flow diagram depicts the relationship between job analysis and the training development process.


The global environment during the twenty-first century will be one of instability. Even though no single power has the means to destroy the United States, some powers are certainly able to use advanced military technologies relatively inexpensively. Army training must counter this threat by matching the right Soldiers with the right tasks and technologies. The ultimate test of whether or not we have trained a Soldier to fight the way we intend to fight in war is his/her survivability on the battlefield. The greatest output of the individual training development process is a Soldier trained to perform individual tasks to standard.

How can you help the 15th Regimental Signal Brigade ensure that our Soldiers are trained to job performance standards? In 2006, we will conduct CT/SSBs for the following military occupational specialties:

* 5B, Information Systems Operator-Analyst;

* 25F, Network Switching Systems Operator-Maintainer;

* 25Q, Multi-Channel Transmission Systems Operator-Maintainer;

* 25U, Signal Support Systems Specialist; and

* 25N, Nodal Network Operator-Maintainer.

You may be called upon to conduct or provide job analysis data for your MOS. The expertise you can provide as a subject matter expert is invaluable and unmatched. You possess an enormous amount of experience, knowledge and skills. As an SME and non-commissioned officer, you must ensure that you pick up the "banner" as well as carry the "torch" and participate as a collaborative stakeholder and partner in the CT/SSB process.

All voting members of the CT/ SSB will come from operational units of each of the following components as applicable: Forces Command, U.S. Army Reserve, and Army National Guard. One ARNG and USAR member must currently hold the specific MOS or capper MOS. Also, they must have formerly held the MOS under review prior to promotion. It is vital that the members of a CTSSB be highly skilled and experienced NCOs. This will ensure that we train the Soldier with the right critical task to perform his/her job to standard.

The 15th RSB is currently coordinating with the Office Chief of Signal, Directorate of Training, and FORSCOM to ensure that the best qualified personnel are selected to serve as board members. Also, the Training Development Division, Office of the Dean, 15th RSB is currently performing task analysis and preparing read-ahead packets, including current and notional task list for board members.

The 15th RSB looks forward to working with you as a collaborative partner in the CT/SSB process. Working together, we will ensure we produce expeditionary warriors capable of fighting across the full spectrum battlefield.


ACTD--Area Communications Training Development Branch

ARNG--Army National Guard

CT/SSB--critical task site selection board

DOT--Directorate of Training

FORSCOM--Forces Command

OCOS--Office Chief of Signal

MOS--military occupational specialty

NCOs--non-commissioned officers

RSB--Regimental Signal Brigade

SAT--Systems Approach to Training

SME--subject matter expert

USAR--U.S. Army Reserve

Myrtle C. Alexander and Patrick S. Baker

Ms. Alexander is currently chief of the Operations Division, Office of the Dean, 15th Signal Brigade. She holds a master's degree in education from the University of Louisville, Ky.

Mr. Baker is chief of the Area Communications Training Development Branch, Training Development Division, Office of the Dean. He holds a bachelor's degree in education from Paine College, Augusta, Ga.
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Author:Alexander, Myrtle C.; Baker, Patrick S.
Publication:Army Communicator
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2006
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