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The MANSCEN Construct.


The Maneuver Support Center (MANSCEN) has been officially activated since 1 October 1999, and the organizational design is proving to be a workable structure. The design is different from the typical U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) school organization because it not only places more than one school on the same installation, but those schools also share some organizational structure in a grid matrix management arrangement. This structure yields some unique opportunities and poses some interesting challenges. The dynamics of this restructuring will take years to fully unfold and develop, but the key characteristics are evident today. Like every new organizational structure, it is a work in progress. The structure is sound, in full operation, and learning new efficiencies every day. The organization is more complex in its conceptional form than many typical military organizations because the chain of command and the chain of responsibility are not aligned as simply as many tactical units. They a re, however, set to provide the best capability with the least overhead.

The Genesis of MANSCEN

To understand MANSCEN, you must know how its organizational structure developed. The organization is the direct result of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Act of 1995. Through legislation, Congress approved the BRAC Commission's recommendation to close Fort McClellan, Alabama, and relocate the Chemical and Military Police (MP) Schools to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Fort Leonard Wood was a somewhat typical TRADOC installation with one school--Engineer; a basic-training brigade; the Noncommissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) with the Drill Sergeant School (DSS); an advanced individual training course--Motor Transport Operator Course (driver's training)--from the Transportation School; affiliated courses for the Marines, Air Force, and Navy; several U.S. Army Forces Command units; and the usual support units that are typical on U.S. military installations.

Once the BRAC decision was official, serious discussion took place on how to organize once the Chemical and MP Schools moved to Fort Leonard Wood. The spectrum ranged from each of the three schools being totally independent with no shared resources to the full integration of the Chemical, Engineer, and MP schools into one large school, sharing all resources. The totally independent end of the spectrum was too costly in personnel. Even at Fort McClellan, the Chemical and MP Schools had shared one training brigade. The full integration end did not allow the schools to maintain and foster their own branch identity. Therefore, a careful study was made to determine which areas could be shared without significantly affecting the branch-identity aspect of school regimental operations. Another consideration was that each school's commandant was chartered as the proponent for his or her branch area of expertise. The new organization had to facilitate the commandants carrying out their proponent responsibilities. The d ecision was to create the organization as shown in the figure.

The Organization of MANSCEN

The commander of MANSCEN, a major general billet, is also the installation commander and the Engineer School Commandant. The Engineer brigadier general billet remained the Engineer School Assistant Commandant. Two traditional Reserve Component brigadier general billets were added to the MANSCEN command group, one for the Army Reserve and one for the Army National Guard. The MANSCEN Command Sergeant Major completes the command group.

The MANSCEN staff organizations share responsibility with all three schools. Each of these organizations reports to the MANSCEN commander but has responsibilities to each of the school commandants for execution of its mission. The NCO Academy expanded to conduct the Noncommissioned Officer Education System for all three branches. Each school has its own training brigade. The interservice training presence increased; the Marine Corps presence grew to be the largest Marine Corps unit not on a Marine base, and the Air Force presence grew to be the largest Air Force unit not on an Air Force Base.

The Shared Organizations

Directorate of Common Leader Training (DCLT)

DCLT is responsible for MANSCEN-level instruction and instructional support. It--

* Teaches the common-core and shared tactical instruction to the officer and warrant officer professional development courses for the three schools.

* Operates the Single-Channel Ground-to-Air Radio System Communications Lab and the Fire Support Center as well as the Training Technology and Information Center.

* Manages the installation's library program, which includes the academic and community libraries.

* Conducts the Interservice Staff and Faculty Development Program, which certifies the instructors for the installation.

* Owns the Battle Simulation Center, which supports all constructive training simulations within MANSCEN and the Reserve Component, regionally.

Directorate of Training Development (DOTD)

DOTD develops training products and provides editorial support of doctrinal products for the three MANS CEN schools. It has four departments: Warrior, WARMOD, Warfighter, and Development Support.

* Warrior (Individual Training) develops and maintains the commandants' training strategies and provides analysis, design, and development of technically and doctrinally correct instructional courses and support materials for resident, nonresident, and distance-learning initiatives.

* WARMOD synchronizes and links Army modernization training with chemical, engineer, and MP force modernization. This includes ensuring development and procurement of system Training Support Packages concurrently with the materiel system.

* Warfighter (Collective Training) programs, manages, analyzes, and develops proponent unit/collective training products and training-support products; coordinates proponent Standards in Training Commission; and interfaces with internal and external organizations to ensure integration into the collective-training efforts for accuracy and completeness of products.

* Development Support provides technical and administrative services, support, and guidance on development of all MANSCEN and service schools' training and doctrinal products, including contractor-produced publications. It develops and assists other training developers with TRADOC-funded and contingency-based multimedia products-including instructors in their multimedia efforts--by assisting with embedded multimedia elements, to include recording and editing audio/video into various formats and delivery methods. This department also produces official publications and bulletins for worldwide distribution.

Directorate of Combat Developments (DCD)

DCD serves as the architect of the future for the MANSCEN schools. It--

* Integrates all combat-developments activities for the three schools not specifically assigned elsewhere. In this capacity, DCD develops operational concepts, validates operational-capability requirements, conducts the systemic analysis of requirements, and carries out all organizational development and force-design processes and materiel-development processes, including life-cycle management.

* Develops and defends modernization strategies and plans and integrates the budget process for the President's Objective Memorandum.

* Conducts modeling, simulations, and analysis for all MANSCEN organizations, including developing modeling and simulations requirements.

* Conducts ground-robotics test-bed activities to assess technology for the three schools.

Maneuver Support Battle Lab

The Battle Lab was the first shared organization formed in the stand-up of MANSCEN and is led by the MANSCEN commander. It tests and verifies, through experimentation, all aspects of doctrine, training, and organization for the three schools and works closely with DCD and DOTD in support of the schools.

Noncommissioned Officers Academy

This organization includes NCOA and DSS. The MANSCEN NCOA/DSS is the Army's largest NCO academy. It trains and educates selected NCOs to become effective leaders, trainers, role models, standard bearers, and drill sergeants. The academy is responsible for training soldiers for the three MANSCEN schools. Instruction includes basic and advanced NCO courses. The academy also trains a variety of different military occupational specialties (MOSs) in the Primary Leadership Development Course.

The DSS conducts a Drill Sergeant Preparation Course for all drill sergeant candidates assigned to Fort Leonard Wood, and it trains soldiers in a variety of MOSs to become drill sergeants. It also trains selected leaders, support cadre, and installation staff and contractors--who work in the initial-entry-training environment--in three different courses through its Initial Entry Cadre Training Course.


MANSCEN is still developing, but it has already demonstrated the power and efficiency that can be gained by integrating three related branches into one organization, each providing unique proponency capabilities, while sharing common ground across the doctrine, training, leader development, organization, materiel, and soldiers (DTLOMS) spectrum. MANSCEN proves that a single installation can support three Army branch schools, maintain the vitality of each school, yet achieve synergy among them where common issues and concepts exist. This design could be a model for the way TRADOC will reorganize through its own transformation effort.

Mr. Premont is the executive officer in the Strategic Planning, Analysis and Realignment Office at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Previously, he was the deputy director in the Base Realignment and Closure Office at Fort Leonard Wood. He has a bachelor's from the U. S. Military Academy and a master's from the University of Missouri-Rolla and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
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Article Details
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Author:Premont, Mark T.
Publication:Engineer: The Professional Bulletin for Army Engineers
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2001
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