The Cove Team know that units are keen to include professional military education (PME) in their training programs, but can often be defeated by other priorities. At The Cove we’re developing content that makes unit PME easier and more accessible. This page is designed to assist command teams and Unit PME officers navigate the resources on The Cove to deliver better and simpler individual and collective PME in units.
The Importance of PME
The CA and RSM-A talk a bit about the importance of PME in the clip above. We recommend that as part of any unit induction training soldiers are shown The Cove Introductory Video. It summarises how PME has a direct link to capability and encourages soldiers to download The Cove App. For a more detailed understanding, LTCOL Greg Colton explains further in this Cove Talk entitled 'How We Win the Next War'.
The Cove App
Encouraging unit members to download The Cove App is a great way to put your people’s #IntellectualEdge development on auto-pilot. If they join the ~4,000 people (and growing) who receive our notifications, they’ll get PME content designed for them daily and are able to consume it in small bites. The Cove’s content will encourage professional discussion in the workplace and potentially create a ground-swell of interest in their own development. We ask RSMs when talking to JNCOs in particular to ask if they’ve downloaded the app or if they’ve seen a recent article on The Cove.
Soldier Quick Military Education
Quick Military Education (QME) are a series of 'off the shelf' short learning exercises that consist of a video (often from a movie) followed by some discussion points. They are designed to create training opportunities for short periods of down time in units with minimal preparation time required. They are a great resource to refer junior leaders to develop their own teams. Making your JNCOs and platoon HQ staff familiar with these QMEs will enable them to fill dead time with short, relevant, reflection based education.
SNCO/WO PME Sessions
SNCO/WO PME Sessions, are designed as 'off the shelf' PME sessions designed to be a ready-made package for SNCOs and WOs. There are ten sessions in this series and all have discussion questions and facilitator notes.
Junior Officer PME Sessions
Junior Officer PME Sessions are designed as 'off the shelf' PME sessions designed to be a ready-made package for sub-unit commanders and unit PME officers to develop junior officers. There are ten sessions in this series and all have discussion questions and facilitator notes.
At The Cove we think becoming a 'reflective practitioner' is one of the best ways to learn and develop. Encouraging a reflective routine for your people is one of the best ways you can enable self-development. We’ve collated our resources on reflection into this one-stop-shop which in itself is a great PME session. The page includes:
Arousal by Daniel Kieghran VC
Cove+ Compact Reflection videos
Cove+ Reflective Practice Module
Reflective Journal App
Individual Reflective Journal Hard Copy
Just about every article on The Cove is a ready-made PME discussion topic, but here's some of the ones that we think are the best:
- An Entrenched Culture:What the Army Could Learn from The Emergency Services
- 'I wish I had Known That...' Cove Challenge responses
- Finding The Reward in Risk
- What's in a Name: To What Title are you Entitled
- SmartSoldier: Further Tips from VC Recipients
Know Your Region
Know Your Region (KYR) is a series developed by the Directorate of Army Education to address the need for Army to have a better cultural and geopolitical understanding of our region; which is our most likely future operating environment. With new countries being published fortnightly until March 2022, it's a comprehensive resource to gain understanding of different state actors in our region. Each country follows the DIME (Demographics, Information, Military, Economics) format, and uses links to videos, podcasts and articles on each topic. Each page has a short set of discussion questions to draw out learning. Any one page is a great PME session.
Cove+: The Army's Professional Development Program. Cove+ is a library of tertiary-level units, hosted on ADELE(U). Units vary in length and use a range of media to facilitate engaging learning experiences. There are a wide range of topics which have been developed in partnership with the Queensland University of Technology. Cove+ is a great way for individuals to expand their learning and critical thinking at no cost. We recommend including Cove+ units as part of your unit PME plan or including the Cove+ units in the initial PAR goal setting, for which successful adherence can be mentioned in their annual PARs. Some units we recommend based on their universal applicability and contribution to Army's capability include:
- Thinking Ethically
- The Science of Decision Making
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
- Strategy and Security in the Indo-Pacific
- Culture to Cultures.
If anyone in your team feels passionate about a particular issue within Army or needs to develop/demonstrate their writing skills, writing an article to The Cove could be a great challenge for them. The Cove runs a writing competition in Q3 of each year (just before PAR time) but also issues a ‘call for articles’ at various times throughout the year on specific topics. Writing guidelines to support their submission is here and we also recommend pieces are peer reviewed before submission which encourages for individualised support and development. We will further support writers through the editorial process to ensure their article is adequately consulted at the policy level if required.
Unit PME Plan
Developing a unit PME plan is an important part of targeting your unit’s education to your capability needs. We’ve seen a few unit plans at The Cove but think this one by LTCOL Tom McDermott at 2/14 LHR is the best one we have seen. Here it is in word format for you to adjust as you need. The Cove team are happy to provide you or your staff advice on developing these. Get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Civilian Accreditation of Leadership Skills
Your leaders can get their skills accredited by following the process outlined at this page.
Smart Soldier, produced by AKC, is an excellent resource for soldiers and JNCOs. It is available in hard copy or electronically on the DPN only. In particular, the Quick Decision Exercises are a fantastic resource for developing decision making skills.
Send us Your Unit PME Activities
Finally, if you develop PME activities within your unit that have broader application across Army, please send them to us at email@example.com so we can put them on The Cove for other units to use. We're also happy to spend some time developing them further if required.