A New Approach to Collective Training - Lessons Drawn from Sport and Music

By Thomas Basan July 5, 2019

The 1934 Army Training Regulations describe Collective Training as activities that, “afford leaders opportunities of exercising command in the field under warlike conditions, to train units and formations, and to develop mutual confidence and co-operation between them."  85 years on, how well does the Army's Collective Training live up to this past intent?

The act of training and preparing for war must be the second most sacred act which defence personnel can engage in, second only to the act of war itself.  Indeed training is a consistent presence in the mission statements for the Army and units alike.  However Thomas Basan, author of this paper, has found himself consistently frustrated by the seeming "inability to coherently, logically and rationally discuss" the use of resources to create effective and efficient training.  Too often training planning considerations are reduced to how to fill time blocks while the "consistent approach" and "common understanding" of the system fails to live up to its promise.

These frustrations have led Thomas to explore the training doctrine of other allies and partner nations such as the UK, Germany and the US.  It has also led him to the world of professional sport and music and "how they grow virtuosos and highly-successful teams".  From this exploration he has discovered some sunlit uplands, insights from which he offers in this Friday Long-Read paper.



Thomas Basan

Major Thomas BASAN enlisted in January 1980. As a soldier and NCO, MAJ BASAN served in 2/4 RAR and SASR. On commissioning, MAJ BASAN commanded paratroopers in 3 RAR at platoon, specialist platoon and company. MAJ BASAN is a graduate of ACSC and ATSOC and has a master’s in systems engineering. In later years, MAJ BASAN served in Future Land Warfare, AHQ; Land Development Branch and the Australian Defence Test and Evaluation Organisation, CDG; Brigade Major, 13 Brigade and Preparedness, AHQ. He is currently employed within Land Capability Development, AHQ.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

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