After Spc. The murder of Vanessa Guillen, a serious investigation found that there were “major flaws” in the command environment at Fort Cavazos, Texas – formerly known as Fort Hood – from the platoon level to senior positions, with junior soldiers Systematic abuse was also involved. Especially women.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
A dozen Army officers were dismissed, but the main question weighing on service leaders was, “How can another Fort Hood be prevented?”
Part of the answer was Cohesion Assistance Teams, or CATs, which were first stood up in 2020 and have since been designed to help commanders navigate the culture of their formations. At the request of higher command, teams are sent to brigades to compile climate information, such as retention rates and soldier interviews. The goal is to give brigade leadership a bird’s-eye view of their team’s health and well-being and then work on potential solutions.
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Maj. Gen. John Kline, commander of the Army’s Center for Initial Military Training, or CIMT, which oversees the program, was quick to note that these are not legal teams sent to Sharpshoot Command teams, and no one is losing their job after the survey. . are complete.
“No matter how comfortable you think your climate is, it’s hard to give you a broader view of what’s going on out there,” Kline told Military.com on Monday during the annual Association of the United States “It’s good to keep an eye on.” Army Conference in Washington, DC “Otherwise, you live in ignorant bliss.”
Commanders already have access to many metrics, such as sexual assault cases, but CAT surveys are among the only examples where all the information, as well as elements that can’t be tracked by numbers on a spreadsheet, are consolidated. Let’s go.
The review goes beyond traditional command climate surveys, which produce results that can be vague and out of context. CATs can also get feedback through more detailed questioning about how soldiers are feeling, such as how safe they feel in their barracks or whether they feel valued.
CATs and their surveys focus on organizations, not individual leaders, and are distinct from Inspector General investigations and 15-6 investigations, which may also include interviews and the collection of information and evidence.
Surveys are already scheduled for Army brigades next year and through 2025 – a sign that commanders are not being sidelined as there could be leadership changes in formations between when the CAT survey is scheduled and completed.
So far, 12 CAT surveys have been conducted, with the target being to conduct six surveys every year.
CAT includes one Lieutenant Colonel; a number of senior non-commissioned officers; behavioral health professionals; Legal Officer; and a chaplain, among other experts in areas such as health care. During the survey, 50 to 100 soldiers are interviewed, often in a group setting.
Soldiers are selected to be statistically representative of the brigade’s demographics. A team from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center also surveys Soldiers before and after CAT reviews the command climate, asking them questions about health and well-being.
The CAT’s findings may shed light on specific issues emerging in the brigade. For example, Military.com reviewed a leaked copy of findings from the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 11th Airborne Division, which found that binge drinking is likely widespread among the ranks. In Alaska’s harsh climate, soldiers often looked to drinking as the only indoor entertainment.
In other cases, survey teams may be more detailed and uncover things that commanders are too isolated to see on a normal day, such as funeral details often being separated from their units if they are away for extended periods. For performing those duties.
Once the survey is complete, units are able to develop action plans to address any troubling findings. For example, the 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, was overseeing a three-day training program on sexual assault and prevention for soldiers in the ranks of private and sergeant.
Cline said, “After Fort Hood, I think the mindset was where can we have high-risk indicators where we could see something like this again? Yes, we have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.” “
— Steve Beynon can be reached at [email protected]. X Follow him at @StevenBeynon.
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