How to Conduct a Company Training Meeting

Hello Cadets! I am currently a student at the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth Kansas and am honored to have this opportunity to present you with information that I have found to be helpful in my career and hope it willI you will find this discussion helpful in preparing yourself for a training meeting either as a platoon leader or company commander.
There are three essential parts to a company level training meeting. They are
completed training, near term training, and short range training. The meetings follow this agenda and should not last more than one hour. Time is a precious resource and something we do not seem to have enough of. Being organized can help to achieve this effectiveness.
     Begin the meeting with completed training.  Here the platoon leader and platoon sergeant present an assessment of training since the last meeting. A method of assessment can be formal using an Army Training and Evaluation
Program (ARTEP) checklist for evaluating a task or less formal such as an After Action Review (AAR).  For instance, if a METL task were being assessed  the platoon leader or platoon sergeant would use the Training and Evaluation Outline (TEO) for evaluating the METL task.  Based on the evaluation the
platoon leader will present an assessment of the evaluated task.  It is important to identify the overall rating as either a “go” or “no go” and identify any shortcomings as well.  As the platoon leader reviews conducted
training and any training that was planned and not conducted must be addressed. There will be times this happens but leaders are still
responsible to complete training and must present a plan to make up the missed training. Commanders use the assessment to update METL task assessments for future training and input for training guidance as well as for the quarterly training brief (QTB).
     Next, commanders provide guidance for new or unscheduled training . This step involves looking out six weeks and uses a training model to conduct pre-execution checks. An example of conducting pre-execution checks
for an APFT may be: “Has the gym been reserved?” or “Where will the run be?”
The training is briefed beginning with the furthest week out, T+6 (week 6) to the present training week, T week. Training closest should be briefed with more details than furthest out to help identify any “show stoppers” and ensure training is well rehearsed and planned.
     Finally, a review of the battalion calendar is done and events from here or training guidance are placed on the company training calendar. Once this is done “white space” on the calendar is visible and can be used for company training events. Platoon leaders and platoon sergeants provide the
company commander with training events for the commander to review and draft a training schedule. The information platoon leaders provide should focus on the training guidance and METL tasks in order to accomplish the
Again, thank you for this opportunity and I looking forward to further discussion with you.
MAJ Abi-Nader

    • Sigfried
    • October 5th, 2009

    In the book it states to start training planning for eight weeks out. Is this commander dependent whether it is 6-8 weeks planned in advance? Also, does the platoon leader and platoon sergeant draft the schedule or the commander? I thought the commander gave a list of what needed to be focused on, and the platoon leader and platoon sergeant created a training schedule based on the commander’s intent.

      • MAJ A
      • October 7th, 2009

      This brings into question the theory of planning for a training meeting
      and the practice that varies from unit to unit on training schedules and
      meetings. The commander (Bde) will determine and publish in training
      guidance and policy letters the specific guidelines and the S3 will ensure
      compliance. All of the units I have been in required a 6 week plan that
      allowed company commanders to make changes in weeks 5 and 6 with
      Bn commander approval, anything within 4 weeks required Bde commander approval. Yes, the commander will dictate a timeline and sometimes changes will have to be requested. As leaders we must strivee to accomplish the goals we set and have a vision and anticipate as early
      as possible any changes with a solid justification.
      Based on platoon leader and platoon sergeant assessments they develop plans to improve training proficiency. These plans are prepared and briefed to the company commander during training meetings. Company commanders receive input from all platoons and formulate a draft training schedule and are responsible for submitting company training schedules for approval by the Bn commander through the Bn S3.
      Thank you for your questions and let me know if you need further information. MAJ A

    • supercaliburfragbalistic
    • October 5th, 2009

    Why would we be likely to train on a low risk non-METL task?

    • MAJ A
    • October 7th, 2009

    Typically theater or command directed training required falls into this category. This training maybe required before deploying, permanent change of station (PCS) or at the unit of assignment. Training is mandated by higher command. Some examples are cultural awareness for those going overseas or reading policy letters to gain an understanding of the unit and environment soon to arrive or already present. Most times this training is done individually and part of overall Soldier readiness. For those requirements that come on short notice we must remain flexible and creative on how requirements are implemented. Often this training places emphasis on the higher commands message of importance on the training.
    MAJ A

    • deathstroke13
    • October 7th, 2009

    Before this reading I was under the impression that the METL was a long term set list. However after this reading it seems that the METL is a living list and is assessed and updated continually through training meetings. Is this a fair statement? If so how much of the METL can be adjusted at plt level since it originates at such a high level?

      • MAJ A
      • October 8th, 2009

      Deathstroke 13,

      Yes, METL is a list of several tasks. Depending upon the type of unit you are assigned tasks will be selected by commanders for the unit. It is not possible to train on every METL task published, time simply does not allow this. Commanders select tasks that are tied to the mission of their unit and the mission is tied to training guidance and higher mission. Assessments are continuous to ensure goals are being met, commanders will use the feedback to assist in assessing the level of their unit. At the platoon level, platoon leaders need to understand the company and
      battalion METL and plan training for these tasks. Commanders are responsible for the training and assessing the training and reporting the unit as trained (T), Proficient (P) and untrained (U). MAJ A

    • awarriorpoet
    • October 8th, 2009

    I am not sure if i am not seeing it but what is the timing for near term training, and short range training? Meaning how many weeks or months or even days?

      • MAJ A
      • October 8th, 2009


      Nearterm and short range training are typically based on the T+8 to T week depending on the unit specified guidance, perhaps T+6 to T and within the quarterly training period. Training beyond the quarterly training period is considered long range planning. MAJ A

    • CDT Coco
    • October 8th, 2009

    Are CO training meeting conducted weekly? Or are the PLT level mettings conducted weekly? I am assuming the PSGs, PLs, XO,1SG, and CO are at the training meeting. Who else might be at the training meeting? Would Como, supply, mechanic, and a medic representative be there?

      • MAJ A
      • October 8th, 2009

      CDT Coco,

      Company training meetings are scheduled weekly and often follow battalion level training meetings to provide the latest information to the unit and determine if adjustments need to be made at the company level PLT meetings may be weekly or as determined by PLT leaders or PLT sergeants based on the training requirements.
      Maintenance, Supply, NBC, Armorer, or NCOs determined by the commander will often be present for meetings as well as those you mentioned above. Training being planned often dictates necessity for presence. For instance if there is comms training planned, a commo rep should be at the meeting to explain specifics and answer any questions that may pertain to the particular training event, for ranges, the OIC and NCOIC of the range along with the armorer, medic and so on. Include those necessary based on training schedules. This is also an opportunity for those Soldiers to develop confidence and prepare for their training. MAJ A

    • Halo33
    • October 8th, 2009

    I had a few experiences where my unit changed stuff at the last minute and to me did not look very prepared for the change. Within the given hour to brief the training ahead, how much time do you devote to briefing alternatives to the training schedule, should the primary plan go astray?

      • MAJ A
      • October 8th, 2009

      This will depend on the type of training that is to be conducted and how much preparation and coordination may be required. The reality of this occuring is not uncommon, we have to remain flexible and be able to ensure that training is prepared and conducted professionally. MAJ A

    • shake and bake
    • October 8th, 2009

    Sir, in your experiences, what training events to you have to check into more then six weeks out? For example, firing ranges.

      • MAJ A
      • October 8th, 2009

      The more involved the training is the sooner you begin planning is better. Training that will involve coordination for resources outside of your unit must be considered. As you mention, firing ranges because of ammo forecasts, land (range) scheduling are considerations. A safe guide is the more complex a training activity and requirement for resources outside of the unit the sooner planning should commence. Field Training Exercises, ranges, and training aids and materials requirements are some others. MAJ A

        • армейский кадет
        • December 4th, 2009

        If your going to another country and are expected to work with local populace or foreign troops, how do you prepare for that? Through language barriers and the different culture?

    • Blazer
    • October 8th, 2009

    Are we going to be able to chose which METL is the most important to train on or is the most important ones going to be chosen for us by higher up such as CO or BC?

      • MAJ A
      • October 8th, 2009

      Usually the command will determine your unit METL tasks. It will be great if your command involves you in the process that you can better understand what you are training at your level is tied to the METL so that your subordinates will be able to understand the same. As a company commander, I led a METL workshop for my Bde, it included all sections from each of the Bns (some sections were headed by junior enlisted) and this was a valuable experience for them as they were able to understand the process of building a METL and understanding their role in the process in the training each section conducts daily. MAJ A

    • Mastamixxa06a
    • October 8th, 2009

    Is this essentially what we do at staff call here at KU or more in depth?

      • MAJ A
      • October 8th, 2009

      I have not observed or participated in staff call at KU. Staff call or Command and Staff meetings are conducted separate from training meetings at the Bn and higher levels where there is a staff (S1, S2, S3, S4, S6, etc…) company commanders participate as well. The focus is on staff issues, projects, requirements, and administrative matters. Training meetings focus on training METL tasks and are conducted separately. MAJ A

    • Pork Soda
    • October 8th, 2009

    is there a direct correlation between red, amber, and green phases and short term, near term, long term training?

      • MAJ A
      • October 8th, 2009

      Using a red, amber, green indicator on your training slides to indicate status on upcoming events before execution is a method to use in helping prepare for future training and as an assessment tool. Usually the format for briefing is established by the CO. MAJ A

    • армейский кадет
    • October 9th, 2009

    You mention that being organized is very important towards using time effectively; in what ways can you be flexible with potential changes and still manage time effectively?

      • MAJ A
      • October 9th, 2009

      Look, there is no cookie cutter method or solution and change is inevitable. First it is important to understand the commanders intent. Based on the intent prioritize requirements. You may have to maximize training opportunities and combine training events. Adjustments will be made based on the skill level of your Soldiers. MAJ A

    • Dragon
    • October 12th, 2009

    I won’t beat a dead horse on the flexibility issue, but it seems to me that this is designed for tactical units. Obviously it is implemented by all types of units, but how different will training meetings be for units like finance, medical, and JAG that maintain support operations? It seems to me that they will have much less “white space” in their training schedule to work with.

      • MAJ Abi-Nader
      • October 13th, 2009


      As far as it pertains to the Army and training meetings the structure will be adapted and dictated by the command. The focus of training meetings will differ based on the METL tasks and command. If leaders are proactive and leaning forward creatively incorporating training into their units allows for less “white space” and better trained Soldiers. MAJ A

    • stwiegriffin519
    • November 11th, 2009

    In regards to making changes and taking into account my brief experiences in the Army, it sounds like plans can change so frequently that you just fly by the seat of your pants quite a bit. Would you agree? And obviously we, as new PLs, will not be fully prepared come time for our first training meeting. Is it just understood that as a new PL we will not be fully prepared? or is there something beyond our MSIV class that we can do to be prepared?

    • Ahhhhh!!!
    • November 29th, 2009

    In my reserve unit, an hour and a half to two hours is the norm for training meetings. In one instance, we spent 20 minutes where the S4, the BC and some other individuals went back and forth as to why we didn’t have paper towels in the bathrooms and were out on a regular basis. I know that my LTC could have locked this down if he wanted to but he chose not to for whatever reason. My question then, is how often have you observed training meetings going over by this amount of time, or any amount of time, and is there ever a good reason to allow a training meeting to go over?

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