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Unit Training Plans (UTP)

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Commanders and other leaders plan to develop their subordinate leaders—through training, education, and experience—in the three training domains (institutional, operational, and self-development). Leaders use the operations process to integrate leader development into a unit training plan.

Unit Training Plan (UTP)

The unit training plan uses a crawl-walk-run approach that progressively and systematically builds on successful task performance before progressing to more complex tasks.

The commander is central to determining the few tasks on which the unit must train. Commanders, with the assistance of unit leadership, follow the operations process. The Army operations process consists of plan, prepare, execute, and assess. Commanders first plan for training. They identify the collective tasks on which to train, identify, and sequence training events; identify resources required; and provide the guidance necessary to achieve mission readiness. While commanders plan, they exercise mission command to enable their subordinates to determine how they will achieve their training objectives. Thorough preparation ensures that training conditions reflect the expected mission and that commanders have the resources and enablers necessary to train. Commanders then execute the training. Lastly, they assess the training. Assessments help commanders determine if units need to retrain tasks and if the training plan requires modification.

Planning for Unit Training

Planning for unit training begins with the commander determining the unit mission, reviewing the unit’s METL, and determining the tasks that the unit must perform to support the higher unit’s mission.

Battalion Level and Higher. At battalion level and higher (units with a coordinating staff), commanders follow the steps of the military decision making process (MDMP) to plan unit training. BSS5: The Battle Staff SMARTbook, 5th Ed. discusses the MDMP in detail. Some steps of the MDMP for operations translate differently for training.

Company Level and Below. At the Company level and below (units without a coordinating staff), the troop leading procedures are used.

The Unit Training Plan (UTP)

Collective task proficiency results from developing tactical and technical, individual, leader, and lower-level collective skills through instruction, experience, and repetitive practice. Commanders develop a unit training plan to develop collective task proficiency. The unit training plan is expressed in an operation order to the unit. The unit training plan uses a crawl-walk-run approach that progressively and systematically builds on successful task performance before progressing to more complex tasks. Unit training initially focuses on developing proficiency in Soldier and small-unit skills, since they are the essential foundation for training more complex, higher-level collective tasks. The start point for training a task is based on the leader’s assessment of current task proficiency.

The written plan resulting from COA development is the unit training plan. The UTP is similar to planning a major operation in that it is aimed at achieving strategic and operational objectives within a given time and space. In training, the UTP aims at achieving unit training proficiency and leader development within a given period. The UTP lays out a series of training events—a roadmap—that leads the unit to achieve the objective of training proficiency in select collective tasks. As part of the UTP, the unit can include a unit training calendar that depicts the unit’s major training events and the sequence in which they will be executed.


TLS5: The Leader's SMARTbook, 5th Ed. (Military Leadership & Training in a Complex World)This article is an extract from “TLS5: The Leader’s SMARTbook, 5th Ed. (Military Leadership & Training in a Complex World)” by The Lightning Press. Download a free PDF sample and learn more at: TLS5: The Leader’s SMARTbook, 5th Ed. (Military Leadership & Training in a Complex World).

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