Design of Field-Based Crosstraining Programs and Implications for Readiness

by William G. Wild, Bruce R. Orvis, Rebecca Mazel, Iva S. Maclennan, R. D. Bender

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As part of a broad effort to reduce defense expenditures, the Army is exploring a number of new approaches to training individual soldiers. Prominent among these approaches is "field-based crosstraining (FBCT)," which involves combining two or more occupational specialties and shifting initial skill training from Army schools to on-the-job training in field units. This report describes a method for analyzing the features, advantages, and disadvantages of field-based crosstraining programs in the Army. Focusing on the specific case of helicopter maintenance, the report analyzes data from field units and recommends alternative field-based crosstraining strategies for the Army. An assessment of the Army's Apprentice Mechanic Initiative (AMI) for helicopter maintenance is included in the analysis.

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