The Army has updated its premier training management tool to make it easier for commanders to plan exercises and keep track of their soldiers' training records, officials have announced.

The newest version of the Digital Training Management System, or DTMS, was launched at the end of 2014 and is now being used across the operational force.

In March, the institutional Army will start using DTMS as well, with the Training and Doctrine Command schoolhouses using it to manage their courses, said Col. Tom Trossen, director of the training management directorate at Combined Arms Center-Training.

DTMS, which is available on the Army Training Network, is "the Army's solution for unit and individual training management," Trossen said.

Expanding the system into the institutional Army, which currently uses the Resident Individual Training Management System, or RITMS, allows leaders to manage a soldier's training record from "accessions through separation," he said.

"Now we can go to one place to find any soldier's record," he said. "We'll have visibility of a soldier's record from when they enter initial entry training until they separate from the Army."

This allows for better planning and tracking of a soldier's training requirements, Trossen said. It also enables leaders to see the overall training status of their formations.

"Your training record is in one spot, electronic and visible to the appropriate levels of the Army, from unit down to squad leader, and potentially all the way up to division and the Department of the Army," he said.

The individual soldier also will have access to his own record, allowing him to see where he stands when it comes to training as well as what critical tasks or training he must complete, Trossen said.

The records will include everything from professional military education and suicide prevention training to physical fitness test scores and weapons qualifications scores, Trossen said.

"The leader will have one place to go, which is DTMS, to understand the status of the unit and the status of their individuals against their MOS," he said. "It allows for great visibility and understanding."

The information also will help commanders plan training, Trossen said.

"It allows leaders to make decisions on what they're going to train," he said. "What do you need to focus on in order for the unit to successfully accomplish its mission? DTMS allows for that."

Within the system, commanders can talk to their subordinate leaders while they plan exercises, schedule training on specific tasks, or develop long-term training plans, Trossen said.

"DTMS Version 7 allows us to take it from a strategy to a plan to a unit training plan using a common framework," he said.

Here's a look at some other key improvements to the system:

• A new calendar drag-and-drop feature makes it easier to schedule training events.

• A quick link provides shortcuts to frequently used functions.

• A job book and leader book function helps small unit leaders manage individual soldier training and small unit collective training. As soldiers move to other units, their DTMS digital information follows them and is automatically updated.

• Updated software improves system performance and reliability while increasing training management support to divisions and higher.

• A Course Manager tab will replace the Resident Individual Training Management System, which Army schools and initial military training use to conduct training management. The Course Manager tab in DTMS will replace RITMS beginning in March, and it will help Training and Doctrine Command units manage testing, individual training records, classes, courses and more.

Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.

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