After attending three courses over 10 years at the Fort Belvoir-Based Army Force Management School, Kevin Vink decided to take the next step. So impressed with what he learned as a student, Vink became an instructor at the school where he teaches the “How the Army Runs” course.
“This was a way to give back and help out,” said Vink, a retired Army colonel who joined the staff in January of 2018 after coming over from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, where he served as the director for financial and resource management.
HTARC is a foundational course and its most well known in the Army Force Management School, where the purpose is to help leaders turn ideas into reality through implementation.
“Very few people understand how the Army runs,” said Col. George Lewis, AFMS Commandant. “If you can learn that, you are a great asset to your organization.”
According to its brochure, the four-week HTARC is offered nine times during the year where the “target audience is officers (Captain through Colonel), W02-W05 and civilians (GS: 11-15) working in or going to a force management coded position. Those sent to the school are selected “by appropriate DA Staff agencies and Army commands.”
The application part of the course features student research-study, working with the Force Management System Web, a case study and a capstone project.
“It’s long enough to go in depth on structure, but not too long,” said Wayne Chalupa, AFMS’s department chair for operations.
The course covers six modules: Strategy, Capabilities Development, Material Development, Force Structure, Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution and Force Development.
“It goes in-depth about the processes and the systems that make the job better,” Vink said.
Students take the course from all over the world. At the moment, every course is taught virtually. While there are pros and cons between teaching in-person and teaching virtually, Vink said students remain engaged. He said the virtual sessions especially benefit those who are uncomfortable raising their hand in a class, but will ask a question through the chat forum.
Vink said the feedback he receives from former students, even a year later, makes his job fulfilling. He and his fellow instructors also receive inquiries from other bases with questions.
“I really enjoy the students and how much they get out of this,” Vink said. “They learn things they never learned before. And they ask deep, meaningful questions.”
How to register for HTARC classes: Contact your ATRRS POC or Training Manager, and ask to attend ATRRS course: 134-HTARC-100-3R. If you need assistance, contact the registrar: Mr. Duane Stubbs, 703-805-4904 or Duane.Stubbs.firstname.lastname@example.org.