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Military Training and Officer Education 135 5 Military Training and Officer Education Military training in Myanmar is the second task of the Tatmadaw, the first being combat duty and the third being public works. Training is the most important business of the Tatmadaw in peacetime and can take many forms. Military training is the key to achieving combat readiness. The Tatmadaw has been developing a training regime to provide officer education and leadership training for its officers. In this context, a wide range of skills needs to be developed and a variety of people need to be trained. This chapter discusses the development of military training in Myanmar from 1948 to the present. In the mid-1990s, in accordance with its modified military doctrine, the Tatmadaw introduced a new training regime to train its officers and men to be capable of fighting conventional warfare. Military Training Programme At the time of Myanmar’s independence in 1948, in accordance with the War Establishment, a major was appointed as G-II (general staff officer — grade II) for military training and operations at the insufficiently staffed war office. He was assisted by two G-IIIs captains, one of whom was responsible for military training. The G-II was under the G-I (staff duty), a lieutenant colonel, of the General Staff Office. Then in September 1950, the War Office introduced a new set-up in which a new G-I (training) was appointed under the Vice-Chief of General Staff while the G-I (staff duty) was placed under the Deputy Chief of General Staff. The G-I (training) oversaw the Burma Regimental Centre, Burma Army Training Depot, Burma Army Central 135 05 Bldg Tatmadaw.indd 135 12/29/08 8:54:37 AM 136 Building the Tatmadaw School, Burma Army Officers’ Training School, Burma Army School of Education, and Burma Army Staff College.1 Until 1953 there was neither a directorate of military training nor a proper training policy. Most of the officers were sent overseas for training. Although the Tatmadaw could send several officers to foreign training schools to take junior officer courses, mostly in the United Kingdom, India, and Pakistan, it was incapable of securing places in such training facilities as the staff college and the artillery school. At the 1953 Tatmadaw conference, held on 24 August, the then Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, General Ne Win, pointed out the weaknesses of the military training programme in Myanmar. In his words: the most serious weakness of the General Staff Office is the training area. Because of the weakness in training programmes, operational drawbacks become more and more common in battles. Difficulties in training programmes are lack of time and shortage of training materials — both manuals and equipment … Because of the lack of skills in battlecraft and operation of weapons, fire power does not match enemy casualties. The war office has been trying hard to get materials for training. As we do not think the existing training facilities and schools are sufficient or of international standard, we plan to establish a Combat Forces School and a Military Academy in the near future. The training programmes of these schools will determine the future course of the Tatmadaw. In order to run these training schools on our own, we have sent out trainees not only to England, India and Pakistan, as happened in the past, but also to the United States, Australia and Yugoslavia.2 In his speech at the conference, Lieutenant Colonel Aung Gyi (BC 3509), a G-I in the War Office, said that training programmes must consist of basic, operational, and advanced training in both military studies and academic studies. These training programmes must be conducted at five different levels: battalion, brigade, regional command, training schools, and overseas training facilities. He further stated: “we must accept that the quality of the Tatmadaw is very low as it is comprised of officers, the majority of whom neither understand military science and military thoughts nor have any knowledge of military history and have no military experience beyond guerrilla warfare”.3 Lieutenant Colonel Maung Maung (BC 3507),4 G-I (training), mentioned that a training directorate would be organized in the near future and that this directorate would issue training directives. While military and academic studies would be provided by training schools, field training must be provided by battalions, brigades, and regional commands. He 05 Bldg Tatmadaw.indd 136 12/29/08 8:54:37 AM Military Training and Officer Education...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9789812308498
Related ISBN
9789812308481
MARC Record
OCLC
646982949
Pages
255
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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