Internal clashes become HR lessons for Army officers

Galvanised into action after a series of clashes between officers and soldiers raised serious questions about discipline levels, the Army has rolled out measures to impart man-management training to officers and has also taken steps to ensure they spend more time with soldiers on the field.

Lessons learnt from three major clashes that occurred in the last two years in Tibri, Nyoma and Samba will be converted into special case studies to be used by officers' training institutions, sources said. Details of the "mass insubordination" incidents will become "man-management" case studies to train officers.

All three incidents the biggest being the clash in Nyoma in May 2012 for which 168 personnel have faced action were blamed on poor man-management as well as the reduction in the amount of time spent by officers at operational units.

To increase the availability of officers in field areas, the Army has initiated measures such as bunching courses and reducing study time.

Sources said these measures would save as many as 43,000 "officer days" annually, ensuring officers spend more time with their units instead of at courses and the headquarters.

The severe shortage of officers at units, which leaves many tasks to Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs), is being seen by Army HQ as a critical factor in the clashes.

To help give commanding officers more time with their units, instructions have also gone out that the responsibility of writing papers or making presentations should no longer be delegated to units but should be undertaken by staff officers at the HQ.

Besides, study leave for officers has been reduced to the minimal to ensure they stay with their men and formations have been asked not to conduct study programmes and learning capsules for young officers.

These requirements will, however, continue to be met by the regimental centres.

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