The Army is cutting 346 hours of online training for enlisted and officers immediately.

The directive, posted online by Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Weimer on Wednesday will cut distributed learning courses across the ranks.

“We are scrubbing everything we are asking our soldiers to study, because there is only so much time during the day to do your job, for your personal development, and for your family,” Weimer told Army Times in an emailed statement.

The sergeant major said the Army hadn’t taken a holistic look at these requirements for years and needed to subtract some of the work to ensure quality training over quantity for soldiers.

“We have added to the point of creating redundancies in distance learning, online learning, brick and mortar learning, self-study learning, what the units are teaching, what the leadership inside units are teaching, and we are overwhelming people,” Weimer said.

Distributed learning courses are self-paced online instruction that students complete over several months without an instructor.

They were formerly called structured self-development courses one through six for enlisted ranks of sergeant and above. Those requirements are discontinued, effective immediately, according to the online post.

Soldiers currently working on the courses do not have to complete them. Those who have not begun the coursework will not be required to start.

The directive does not change requirements for common core training at the Army’s Advance Leader Course and Senior Leaders Courses.

It also does not affect distance learning programs such as those associated with the Sergeants Major Course and Master Sergeant Leaders Course, according to the directive. Those are still required.

The directive eliminates the distributed learning requirement prerequisite for the Captains Career Course and the P920, a distributed learning prerequisite for Command and General Staff Officers’ Course.

Further detail will be provided in an All Army Activities message today, according to Weimer’s announcement.

Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.

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