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MG Curt Taylor - Training for the Changing Character of War

Season #3

"If you bring a cell phone to NTC, you'll be found and targeted."


In this episode, we get an inside look at how the Army's National Training Center creates tough, realistic training rotations to ensure that Soldiers and units are ready to win the first fight.



Major General Curt Taylor is the Commanding General of the National Training Center (NTC) and Fort Irwin, California. NTC is the Army's premier training center and one of the three installations solely dedicated to making the Army's units and leaders ready for the next fight.


Episode Summary

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How NTC adapts its training rotations to account for the evolving character of war
  • What lessons to take away from the conflicts in Ukraine, Nagorno-Karabach, and Gaza
  • How NTC uses cell phone data to locate units during rotation
  • Why it is important for commanders to develop an instinct for opportunity and then act decisively to seize it
  • How leaders can succumb to information overload and how to avoid "paralysis by analysis"
  • What rotational units will experience in the environment of contested logistics
  • The unseen benefits of serving at the National Training Center


Take the Next Step

  1. Put these lessons and insight into practice as you lead.
  2. Pass this episode on your team for their own development. If you found it valuable, they will, too.
  3. Share this conversation on social media for the other leaders in your network who will appreciate.


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Major General Taylor's Biography

BG Curt Taylor graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in May 1994 and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Armor branch.  Over the last twenty-five years, he has served in various command and staff positions in Armored, Cavalry, and Infantry formations up through brigade combat team.  His combat service includes two tours in Afghanistan and two tours in Iraq.


In 2010, MG Taylor commanded 3-66 AR in Grafenwoehr, GE and deployed with it to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.  Following battalion command, he served as the Brigade Senior Trainer at the JMRC in Hohenfels, GE.  Following senior service college, he served as the Director of the Commander's Initiatives Group at Fort Leavenworth focused on the development of innovative approaches to talent management and leader development across the Army.  In that capacity, he also served as the director of Strategic Assessment for the CSA 39 Transition Team in 2015.


From 2015 to 2017, MG Taylor commanded 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Fort Carson, Colorado which transformed during his command into a Reconnaissance and Security Brigade Combat Team and executed a series of exercises to demonstrate the ability of a Brigade Combat Team to perform the traditional roles of operational cavalry on the 21st Century battlefield.


Following Brigade Command, MG Taylor served as the Chief of Staff of Fort Riley Kansas and the 1st Infantry Division where he oversaw the deployment of multiple combat brigades to Europe and execution of a large-scale Warfighter exercise.


From June 2019 to April 2021, MG Taylor commanded the Army’s newest combat brigade, the 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade consisting of specially-selected and uniquely trained combat advisors oriented on the INDOPACOM area of operations. 


In April 2021, MG Taylor assumed command of the National Training Center and Fort Irwin. 


MG Taylor has two Masters Degrees in Security Studies.