Army’s “New” Basic Training Is Exactly The Same As The Old
The following is a review of the MilitaryTimes 27Sept2015 Article that can be accessed via the link at the bottom of this page:
Come October 1st of this year, the Army plans to unveil a new basic combat training system, that’s exactly the same as the old one- or is it?
According to the Military Times, some of the new, groundbreaking trials recruits will endure include “loading and unloading an M249 machine gun, treating an open chest wound, and using their rifle as a bludgeon.” Also included are “peer evaluations and a 16k ruck march with a time limit.”
I know what you’re thinking, “it’s basic combat training, so shouldn’t recruits be learning this in the “old” system anyway?” And my answer to you is this- I’m pretty sure we didn’t just waste millions of taxpayer dollars on this if it wasn’t absolutely necessary and totally brand-new.
Take for instance “using their rifle as a bludgeon”, sounds a lot like the bayonet course soldiers used to complete that was recently phased out, doesn’t it? WRONG. If you’ll notice, “bayonet” has been replaced by “bludgeon”; the new training value in this is certainly immeasurable. What about “treating an open chest wound”? Obviously completely different than “treating an open chest wound,” taught by the current, CLS course. A 16k? A massive improvement over the current 20k mandated by current TRADOC standards.
The most groundbreaking change of them all is “more failures and an increase in recruits getting ‘recycled’ and having to re-take portions of the course”. Hold the phones, folks, this deserves real appreciation. This new, earth-shattering change to basic must have come to some staff officer in a moment of blissful enlightenment during what I presume to be an unnecessarily long PowerPoint briefing. Now, recruits who don’t meet the standards will actually have to retest to the standard before graduating.
This means one of two things- the Army has just admitted that currently we push unqualified soldiers through and we need to actually send quality soldiers to units, or (seeing as how this is identical to the “old system”) those who are unqualified will still get pushed through basic.
Granted, I went through OSUT and not basic, but what the fuck are we actually teaching soldiers today if it isn’t these incredibly “basic” soldier tasks already? Maybe instead of rebranding our current basic training, we could teach soldiers “new” things that actually matter. Or, here’s a novel concept- maybe before we change over to this “new” system for basic, we take a look at Big Army and figure out why we’ve troops in line units who are hopelessly out of touch with our current standards.
About the author: Andrew Farquharson is an Iraq Campaign veteran and an ex-cavalry scout currently living the dream in Newport, Rhode Island as a college student. Aside from writing for 11Bravos his hobbies include mountain climbing, shooting guns and convincing women they should date him. Comments or hate mail can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or, follow him on Instagram @Lord_Farquharson