The Army Gets Back to Basics

Following a survey of commanders, the Army is re-instituting some traditional features in Basic.


Christopher B said...

I think Stephen Green on Instapundit reported that the Air Force Red Flag exercises recently jammed GPS signals during maneuvers. Evidently the jamming isn't precise and might leak into civilian areas nearby so warnings were issued. So the Army isn't the only service concerned with over reliance on GPS.

E Hines said...

The drill and ceremony is going to be interwoven.... They’ll actually be executing some drill and ceremony when they move to and from the chow hall....

What, no bounding overwatch assault on Army chow?

More seriously: If you graduate basic training on Friday and you go to AIT on Monday, you’re at 60 points on Monday at AIT.... Would we send a soldier to their first unit of assignment who wasn’t qualified on their weapon? No, we wouldn’t.

As a (fictional) man once said, "My bow and my arrows are just tools. I am the weapon." If the soldier, or airman, or Navy guy isn't fit, it doesn't matter how well he can use his tools in the comfort of a firing range or the safety of a peacetime march. The weapon isn't ready.

The requirement is waiverable by a battalion commander, however. If a soldier is very close to the 60-60-60 mark, a lieutenant colonel can use discretion to sign off on their PT scores.

This may represent progress, but only against the low bar. It can't stop there, or does someone actually think the Russians or the ChiComs--or the Daesh or al Qaeda--will sign off on an almost defense against their assault?

Eric Hines

Grim said...

I believe in teaching iron sights shooting, myself. Also real land navigation, which is a hugely useful skill. I can kind of understand letting go of the polishing of boots, but clearly the leadership is telling them that they want soldiers who understand how to say "Yes, sir!" and execute orders rather than questioning every decision.

E Hines said...

There's the discipline of cleanliness, though. Clean weapons/tools, clean, if not polished, footwear, and vice versa.

There are times and places for "Yes, Sir!" and for questioning orders, though. Boot should be a rote, "Yes, Sir!" and instant obedience. However, I expected my juniors to ask why and to suggest alternatives, if "Why?" wasn't just a request for clarification or a wish to understand my logic. Of course, I also expected them to know when time was of the essence and questioning was better done later.

Eric Hines

E Hines said...

Iron sights: and "Go manual," as I've mentioned before. One of the things I liked about the TACS and don't like about the modern systems was that, with the former, if the computers failed, we still had a manual capability. Today, if the computers fail, we're deaf, dumb, and blind. And can't play pinball.

Eric Hines

Dad29 said...

Egads. The Army quit IRON SIGHTS??

I feel very old.

Next you'll tell me that they don't have to keep their powder-horn near when asleep.