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Posted: 2/15/2006 6:17:12 AM EDT
I have too say that I am of two minds about this; on the one hand I went throuhg OSUT in the "old Army" (Fort Benning, B/1-19 Inf '91) and if it was good enough for me . . . but then I think we should also be smart enough to know that things change. And in any event - those of us that are still in don't make these decisions and need to deal with the realtiy.

For your reading pleasure.

Wall Street Journal
February 15, 2006
Pg. 1

To Keep Recruits, Boot Camp Gets A Gentle Revamp

Army Offers More Support, Sleep, Second Helpings

By Greg Jaffe

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- New recruits used to be welcomed to boot camp here with the "shark attack." For decades, drill sergeants in wide-brim hats would swarm around the fresh-off-the-bus privates, shouting orders. Some rattled recruits would make mistakes. A few would cry.

Today, the Army is opting for a quieter approach. "I told my drill sergeants to stop the nonsense," says Col. Edward Daly, whose basic-training brigade graduates about 11,000 soldiers a year. Last fall, Col. Daly began meeting with all new recruits shortly after they arrive at boot camp to thank them. "We sincerely appreciate the fact that you swore an oath and got on a bus and did it in a time of war," he recently told an incoming class. "That's a big, big deal." He usually is accompanied by two male and two female soldiers, who can answer questions the recruits may have.

"The idea is to get rid of the anxiety and worry," Col. Daly says.

The new welcome is a window on the big changes sweeping boot camp, the Army's nine-week basic training. For most of its existence, boot camp was a place where drill sergeants would weed out the weak and turn psychologically soft civilians into hardened soldiers. But the Army, fighting through one of its biggest recruiting droughts, now is shifting tactics. Boot camp -- that iconic American experience -- may never be the same.

Once-feared drill sergeants have been ordered to yell less and mentor more. "Before, our drill sergeants' attitude was 'you better meet my standard or else.' Now it's 'I am going to do all I can to assist you in meeting the Army standard,' " says Command Sgt. Maj. William McDaniel, the senior enlisted soldier here.

New privates are getting more sleep and personal time. Even the way soldiers eat has changed. Drill sergeants long ordered overweight soldiers to stay away from soda and desserts. Today, soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood fill out a survey about their boot-camp experience that asks, among other questions, if they liked the food, whether they were "allowed to eat everything on the menu, including dessert," and whether there was enough for seconds.

Recruits still must meet the same basic standards and pass the same tests for physical fitness and marksmanship to graduate, say Army officials. But more variable criteria that in the past might get a recruit expelled -- such as whether a drill sergeant thinks a recruit has the discipline and moral values to be a soldier -- have been jettisoned. "Now it doesn't matter what the drill sergeant thinks. We work off of the written standard," says Capt. Christopher Meng, who oversees a company of 11 drill sergeants and about 200 recruits at the base.

The new approach is helping the Army graduate more of its recruits. Last month, only 23 recruits failed to make the cut at Fort Leonard Wood's largest basic-training brigade, compared with 183 in January 2004. Army-wide, about 11% of recruits currently flunk out in their first six months of training, down from 18% last May.

Full Potential

Senior Army officials say attrition has fallen because the new techniques are helping more soldiers reach their full potential. "This generation responds to a more positive leadership approach. They want to serve and they want people to show respect for that decision," says Maj. Gen. Randal Castro, the commanding general at Fort Leonard Wood. Smarter training also is preventing injuries, Army doctors say.

Some drill sergeants worry that the "kinder and gentler approach" -- as drill sergeants have dubbed the changes -- is producing softer soldiers. "If the privates can't handle the stress of a drill sergeant yelling at them, how will they handle the stress of bullets flying over their head?" asked Staff Sgt. Clayton Nagel as he watched his recruits file past him in the Fort Leonard Wood dining hall. "War is stressful. I think we overcorrected."

The Army's decision to overhaul basic training came last spring. The service was having a hard time bringing in new recruits. It ultimately missed its 2005 recruiting goals for active-duty troops by 7,000 soldiers, or 8%, and National Guard soldiers by 13,000 or 20%.

Meanwhile, boot-camp attrition was climbing. New soldiers brought in to replace those who were tossed out weren't much better. "We realized that the further you go into the barrel, the lower the quality," says Col. Kevin Shwedo, a senior officer in the Army's Training and Doctrine Command in Virginia.

A team of 20 officers from the Army's training command was formed to figure out how the service could help more soldiers survive the first six months. They consulted sociologists and psychiatrists and even flew in MTV's senior vice president of strategy and planning, in search of fresh ideas for motivating today's youth.

The changes, put in place this fall at all five of the Army's basic-training camps, are apparent the moment recruits step off the bus at Fort Leonard Wood. On a chilly Tuesday in January, about 200 new recruits in white Army sweat suits filed into a big auditorium on the base for one of Col. Daly's welcome-to-the-Army talks. Staff Sgt. Mike Gilmore grabbed a microphone and told the recruits what was going to happen: "The brigade commander is going to talk to you. He is a colonel. He is way up here. You are way down here," Sgt. Gilmore explained.

He then coached the recruits on how to spring to attention when Col. Daly entered the room. "When I say 'attention,' you stand up. That's it. You don't say nothing. You do it quietly as possible."

"Attention!" Sgt. Gilmore ordered. The recruits rose slowly and unevenly.

"Could we all just stand up together?" Sgt. Gilmore said, sounding more let down than angry. "It would look so much nicer."

A few minutes later, Col. Daly, a Special Forces soldier who served in Afghanistan and was awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded in the U.S. invasion of Panama, strode into the room. He told the recruits to take a deep breath and a swig from their canteens. "There is no problem that you might have that in last 230 years the Army hasn't already heard," he said.

The recruits then got 40 minutes to fire questions at the four privates accompanying Col. Daly. One recruit asked if any of the privates had failed the Army's physical-fitness test. (Two struggled with it but eventually passed.) Others wanted to know how often they got to talk on the phone (once a week), how long they got for showers (five minutes) and how many hours of sleep they got a night (8 hours). A few asked if they had any regrets about enlisting. All four said no.

Too Easy

After the session, Pvt. Angela Holmquest, one of the privates brought in to answer questions, said she worried that basic training had become too easy. "The drill sergeants tell us we are in the low-stress Army. I'd rather be in the old Army. When we need to lock it up and work together as a team we can. But we should be more disciplined than we are," she said.

In recent months, the Army has told drill sergeants to back off the recruits in the dining halls as well. A few months ago, sergeants would hover over new recruits, rushing them through meals, quizzing them about Army regulations and chastising them for minor infractions like carrying their drinking glass with one hand instead of two.

The dining hall still is far from relaxing. But drill sergeants no longer shout at recruits. They aren't allowed to order overweight privates to skip dessert. At first, some drill sergeants refused to embrace the new directive. "There was a lot of balking on the dessert rule," says Capt. Meng, who oversees 11 drill sergeants. "I have had to say, 'Don't even mention it.' "

The Army also has cut the amount of running troops do in boot camp by more than 60% in the past three years. "A lot of these kids have never done P.E. or sports. We were injuring too many by running too much," says Col. Greg Jolissaint, an Army physician with the command that sets baseline standards for boot camp.

Instead of running, privates do more calisthenics and stretching. They also are spending more time learning the basic combat tasks they will need in Iraq or Afghanistan, such as how to spot a roadside bomb. Last month, Sgt. First Class Kevin Staddie, who spent a year in Iraq, was teaching soldiers how to move through a city under enemy fire. Suddenly he called a halt to the exercise. A private who was slithering on his belly lost his only canteen. Sgt. Staddie asked the private if he knew the temperature in Baghdad in August.

"It is 115 degrees," the sergeant said in an even voice. "Will you give me a solemn promise that you'll do a better job securing your canteen? You'll get a whole lot further."

The private nodded and rushed to continue the exercise.

Soldiers also get a few more chances to succeed, say drill sergeants. Not long after she arrived at boot camp, Pvt. Starr Mosley was accused by another soldier of writing letters home when she was supposed to be training. Her drill sergeant ordered the 18-year-old private to crawl on her belly through the barracks and chant: "I will not write letters in the war room."

Pvt. Mosley, who said she wasn't writing letters, refused. The Army offered her a fresh start in a new platoon. There she struggled to meet the service's marksmanship standards, her drill sergeant says. Sgt. Darren Baker, her new drill sergeant, spent hours coaching her. "Without him I would have quit," Pvt. Mosley says. "He was down there in the dirt helping me."

A year ago, a drill sergeant wouldn't have taken as much time working with one struggling soldier. Today it is part of the job. "We're all working more one-on-one with the privates," Sgt. Baker says.

Soldiers with certain medical conditions get more help as well. Recruits with mild asthma now are allowed to carry inhalers with them. Privates who come to the Army with a history of mild depression now can take Paxil or Zoloft. Both changes, pushed through last fall, are "contributing to the lower attrition overall," says Col. Jolissaint, the physician.

Some basic-training facilities also are setting up special units for soldiers who are hurt or out of shape. In August, Col. Daly created a "Warrior Rehab" unit for injured recruits. Before the unit's creation, soldiers hurt during training often would go home to heal. The vast majority never came back.

Soldiers in Warrior Rehab practice marksmanship, take classes on map reading and do low-impact workouts in the base's indoor pool. So far, 170 soldiers have passed through the program. Only 30 have quit basic training.

Last month, about 40 members of the unit gathered in their barracks for a class on how to ambush the enemy with an M-18 Claymore antipersonnel mine. The troops included Pvt. Matthew Brent, a 29-year-old former hotel manager, who enlisted because he "wanted a personal challenge." He came to boot camp overweight at 5-foot-10, 220 pounds and quickly went down with tendinitis in his ankle. In his five months in Warrior Rehab, Pvt. Brent has lost 57 pounds.

Next to him was Pvt. Richard Hodgson, who has been with the rehab unit since it started in August, trying to recover from stress fractures. He was having doubts about his ability to stick it out. "I've just lost my motivation. I was supposed to have graduated in September and I am still stuck here," he said. The sergeants in Warrior Rehab have been working hard to convince him to stay. "I've had a few mother-son type conversations with him," says Staff Sgt. Nicole Waters, one of the drill sergeants. "We talk about his goals in life. This job is a lot more mental than the typical drill sergeant job."

Not all Army commanders have embraced the new approach to basic training. Col. Daly says one of the 14 company commanders he oversees is a "gung-ho combat arms officer, who right now is just killing me."

Recently, one of that commander's recruits brought a round of live ammunition back from the rifle range, which isn't allowed. The bullet was found by a drill sergeant in the barracks common room. As punishment, the commander ordered the entire unit, which numbers 60 soldiers, to don their helmets when eating in the dining facility. He then threatened to send all the privates, who were just two weeks from graduation, back to the beginning of basic training.

Col. Daly bristled when he heard about the threat. "I am not going to keep 60 soldiers back because one guy made a mistake," the colonel says he told the commander.

Instead, Col. Daly ordered the commander to have his drill sergeants do a better job of searching the recruits' pockets for extra ammunition when they leave the range.

"The commander's leadership style has got to change," says Col. Daly, noting that the commander's recruits have gone absent without leave at more than twice the rate of any other unit in the past two months.

Even among those units that have embraced the new approach, there is debate about whether the changes have been too much, too fast. "It's a hot topic," says Capt. Meng, another one of Col. Daly's company commanders.

Like many of his fellow commanders, Capt. Meng spent a year in Iraq, in a tour that ended in 2004. He was second in command of a 100-soldier armor company. In the past six months, the West Point graduate has been in the forefront in reducing attrition, overseeing drill sergeants and recruits.

Last month, a few dozen of Capt. Meng's privates clambered onto olive-green trucks for one of their final boot-camp exercises. The troops, traveling in an Iraq-style convoy, were "hit" by a series of smoke-spewing roadside bombs. Enemy fighters, represented by pop-up targets, sprung from nearby prairie grass. A broad-shouldered drill sergeant ordered a counterattack.

Instead of leaping off the back of the truck, as they would in a typical exercise, or in actual combat, the privates waited about 10 seconds for someone to walk to the back of the truck and place a ladder on its rear bumper. They then climbed down the 5-foot drop, one at a time.

Falling Short

Capt. Meng conceded it wasn't realistic. He said the Army couldn't afford to have privates twist ankles and wrench knees just a few days before their final physical fitness test. "A few months ago attrition was seen as a good thing," he says. "It meant we were sending higher quality troops to the Army."

Now he says he is racking his brain for new ways to motivate more soldiers who are falling short of the Army's standards. He recently petitioned Col. Daly to let his troops have an extra half-hour of sleep on top of the 30 minutes of additional shuteye all recruits were granted last fall. Standard boot camp sleeping hours are now 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. His troops rise at 5:30 a.m.

"It has been great for morale," Capt. Meng says. "A soldier's happiness is directly proportional to the amount of sleep he gets."

The Iraq veteran says his boot-camp troops are in many ways better prepared for combat than their predecessors were. They spend far more time working with their M-16 rifles and more time in the field training on critical combat tasks like defending a base camp from insurgent attacks.

Asked if his soldiers are as disciplined and tough as their predecessors, Capt. Meng pauses. "There are some who feel we are not sending as high a quality soldier to the Army....I am not smart enough to tell you," he says.

In the near term, he has other worries. "The commanding general's No. 1 priority here is to support the war," he says. "In order to do that right now we have to graduate more privates."
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 6:22:44 AM EDT
Holy. Fucking. Shit.

Surely they aren't doing this at Benning.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 6:24:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2006 6:31:32 AM EDT by mmx1]
Oh god. Is this how bad recruiting's gotten?



Today, soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood fill out a survey about their boot-camp experience that asks, among other questions, if they liked the food, whether they were "allowed to eat everything on the menu, including dessert," and whether there was enough for seconds.



Private Pyle, would you like another donut?



Recruits still must meet the same basic standards and pass the same tests for physical fitness and marksmanship to graduate, say Army officials. But more variable criteria that in the past might get a recruit expelled -- such as whether a drill sergeant thinks a recruit has the discipline and moral values to be a soldier -- have been jettisoned. "Now it doesn't matter what the drill sergeant thinks. We work off of the written standard," says Capt. Christopher Meng, who oversees a company of 11 drill sergeants and about 200 recruits at the base.


Oh great, more CYA bullshit.



"Could we all just stand up together?" Sgt. Gilmore said, sounding more let down than angry. "It would look so much nicer."



What is this, Queer Eye for the Recruit?



Instead of leaping off the back of the truck, as they would in a typical exercise, or in actual combat, the privates waited about 10 seconds for someone to walk to the back of the truck and place a ladder on its rear bumper. They then climbed down the 5-foot drop, one at a time.





Asked if his soldiers are as disciplined and tough as their predecessors, Capt. Meng pauses. "There are some who feel we are not sending as high a quality soldier to the Army....I am not smart enough to tell you," he says.



Somebody needs to read Ferenbach's "This Kind of War" to see what happens to soft soldiers in war.

In fact, somebody should fedex a copy to COL. Deng and CPT Meng.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 6:34:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By modog:
Holy. Fucking. Shit.

Surely they aren't doing this at Benning.




That's my guess



Ft. Jackson is GAY.



I should know, I was there. Luckily my Drill Sgts were ex Rangers so they saw to it that I had a good time!
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 6:36:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2006 6:36:47 AM EDT by PunisherDude06]
The De-Maning of men continues. Now with army support. ghey.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 9:02:25 AM EDT
I read the first few paragraphs and couldn't read any more.

...And they are doing this because war is low stress and plenty of sleep?

Isn't LWood where they have the "stress cards"??

C co 1/46 Ft. Knox 2005... we weren't pussified and I'm glad it wasn't easy
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 9:41:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2006 9:42:36 AM EDT by DvlDog]
i cant wait till the Marines hit this thread BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. im turning on the "Chesty Signal" look to the sky devildogs....a thread needs you!!!!"
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 9:50:13 AM EDT
Pretty soon boot camp will be a correspondance course attained by mail order.

D.co - 1/50 - 1990 Ft Benning, GA
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 11:03:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2006 11:04:25 AM EDT by lokt]

Originally Posted By foogoo:
I read the first few paragraphs and couldn't read any more.

...And they are doing this because war is low stress and plenty of sleep?

Isn't LWood where they have the "stress cards"??

C co 1/46 Ft. Knox 2005... we weren't pussified and I'm glad it wasn't easy



There are no stress cards at Leonard Wood.

A/787/2003

This article smells funny. It was a couple years ago, but there was no welcoming party, there was no q/a session, and you were allowed to eat all the fucking dessert you wanted in the chow hall, but your buddies had to work it off while you stood at parade rest in front of the difac afterwards. A big part of BCT was what you made of it...it wasn't that tough if your head wasn't up your ass, and if you pushed yourself, you were guaranteed to get in damn good shape.

Link Posted: 2/15/2006 1:43:56 PM EDT
Hell, I was at Leonard Wood in 2004. We still had the angry Drill Sergeants. Smoked, chewed out, smoked, repeat. No soda or dessert for us either. Not much sleep or personal time either.

This new plan is a huge mistake.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 2:04:57 PM EDT
WTF, OVER ? I hope like hell that ain't happening at The Benning School for Wayward Boys.............if so, it sure has changed alot since I was there. Of course, Ronald Reagan was in his first term as CinC(D-5-1, 1st ITB, '83).
I need to print that article and send it to my nephew. He is in OSUT at Benning now with B Co. 1/19.

Link Posted: 2/15/2006 4:04:11 PM EDT
I was last Benning for Infantry OSUT this last fall, and I saw nothing resembling the picture the article painted. It wasn't Ranger school by any means, but the DS's sure made life suck. We had no pogee bait,cell phones, or Sand Hill passes. We had a 6 hour pass the night we got our blue cords.We were smoked for until at least 2 people threw up their fastfood.


New policy is trying to be implimented. One must remember that DS's,especially Infantry DS's, don't want koolaid hearts graduating their basic and going downrange to a unit that one of their NCO buddies may run.To this end DS's are good about pushing the letter of the law.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 4:16:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2006 4:35:25 PM EDT by KorpiszZ389]

Originally Posted By DvlDog:
i cant wait till the Marines hit this thread BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. im turning on the "Chesty Signal" look to the sky devildogs....a thread needs you!!!!"



Happy to reply!

Un-fuckin-believable! WTF is going on over there in the Army???!!!!
This is just more evidence to that shows the "pussification" of America. These guys need to shape up, big time. This is bullshit. Soldiers are supposed to be tough, to make them tough, the D.I.'s need to be super tough, not give a nice warm welcome and thank you message!! Take a clue from the USMC!! It IS THE BEST armed service in the world.

Semper Fi!
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 4:29:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By modog:
Holy. Fucking. Shit.

Surely they aren't doing this at Benning.



I hope the fuck not!
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 4:47:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DvlDog:
i cant wait till the Marines hit this thread BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. im turning on the "Chesty Signal" look to the sky devildogs....a thread needs you!!!!"

Coming soon to a USMC Recruit station near you! Don't think for a minute that if this is true, and "works" at graduating more recruits, that the Corp won't have to follow suit!
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 5:21:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GUNGUY1911:

Originally Posted By DvlDog:
i cant wait till the Marines hit this thread BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. im turning on the "Chesty Signal" look to the sky devildogs....a thread needs you!!!!"

Coming soon to a USMC Recruit station near you! Don't think for a minute that if this is true, and "works" at graduating more recruits, that the Corp won't have to follow suit!





GOD, I hope not. My platoon in boot camp, plt 2202 F Co. 2nd, started with 78 'cruits, graduated 56, and six of those were re-cycles (dropped back from other platoons, injury, physical fitness etc.)

OK that was 1978, but the one that made it were up to speed.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 6:54:25 PM EDT

Yikes!


I don't know what else to say.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 7:07:02 PM EDT
Interesting. I came out of B Co. 1/50INF 10/2004 Ft. Benning, GA. The "shark attack" I could only laugh at because its obvious the standards can't be met. You just deal with it. Everyone always heard rumors about how they were giving out stress cards but I never saw one. It really seems like they are turning to a system more like this now. The stress that the DS bring upon the recruits helps to make sure they'll make those right decisions when they are under some real stress and their life or their buddies life depends on it. I really hope Benning won't be following a similar program.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 7:44:15 PM EDT
I graduated OSUT at Benning E. Co 1-19. Someone pissed his pants at shark attack.

We got smoked a lot because we smuggled in power bars and skoal and we had cell phones snuck in.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 6:19:25 AM EDT
The Wall Street Journal ain't the NY Times, they tend to get their stories right. I can only think that since Ft. Lost in the Woods is training support troops they are under tremendous pressure to keep the supply stream flowing for the maintenance MOS's. This of course dosen't prepare any of these Soldiers for the reality they will face in Iraq. I can see the letter now:

Dear Parents,

Your child is dead because the Army decided to be nice to them instead of training them they way they should have. You kid just didn't have a chance, but hey we didn't their feelings along the way.

Very truly yours

Adult Supervision


Give me a rather large fucking break! The were still beating on people (rare, but it happened), in 1983 when I got out of the Infantry School at Ft. Benning. A-7-1 03FEB83.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 6:27:42 AM EDT
Why dont they just come out and say we are changing Army basic to resemble Air Force basic and be done with it?
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 7:17:45 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 7:51:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TimJ:
The Army has tried this before and has failed. It is essentailly a leadership problem-the guy in charge is a manager, not a leader, and not a warrior.



The CO is SF! Does he have the attitude that if you're not on the line you won't need to be hard, and if you need to be hard they'll teach it to you at RIP?

Either that or he's getting orders from up top and he's just trying to keep his job, like Capt Meng.

Either way, poor leadership.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 8:11:14 AM EDT
Counter that with this story form yesterday's early bird. All interservice rvialry aside, it seems for now the Marines are sticking to more "traditional methods." Interesting that the LA Times notes that teachers(two groups that don't useally have too much love loss for us) end up applaidng the Corps and its methods.

Los Angeles Times
February 15, 2006

For Teachers, This Trip Isn't The Usual Drill

Educators spend four days at Marine facilities in Southern California, observing as recruits are transformed into members of the Corps.

By Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — To the educators visiting from the Midwest, the young men looked similar to their own students.

But they had shaved heads and were giving rapt attention to their teachers, who had voices that were loud and demanding, even threatening.

The teaching style was different too. Forget the Socratic method of open discourse.

Rhetorical questions and sharp commands were the instructional method in this open-air classroom.

"DID I TELL YOU TO SAY ANYTHING? DID I TELL YOU TO SAY ANYTHING?" an instructor yelled at a student, whose face was about 6 inches away. "SHUT YOUR FREAKING MOUTH!"

And with that, the student, a recruit in his first days of Marine Corps boot camp, sprinted into the pugil-stick arena and began battering another student who did his best to hit back.

"For a lot of these kids, we have to teach them aggression," explained Staff Sgt. John Johnson. "I don't know where they went to school, but many have never had a good fight before."

The visitors — 79 high school counselors, teachers and administrators from Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin — had accepted a free trip to San Diego to see how boot camp turns teenagers into Marines.

They were still in the first morning of their four-day "educator workshop" last week at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Camp Pendleton and Miramar Marine Corps Air Station.

But the educators had already learned one lesson: This is an educational environment unlike any they had known.

"This is really different," Kass Simila, a high school principal in Houghton, Mich., said above shouts of "kill, kill," from recruits learning martial-arts techniques. "Those drill instructors scare me."

A dozen such workshops are held each year for school employees from the depot's recruiting region, which includes 27 states and the Pacific territories. The cost to the Marine Corps is about $900,000 a year for about 900 attendees.

The Corps pays for airfare, hotel rooms and meals, all in hopes the educators will return home to speak knowledgeably, maybe even favorably, to students who are thinking of enlisting.

The Corps would also like help getting access to high school campuses for its recruiters, a touchy issue in some communities.

"Think of this as a college visit," said Capt. Jamie Nott, part of the Midwest recruiting effort. "It's just that our campus is different and our curriculum is quite interactive."

The program here and a similar one at the Marine Corps' other boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., have existed since the U.S. military became an all-volunteer force or, as the military prefers to call it, an all-recruited force.

But as the war in Iraq enters its fourth year and recruiting becomes even more difficult, visits like the one last week have taken on added importance.

For the year that ended Sept. 30, the Marine Corps reached its goal of 41,000 recruits, but the brass knows it needs all the recruiting help it can get as the Iraq war drags on and public support for the war drops.

The message to educators is direct: You've done a good job educating the youth of America; now let us give them the discipline and purposefulness that will last a lifetime.

"We're all in the same business," Brig. Gen. John Paxton Jr., commanding general of the recruit depot, told the group shortly after it arrived. "We're all trying to make the youth of America into productive citizens."

Paxton invited the educators to be skeptical and to ask questions. And he made no effort to sugarcoat a current fact of life in the Marine Corps: Most of the young men who graduate from boot camp will soon be in Iraq or Afghanistan, possibly for the first of several tours.

"They know that within eight months, they're going to be in harm's way," Paxton said. "The world is being made safe for democracy by a 19-year-old lance corporal."

For most of their stay, the educators were treated as VIPs. But when they first arrived, they got a brief taste of what awaits recruits.

When the buses arrived from the hotel, the educators were confronted by five hyperactive, physically fit, wild-eyed men wearing Smokey Bear hats.

"MOVE IT, MOVE IT. GO TO THE YELLOW FOOTPRINTS."

"DRUGS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?"

When a woman gingerly put her purse on the concrete, the response was immediate: "GET YOUR TRASH OFF MY DECK!"

When a middle-aged man mumbled something, the retort was explosive: "THE ONLY THING I WANT TO HEAR OUT OF YOUR MOUTH IS AYE-AYE, SIR!"

After 10 long minutes, the drill instructors ceased their bellowing and welcomed their visitors as fellow adults. The point had been made.

"None of the DIs are really angry," Gunnery Sgt. Timothy Walker told the group. "We're acting all the time, but recruits will never know that."

In the beginning, the instructors are unrelenting, unreasonable authoritarians.

Slowly, over the 12 weeks, as the recruits gain confidence and discipline, the DIs become teachers and then mentors.

Finally, on the heavily ritualized graduation day, the recruits are called Marines for the first time and the instructors treat them as equals.

There is, Paxton said, "method to the madness."

The educators were briefed on the technical training and college-fund benefits open to recruits. But much of the discussion was about what the Marines call the "intangible qualities" that they believe lead to success in the military or in civilian life.

"It's not just a matter of being smart — I learned that a long time ago. It's a matter of having discipline," said Master Sgt. Edgar Carpenter IV. "This is us. We're not hiding anything."

The questions to Carpenter and Walker were sharp and doubting.

Can the DIs strike the recruits? Absolutely not.

What about foul language? It's discouraged but it pops out on occasion.

Can recruits phone home? Only one call is allowed, unless it's an emergency.

What about writing letters and attending church? Greatly encouraged.

Are there psychologists to watch if recruits are stressing out? Yes.

What's the washout rate? About 10%, mostly because of the physical requirements.

Can recruits just quit? Are you kidding?

For four days the visitors saw recruits being trained.

At Camp Pendleton, they used simulators to learn what it's like to fire an M-16 and witnessed recruits on the verge of graduation receiving the coveted Marine emblem. There was also free time to enjoy a trip to the beach, a world away from the frigid weather back home.

On the morning of the last day, much of their initial skepticism was gone.

"You hear horror stories of boot camp, but it's different than that. I think it's doable for most kids," said Paul Sulisz, a counselor at Calumet High School in Michigan. "The DIs really are here to help them. If they don't do things right, they make them do it again and again."

Donald Morgan, assistant principal at Manley Career Academy in Chicago, said he thought enlisting in the Marines might be good for students "who don't have a sense of direction, who are capable but for whatever reason aren't motivated."

At a farewell breakfast, the mood was buoyant. Group pictures were taken.

Paxton rejoined the group, complimented them "for who you are and what you do" and invited any last comments or questions.

"The drill instructors and recruiters who took care of us were absolutely awesome," said Simila, the principal who was first frightened by them.

The group applauded and broke into Marine Corps cheers.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 9:51:18 AM EDT
Bad news fellas, got a letter from my nephew today. He's in his 3rd week at Benning with B 1/19 and I quote "my company is one of the new experimental {LOW STRESS} units".

Tis a sad, sad day. Next thing you know, they'll be handing out berets to anyone that completes Basic....err wait a minute....shit.

Think I'll pack up the subguns and head to the range. Maybe that will make me feel better for awhile.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 10:11:01 AM EDT
What happened to train as you fight, fight as you train? Better to bleed in training than bleed in combat?

These are all support troops though who don't do much of anything. The fact that this is happening at Knox, Benning, Sill where they have Combat arms training is scary.

Thats why SF is playing such a major role in conflicts now because they are some of the last "hard" soldiers left.

In selection we got to sleep from 0001 to 0400 every night. They did feed us well though, RTF has a hell of a dining facility. In phase I we would be on patrol for days with little or no sleep depending on how much we had fucked up the previous mission. Phase III had the Infil's from hell which are of legend in certain cirles.

I give up, gave up. I'm out now and done bitchin about how f-ed up things are.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 10:33:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 504PIR:
Bad news fellas, got a letter from my nephew today. He's in his 3rd week at Benning with B 1/19 and I quote "my company is one of the new experimental {LOW STRESS} units".

Tis a sad, sad day. Next thing you know, they'll be handing out berets to anyone that completes Basic....err wait a minute....shit.

Think I'll pack up the subguns and head to the range. Maybe that will make me feel better for awhile.



That fucking sucks!!!
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 11:11:02 AM EDT
So that's what's wrong with the army.

Link Posted: 2/16/2006 6:03:56 PM EDT
It's funny you posted this article. I currently work at MCRD San Diego. A group of these teachers just left. I imagine it's the same ones mentioned in this article. I saw them walking around the training area observing recruit training. The general consensus on the depot is they show up very skeptical and 90% leave with very favorable impressions. Nothing is hidden form them while they are here. The drill instructors even like to show off a little while these teachers are walking around. As long as they are training the recruits within the SOP then it's fair game. It's an extremely successful program.



Originally Posted By OrionSix:
Counter that with this story form yesterday's early bird. All interservice rvialry aside, it seems for now the Marines are sticking to more "traditional methods." Interesting that the LA Times notes that teachers(two groups that don't useally have too much love loss for us) end up applaidng the Corps and its methods.

Los Angeles Times
February 15, 2006

For Teachers, This Trip Isn't The Usual Drill

Educators spend four days at Marine facilities in Southern California, observing as recruits are transformed into members of the Corps.

By Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — To the educators visiting from the Midwest, the young men looked similar to their own students.

But they had shaved heads and were giving rapt attention to their teachers, who had voices that were loud and demanding, even threatening.

The teaching style was different too. Forget the Socratic method of open discourse.

Rhetorical questions and sharp commands were the instructional method in this open-air classroom.

"DID I TELL YOU TO SAY ANYTHING? DID I TELL YOU TO SAY ANYTHING?" an instructor yelled at a student, whose face was about 6 inches away. "SHUT YOUR FREAKING MOUTH!"

And with that, the student, a recruit in his first days of Marine Corps boot camp, sprinted into the pugil-stick arena and began battering another student who did his best to hit back.

"For a lot of these kids, we have to teach them aggression," explained Staff Sgt. John Johnson. "I don't know where they went to school, but many have never had a good fight before."

The visitors — 79 high school counselors, teachers and administrators from Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin — had accepted a free trip to San Diego to see how boot camp turns teenagers into Marines.

They were still in the first morning of their four-day "educator workshop" last week at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Camp Pendleton and Miramar Marine Corps Air Station.

But the educators had already learned one lesson: This is an educational environment unlike any they had known.

"This is really different," Kass Simila, a high school principal in Houghton, Mich., said above shouts of "kill, kill," from recruits learning martial-arts techniques. "Those drill instructors scare me."

A dozen such workshops are held each year for school employees from the depot's recruiting region, which includes 27 states and the Pacific territories. The cost to the Marine Corps is about $900,000 a year for about 900 attendees.

The Corps pays for airfare, hotel rooms and meals, all in hopes the educators will return home to speak knowledgeably, maybe even favorably, to students who are thinking of enlisting.

The Corps would also like help getting access to high school campuses for its recruiters, a touchy issue in some communities.

"Think of this as a college visit," said Capt. Jamie Nott, part of the Midwest recruiting effort. "It's just that our campus is different and our curriculum is quite interactive."

The program here and a similar one at the Marine Corps' other boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., have existed since the U.S. military became an all-volunteer force or, as the military prefers to call it, an all-recruited force.

But as the war in Iraq enters its fourth year and recruiting becomes even more difficult, visits like the one last week have taken on added importance.

For the year that ended Sept. 30, the Marine Corps reached its goal of 41,000 recruits, but the brass knows it needs all the recruiting help it can get as the Iraq war drags on and public support for the war drops.

The message to educators is direct: You've done a good job educating the youth of America; now let us give them the discipline and purposefulness that will last a lifetime.

"We're all in the same business," Brig. Gen. John Paxton Jr., commanding general of the recruit depot, told the group shortly after it arrived. "We're all trying to make the youth of America into productive citizens."

Paxton invited the educators to be skeptical and to ask questions. And he made no effort to sugarcoat a current fact of life in the Marine Corps: Most of the young men who graduate from boot camp will soon be in Iraq or Afghanistan, possibly for the first of several tours.

"They know that within eight months, they're going to be in harm's way," Paxton said. "The world is being made safe for democracy by a 19-year-old lance corporal."

For most of their stay, the educators were treated as VIPs. But when they first arrived, they got a brief taste of what awaits recruits.

When the buses arrived from the hotel, the educators were confronted by five hyperactive, physically fit, wild-eyed men wearing Smokey Bear hats.

"MOVE IT, MOVE IT. GO TO THE YELLOW FOOTPRINTS."

"DRUGS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?"

When a woman gingerly put her purse on the concrete, the response was immediate: "GET YOUR TRASH OFF MY DECK!"

When a middle-aged man mumbled something, the retort was explosive: "THE ONLY THING I WANT TO HEAR OUT OF YOUR MOUTH IS AYE-AYE, SIR!"

After 10 long minutes, the drill instructors ceased their bellowing and welcomed their visitors as fellow adults. The point had been made.

"None of the DIs are really angry," Gunnery Sgt. Timothy Walker told the group. "We're acting all the time, but recruits will never know that."

In the beginning, the instructors are unrelenting, unreasonable authoritarians.

Slowly, over the 12 weeks, as the recruits gain confidence and discipline, the DIs become teachers and then mentors.

Finally, on the heavily ritualized graduation day, the recruits are called Marines for the first time and the instructors treat them as equals.

There is, Paxton said, "method to the madness."

The educators were briefed on the technical training and college-fund benefits open to recruits. But much of the discussion was about what the Marines call the "intangible qualities" that they believe lead to success in the military or in civilian life.

"It's not just a matter of being smart — I learned that a long time ago. It's a matter of having discipline," said Master Sgt. Edgar Carpenter IV. "This is us. We're not hiding anything."

The questions to Carpenter and Walker were sharp and doubting.

Can the DIs strike the recruits? Absolutely not.

What about foul language? It's discouraged but it pops out on occasion.

Can recruits phone home? Only one call is allowed, unless it's an emergency.

What about writing letters and attending church? Greatly encouraged.

Are there psychologists to watch if recruits are stressing out? Yes.

What's the washout rate? About 10%, mostly because of the physical requirements.

Can recruits just quit? Are you kidding?

For four days the visitors saw recruits being trained.

At Camp Pendleton, they used simulators to learn what it's like to fire an M-16 and witnessed recruits on the verge of graduation receiving the coveted Marine emblem. There was also free time to enjoy a trip to the beach, a world away from the frigid weather back home.

On the morning of the last day, much of their initial skepticism was gone.

"You hear horror stories of boot camp, but it's different than that. I think it's doable for most kids," said Paul Sulisz, a counselor at Calumet High School in Michigan. "The DIs really are here to help them. If they don't do things right, they make them do it again and again."

Donald Morgan, assistant principal at Manley Career Academy in Chicago, said he thought enlisting in the Marines might be good for students "who don't have a sense of direction, who are capable but for whatever reason aren't motivated."

At a farewell breakfast, the mood was buoyant. Group pictures were taken.

Paxton rejoined the group, complimented them "for who you are and what you do" and invited any last comments or questions.

"The drill instructors and recruiters who took care of us were absolutely awesome," said Simila, the principal who was first frightened by them.

The group applauded and broke into Marine Corps cheers.

Link Posted: 2/16/2006 8:04:15 PM EDT
Wow. I can't put into words how this makes me feel. I had thought this kind of bullshit ended with the Klinton administration. What bothers me even more is that I went to Ft. Wood - where this article is written about. I will always fondly remember the day I met my Drill Sergeants. I hate to think that so many future Army Veterans will be denied these fond memories - not to mention the mental toughness to survive in combat - and even the "real world".


-K

Link Posted: 2/17/2006 2:25:35 AM EDT
WTF?

I just don't know what to say. I'm afraid to say anything about it, really. I just don't get it.

I went to BCT at USATC, FT. Knox, KY for OSUT, B-2-1 in 1985. I didn't think things were all that bad even when I was THERE. So, now they say they need to make it EASIER? WTF? It never got HARD!

Umm, alrighty then.... I'm just glad I am not a drill sergeant, I'd flip the fuck out.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 2:28:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sgthoskins:

Originally Posted By 504PIR:
Bad news fellas, got a letter from my nephew today. He's in his 3rd week at Benning with B 1/19 and I quote "my company is one of the new experimental {LOW STRESS} units".

Tis a sad, sad day. Next thing you know, they'll be handing out berets to anyone that completes Basic....err wait a minute....shit.

Think I'll pack up the subguns and head to the range. Maybe that will make me feel better for awhile.



That fucking sucks!!!



Uh, it gets WORSE! My Son is at AIT now at Wood, while he was in BCT, he came home in the middle of BCT for X-mas exodus, in a fucking beret. No shit man.... However, they didn't pull the rest of the baby crap while he was in BCT, I understand that the new set of recruits are being babied though.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 8:44:13 AM EDT
I went to Combat Lifesaver last week at FLW. I talked to some of the drill sergeants and asked them how their morale was. They talked about the things addressed in this article and I'm telling you, it is true. Their morale is in the toilet because of this crap. You can definitely tell the discipline is not what it needs to be when you walk by some of the privates. Also, it doesn't matter what time of day or day of the week it is, but there are privates walking to and from the PX. Crazy stuff..
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 9:39:51 AM EDT
I will be there on the 24th for ECCC - I will report back.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 5:40:14 PM EDT
BCT at Ft Leonard Wood, Missouri 3/78-5/78, not very hard then can't imagine what it is like now. I'll bet I could cruise that place even though I'm 50 y/o now & I bet I could out PT 90% of those pukes right now.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 6:04:53 PM EDT
you know what the real shame is when it comes to army training? the fact that they have seperate basic trainings for infantry and support. i had (and still have) low regard for about 70% of the army. the first time i operated in a joint environment with army infantry i was like "whoa, who the fuck are these guys. theyre on the bubble" i was suprised by how good they were.

the army has some wack cultural stuff (let them wear watch caps for shits sake, its cold) but all the army infantry i have worked with were skilled and competant. which is more than i can say for just about every army REMF ive ever encountered.
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 6:08:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DvlDog:
you know what the real shame is when it comes to army training? the fact that they have seperate basic trainings for infantry and support. i had (and still have) low regard for about 70% of the army. the first time i operated in a joint environment with army infantry i was like "whoa, who the fuck are these guys. theyre on the bubble" i was suprised by how good they were.

the army has some wack cultural stuff (let them wear watch caps for shits sake, its cold) but all the army infantry i have worked with were skilled and competant. which is more than i can say for just about every army REMF ive ever encountered.



Whoa, they do? How does that work? Infantry goes to Bragg and support goes to Wood?
Link Posted: 2/17/2006 11:00:04 PM EDT
The Army should just get it over with and change it's name to the Air Force. Then the Marine Corps can take over all of their equipment and give it to real warriors.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 4:54:07 AM EDT
It is important to acknowledge, I think that the US Army and the US Marine Corps have different missions, different institutional constiuencies, and generally different requirements to deal with.

The thing I, as an Army officer really admire about the Corps is the ethos that everyone is a Marine first and a rifleman; whatever their MOS is next. Look at a Marine in his utilites; then look at a soldier in his BDU's; I am conviced that we have gone to the ACU partially to try and inculcate a sense of we are all Soldiers first; the BOLC program for Army officers will require all of them, regardless of branch to learn basic Warrior skills. While new times may require a change in methods, that does not mean the tried and true skillset of a Soldier changes.

I was watching CSPAN last night and GEN Pace actually commented on this article, he said he was not sure that it was completely accurate.
Link Posted: 2/18/2006 5:02:39 PM EDT
There is no BCT at Ft. Bragg. Army Infantry school is at Ft. Benning and they also conduct BCT phase. Depending on when you go in and where your AIT is you can find yourself taking BCT at Jackson, Wood, Knox, or Benning.


Originally Posted By mmx1:
Whoa, they do? How does that work? Infantry goes to Bragg and support goes to Wood?

Link Posted: 2/19/2006 2:25:47 PM EDT
B/4/10 1989 FLW, and AIT (91B) at FSH wasn't any fun. But I got a lot more intensive training from the Corps as a SAILOR (corpsman) than anything the Army ever put me through.

Hell even the USAF is adding "combat training" to BMT, so why is the Army wussing out?

DOC

Link Posted: 2/19/2006 9:17:58 PM EDT
There are several nuggets of information to be taken out of the article.


The new approach is helping the Army graduate more of its recruits.


The Army's decision to overhaul basic training came last spring. The service was having a hard time bringing in new recruits.


In the near term, he has other worries. "The commanding general's No. 1 priority here is to support the war," he says. "In order to do that right now we have to graduate more privates."



That should pretty much frame the picture.

I can understand some of the changes. There's little reason today to get so many injuries during PT that still occur. The Army knows more about how the body works than it ever did, and probably there's alot of inertia against changing the way the Army gets fit. I'm not saying they should slack off any, but the Army should be alot smarter on PT. There's really no reason anyone should get injured, and really no reason everyone shouldn't come out of 8 weeks of training a PT machine if the correct steps are taken.

I like the idea of the warrior rehab if it's only for those that got hurt and not slackers. We had a couple folks get hurt and chapter out because it was easier for the Army in 1981 to do that than fix them and put them back in the system. I can see the logic in the way it was done, but I can also see the other approach as viable as well.

Other nuggets like these-

Instead of leaping off the back of the truck, as they would in a typical exercise, or in actual combat, the privates waited about 10 seconds for someone to walk to the back of the truck and place a ladder on its rear bumper. They then climbed down the 5-foot drop, one at a time.

Falling Short

Capt. Meng conceded it wasn't realistic. He said the Army couldn't afford to have privates twist ankles and wrench knees just a few days before their final physical fitness test. "A few months ago attrition was seen as a good thing," he says. "It meant we were sending higher quality troops to the Army."




"The commander's leadership style has got to change," says Col. Daly, noting that the commander's recruits have gone absent without leave at more than twice the rate of any other unit in the past two months.



Those tell me that this is all about statistics and numbers. You can tell that COL Daly is a person that can count a bean. His numbers are driving the way training is done, not the way training is done driving the numbers. It's like Vietnam, when the civillians in DoD wanted to know how much ordnance went over the deck of a carrier. They didnt' care about the effects of the ordnance, just how much left the ship, because in the civillian world of sales, marketing, and manufacturing, those kind of numbers is what drives profits. You make six cold calls for each sale, and you therefore know you need to make 24 in a week to sell four. That's the kind of bean counting that's driving this.

I work in the trucking industry now. For a while the upper management wanted so many pounds an hour moved. So we'd move stuff that didn't have to be moved. Let's say ten thousand pounds on ten skids came in perfectly loaded on a truck, and ready to be delivered. You didn't have to touch it or waste any time on it. But our local manager would have someone move the ten skids into another trailer because they would get credit for ten thousand pounds. Even though it actually cost more money, wasted more time, was less efficient, and increased the cost of damage to do so. Because rather than doing the job right, and therefore getting good numbers in the end, the requirement for certain numbers drove people to do things wrong to achieve those numbers, even at greater expense.

CPT Meng has to meet a certain number. He's pushed by that number. So he'd rather train unrealistically, in other words short-change the recruit, in order to meet that number. Because the number is what defines success in this enviroment. Not the actual product of turning out a trained and ready recruit.

When money and resources get tight, the military turns to counting it's beans, and it always looses sight of what the actual purpose is.

Link Posted: 2/20/2006 4:44:32 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 4:55:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Ross:
There are several nuggets of information to be taken out of the article.


The new approach is helping the Army graduate more of its recruits.


The Army's decision to overhaul basic training came last spring. The service was having a hard time bringing in new recruits.


In the near term, he has other worries. "The commanding general's No. 1 priority here is to support the war," he says. "In order to do that right now we have to graduate more privates."



That should pretty much frame the picture.

I can understand some of the changes. There's little reason today to get so many injuries during PT that still occur. The Army knows more about how the body works than it ever did, and probably there's alot of inertia against changing the way the Army gets fit. I'm not saying they should slack off any, but the Army should be alot smarter on PT. There's really no reason anyone should get injured, and really no reason everyone shouldn't come out of 8 weeks of training a PT machine if the correct steps are taken.

I like the idea of the warrior rehab if it's only for those that got hurt and not slackers. We had a couple folks get hurt and chapter out because it was easier for the Army in 1981 to do that than fix them and put them back in the system. I can see the logic in the way it was done, but I can also see the other approach as viable as well.

Other nuggets like these-

Instead of leaping off the back of the truck, as they would in a typical exercise, or in actual combat, the privates waited about 10 seconds for someone to walk to the back of the truck and place a ladder on its rear bumper. They then climbed down the 5-foot drop, one at a time.

Falling Short

Capt. Meng conceded it wasn't realistic. He said the Army couldn't afford to have privates twist ankles and wrench knees just a few days before their final physical fitness test. "A few months ago attrition was seen as a good thing," he says. "It meant we were sending higher quality troops to the Army."




"The commander's leadership style has got to change," says Col. Daly, noting that the commander's recruits have gone absent without leave at more than twice the rate of any other unit in the past two months.



Those tell me that this is all about statistics and numbers. You can tell that COL Daly is a person that can count a bean. His numbers are driving the way training is done, not the way training is done driving the numbers. It's like Vietnam, when the civillians in DoD wanted to know how much ordnance went over the deck of a carrier. They didnt' care about the effects of the ordnance, just how much left the ship, because in the civillian world of sales, marketing, and manufacturing, those kind of numbers is what drives profits. You make six cold calls for each sale, and you therefore know you need to make 24 in a week to sell four. That's the kind of bean counting that's driving this.

I work in the trucking industry now. For a while the upper management wanted so many pounds an hour moved. So we'd move stuff that didn't have to be moved. Let's say ten thousand pounds on ten skids came in perfectly loaded on a truck, and ready to be delivered. You didn't have to touch it or waste any time on it. But our local manager would have someone move the ten skids into another trailer because they would get credit for ten thousand pounds. Even though it actually cost more money, wasted more time, was less efficient, and increased the cost of damage to do so. Because rather than doing the job right, and therefore getting good numbers in the end, the requirement for certain numbers drove people to do things wrong to achieve those numbers, even at greater expense.

CPT Meng has to meet a certain number. He's pushed by that number. So he'd rather train unrealistically, in other words short-change the recruit, in order to meet that number. Because the number is what defines success in this enviroment. Not the actual product of turning out a trained and ready recruit.

When money and resources get tight, the military turns to counting it's beans, and it always looses sight of what the actual purpose is.




Looks like people have been spending too much time in OR and ORM classes.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 12:45:10 PM EDT
This might improve the number that graduate but does nothing for the quality of the soldier that graduates. Waits for a ladder to get off the truck! WTF?

There was a major drop in the discipline of soldiers immediately after they integrated basic training, male/female. Every soldier that came to us straight from OSUT after integration was chaptered within 2 yrs of arrival (back in the '80s).

Kindler, gentler don't cut it on the battelfield.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 2:05:26 PM EDT
D 3/10 INF - Ft. Lost in the Woods Misery. July, 1999

6'5" tall and 245lbs of lazy post-highschool lardass.

Arrived at 2200 hrs on the 27th day of that month. Day zero fill week, reception BN

Spend 6 days in reception, marching in the rain, doing pushups because we were 'worthless punks' who couldnt do anything right, and trying to stay hydrated in cat V heat and 95% humidity

Day zero fill week BCT.

1400 hrs, SHARK ATTACK right off the cattle-trucks.

a blisterbag of water empied and filled three times in the space of an hour. Heat radiating off the pavement where all our gear was layed out.

etc etc etc

October 1999. Graduated Basic training. Ex GF visited for an hour, she took a bus from California to see me. Almost walked right past me, barely recognised me.

6'5" tall, 205 lbs. three months and 40 lbs... Never ran so much in my life.

Every once in a while, I wish I could go back.

Yeah we got yelled at.
Yeah we got PT'd till we puked
Yeah we were stressed out with 6 hours of sleep every night thanks to two 1 hr shifts of 'fireguard' in the middle of the night.

But god damn if we didnt learn how to soldier.



---

Been stationed at Ft. Carson (4th ID, 3rd BCT), CRC (2ID, South Korea) and now in the reserves with a tour in Iraq under my belt.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 3:15:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/23/2006 3:26:49 PM EDT by JHaines]
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - Over ?

Cut the quality of training (by making it more marketable) to increase the number of recruits ?

Not only is this completely fucking assenine, it could result in getting a lot of people killed when
those leaving Army Basic aren't as disciplined as they need to be to handle themselves in a combat zone.

Unbelievable.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 8:19:17 PM EDT
I am glad I am no longer in the Army to witness this change it is a bad mistake. I will alway remember Boot camp and Ait 1977. There was a method to the madness then and it worked. It turned a bunch of us punk ass teenagers into soldiers that worked together as a team. We understood when we graduated why the training was the way it was it was neccessary to turn us into lean soldiers ready and willing to fight. I am glad at least the Corp is sticking to the traditional methods and producing soldiers and not employees.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 8:13:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mdripley:
I am glad I am no longer in the Army to witness this change it is a bad mistake. I will alway remember Boot camp and Ait 1977. There was a method to the madness then and it worked. It turned a bunch of us punk ass teenagers into soldiers that worked together as a team. We understood when we graduated why the training was the way it was it was neccessary to turn us into lean soldiers ready and willing to fight. I am glad at least the Corp is sticking to the traditional methods and producing soldiers and not employees.



Should be, "Marine". Soldiers are in the Army. You wouldn't call a Sailor a "Soldier" would you?
Link Posted: 2/25/2006 4:08:03 AM EDT
Graduated in May 2005, from C co, 795th MP Bn, at Ft LWood. It wasnt in effect then, let me tell you. Got a picture of during the shark attack two DSs whispering sweet nothings in each ear, about two inches from my ears at the top of their lungs.
Link Posted: 2/25/2006 7:19:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/25/2006 7:20:44 AM EDT by Mdripley]
Sorry I meant soldier in the context of the Army, no intention of offending Marines.
I always felt that all soldiers in the Army should receive exactly the same basic training. As in wartime I.E. WW2 and Korea soldiers that were not infantry were pulled from their jobs to fill the ranks in the line. That is especially critical with a smaller Army.
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