by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Andrew O’Reilly reports at FoxNews.com about the Army’s need to step up training of new soldiers.
Citing a disturbing trend of new soldiers lacking both proper discipline and physical fitness, senior U.S. Army leaders are calling for a tougher and longer basic training program to prepare troops for combat over the next decade.
“We have every reason to get this right, and far fewer reasons not to,” Secretary of the Army Mark Esper said at the Association of the United States Army’s Global Force Symposium in Alabama on Monday. “That’s why we are considering several initiatives — from a new physical fitness regime to reforming and extending basic training — in order to ensure our young men and women are prepared for the rigors of high-intensity combat.”
While Esper didn’t divulge any details of what an extended Basic Combat Training (BCT) might look like, the Army has already floated the idea of adding two weeks to its 10-week program. A redesigned BCT is expected to be implemented by early summer. …
… But as the Army looks to expand its ranks, it will also become more selective in who becomes a solider.
Gen. James McConville, the Army’s vice chief of staff, told Military.com that the service is considering revising its screening process to better prepare recruits for basic training and beyond.
Besides screening candidates’ physical fitness before they begin BCT, the Army would screen them again at the start of training to make sure they can meet the physical demands, and is even testing the idea of assigning fitness experts to two divisions.
Another negative impact of the obsession with technology?