Fort Eustis, VA - July 12th, 2016 brings a major announcement from U.S. Army Training & Doctrine Command (TRADOC). The Army has indicated its intention to integrate Pokemon Go into the Basic Training environment in order to teach new soldiers Land Navigation.While many changes have been made in recent years to Basic Training in order to better cope with and train Millennials, this is a drastic step towards the digital age.
TRADOC Briefing on Pokemon Go
TRADOC Deputy Chief of Staff, Major General Hugh Awair, unveiled the proposed plan to key leaders. In his remarks he indicated that while this is a big change, it is one that needs to be made. MG Awair said, "Millennials refuse to pay attention to any instruction that is not delivered via a mobile device".MG Awair went on to say, "TRADOC and The Army have known for some time that we will have to continue to adapt in order to best train the soldiers of today and tomorrow. The reality is that the recruits we are seeing today are not properly served with the training methods employed currently. These methods are decades old. We must embrace the technology available and tailor it to what is popular with these young men and women".Since the release of the game this month, the Pokemon Go craze has swept the nation. Its use of a player's surrounding environment and requiring them to navigate on foot to locate Pokemon seems to be a natural fit for teaching land navigation. The app has already been widely embraced by Soldiers at installations across the Army. Blackhawks on Fort Hood were observed circling open fields and dropping low to hover over buildings so the crew could catch Pokemon.
BCT Installations weigh in on Pokemon Go
The proposal seemed to be welcomed by the Drill Sergeant community. Senior Drill Sergeant Harvey Rock of Fort Benning said, "Any help we can get with teaching these knuckleheads we will take. When it comes to Land Navigation, we can't get them engaged because it requires using paper, a pencil and a protractor. With the addition of Pokemon Go we will be able to get them focused and enthusiastic about learning how to navigate on foot".Niantic Labs, Inc., the company that created Pokemon Go, will be working closely with TRADOC and Army Fielding Command to customize the game for the Basic Training environment.We will continue to follow this story as it develops.[xyz-ihs snippet="AG-728x90-1"]