Changes for Army Basic Training on the Way
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Photo: Department of Defense[/caption]The Army announced recently that there are changes on the way for basic combat training to include additional tests and peer reviews. For the most part, the changes sound pretty reasonable and something that the Army should have been doing already. Practical tests of actual skills needed by soldiers for example should be required testing. New tests are not the only thing being changed though starting October 1. From the Army Times:Basic combat training gets tougher Oct. 1, when the Army rolls out a battery of tests mandatory for graduation. These aren't written tests, but trials in the field. Soldiers may be asked to load and unload an M249 machine gun, treat an open chest wound or use their rifle as a bludgeon.Also new: peer evaluations and a 16K ruck march with a time limit as part of the final test.“We looked at making training a little more rigorous,” said Thriso Hamilton, a training specialist for basic combat training at Victory College, Fort Jackson, South Carolina. “We wanted to add an increase in Army values and discipline, a renewed focus on physical fitness, and updated rifle marksmanship training.”With tougher standards, officials also expect more failures and an increase in recruits getting "recycled," and having to re-take portions of the course.The changes to basic come as the Army transitions from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Woods, the senior enlisted soldier for the Center for Initial Military Training.“During the course of the war, since we already knew where we were going, we were building soldiers who were ready to deploy at their first unit of assignment,” Woods said. “Now we’re moving back to an Army of preparation, so we’re building soldiers who are ready to think at their first assignment.”Read the rest at the Army Times.