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U.S. Basic Training compared to CAF

dangerboy

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The US Army is redesigning its Basic Training https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/02/09/low-discipline-new-soldiers-prompts-army-redesign-basic-training.html to deal with sense of entailment.

They have noticed ""What leaders have observed in general is they believe that there is too much of a sense of entitlement, questioning of lawful orders, not listening to instruction, too much of a buddy mentality with NCOs and officers and a lot of tardiness being late to formation and duties".

Some of the changes are:
  • Increased Drill and Ceremony - to instill discipline
  • Increased Field Training Exercise
  • Increased Physical fitness standards
  • Increased amount of tactical combat casualty care training
  • Removal of hand grenade qualification and land navigation course qualification as graduation requirements

Be interesting in about two years to see what effect these changes have.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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I think this is the basis for the new measure and curriculum:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O02WseVFBw8
 

a_majoor

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I understand the rational for much of this, but totally disagree with the last bullet point.
 

CBH99

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Agreed, especially on the navigation part.

Can't find their your way around, or read a map?  Unable to use your cell phone because it'll bring artillery raining down on your position?

Troops need to be able to navigate.  Period.  Basic soldier skills 101 there. 
 
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LightFighter

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Another article I saw regarding this, mentions that Infantry OSUT(combines basic and AIT course) will still have nav and grenades as a requirement.

For everyone else, it looks like they will still get the training, just not have it as a PO Check.. so you pass great, or if you fail the land nav course that’s ok too.  I’m guessing it will be up to the units they get posted to after training to give members more time learning this stuff when they conduct annual training/IBTS?



Recruits will still receive the same amount of training in these areas, Frost said.

"Just because we took it off as a graduation requirement does not mean they won't be conducting hand grenade or land navigation training," Frost said. "They are going to learn all the technical aspects of the hand grenade, and they are going to learn tactical employment and they will throw a live hand grenade.

"With land navigation, it's the same thing they are still going to conduct land navigation training; they are still going to conduct the day course they are still going to conduct the night course."
 

Jarnhamar

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[quote author=CBH99]
Troops need to be able to navigate.  Period.  Basic soldier skills 101 there.
[/quote]

Disagree.
Troops being able to navigate on their own means they may be more inclined to desert their post. 
If they have to rely on their squad leader or platoon commander for navigation then they'll be that much more loyal  :Tin-Foil-Hat:
 

OldSolduer

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How long will it be until some whiz kid in Ottawa wants to slavishly copy the US?
 

George Wallace

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Hamish Seggie said:
How long will it be until some whiz kid in Ottawa wants to slavishly copy the US?

Probably within ten seconds of the release of this info. 

They need some justification on their PER to move out of their windowless cubicle.  ;D
 

George Wallace

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Jarnhamar said:
Disagree.
Troops being able to navigate on their own means they may be more inclined to desert their post. 
If they have to rely on their squad leader or platoon commander for navigation then they'll be that much more loyal  :Tin-Foil-Hat:

:rofl:

Such a Soviet Era mentality.  Only the 'top dog' knows what is happening and where to go.  Once the 'top dog' is taken out of the picture, all their troops are leaderless and in chaos.


Much like taking out the Kiowa and totally screwing up the Cobras/Apaches.
 

pbi

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I agree in general with what the US Army is trying to do, and I wonder if the CA isn't having its own issues with the sort of people it recruits. It would be interesting  to hear from our posters who are dealing at the coal face on this.

Caveat: historically, every adult generation thinks the one following it is weak, dissolute and "could never fight a war  like we did".


However, I'm totally in agreement with Thucydides about the last bullet: bad decisions.

First, the nav issues. Years ago at the LFWA BSL they briefly took land nav out as a critical requirement during the Infantry Section Commander Course. I accompanied one of the recent graduates on a recce patrol in the depths of Vancouver Island woods: not very inspiring. He was lost shortly after exiting the patrol harbour. I asked the Pl WO after what was wrong, and he explained the missing PO. I was gobsmacked. IMHO in the age of increasing cyber threat by our most capable potential enemies, we need all soldiers to be able to navigate and call in fires if there is no more GPS or other digitalback up.

The grenade is such a basic ground combat weapon for all arms and services (not just taking out bunkers or  crew served weapons but repelling close quarter assaults on HQs and CSS installations, which we can expect in spades.)It is also a great confidence builder to train with live, as long as its good trg which will show soldiers its strengths and its limitations.

Finally, roger on the pathological desire in some Canadians  to ape whatever the US does, whether it's a good idea or not. The US does have some excellent ideas in training, but so do we, and we should not be in a hurry to abandon hard-learned truth.


 

a_majoor

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Just bad stuff all around. I have taught recruit courses where the nav was done as a self study package, and sure enough when it was time to hit the field, none of the troops knew how to navigate (Luckily as the course 2I/C I could make some adjustments to others aspects of the timetable and "sneak in" some hands on training by the section commanders).

I have also seen the results as an instructor at Leadership company. Many Infantry PLQ candidates (regular and reserve) simply are very poor at navigation, and it was one of the leading causes of failure in the patrol phase. The non infantry PLQ is even worse, candidates were not even required to find the objective, which is disturbing when you realize that an engineer, medic, EME or artillery MCpl needs to get to a certain location on time to deliver support or effects. I haven't taught there in several years, and can only hope this deficiency was corrected.

As for grenades, the fact people don't train with live grenades means most people simply have no understanding of what a grenade actually does (I'm sure most people come to a grenade range for the first time expecting the Mk 36 nuclear grenades depicted in Hollywood movies). I expect that if it does come to a fight, especially to repel attackers at a supply site or so on, more people will end up killing themselves with grenades than any enemy.
 

pbi

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Thucydides said:
Just bad stuff all around. I have taught recruit courses where the nav was done as a self study package, and sure enough when it was time to hit the field, none of the troops knew how to navigate (Luckily as the course 2I/C I could make some adjustments to others aspects of the timetable and "sneak in" some hands on training by the section commanders).

I have also seen the results as an instructor at Leadership company. Many Infantry PLQ candidates (regular and reserve) simply are very poor at navigation, and it was one of the leading causes of failure in the patrol phase. The non infantry PLQ is even worse, candidates were not even required to find the objective, which is disturbing when you realize that an engineer, medic, EME or artillery MCpl needs to get to a certain location on time to deliver support or effects. I haven't taught there in several years, and can only hope this deficiency was corrected.

As for grenades, the fact people don't train with live grenades means most people simply have no understanding of what a grenade actually does (I'm sure most people come to a grenade range for the first time expecting the Mk 36 nuclear grenades depicted in Hollywood movies). I expect that if it does come to a fight, especially to repel attackers at a supply site or so on, more people will end up killing themselves with grenades than any enemy.

Roger all. Maybe I am a dinosaur (Ok, well....I AM a dinosaur...) but to me it is shocking that any Army officer would consider writing a syllabus or delivering a training course with such a fundamental deficiency as ignoring or weakening nav training. Now, I took a long time to become useful with a map and compass, but eventually I did. It's not easy, but taking it out of fundamental training is absolutely not the answer.

On the grenades, I have first  hand experience of the value of live grenade trg. I was blown up (along with several others) in a grenade trg accident in USMC Pendleton while trg for Croatia. I became quite skittish and nervous about grenades: I didn't even like carrying them. About a year later we did some very good grenade live fire field training, with minimal (but quite safe) protection between us and The Jelly Beans of Death. I got my confidence back through that trg.

Finally, dumping fundamental IT onto the unit receiving the new soldiers is a very bad idea. Unless things have changed significantly, units don't have time to do the training system's job for it. The CO wants and needs soldier who can roll right into section/platoon/combat team, as fully functional team members. This is not just a US problem: I watched it go back and forth when I was still in CA.

What are people thinking about?  Really.
 

Old Sweat

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I have been quietly steaming here, recalling what the CF did to itself in trying to create a common basic recruit course starting in the late 60s. The first version was only six weeks or so long, and based on eliminating material that was not applicable to all three (or at least two) former services did not include weapons training and replaced combat first aid with the St John's Ambulance course. The rationale for this was that we were never going to fight again, so the greatest likelihood of injury was in an industrial setting, so teach civilian first aid.

Over time it added a week or two, and after the FLQ Crisis, the rifle returned. Still, there was very little in the nature of field craft and basic tactics. In time it improved, but the official CF position was that FMC should have its own programme to teach army stuff. It was all very logical and briefed well for the little green people who were running the individual training system. 

The basic officer course paralleled this philosophy, and all sorts of people seemed to have held their collective nose over the whole thing to conform to the spirit of unification and the elimination of unnecessary training.

Discussions on the utility of this could be counted upon to liven up happy hours.

In time it got fixed, but it was a frustrating mess for more than a few years. It was so screwed up, that hopefully it could never be replicated, or could it?
 

pbi

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Old Sweat said:
I have been quietly steaming here, recalling what the CF did to itself in trying to create a common basic recruit course starting in the late 60s...

In time it got fixed, but it was a frustrating mess for more than a few years. It was so screwed up, that hopefully it could never be replicated, or could it?

No evil is so vile that it cannot be repeated by people who think they know better.
 

RCDtpr

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Jarnhamar said:
Disagree.
Troops being able to navigate on their own means they may be more inclined to desert their post. 
If they have to rely on their squad leader or platoon commander for navigation then they'll be that much more loyal  :Tin-Foil-Hat:

I honestly can’t tell if you’re being serious.....
 

a_majoor

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"Chaos 6" takes it up to "11". Much like Olympians or SoF troops train constantly to stay at peak performance levels, the Army and Marines are going to eliminate "make work" and do lots more training:

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/12/james-mattis-favored-close-combat-lethality-task-f/?utm_source=Boomtrain&utm_medium=manual&utm_campaign=20180326&utm_term=newsalert&utm_content=newsalert

Mattis-favored Close Combat Lethality Task Force primed to transform infantry
By Douglas Ernst - The Washington Times - Thursday, April 12, 2018

A task force favored by U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is on a mission to transform combat units into war-fighting machines unlike anything on the battlefield today.

Troops throughout history are all too familiar with the saying, “Hurry up and wait,” but the Close Combat Lethality Task Force in many ways seeks to make it a memory. A cross-service group at the highest levels of the Pentagon has already been allocated $2.5 billion in resources to develop a wholly new kind of infantry unit.

“Time-honored extra duties such as handing out towels at the gym, raking sand, standing gate guard duty and picking up litter will no longer consume the time and energy of infantry soldiers and Marines,” Army Times reported Wednesday.

In short, Mr. Mattis’ envisions combat forces that are focused at all times on honing their craft to achieve overmatch in the close, tactical engagements.

“The secretary of defense has dedicated a great deal of time and effort,” Robert Wilkie, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, said. “He has tasked us with gauging the readiness of the entire force, enforcing decisions, making changes in force structure. We’re no longer just an oversight bot.”

Army Maj. Gen. Robert Scales added that everything is “on the table” in terms of achieving the task force’s goals.
“The readiness reporting system at the small unit level fails us,” Gen. Scales said, Army Times reported.

The task force plans to consider, for example, who should be allowed in combat units and the length of time infantrymen should be allowed to serve within their military occupational specialty.

 
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jollyjacktar

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Less chickenshit, more focused effort.  Sounds sensible to me.
 

Jarnhamar

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Good article, I hope the concept takes off. 

Time-honored extra duties such as handing out towels at the gym, raking sand, standing gate guard duty and picking up litter will no longer consume the time and energy of infantry soldiers and Marines,” Army Times reported Wednesday.

I don't think guard duty should ever be considered or used as a punishment.
 
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