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Soft boot camp for a soft generation

Ductus_Exemplo

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YouTube - New Army Boot camp

This is a travesty of the worst sorts, we are fighting an enemy that has been at war since they where children. They know death personally and fight in the most austere and brutal environments. There is no stress cards for them, there is no cell phones for them, and there isnt anyone giving quiet and positive counsel when they make a mistake. No, they are ready and willing to do what is necissary for their contorted belief system. But are we preparing our nations youth to do what is necissary? The command Sgt Major in the video clip discusses the new training technique as being suited for a different generation.

Therefore, I would argue that we are breeding our nations youth in a bubble. I would argue that its not even our nations youth, but most of its middle aged adults who seem to think that war should be clean and neat. I believe this is starting in our nations schools and being reinforced throughout American society. We need to toughen up people.

I am 24 years old, I am todays youth, and this scares me.
 

1069

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My youngest son went through Basic Training (army) at Fort Knox, graduating nearly a year ago.
I don't feel he was mistreated there, but I definitely don't think it was "too easy".
He's a bit of a hard-case. Went in with a major attitude.
When we took him out for family day after his graduation, it was like a miracle had taken place. He'd changed so much in that twelve weeks. For the better!
The only time I got a little nervous about it was when we took him to a restaurant and he got some sauce on the sleeve of his dress uniform. He almost had a panic attack, freaking out about being punished for it when he got back to base.
But that nervousness soon wore off. He's not brainwashed. He's still himself.
It's just that now, he's a soldier as well.

We have an all-volunteer army. All cadets are technically adults.
Unmotivated cadets can be dropped from the program. Motivated ones can be trained.
There is no need to be any harder on them than they currently are.
The point is not to abuse, break, or psychologically wound them; it's to train them to be soldiers, at least for the next four years. Most will eventually go on to be something else.
Cadets who require outrageously harsh treatment or abuse in order to conform to army standards probably aren't suited to be soldiers anyway.
I know that during the Vietnam era there wasn't much choice but to force unwilling draftees to conform to the mold, but today it's a very different situation. The economy is terrible. The army has plenty of potential recruits to choose from. They do not need to accept unsuitable ones and then try to force them to become something they are unsuited to be.

That's my two cents.


edit: also, cell phones were not allowed in BCT at Fort Knox, although I have heard they're allowed at Leonard Wood and perhaps Ft Jackson.
At Fort Knox, cadets still use good old fashioned pay phones.
I was lucky to get a call once every two weeks, on a Sunday. In the final month, he was allowed to call a bit more frequently.
 
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other

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I think this is ridiculous and, frankly, find it hard to believe.

This kind of coddling is not doing these recruits any favors. Actual combat doesn't "readjust" according to generational standards (or expectations).

Luckily, if they get dropped to any units that have any actual expectation of seeing any combat they'll probably be fixed pretty quickly by people who actually know how to train warfighters. Either way they're in for a big surprise.

This is not a good trend.
 
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jamesrage

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Hopefully they are not doing this **** with infantry basic. The purpose of boot camp is to train you to be a soldier so that you can train for war. Not to coddle you, not speak softly to you, not to allow you 8 hours of sleep, and to have cellphones while in basic. If you can't handle a little yelling, hard exercises, name calling,lack of sleep, no luxuries and a restricted diet then you have no business in the military. Even if they are training pogs(pronounced pōgs, acronym for persons other than grunt, non-combat soldiers,non-infantry. civilians in solders clothing) they should train them to be soldiers not civilians. If the military wants civilians then they should hire civilians instead of wasting money sending them through basic training. This is why the top military officials who make these changes should always have infantry combat experience. I bet it was some stupid pog or heck maybe even someone with no military experience what so ever.That command sergeant major in the video a pog, hopefully she had nothing to do with the changes.
 
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1069

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Hopefully they are not doing this **** with infantry basic.

There is no "infantry basic".
There's only one Basic Training for everyone. it's Basic Combat Training (not "Boot Camp", by the way; that would be the Marines).

After a ten-week Basic Combat Training program, soldiers go to AIT- Advanced Individual Training. Depending on what their MOS (job) is going to be in the army, this can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to many months.
Infantry AIT training is the shortest one.
Most of them just do 14 weeks of training at one base, which includes BCT and AIT.
Whereas, say, mechanics will go to a different base and do another ten weeks of training there.


It's so nice when people who don't have a clue what they're talking about decide to throw in their opinions anyway, though.

I mean, seriously. Why let that stop you? :)
 
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jamesrage

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There is no "infantry basic".
There's only one Basic Training for everyone. it's Basic Combat Training (not "Boot Camp", by the way; that would be the Marines).

Boot camp is also a generic term for basic training.

After a ten-week Basic Combat Training program, soldiers go to AIT- Advanced Individual Training. Depending on what their MOS (job) is going to be in the army, this can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to many months.
Infantry AIT training is the shortest one.
Most of them just do 14 weeks of training at one base, which includes BCT and AIT.
Whereas, say, mechanics will go to a different base and do another ten weeks of training there.


It's so nice when people who don't have a clue what they're talking about decide to throw in their opinions anyway, though.

I mean, seriously. Why let that stop you? :)

Seeing how I went to basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia I know what the hell I am talking about. Those who enlist as infantry go to Fort Benning. If you sign up as infantry you do not go anywhere else for basic except Fort Benning. So there is pog basic training and then there is infantry basic training. Even though it was ten years ago since I was last in basic training things still look that way judging by the wikipedia article.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army_Infantry_School
 
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jamesrage

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Okay there, Leonidas. :lol:

The consequence of having an all-volunteer army is that you have to entice people to join, and then treat them like human beings.

The military does not treat you like you are not human. A lack of sleep,luxuries, being yelled at and so on is not mistreatment nor is it the military treating you like you are not human. It is prepping you to be a soldier to prepare for a warfare occupation.
 
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Ductus_Exemplo

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Okay there, Leonidas.

The consequence of having an all-volunteer army is that you have to entice people to join, and then treat them like human beings. - TacticalEvilDan

Treating them like human beings. I guess Al Qaeda treats those who they behead like human beings right? Or those that take pot shots at our guys from schools and hospitals. I guess they treated the Blackwater boys who were mutulated and hung from a bridge in Fallujah as human beings too right? As someone said earlier, "boot camp", ill use that in the most generic sense, is designed to prepare you to obey orders without question and to be able to handle follow on training. The idea of breaking a man down and building him back into a soldier or Marine is what makes our military so effective. Hundreds of thousands of individuals did not topple Saddam, Hitler, or Tojo. It was an organized and DISCIPLINED fighting force that knew something of hardship. There is no place for an individual in the military, and those that fall through the cracks of boot camp or OCS are discovered by their peers VERY soon.

I have trained along side the army and I have never seen such a disservice done to their soldiers, not to mention the money they waste. They are finally starting to realize that the idea of "Every Soldier is a rifleman", is a good one. I cross trained with army MP lt's down at Leonard Wood for about 6 weeks and I couldnt believe the ignorance among them (I dont mean ignorance in a bad way, but just that they JUST DONT KNOW). They had no clue about how to call for fire, call in a 9 line CAS, 9 line casevac requests, much less speak properly over the radio under stressful conditions. They got severly upset when there instructors "used a command voice" with them. The discipline was horrendous. May I also just say that this isnt to offend anyone in the army, I know a lot of squared away soldiers, officers, and NCOs. These soldiers are fed up with the politically correct army. The ire that I am putting on the army is directed towards the upper level brass or civilians that are making these bogus CYA calls during training.

The bottom line is, if we get soft, we are not properly preparing our fighting men and women for the rigors of war. Which may corrolate to more of them coming home in body bags.
 

cpwill

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Luckily, if they get dropped to any units that have any actual expectation of seeing any combat they'll probably be fixed pretty quickly by people who actually know how to train warfighters. Either way they're in for a big surprise.

you would hope so, but there is also a big push right now to get rid of 'hazing' in the military. trying to fix the sea lawyers, attitude problems, and idiots that get sent to you now is a fast trip to NJP for today's junior leadership, who are desperate not to have to lead the flawed creations of weak training structures into combat, but denied many of the tools they need to solve their issues.


the point of boot camp is to break you, so that you can be remade. if you aren't broken, you will not be remade as hard as you need to be to survive and succeed in coombat. and you or those around you will pay a heavy price indeed for the ease of living that you enjoyed earlier.
 

cpwill

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Hopefully they are not doing this **** with infantry basic. The purpose of boot camp is to train you to be a soldier so that you can train for war. Not to coddle you, not speak softly to you, not to allow you 8 hours of sleep, and to have cellphones while in basic. If you can't handle a little yelling, hard exercises, name calling,lack of sleep, no luxuries and a restricted diet then you have no business in the military. Even if they are training pogs(pronounced pōgs, acronym for persons other than grunt, non-combat soldiers,non-infantry. civilians in solders clothing) they should train them to be soldiers not civilians. If the military wants civilians then they should hire civilians instead of wasting money sending them through basic training. This is why the top military officials who make these changes should always have infantry combat experience. I bet it was some stupid pog or heck maybe even someone with no military experience what so ever.That command sergeant major in the video a pog, hopefully she had nothing to do with the changes.

i think the experience issue you highlighted is a major one. there is a major generational split in today's military; from the leadership who came up in the last 10 years and has combat experience, to those who did their 'junior' tours before that, and know only peacetime military training exercises.
 

TacticalEvilDan

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The bottom line is, if we get soft, we are not properly preparing our fighting men and women for the rigors of war. Which may corrolate to more of them coming home in body bags.

Damn you kids and your rock music! :lol:

This is nothing more than chronological snobbery.

You don't need to dehumanize someone (nor have a dehumanization competition with your avowed enemy) in order to train them to fight. Sorry.
 

cpwill

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The bottom line is, if we get soft, we are not properly preparing our fighting men and women for the rigors of war. Which may absolutely 100% is guaranteed to corrolate to more of them coming home in body bags.

:) fixed that one for you ;)
 

cpwill

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Damn you kids and your rock music! :lol:

This is nothing more than chronological snobbery.

You don't need to dehumanize someone (nor have a dehumanization competition with your avowed enemy) in order to train them to fight. Sorry.

actually to a good extent you do. if i can recommend an excellent piece on this, Col Grossmans' 'On Killing' discusses (as i recall) at some length the need to dehumanize the enemy in order to be able to kill him.

as for chronological snobbery; no, boot camp has gotten weaker and softer as our society has gotten weaker and softer.
 
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TacticalEvilDan

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actually to a good extent you do. if i can recommend an excellent piece on this, Col Grossmans' 'On Killing' discusses (as i recall) at some length the need to dehumanize the enemy in order to be able to kill him.

I'm entirely familiar with the idea of viewing the enemy as less than human. I was talking about treating our own soldiers as less than human.
 

cpwill

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At Fort Knox, cadets still use good old fashioned pay phones.
I was lucky to get a call once every two weeks, on a Sunday. In the final month, he was allowed to call a bit more frequently.

:D my Senior Drill Instructor made a deal with us that if we shot Expert at the Range and shot a 'possible' (dropped no points on a particular target from a particular range and position) we would be allowed 1 three-minute call home. i got an answering machine. other than the 15 seconds i was allotted when i first got there (you are given a message to read outloud and then ordered to hang up), and three minutes at christmas, that was all the phone time i got in the five months i was on the island. and i got a friggin answering machine :lol: :shrug: whatchagonnado. :p
 

cpwill

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I'm entirely familiar with the idea of viewing the enemy as less than human. I was talking about treating our own soldiers as less than human.

also necessary. warfare will not treat them kindly, or take into account their feelings. the best training i have gotten is usually that which treats me the worst. you can be nice to them by breaking them, or you can set them up to be killed. which do you consider the greater kindness?

"Nor ought we to believe that there is much difference between man and man, but to think that the superiority lies with him who is reared in the severest school."
-Thucidydes
 
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Johnny

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This is ridiculous. The military should not change boot camp to meet the standards of non hackers. From what I hear at least Marine Corps boot camp is still untainted. No off time, no phone calls, cut off from the outside world.

I do think recruits should be allowed to quit though.

Boot camp needs to be tough. DIs are not there to baby you.

On another note in the fleet the services need to start treating their people better. The Air Force treats their people good. The other services not so much.
 
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Cyberhwk

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I would argue that its not even our nations youth, but most of its middle aged adults who seem to think that war should be clean and neat. I believe this is starting in our nations schools and being reinforced throughout American society. We need to toughen up people.

I am 24 years old, I am todays youth, and this scares me.
Except those that ARE out there currently serving our country bravely are exactly in this age range you imply are "weak."

I'll put today's youth head to head with any and all previous generations in terms of bravery, strength and valor. I just think they're unwilling to do what you want for a war they don't believe in which is understandable.
 

Wiseone

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This video was posted in August of 2006, which probably means its somewhat older than that. So we've been doing it for at least 4 years now, and there have been changes since then I know for a fact as well. Those soldiers are wearing BDUs for goodness sake.

No one pretend is this some new thing just coming along.
 

Johnny

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Good catch there.
 

JohnWOlin

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Here is what I am reading--people that are to ***** themselves to actually join bitching about it, or old timers that didn't have to rely on advanced technology to keep us out of harms way bitching about it, not taking in account that more people commit suicide in the military than actually die in combat.

I might be joining up early next year and nobody I have talked to think it is to soft at all. Also good one cpwill, guarantees they come home in body bags huh?
 

1069

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Here is what I am reading--people that are to ***** themselves to actually join bitching about it, or old timers that didn't have to rely on advanced technology to keep us out of harms way bitching about it, not taking in account that more people commit suicide in the military than actually die in combat.

I might be joining up early next year and nobody I have talked to think it is to soft at all. Also good one cpwill, guarantees they come home in body bags huh?

I'm not sure that claim is accurate ("more people commit suicide in the military than actually die in combat"), but it is undeniable that warfare has become infinitely less dangerous for our troops than it has been in previous generations.
Look at the casualty rates for this current war, compared to those of Vietnam or WWII.
And before those wars, they didn't even have antibiotics, and many troops died of infections or contagion, as well as battle wounds.

The army is a changing and evolving entity, but no less an effective one than in previous generations.
More effective, I would say.
We have our current "enemy" outclassed in every way imaginable.
Who cares if they're more blood-thirsty, more vicious, or more mentally screwed up than our troops?
They're basically a bunch of illiterate, malnourished cavemen trying to fight us with the equivalent of rocks and sticks.
We don't need to beat and brainwash our troops in order for our troops to kick their asses. They're nothing.
We don't have a clear objective, though. That's the hindrance over there.
Short of killing every Afghan citizen, I don't see much of a way to eradicate the insurgency.
They want us out of their damn country, and they're not going to stop wanting that, or stop fighting for it, until every last one of them is dead or until they've driven us out... in short, they're acting exactly as patriotic Americans would if the situation were reversed, except they're among the poorest people on the planet, living under the most primitive conditions imaginable, whereas we're the wealthiest and most powerful nation on the planet, and so I imagine our "insurgency", in the event of a foreign occupation, would be a good bit swifter and more effective than theirs is.
 

Orion

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I'm not sure that claim is accurate ("more people commit suicide in the military than actually die in combat"), but it is undeniable that warfare has become infinitely less dangerous for our troops than it has been in previous generations.
Look at the casualty rates for this current war, compared to those of Vietnam or WWII.
And before those wars, they didn't even have antibiotics, and many troops died of infections or contagion, as well as battle wounds.

The army is a changing and evolving entity, but no less an effective one than in previous generations.
More effective, I would say.
We have our current "enemy" outclassed in every way imaginable.
Who cares if they're more blood-thirsty, more vicious, or more mentally screwed up than our troops?
They're basically a bunch of illiterate, malnourished cavemen trying to fight us with the equivalent of rocks and sticks.
We don't need to beat and brainwash our troops in order for our troops to kick their asses. They're nothing.
We don't have a clear objective, though. That's the hindrance over there.
Short of killing every Afghan citizen, I don't see much of a way to eradicate the insurgency.
They want us out of their damn country, and they're not going to stop wanting that, or stop fighting for it, until every last one of them is dead or until they've driven us out... in short, they're acting exactly as patriotic Americans would if the situation were reversed, except they're among the poorest people on the planet, living under the most primitive conditions imaginable, whereas we're the wealthiest and most powerful nation on the planet, and so I imagine our "insurgency", in the event of a foreign occupation, would be a good bit swifter and more effective than theirs is.

Based on the info released through wikileaks, it seems that America's army, for all its high class, is being beaten. The war in the middle east is just as much about ideology and propaganda as it is about who has the weapons, if not more so.
 

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More suicides are committed by service members that haven't seen combat than those who have.
 
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