Sunday, August 2, 2015

Everyone gets a Medal: Army Fail

I was recently made aware of a US Army Training and Doctrine Command regulation 350-6 dated 7 Nov 2013 "Enlisted Entry Training Polices and Administration."

Specifically " Physical exercise for corrective action. Requiring Soldiers to perform a reasonable
number of repetitions of authorized physical exercises IAW FM 7-22page 5-5 as a motivational
tool is permitted for corrective action. However, consideration must be given to the exercises,
repetitions, and total number of times each day that exercise is used for corrective action to limit
the potential for overtraining and injuries." Sounds good and reasonable right? Check out the reasonable repetitions.

5 repetitions? Are you shitting me? 5 repetitions doesn't even get anyone's attention. As a slightly overweight middle aged male I could knock out 5 repetitions of these exercises without breaking a sweat. Your 20 something recruit is laughing as they do these. This is the military finally bowing to the "everyone gets a medal" political correctness. In an effort not to hurt anyone's feelings or gets sued for "being mean" Basic Training has jumped the shark.

We are not teaching our new warfighters that actions have consequences. You think the Taliban or ISIS is going to say "My bad American pig dog, lets call a training timeout"? Corrective and exhausting physical training has many benefits. It builds esprit de corps, teamwork, physical fitness, the will to survive. It forms personalities in a positive way. 

One of the formative episodes in my life was when then SSG later SGM (R) Lamb smoked my entire Pre-Ranger class for a dropped flashlight. We did 1000 4 count flutter kicks and he did them along with us. 1000 is a lot more than 5 and it taught me a lesson about equipment accountability that I have not forgotten over 25 years later. 

My point is that the Army has let the pendulum swing to far. Corrective physical training is a time honored tradition in the military. New recruits expect it. By robbing them of this activity you produce weaker soldiers, weaker units and you cheapen the entire military experience.

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