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  • Army drops bayonets, busts abs in training revamp

    Taken from Yahoo!'s main page this morning

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_new_basic_training

    FORT JACKSON, S.C. At 5 a.m. on the Army's largest training base, soldiers grunt through the kinds of stretches, body twists and bent-leg raises that might be seen in an "ab blaster" class at a suburban gym.

    Adapting to battlefield experience in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Army is revamping its basic training regimen for the first time in three decades by nixing five-mile runs and bayonet drills in favor of zigzag sprints and honing core muscles.

    Trainers hope the switch will better prepare soldiers physically for the pace of combat, with its sudden dashes and rolling gun battles. They also want to toughen recruits who are often more familiar with Facebook than fistfights.

    The exercises are part of the first major overhaul in Army basic fitness training since men and women began training together in 1980, said Frank Palhoska, head of the Army's Fitness School at Fort Jackson, which has worked several years on overhauling the service's fitness regime.

    The new plan is being expanded this month at the Army's four other basic training installations Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., Fort Sill, Okla., Fort Benning, Ga., and Fort Knox, Ky.

    "We don't run five miles in combat, but you run across the street every day," Palhoska said, adding, "I'm not training long-distance runners. I'm training warriors" who must shuttle back and forth across a back alley.

    Drill sergeants with combat experience in the current wars are credited with urging the Army to change training, in particular to build up core muscle strength to walk patrols with heavy packs and body armor or to haul a buddy out of a burning vehicle.

    One of those experienced drill sergeants is 1st Sgt. Michael Todd, a veteran of seven deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

    On a recent training day Todd was spinning recruits around to give them the feel of rolling out of a tumbled Humvee. Then he tossed on the ground pugil sticks made of plastic pipe and foam, forcing trainees to crawl for their weapons before they pounded away on each other.

    "They have to understand hand-to-hand combat, to use something other than their weapon, a piece of wood, a knife, anything they can pick up," Todd said.

    The new training also uses "more calisthenics to build core body power, strength and agility," Palhoska said in an office bedecked with 60-year-old black and white photos of World War II-era mass exercise drills. Over the 10 weeks of basic, a strict schedule of exercises is done on a varied sequence of days so muscles rest, recover and strengthen.

    Another aim is to toughen recruits from a more obese and sedentary generation, trainers said.

    Many recruits didn't have physical education in elementary, middle or high school and therefore tend to lack bone and muscle strength. When they ditch diets replete with soda and fast food for healthier meals and physical training, they drop excess weight and build stronger muscles and denser bones, Palhoska said.

    Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command, the three-star general in charge of revamping all aspects initial training, said his overall goal is to drop outmoded drills and focus on what soldiers need today and in the future.

    Bayonet drills had continued for decades, even though soldiers no longer carry the blades on their automatic rifles. Hertling ordered the drills dropped.

    "We have to make the training relevant to the conditions on the modern battlefield," Hertling said during a visit to Fort Jackson in January.

    The general said the current generation has computer skills and a knowledge base vital to a modern fighting force. He foresees soldiers using specially equipped cell phones to retrieve information on the battlefield to help repair a truck or carry out an emergency lifesaving medical technique.

    But they need to learn how to fight.

    "Most of these soldiers have never been in a fistfight or any kind of a physical confrontation. They are stunned when they get smacked in the face," said Capt. Scott Sewell, overseeing almost 190 trainees in their third week of training. "We are trying to get them to act, to think like warriors."

    For hours, Sewell and his drill sergeants urge on helmeted trainees as they whale away at each other with pugil sticks, landing head and body blows until one falls flat on the ground. As a victor slams away at his flattened foe, a drill sergeant whistles the fight to a halt.

    "This is the funnest day I've had since I've been here!" said 21-year-old Pvt. Brendon Rhyne, of Rutherford County, N.C., after being beaten to the ground. "It makes you physically tough. Builds you up on the insides mentally, too."

    The Marine Corps is also applying war lessons to its physical training, adopting a new combat fitness test that replicates the rigor of combat. The test, which is required once a year, has Marines running sprints, lifting 30-pound ammunition cans over their heads for a couple of minutes and completing a 300-yard obstacle course that includes carrying a mock wounded Marine and throwing a mock grenade.

    Capt. Kenny Fleming, a 10-year-Army veteran looking after a group of Fort Jackson trainees, said men and women learn exercises that prepare them to do something on the battlefield such as throw a grenade, or lunge and pick a buddy off the ground. Experience in Iraq has shown that women need the same skills because they come under fire, too, even if they are formally barred from combat roles.

    Fleming said those who had some sort of sports in high school can easily pick up on the training, while those who didn't have to be brought along. One hefty soldier in a recent company he trained dropped 45 pounds and learned to blast out 100 push-ups and 70 sit-ups, he said.

    "We just have to take the soldier who's used to sitting on the couch playing video games and get them out there to do it," Fleming said.

  • #2
    Re: Army drops bayonets, busts abs in training revamp

    Originally posted by PFC Lowe
    Taken from Yahoo!'s main page this morning

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_new_basic_training
    Sounds good. I remember bayonets in BCT and still laugh thinking of wearing long blue coats like 1700s Americans and if I had to do that. Good article though, thanks! Seems like they're modernizing basic, not like when I went and we were talking about these new things called IEDs, but training old stuff. I'm glad to see trainees of the future are going to receive training for today's battles.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Army drops bayonets, busts abs in training revamp

      Sounds like the BCT could be moving in the right direction in relation to current operations. I still don't agree taking bayonet training away. I mean what is a couple of hours gonna hurt? One weapon one mind right!

      Bring back "smokers" it builds morale and espirt de corps. Plus you get to beat on the other platoons.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Army drops bayonets, busts abs in training revamp

        Originally posted by 7011USMC
        Sounds like the BCT could be moving in the right direction in relation to current operations. I still don't agree taking bayonet training away. I mean what is a couple of hours gonna hurt? One weapon one mind right!

        Bring back "smokers" it builds morale and espirt de corps. Plus you get to beat on the other platoons.
        I liked bayonet class. It was motivating as ****, and really physically demanding. Nothing like screaming about how blood makes the green grass grow and saying other things that would make Katie Couric crap her pants, but it's another one of those things, there's other things that must be learned first.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Army drops bayonets, busts abs in training revamp

          "Most of these soldiers have never been in a fistfight or any kind of a physical confrontation. They are stunned when they get smacked in the face..."

          ...Because the PlayStation controller just vibrates when I get hit

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          • #6
            Re: Army drops bayonets, busts abs in training revamp

            Farewell to the spirit of the bayonet!!!!!

            What will happen when the troops are faced with human wave attacks, such as in the Korean War?

            This is a sad day for the grass.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Army drops bayonets, busts abs in training revamp

              Originally posted by Chaplain4me
              Farewell to the spirit of the bayonet!!!!!

              What will happen when the troops are faced with human wave attacks, such as in the Korean War?

              This is a sad day for the grass.
              No more killing with cold blue steel.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Army drops bayonets, busts abs in training revamp

                Originally posted by California Major
                "Most of these soldiers have never been in a fistfight or any kind of a physical confrontation. They are stunned when they get smacked in the face..."

                ...Because the PlayStation controller just vibrates when I get hit

                Gone are the days where you had a problem, took it out back, and shook hands afterwards like gentlemen.

                Nowadays a kid will just shoot up his school

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Army drops bayonets, busts abs in training revamp

                  This article makes me look forward to shipping even more in less than 2 weeks. I'm excited but still nervous at the same time.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Army drops bayonets, busts abs in training revamp

                    Bayonet training I felt was more useful for motivation than actual fighting. Climbing over obstalces, crawling in mud and then unleashing that energy and adrenaline by being able to stab a dummy? HOOAH

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                    • #11
                      Re: Army drops bayonets, busts abs in training revamp

                      Originally posted by SteveLord
                      Bayonet training I felt was more useful for motivation than actual fighting. Climbing over obstalces, crawling in mud and then unleashing that energy and adrenaline by being able to stab a dummy? HOOAH
                      That stuff was pretty fun if I recall correctly. Screaming at the top of your lungs with a big knife at the end of your rifle can never be wrong.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Army drops bayonets, busts abs in training revamp

                        Lol...Well maybe we could infest in modified tips of the M16s and give them meat grinders....Hit someone in the chest with that there goin downnnn

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                        • #13
                          Re: Army drops bayonets, busts abs in training revamp

                          i loved bayonet training. i cant believe they would give it up now. it was a total of a day to do the bayonet training and got everyone motivated as heck. nothing got me more pumped for what was to come as getting to run and crawl through mud, crawl under barbed wire, and slash at dummies while screaming kill!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Army drops bayonets, busts abs in training revamp

                            Originally posted by PFC Lowe
                            i loved bayonet training. i cant believe they would give it up now. it was a total of a day to do the bayonet training and got everyone motivated as heck. nothing got me more pumped for what was to come as getting to run and crawl through mud, crawl under barbed wire, and slash at dummies while screaming kill!
                            AMEN brother! Fix bayonet...CHARGE!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Army drops bayonets, busts abs in training revamp

                              i really wish i coulda done bayonet training.....its BS they didnt let us

                              Comment

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