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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Basic training lite

For reasons which should be obvious, we sorta guessed this might be happening:

To Keep Recruits, Boot Camp Gets A Gentle Revamp - Army Offers More Support, Sleep, Second Helpings

Once-feared drill sergeants have been ordered to yell less and mentor more. "Before, our drill sergeants' attitude was 'you better meet my standard or else.' Now it's 'I am going to do all I can to assist you in meeting the Army standard,' " says Command Sgt. Maj. William McDaniel, the senior enlisted soldier here.

Largely quoted Wall Street Journal article at Analog Periphery: The Army for Dummies (which appears to be a Central Illinois blog, much like this one). More:

New privates are getting more sleep and personal time. Even the way soldiers eat has changed. Drill sergeants long ordered overweight soldiers to stay away from soda and desserts. Today, soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood fill out a survey about their boot-camp experience that asks, among other questions, if they liked the food, whether they were "allowed to eat everything on the menu, including dessert," and whether there was enough for seconds.

I wonder if the food is good.

Some drill sergeants worry that the "kinder and gentler approach" -- as drill sergeants have dubbed the changes -- is producing softer soldiers. "If the privates can't handle the stress of a drill sergeant yelling at them, how will they handle the stress of bullets flying over their head?" asked Staff Sgt. Clayton Nagel as he watched his recruits file past him in the Fort Leonard Wood dining hall. "War is stressful. I think we overcorrected."

I guess we'll find out. [Link]

Posted by Marie at June 13, 2007 10:01 PM


If true...

No, I'm too old to worry about it.

OK... if the recruits turn out too soft after basic, they'll revamp the program. I hope.

They talked about the fact that it had been done to the Navy once before, but when I went back for a visit I didn't see much changing. I dunno.

Posted by: Ben at June 14, 2007 12:20 AM

A few years ago, the son of a friend of mine joined the Navy as a cook. The son had been an active boy scout and had worked several summers in the kitchen of a boy scout summer camp. He told me that Navy boot camp was not a whole lot worse than working at a boy scout summer camp: he had to get up early and stay up late, there was a certain amount of fatigue and discomfort, and people yelled at you to do things all the time. Maybe he was a victim of the kinder, gentler approach but he said he his experience at navy boot camp was much better than guys that hadn't worked at a boy scout camp.

Posted by: Kem White Author Profile Page at June 14, 2007 1:40 PM

thanks for referencing my blog.

Posted by: Jonathan at June 14, 2007 5:02 PM