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jagsindy 10-10-2006 03:46 PM

Army tones down drill sergeants
 
Oct 10, 6:19 PM EDT

Army tones down drill sergeants

By PAULINE JELINEK
Associated Press Writer


AP Photo/MARY ANN CHASTAIN

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hollywood may have to tone down its portrayal of the military's screaming, in-your-face boot camp drill sergeant. In today's Army, shouting is out and a calmer approach to molding young minds is in, says the head of Pentagon personnel. The Army says it has reduced by nearly 7 percent the number of recruits who wash out in the first six to 12 months of military life.

"Part of it is changing the nature of how it treats people in basic training," David S. Chu, undersecretary for personnel and readiness, said Tuesday.

That means "less shouting at everyone, in essence, which some of you may remember from an earlier generation as being the modus operandi," he said.

The changes started about a year ago, as defense officials looked for ways to make drillmasters more effective, said Lt. Col. Mike Jones, head of Army National Guard recruiting.

He said the old way was to "talk loud, talk often, get their attention" - shock treatment to teach discipline and mold the newly recruited civilian into a soldier.

But trainers found today's generation responded better to instructors who took "a more counseling" type role, Jones said, using strong tactics when needed but keeping them the exception instead of the rule.

The approach has had two positive results, he said: It has lowered attrition among those who go through training each year and has eased one of the greatest fears of recruits - their fear over whether they can make it through basic training.

Other changes aimed at improving graduation rates include such things as letting recruits with injuries or minor medical problems remain in the service, heal, and then go back to training. Before, an injury would have meant discharge, training officials said.

Numbers differ from service to service and depend on what the recruit is being trained for. Those training to be Navy SEALS or other special forces may wash out at the rate of 70 percent. Those training to be truck drivers may have an 80 percent graduation rate.

But Chu said that across all services, generally, some two-thirds of recruits finish their enlistment period - typically three or four years.

Of the third who don't make it, half bomb out in the first six to 12 months, Chu said, adding that the attrition rate is better than most private sector firms.

Keeping a balance in the number flushed out of the service is important. Too many dropouts and you lose people you really want to keep. Too few dropouts, and you are keeping people you should have let go, Chu said.

Both the military and police academies are moving away from harder-edged approaches to training, he said.

"However much it may be satisfying from the shouter's perspective, it really isn't the best way to shape young people for the future," Chu said.

He made the comments as he announced that all active duty services had met their recruiting goals for the budget year ended Sept. 30. The Marine Corps Reserve met its goal and the Air Force Reserve exceeded its goal, but they were exceptions among guard and reserve forces, some of which have seen "heavy use" due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Chu said.

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On the Net:

Army Training and Doctrine Command: http://www.tradoc.army.mil

Cpl Miller 10-10-2006 04:38 PM

Hell in my day...
 
it was go to JAIL, or the Corps. Didn't know you had to be smart, most were smart asses though. ha ha

namvet67 10-10-2006 04:59 PM

today's generation
 
is differrent! Maybe that works for the Army but will never work for the Corps! A lot of the young folk i have seen you would not want on your fire team. You have got to shock them out of their civilian way of thinking in order to achieve the desired results. Yelling is required to make the change! There is no reasoning when you get into combat! You really don't even have to think...just follow the order and believe in the one who gave the order! Semper Fi

jagsindy 10-11-2006 02:44 PM

It's sad when the "norms" of society are thrust upon an organization that has a mission to provide warriors to protect the Nation. The Army has been in a state of shambles since the 1980's. It has no mission, no direction and no vision for the future other than the pathetic fad group it has become. The adoption of the beret was the slap in the face and now these soldiers are swirling down the drain.

The air force is a close second, but I have to give them some credit when they went to the Commadant on advice how to deploy units-not whole bases.

As long as the Marine Corps is on duty the country will be safe. There will be issues and drama, but as long as the fundamentals are there, the Corps will be there.

"Semper Fi"

PS: If the Marine Corps isn't the best, why do all those puke slime bag pieces of shit feel it is so important to claim to be former Marines!


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