Army has changed basic training this month

| October 16, 2015 | 0 Comments
Bayonet training is conducted at BCT in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, in 2010. (File photo)

Bayonet training is conducted at Basic Combat Training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, in 2010. (File photo)

In Part 3 of 4, warrior tasks and hand-to-hand combat are among focus areas

Todd Lopez
Army News Service

In the new Basic Combat Training (BCT) Program of Instruction, the Army plans to increase focus on Army values and discipline, increase emphasis on physical readiness, update rifle marksmanship training, reduce theater-specific training, update the existing field training exercise, and increase the rigor of some existing training courses.

In the past at BCT, Soldiers learned 15 warrior tasks, 81 individual tasks and six battle drills.

The new BCT will drop three warrior tasks and add one. The knowledge of those warrior tasks is not gone, however. U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command experts said that some of the warrior tasks were repetitive and could in fact be rolled in under other similar warrior tasks.

Gone is “perform counter IED” operations, “adapt to changing operational environments” and “grow professionally and personally” from the existing roster of 15 warrior tasks. Being added is “select a hasty fighting positon.”

Among battle drills, “performs actions as a member of a mounted patrol” and “react to indirect fire, dismounted” have been dropped, as well, reducing the total number of battle drills from six to four.

TRADOC experts said that changes to warrior tasks and battle drills (WTBDs) were changed based on a 23,000-person survey that concluded that WTBDs needed to be refreshed based on changes to unit missions and doctrine updates.

Some instruction in the current BCT will be moved out of BCT and instead placed into a Soldier’s first unit of assignment. For instance, lessons regarding interaction with news media, personnel recovery and a class called “what is culture” will all be moved to a Soldier’s first unit of instruction.

• Hand-to-hand

Instruction related to man-to-man combat, called “combatives,” will also be updated. New BCT instruction will combine the use of hand-to-hand fighting techniques with rifle fighting techniques to create a Soldier who is “capable of operating across the full range of force,” read a TRADOC document.

Soldiers use Pugil sticks now to simulate how they might use their rifle as a weapon once it runs out of ammunition. That kind of training will be enhanced as well as combined with combatives, which is hand-to-hand combat.

“If all I ever teach a Soldier is how to shoot a rifle or throw a grenade, then when they interact with a person, death is the only thing on the table,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Woods, TRADOC ‘s Center for Initial Military Training. “Sometimes, a good smack to the face solves the problem. That’s hand-to-hand fighting.

“Or, if you are in some mega-city, and you have combatants hiding among civilians, and the civilians are agitated too, maybe to create a safe space a push or shove will suffice,” he said.

(Editor’s note: In Part 4, next week, this series concludes with a look at final changes.)

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Category: Army News Service, News, Training

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