Saturday, April 9, 2016

Army looks at extending basic training for new soldiers

The Army is looking to extend the length of basic training, just six months after beefing up the course by rolling out a series of new tests that are mandatory for graduation.
“The No. 1 priority is readiness in our Army,” said Command Sgt. Maj. David Davenport, the senior enlisted soldier for Training and Doctrine Command. “When we [at TRADOC] hand that soldier to their first unit of assignment, there are three things we want them to be — fit, disciplined and well trained.”
Extending basic training — it is currently almost 10 weeks long — will enable the Army to reduce attrition and give new soldiers more time to increase their fitness and learn their fundamental skills, Davenport said.
“We are looking to add more time so they can do critical thinking, become educated and not trained,” he said. “We can focus on character development, physical fitness, marksmanship. It’s making a bigger investment of time in our new recruits.”
However, there have been no final decisions on whether to extend basic training, or even if it is needed, Davenport said. The solution could be as simple as moving things around within the already allotted 10-week period, he said.
“We’re still seeing what that window is, and even if it’s needed,” he said. “At TRADOC, we think about the future of our Army and readiness. How do we make our Army better? How do we make it more ready?”