Capt. Ronald Fletcher has met an officer candidate who couldn’t find north on a compass, a sergeant who couldn’t complete an inventory of equipment, and “far too many soldiers who couldn’t fire a weapon straight, let alone understand how the weapon functions.”Interesting. The more dependent you are on technology the more helpless you become if its taken away.
As a drill sergeant leader, Staff Sgt. Erick Avalos saw “a lot of senior NCOs, experienced noncommissioned officers lacking in the fundamentals” such as marching, drill and ceremony, and rifle marksmanship.
“These are basic things,” he said. “Land navigation, for instance. These are senior NCOs, but they don’t know it, they’re not familiar with it. I feel that’s something that’s completely lost in the Army.”
The problem is in the National Guard as well.
“If I took 10 E-4s and below and dropped them off in the middle of the woods with a map and compass, there’s no way they’re going to find their way out,” said a staff sergeant medic who asked to remain anonymous. “Right now I have six soldiers come out of basic training, and four couldn’t pass their PT test.”
After more than 15 years of war — most of it in counter-insurgency operations — in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army is returning its focus to the basics of soldiering, intent on building an Army ready to face a wide array of threats around the world.
This is critical as the Army gets smaller and budget cuts force the service to slow down its modernization priorities. And it is also critical as the Army works to rebuild a set of skills that have declined in the face of ever-improving technology and the Internet.
It also lets me roll in this clip from the awful adaption of Star Ship Troopers...
The "hands" of the modern military is its tech. Take it away and we're back to WW2.