Posted on Sep 10, 2014
SGT James Elphick
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Throughout my time in service and in the years since I have spent a great deal of time talking to other service members and one thing that I have come across is that many soldiers in the Army received very little training compared to their sister-service counterparts. Then I began to look at it, and took my own experience into account. An infantryman in the Army receives 14 weeks of Basic/AIT and then is sent to a unit. In comparison a Marine infantryman receives 12 weeks of basic and another 8.5 weeks of infantry training before they arrive at their unit. I found similar trends across the board with many jobs (there are a few exceptions). Also, in other branches of service there seems to be more access to relevant schools, where as in the Army schools are seen as promotion points and soldiers who could use them suffer as a consequence due to a lack of openings.

I understand that during the height of combat operations in OIF/OEF training was a luxury but I think my own experience sheds some light on the subject as well. I attended infantry Basic/AIT and immediately afterwards Airborne School. I arrived at my unit the first week in December 2002 and the first week in January I was in Afghanistan. 8 months later we return, get 1 training iteration in which essentially consisted of a week of Battle Drill 1A, then we received orders to go to Iraq and by January 04, I was back in a combat zone. After returning I had 18 months before I ETS'd. We did some better training but only once do I remember 'good training'. Not to mention I spent most of my time in Weapons Squad and never went to the 240 range and only got a 'refresher' course on the Javelin. Anyway, thoughts?
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Responses: 4
SFC Bde S 3 Senior Operations Nco
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There is always time to train soldiers. It is our job as Non commission officers to train soldiers there is always something new we can teach our troops
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SPC Dave St.Andrew
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Before I deployed, we didn't start training until about 7-8 months before going down range, now, with new leadership, we have been ran ragged with training. We did a 3 month rotation up at USMA and our Rifle companies would come up for a few weeks at a time and do nothing but train. Now we are prepping for what is essentially 3 months of field time, then JRTC. Even though I think training is an essential part in mission readiness, too much leads to low morale and possible overuse injuries. Soldiers miss enough family time, taking their weekends and holidays away when you could easily schedule another week, can do more harm than good.
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2LT Bolc Student
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A lot of time is wasted. I can't tell you how many times I asked if I could grab the random couple guys in the common area that weren't on a detail to go into the woods out back and just practice some battle drills or infiltration techniques for a few minutes, rotate leadership, informally and impromptu, but was told by a squad leader or an officer to stay put and wait. The free time I managed to do it the guys learned a lot, especially the new Joes. Leadership gets in their own way. A lot of specialists that wanted to move up burned out because their initiative was crushed. They then turned into the shammers. It was sad. A lot of wasted time and potential.
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