Posted on Oct 4, 2020
SSG Stephen Rogerson
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Video of Marine Reacts with a Plea to Keep the 'Army Strong' and Keep the Shark Attack. Is the USMC next? Here is the rationale for why they are killing it.

Earlier this month, Fort Benning’s United States Army Infantry School (USAIS) announced its plan to retire the “shark attack”, an approach unleashed on fresh recruits during their first moments at basic combat training. Headlines and critics would have you believe that the Army’s decision to eliminate this tactic from the basic training experience represents a move to make the training ‘nicer,’ ‘easier’ or ‘softer’ on recruits. But the truth is that the “shark attack” is outdated, ineffective and likely does more harm than good in the long run; Its retirement is long overdue.

The “shark attack” is a purposeful stress-inducing attack on a single recruit that is carried out by several drill sergeants. It is typically marked by intense yelling, the issuing of contradicting commands and verbal denigration and is designed to assess the trainee’s ability to handle stress. According to Command Sergeant Major Robert K. Fortenberry, Command Sergeant Major for USAIS, the “shark attack” was designed to create a “chaotic environment that centered around applying physical exertion under stress.”

Getting rid of the “shark attack” is, in fact, just one way the Army is modernizing its approach to preparing a modern fighting force. The retooling of infantry One Station Unit Training, or OSUT, also serves as the introduction of a new program dubbed ‘The First 100 Yards.’ According to CSM Fortenberry, the program builds a “critical foundation” by “professionally introducing the soldiers to the spirit of our great branch” and introducing drill sergeants as “leaders willing to share in the hardship.” The goal of The First 100 Yards is to “develop teamwork, identify informal leadership, establish trust, and build esprit de corps,” explained Command Sergeant Major Fortenberry. COL Mikel J. Burroughs MSG Tom Earley GySgt Thomas Vick Sgt (Join to see) SSgt Keith Barrows CPT Jack Durish CW5 Jack Cardwell CSM Charles Hayden SSgt Charles Ankner Lt Col Charlie Brown SPC Douglas Bolton SMSgt David A Asbury SGT David A. 'Cowboy' Groth MSgt David Hoffman Sgt (Join to see)
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Responses: 7
SFC Contract Administrator
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SSG Stephen Rogerson as a former Drill Sergeant I can relate and going through Basic Training in 1989-1990.
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SSG Stephen Rogerson
SSG Stephen Rogerson
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I attended Basic Training at Ft. Sill back in 1983 and was later a Drill Sergeant at Ft. Dix some years later. I do not think the US Army or Marine Corps should weaken training.
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CW5 Jack Cardwell
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Release the sharks
Shark attack in basic in 1974 was nothing compared to shark attack at WOCS in 1992 !
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SMSgt David A Asbury
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Training should never be shelved but can be taught at some other point in our careers. Question is when do you need it?
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