The Army Returning to Its Roots?

Interesting concept: train to the standard to meet the standard. Also calls to mind a corollary borrowed from JFK: don’t change the standard before learning why it was created in the first place.

About DaveO

Retired soldier, micro-farmer, raconteur and pet owner from the great state of Oklahoma. Wandered in as a frequent commenter and have been enjoying blogging ever since.
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One Response to The Army Returning to Its Roots?

  1. burkemblog says:

    Years ago, we used to have several different kinds of PT tests, based mostly on the type of unit to which a soldier was assigned. Some of these required extensive facilities, like obstacle courses and run,dodge, and jump lanes–I recall when we went to the three-event test in the late 70s (I was commanding a company in northern Germany), it was presented as a simpler indicator of overall fitness that did not require any special equipment or permanent courses. We have since fetishized those three events into something with meaning on its own. That should not have happened. Your comments about “the standard” intrigue me–who sets it, based on what, and how do we know it should be “the standard”?

    We have this issue for all kinds of activities and entities–what should, say, TO&E maintenance or supply unit be able to produce in a given amount of time? if it falls below or goes above, is the problem with the unit or the standard? I realize there are vast bureaucracies at TRADOC schools (or wherever they are these days) that set these, but I often wonder just how close to reality they are–I never remember anyone from those organizations coming out to our battalion to check to see if they got it right or wrong when they wrote the standards. I do recall, however, a bunch of school/center staff coming out to see our DISCOM and corps support group in Iraq after the ground war ended. One QM major asked me (I was DMMC chief, 1st Armored Division at this point) what was the hardest thing in the advance and beyond–I told him it was fuel first, then water–when he asked why water was such a problem, I took him to the front of the tent in which we were meeting and asked him what he saw–“desert,” he said. I told him, “that’s why water is such a problem–we’re in the middle of the fucking desert!” The session broke up shortly afterwards.


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