Despite what appeared to be an official announcement published on the official news site of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, a spokesman for the command tells Task & Purpose that plans to return drill sergeants to Advanced Individual Training are, in fact, not final.
Army drill sergeants were phased out of Advanced Individual Training a decade ago, but now, after years of deliberation, the official call has been made: They will be phased back in as soon as October 2019, according to a U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command news blog post.
Army Reserve photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brian Hamilton
It’s been 10 years since I was a young private undergoing advanced individual training, or AIT, to become a combat medic at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. But I feel pretty confident in saying that the Army’s plan to install drill sergeants at AIT is bad, and that the idea it’s premised on is even worse: the fashionable notion that lazy, entitled millennials need an extra butt-whipping to be good soldiers.
In the military, one maxim rings true across generations — privates are stupid. They make dumb decisions, with hilarious consequences. I know it’s hard to admit, look, I’ll go first. At MOS school as a young Marine, I called an Army command sergeant major, “sergeant,” because I was a dumb boot and thought that’s what you called everyone in the Army E-5 and above.
In the Army, basic combat training is the first step of training as a soldier, and for those in fields like the infantry, it marks the beginning of an arduous and comprehensive skills-based training regimen.