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.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
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.