Photo: Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf/U.S. Army

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

What would it take to transform U.S. infantry into a higher-caliber force modeled after the elite 75th Ranger Regiment? For starters, find recruits in their mid-20s and offer them $250,000 bonuses and a $60,000-a-year salary.

That's part of a working concept officials from the Pentagon's Close Combat Lethality Task Force (CCLTF) have been turning over for the past year in efforts to take Army and Marine infantry to a higher level of lethality.

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(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jeremiah Woods)

Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

FORT KNOX, Kentucky -- U.S. Army recruiters are offering bonuses worth up to $40,000 to new recruits who sign up for the infantry by Sept. 30 as part of an effort to reverse a shortage of grunts for fiscal 2019.

The drastic increase in bonus amounts for recruits in 11X, the infantry military occupational specialty, went into effect in mid-May, according to U.S. Army Recruiting Command officials, who said that the service still needs to fill about 3,300 infantry training seats by Sept. 30.

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(Textron Systems)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

U.S. Army weapons officials recently invited defense firms to design and build prototypes of an advanced fire control system that could equip the service's Next-Generation Squad Weapon with wind-sensing as well as facial-recognition technology.

The Prototype Opportunity Notice for the NGSW-Fire Control is intended to develop a system that "increases the soldier's ability to rapidly engage man sized targets out to 600 [meters] or greater while maintaining the ability to conduct Close Quarters Battle," according to the solicitation posted May 30 on FedBizOpps.gov.

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(Marvel Studios)

The U.S. military is constantly using technology to build better ships, warplanes, guns and armor. Shouldn't it also use drugs to build better soldiers?

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Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The U.S. Army says it will meet its readiness goals by 2022, but young sergeants in most infantry and close-combat units don't know how to maneuver their squads or do basic land navigation, Military.com has learned.

For example, sergeants in the majority of the Army's active brigade combat teams (BCTs) don't know the importance of gaining a foothold when leading squads on room-clearing operations, according to a series of report cards from the service's Asymmetric Warfare Group, known as the AWG.

The findings come at a time when the Army is racing to transition from the counter-insurgency mindset that existed in Iraq and Afghanistan to one focused on preparing combat units to fight in large-scale, conventional battles against a foe of equal strength.

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If the United States really wants to win against China or Russia, it needs to start investing in the infantry

In the cyber era, the infantry nevertheless remains our nation's foundational fighting force

Opinion
In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea, wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after landing on a beach during the joint military combined amphibious exercise, called Ssangyong, part of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises, in Pohang, South Korea. (Associated Press/Yonhap/Kim Jun-bum)

The 2018 U.S. National Defense Strategy (NDS) suggests our biggest national security threats come from "near-peer" rivals such as China and Russia. In order to adequately prepare the U.S. for a military conflict with one of these major global powers, the recently announced 2020 national budget prioritizes the rapid development of next-generation, high-technology initiatives in the nuclear, cyber, autonomous systems, and outer space arenas.

While these initiatives are important and worthwhile, they underestimate the importance of America's foundational and most critical military capability: the infantry.

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