Tom note: Here is the second entry in our 10 Long March posts for 2018, the 9th most-read item of the year, which originally ran on May 10, 2018. These posts are selected based on what's called 'total engaged minutes' (the total number of time spent reading and commenting on an article) rather than page views, which the T&P; editors see as a better reflection of Long March reader interest and community. Thanks to all of you for reading, and for commenting--which is an important part of this column.
It looks like the U.S. Army has fully embraced the America’s legions of gamers, but don’t start freaking out about the endtimes just yet. In Operation Overmatch, an upcoming online video game developed by the service, two teams of eight soldiers take command of an assortment of tanks and armored vehicles and do battle with new and advanced war machines.
During an U.S. Army town hall meeting on March 30, Sgt. Maj. Michael Gragg, the command sergeant major of the Center for Initial Military Training, presented the audience with an embarrassing statistic: Of the handful of soldiers recently tested on the use of the M40-series protective mask, only less than half knew how to wear it properly. This isn’t rocket science: It’s one of the most fundamental tasks soldiers are expected to perform upon graduating basic training.
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.