Preparing the military for fighting and conflict will now take precedence over PC sensitivity training, according to memorandums approved by Army Secretary Mark Esper and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Millet. Many of these mandatory courses were instituted by the Obama Administration. But now, they will be optional. Many of these courses focused on transitioning transgender troops, drug abuse, and other cultural issues.
“The Army’s regulations and policies that deal with training were pretty settled, and there were not a lot of detractors to it. … It was all the other [training] requirements that we levied on ourselves, or we had levied from other places” that led to the increasingly cumbersome approach to combat readiness,” said chief of the Army’s collective training division Col. John O’Grady.
“Army officials are codifying the new marching orders into service-wide training guidelines and doctrine, which will bring the Army more in line with the Pentagon’s new National Defense Strategy, Col. O’Grady said.
“The strategy, which was one of Defense Secretary James N. Mattis’ earliest policy initiatives, shifted away from the George W. Bush and Obama-era strategies dominated by battling extremist groups including al Qaeda, the Taliban and Islamic State, and putting the priority on challenging traditional nation-state rivals such as China and Russia. It also placed a greater emphasis on increasing lethality in conventional combat operations.
“Along with scaling back noncombat training mandates, service leaders are also extending the time soldiers spend in infantry training. Soldiers graduating from the nine-week basic training course will now spend an additional two months in “advanced individual training” before heading to their first duty stations.
“New soldiers currently spend about six weeks in advanced individual training before deploying. Courses based at Fort Benning, Georgia — dubbed “Home of the Infantry” — will be the first to implement extended training, Military.com reported.
“Other previously required training regimens — covering issues such as pre-deployment cultural awareness skills, combat survival and evasion, and dealing with improvised explosive devices — will now be carried out at the discretion of unit commanders.”
The command-level decision making process has been systematically pushed down to unit-level officers since President Trump took office.
Army officials also explained that eliminating mandatory training for transgender troops was necessary because so many have already taken part that it is no longer necessary.