The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #85161   Message #1578550
Posted By: NH Dave
07-Oct-05 - 11:47 PM
Thread Name: BS: How low can you go?
Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
I hate to break this news to some of you, but the Army doesn't want people who sit down and consider the ramifications of an order such as, "GAS!", or "GRENADE!" They want people who will automatically don their protective masks, or drop to the ground, hopefully out of straight line propinquity to the grenade blast. These are some of the things that the military tries to condition into their recruits during their Basic Training.

The military has tried taking people who score lower than the Army's usual minimums, during the Viet Nam War, as I recall. It did give us some overlooked people who did very well in the military, but it also produced people who couldn't read and understand the technical orders/manuals telling them how to maintain their equipment. During that time there was a wholesale trend of making these manuals more like comic books, so that the people who would actually be using them could understand them and hopefully put their weapon together correctly so that it wold fire reliably when the needed it. Army tech manuals were generally written at a reading level commensurate with six years of education, so this move meant that the reading level had to be reduced another three years, or only place the more able folks into maintenance.

The trouble here is the military's equipment has grown increasingly more complex over the past 40 years, so the skills and intelligence needed to break down and reassemble the M-1 Garand rifle, are not sufficient with the M-16, or the Squad Automatic Weapon, the usual weapons in a combat unit. During the initial issue of the M-16 rifle during the late 60's in Viet Nam, insufficient emphasis was placed on the absolute need to keep the bolt group completely cleaned and lightly lubricated, so many soldiers died, when their rifles jammed and there was nothing they could do, in the heat of battle to get them working properly again.

Currently the Army is trying to lure young people to join with the promise of tremendous education benefits that the recruit can use when he's back in garrison, or has left the Army, but a lot of folks don't feel that their chance of making it back to civvy street make a "free" education all that much of an incentive.