A US Army recruit’s personal video about training life gives some insight into the kind of Army our most recent generation is shaping up to be- and why the Army decided to return Drill Sergeants to Advanced Individual Training (AIT).
The video depicts a US Army recruit walking around his relatively lavish bay (which had a laundry room built-in) and filming the event during downtime, showing soldiers on their phone and generally relaxing.
The recruit complains about lack of privacy in the showers, despite the fact that the showers are partitioned off on each side by walls.
“No curtains,” he said. “That’s why I hate taking showers here.”
Eventually, he comes out to the bay, where he refers to a rack of M16 rifles as “guns” before passing several sloppily-made beds.
After effectively being told to “get on” by an upset-looking recruit tapping away on his phone, he heads over to a desk where his comrade is playing Pokemon Go.
“Hey, this the life of the Army,” the recruit said as he slapped his feet together like a child. “Playing Pokemon, putting your boots together.”
At one point, one soldier named Alexander expresses how he feels about the Army.
“F**k the Army,” the soldier replied. “F**k this sh**, I’m getting out of here and going home soon, man. I’m just trying to get paid.”
Needless to say, incidents like this only reinforce the Army’s decision to bring Drill Sergeants back- though that may not be enough to convince veterans that the generation they refer to as “Tide Pod eaters” will ever become “real” soldiers.
Earlier this month, the first drill sergeants -converted from AIT platoon sergeants- returned to Fort Gordon after completing a two-week conversion course at Fort Jackson. This marked the first time since Oct. 18, 2007, when drill sergeants hanged up their hats during a de-hatting ceremony and traded them for a pistol belt and AIT Platoon Badge.
“More than 10 years ago, the Army introduced the concept of the advanced individual training platoon sergeant: a noncommissioned officer who would lead new Soldiers, fresh out of Basic, through their second round of training before heading into their first units,” said Col. Daniel Ruder, 15th Regiment Signal Brigade commander. “One decade later, we are now witnessing on this stage the reverse transition … with the first wave of noncommissioned officers graduating from a conversion course qualifying them to wear the drill sergeant identification badge.”
Ruder described the change back to drill sergeants was necessary for transforming civilians into Soldiers.
“At basic training, drill sergeants are the number one sphere of influence in a young person’s transformation from their civilian way into our culture, our Army values … yet we know that the process is still far from complete after just 10 weeks of basic training,” Ruder said.
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