The needs of the Army and the quality of the recruits it is acquiring have changed, so the Army is adapting. One of the many changes coming to Army Basic Training (BCT) is the removal of grenade qualification from basic training, which could happen as early as this summer.

The Army says this training takes too long and the time could be used for more needed training.

Commanders have complained about receiving undisciplined and “sloppy” appearing soldiers to their units after BCT.  So the Army has decided to dedicate more time for recruits to become physically fit and develop discipline by spending more time on drill and ceremony, inspections, and learning military history.

“What we have found is it is taking far, far too much time. It’s taking three to four times as much time … just to qualify folks on the hand grenade course than we had designated so what is happening is it is taking away from other aspects of training,” Maj. Gen. Malcolm Frost, commanding general of the U.S. Army Center of Initial Military Training, told defense reporters on Friday.

“We are finding that there are a large number of trainees that come in that quite frankly just physically don’t have the capacity to throw a hand grenade 20 to 25 to 30 meters. In 10 weeks, we are on a 48-hour period; you are just not going to be able to teach someone how to throw if they haven’t thrown growing up.”

“Just because we took it off as a graduation requirement does not mean they won’t be conducting hand grenade or land navigation training,” Frost said. “They are going to learn all the technical aspects of the hand grenade, and they are going to learn tactical employment and they will throw a live hand grenade.

“With land navigation, it’s the same thing they are still going to conduct land navigation training; they are still going to conduct the day course they are still going to conduct the night course.”

“If we can get a more physically fit, better prepared, more-disciplined soldier in Basic Combat Training, AIT and [One-Station Unit Training] then we believe we will have less attrition in first unit of assignment,” Frost said.

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