Thursday, October 16, 2003


Army Times is a subscription site, but here are some excerpts outlining GEN Schoomaker's plan.
“Everybody in the United States Army’s gotta be a soldier first,” Gen. Peter Schoomaker told reporters during an Oct. 7 roundtable meeting with reporters in Washington.

The specialization of jobs in the Army pulled the service away from the notion that every soldier must be grounded in basic combat skills, he said. But Iraq has demonstrated that no matter what a soldier’s military occupational specialty is, he must be able to conduct basic combat tasks in order to defend himself and his unit.

“We’ve dismounted artillerymen in Iraq, and we’ve got them performing ground functions — infantry functions, MP functions,” Schoomaker said. “Everybody’s got to be able to do that … Everybody’s a rifleman first.”
* * *
*Every soldier will be required to qualify on his or her individual weapon twice a year, [Gen.] Byrnes said. The current Army standard requires soldiers to qualify only once a year, although some commanders have their troops qualify more frequently.

*New recruits will qualify on their individual weapons in basic training and then again in advanced individual training, Byrnes added. Until now, qualification in basic training only was the standard.

*Every soldier, regardless of MOS and unit, will conduct at least one live-fire combat drill a year. For higher headquarters rear-echelon units, it might include reacting to an ambush, Byrnes said.

Interestingly the story also says this:

Gen. Schoomaker has had enough of rotating senior commanders out of combat while their troops stay behind.

This policy has infuriated many in the Army, especially the outgoing commanders, who feel it forces them to abandon their troops just when their soldiers need them most.

Schoomaker is sympathetic to those who feel the policy should be changed, and has told the units preparing to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan that he does not want midtour changes of command. Staying with a unit until it redeploys is “a fundamental role of leadership,” he told reporters.

I'm not sure what to make of the term "senior commanders". Will that include CPT Patti? She is at the most junior level there is to be called "Commander".

Of course, when I know, you'll know.

(via Instapundit)

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