Del Spurlock: Army Recruits Arrive Knowing Less

Civil Society, Cultural Intelligence, Military, Officers Call
Delbert J. Spurlock Jr.
Delbert J. Spurlock Jr.

Susanne M. Schafer of Associated Press offers a useful perspective on how Army recruits are changing and how the Army is changing to accommodate lower levels of knowledge about what used to be “basic.”

Fewer orders, more coaching: Army rookies learn to fire guns

As gun ownership drops among young Americans and the Army trains a generation more accustomed to blasting out emojis on cellphones than taking aim at targets, drill sergeants are confronting a new challenge: More than half of raw recruits have never held, let alone fired, a weapon.

Phi Beta Iota: Apart from only 1% of youth being eligible for the Army because the other 99% suffer from a broad range of disqualifying conditions including obesity, now we are realizing that new Army recruits simply don’t know what past generations knew. A fresh look is needed at the relationship between the Army, education, and society. There may be roles for the Boy Scouts of America and the National Rifle Association — we have lost our foundation for a strong Army.