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Subject: US Army training seems to be wanting by comparison to US Marine training
ZealousZionist    6/5/2007 6:41:09 AM
Speaking as an interested allied observer (IDF infantry officer) it seems to me - admittedly from the outside - that the USMC has a more rigorous training regime for infantry MOSs than the US Army. Let me assure my American friends that I mean this with the utmost respect. We face the same enemies - jihadi Islam. I am thus asking this question in the best of faith. Every marine recruit does 13 weeks of boot camp, while army recruits do only 9. Marine grunts then go on to do another 7 weeks infantry training at SOI - a total of 20 weeks training - while army OSUT is only 14 weeks long. The Marines also break down infantry squad tasks, alloting a distinct MOS to AT missilmen, machine gunners, assaultmen, mortarmen and riflemen. In the Army the only distinction is between riflemen and mortarmen. And the same seems to be said for the sniper schools - the Army course is 5 weeks in length while Marine scout-sniper training extends over 10 weeks. Why does Army training seem to be so much less rigorous? Why is this so? There is much to be said for concentrating training at purpose-built centralised schools rather than in units. At schools the quality-control is much easier to maintain, while there is inevitably substantial variation between the operational and training levels of combat units. And what happens when an army infantryman is assigned to a unit just a couple of weeks away from deployment to a combat zone? Given my personal experience with how militaries work (personnel wonks are the same in any army) I'm sure that has happened in the US Army. Doesn't that shortchange all concerned.. the half-baked grunt and his fellows by creating a weak link in the unit. So help me please to understand the thinking here, because I don't get it. US Army officers are intelligent and well educated. There must be a rationale for this. But it sure has escaped me.
 
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Horsesoldier       6/5/2007 12:21:05 PM
It takes about a year to create a qualified and well trained infantryman, no matter how you cut it.  The USMC front loads more in the initial training pipeline, the Army does more with guys when they get to their first unit of assignment.  Neither is someone I'd be overly keen on being downrange with until they've got at least 12 months in service.
 
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dirtykraut       6/5/2007 3:00:48 PM
No disrespect zionist, but until you have been to atleast one of the two initial training programs, OSUT at benning or boot camp and SOI, I do not think you are qualified to say which one is more rigorous. And I strongly disagree with your assertion that quality control can be better managed in a school environment. In fact, in another post I was arguing the opposite. There are limited instructors (US Army DS; or USMC DI) in a school environment that have to teach hundreds of people. Whereas when you are in your unit, the platoon or squad can focus on training. The army accomplishes this by mixing the inexperienced with the experienced. It is much more productive to train with a small unit, where most of the people in the unit have been in the army for a while and are more than qualified to cross train with the new guys. What you get out of this is a considerably higher number of people who can show you a thing or two, in a much smaller unit.
 
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dirtykraut       6/5/2007 3:16:09 PM
Perhaps the reason the Israelis, the British and the Commonwealth spend more time in a basic school environment is because they have a smaller number of people that must be put through training. Now I am not arguing that because they are smaller, they are more selective and or better trained. A good thing to compare basic training among western countries is to look at the instructor to recruit ratio. I heard somewhere that Australia has the highest instructor to recruit ratio, meaning they have the most amount of instructors available to recruits. Remember that the total strength of the US military is 2.4 million men, the reason I include the National Guard and Reserves in that figure is because they must do the same initial basic and AIT as their active duty counterparts. So many recruits are coming through at once, and it just wouldn't make sense to keep them in a basic training environment for too long. The USMC is a smaller organization than the US Army and Marine grunts are supposed to have a different role than their army counterparts. So that may explain why the USMC spends more time in a school environment. But I have to tell you, zealous zionist, the vast majority of Marine grunts and US army grunts do not put much stock in the USMC infantrymen vs. Army infantrymen prick measuring contest. Having said that, I know people who have been to both OSUT and boot camp and SOI. Some said that OSUT was even more difficult than Marine SOI and bootcamp. My personal opinion is that it is 6 of 1 half dozen of the other. However, Marine infantry do tend to be more agressive with a higher esprit de corps, but that has more to do with USMC history than anything else.
 
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ZealousZionist    What about sniper training?   6/5/2007 6:30:46 PM
Horsesoldier and Dirty Kraut...

Thanks for your answers... and I understand your arguments.  But that rationale doesn't deal with the problem of .... cherries, I believe they are called... being posted to operational units shortly before deployment.  I am sure that happens.

And what about my sniper school question.

Why is USMC sniper training twice the length of the US Army course?

Thanks,

ZZ
 
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ZealousZionist    What about sniper training?   6/5/2007 6:43:53 PM
And for the sake of truth in advertising, I should draw attention to the fact that the IDF sniper program falls far short of optimal.   

Because of the nature of IDF military service, and because officers are drawn from the ranks and there is no initial requirement for a college degree, most of the high-quality personnel who, in the US or British armies might qualify as snipers, end up as officers in the IDF.  The qualities of high-intelligence, maturity and discretion that are required to be a good sniper are very similar to the qualities that make good company grade officers.  Case in point Vietnam USMC sniper Charles Henderson - he would have made an excellent platoon commander.  

But then that goes to the class distinction between officers and ORs/EMs that exists in the US and most other armies where a university degree is seen as a requirement for a pip on the shoulder.  That is not the case in the IDF.

But back to sniping - there are advantages and disadvantages to each system... and one of the disadvantages of the Israeli system is that the people who end up as snipers in the IDF aren't necessarily the best and brightest.  And I think this is a problem.  I'm not quite sure how to solve it... but there it is.  I'm quite willing to criticize my own where warranted.

Cheers,

ZZ
 
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dirtykraut       6/5/2007 10:21:18 PM
Your right, it doesn't deal with the problem of cherries getting sent to the sand box two weeks out of OSUT. But this only happens when they are put in a deployed unit. And it doesn't happen too often. Remember, only 175,000 men are deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, less than 1 tenth the total strentgh of the US military (remember, 40% of deployed units in Iraq are National Guard and reserves). If it just so happens that you are put in a unit that is deployed, you are paired with an experienced grunt to show you the ropes and get you caught up on a few things. If you do end up being sent to a unit that is scheduled for deployment, then you will be the recipient of the best predeployment training you can get (IMO). It may not be the perfect system for deployed cherries, but unfortunately that's just the way it is.
 
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dirtykraut       6/5/2007 10:25:18 PM
However, I will admit that the USMC scout snipers are better than their army counterparts. I am of the opinion that the corps has the finest training program in the world for snipers. SCCO Marine will be able to fill you in on that. USMC snipers have a different mission than their counterparts in their army, hence the longer training time. But the corps has always been known for their excellence in sniping.
 
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Bluewings12       6/6/2007 7:35:29 AM
""I am of the opinion that the corps has the finest training program in the world for snipers""

My opinion is that the French/German sniper training is the finest .

Cheers .
 
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dirtykraut       6/6/2007 1:24:48 PM
Why does it not surprise me?
 
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Ehran       6/6/2007 2:26:37 PM

""I am of the opinion that the corps has the finest training program in the world for snipers""



My opinion is that the French/German sniper training is the finest .



Cheers .



blue you are full of it hehe.  the canadians of all folks run one of the best sniper programs in the world.
 
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