Peace Time: December 8, 2002


Experience during the Afghanistan campaign showed that all troops have to know how to use their weapons. The Army now wants all soldiers to have more training in marksmanship because any soldier, even in a support unit, could find himself in a surrounded pocket under enemy fire, or attacked by small bands of enemy raiders. Being able to accurately put rifle fire on an enemy position is a skill that must be learned and kept fresh. In a related issue, the Army wants more realistic training on digging in on the battlefield. Currently, environmental rules that prevent soldiers from digging foxholes on stateside bases taught infantry troops bad lessons and denied them a chance to develop critical skills. --Stephen V Cole


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