A general in command of U.S. Army training says that a new generation of video-gaming, computer-savvy but less physically fit soldiers will no longer learn how to disembowel an enemy with a bayonet. The passing of the old infantry standby may simply reflect a modern battlefield that has become both more tech-heavy and more tactically complex, according to AP and other news sources.
Modern recruits now come to basic training with excellent computer skills and knowledge, but often lack the "warrior ethos" and even the most basic hand-to-hand fighting skills. Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, the three-star general charged with overhauling Army training, aims to transform those recruits into hardened warfighters while leveraging their tech skills. As we noted before, video game-style simulators may help recruits feel right at home as they adapt to complex counter-insurgency operations in places such as Afghanistan.
Hertling even predicted the day when soldiers armed with smart phones could use thousands of applications to help repair a truck or perform emergency battlefield medicine, according to AP. Today's soldiers have already begun testing augmented reality goggles for repairing vehicles, and tracking aerial drone buddies via Google's Android system for smart phones.
Perhaps it's no surprise that the general said U.S. soldiers simply had too much to learn already in basic training, as Military.com reports. And besides, many modern rifles cannot even equip the sharp bayonets that have served soldiers for centuries.
But not everyone seems eager to embrace the bayonet-free future, if comments on Military.com gave any indication. One commenter saw "no reason not to train for the worst … because when it comes that time you better be the baddest in the fight or you're on your way home in a bag."
DefenseTech also points out the last known bayonet charge carried out in 2004. A group of 20 British soldiers near Basra fought off an ambush by over 100 Mahdi fighters in Iraq, but eventually ran low on ammo. They then resorted to a fierce bayonet charge that killed 20 militiamen and compelled the rest to flee or surrender, with only three British soldiers injured.
The after-action report compiled by the U.S. Urban Warfare Analysis Center concluded that the bayonet charge emphasized the difference between passionate but irregularly trained insurgents and the more disciplined, tactically-savvy professional soldiers. It also added that the incident represented the first time in 22 years that the British army had resorted to bayonets -- perhaps as compelling evidence as anything of how warfare has changed.
I'm not a soldier, I'm a Marine, and I can say from my own experience that you don't need a lot of bayonet training to understand its fundamentals. In my time in the Marines, I think I had a bayonet attached to my rifle for no more than 2 hours, all of it in training. Thats a drop in the bucket compared to the big picture of recruit training. What is the Army going to replace this 2 hours of training with? How to search for songs on iTunes using your iPhone?
Sure, technology is the future, but you should always be prepared for when technology fails you. A full on confrontation with another major world power will likely result in not only a physical war, but also a cyber war as well. Good luck looking up how to kill the enemy on your smart phone when the enemy is jamming the electronic spectrum.
Two hours of training that could potentially save lives when everything else has failed. Is that really too much to ask?
I served 6 years 2001-2007 never once used my bayonet in combat. But it was a comfort to know that if all else fails I was properly trained on how to use a bayonet.
In any case soldiers are always training so even if they don't learn it in basic they will learn it later down the line. Hand to hand combat and bayonet training is essential for soldier
Number 1 rule of thumb infantry first, specialized job whichever it may be) second.
What makes the green grass grow?
25F1P paratrooper for life...
Reminds me of when a machine gun/cannon was deemed no longer needed on modern fighter jets because air-to-air combat would only be fought with missiles.
Along with what Kim said, they still train Israeli pilots in dogfights and I believe(dont remember) even still retrofit gun/cannons on their jets.
Yes 999 out of 100 pilots probably will never need it or use it. However, it's the small details that count, and there's some things you learn that you can apply to many other areas.
With their thought process, Universities should stop teaching physics 1/2 and calc 1,2,3 just because you won't use 99% of it in the real world and your computer will work those problems at a click of a button anyways. They sound like that Wendie's commercial "If meat was meant to be frozen, wouldn't cows come from Alaska?."
P.s. (please don't troll religious/nonsense comments because I typed Israel..it's only a reference)
Even though it seems like you are not going to use calculus in your life, its good to know how calculators work and also, programing becomes a lot easier if you know your series'. I'm a mechanical engineering student and everything is based on calculus so its inescapable.
Lol, totally agreed, they soon realize their mistake and every combat aircraft from then on were fitted with guns again.
Never hurt to have a backup when it isn't overly cumbersome to implement. Likewise, you wouldn't eliminate teaching writing to kids in school because we all type our documents... Let's not give them any ideas.
The schools in North Florida don't teach cursive anymore. They already got the idea heh.
Maybe not the bayonets, but I hope that they're still equipping them with options for when the batteries are dead and the ammo is gone.
I don't know about the warrior ethos, but the tech just isn't always gonna be there,
This is an absurd cut. If anything soldiers require more and more training, not less. Just because there's more to learn doesnt mean you shouldnt still atleast try to teach it all. Imagine if history only covered the most recent stuff. geeze. My guess is they'll have to atleast work on bayonet alternative fighting techniques. ie) using your gun as an easier to learn club or hatchet like weapon instead of a spear.
As a former active duty devil-dog, this is just freakin' awesome, the Army has now become an even bigger disappointment than they were before. I know, I must not be too hard on them after all I guess since they overall get such a HUGE slice of the DOD budget all thier toilets must must've clogged from flushing soo much money down the drain that they need to elminate BASIC combat skills to find new uselessly inovative ways of wasting taxpayer money. If they really want to eliminate this time tested training with something to replace the bayonet, how about spending the money on a freakin' lightsaber or something ACTUALLY JUST AS USEFUL as the bayonet, so we all can at least get something cool out of it for once. I know!!! I know!!!! Next the Army's gonna replace the bayonet with the iPAD and use it's magical powers to defeat all our enemies bringing peace to the world forever!!!! God bless you Mr. Jobs!!!
General Geoerge S. Patton once said,
"Few men are killed by the bayonet, many are scared by it. Bayonets should be fixed when the fire fight starts"
The military has made some great blunders in the past. One I can recall off the top of my head was to build a fighter jet that didn't have guns on it. The F-4 Phantom was supposed to kill other fighters with missiles and radar. However, because the missile technology was buggy, and the rules of engagement dictated that all enemy aircraft be visually confirmed before engaging, all those advantages were thrown out the window.
The pilots couldn't rely on the missiles because many times they failed to hit their targets on seemingly easy shots. The enemy, using older but smaller and more maneuverable fighters, didn't have to worry about being shot out of the sky first because they didn't carry missiles. The US pilots couldn't shoot at them until they were really close anyways. Plus, their missiles couldn't hit the broad side of a mountain, AND they didn't have guns for dogfights. So guess how our pilots felt, flying a bigger, heavier, less maneuverable fighter that really couldn't shoot anything down.
War is still going to be up close and personal. Especially for the guy on the ground. The general population may think its a video game era with all the button pushing and the air strikes, but time will reveal that this is a mistake. Why take away a skill set that can be useful. War, like living, is unpredictable and you'll get bit on the @$$ when you least expect it.
What Lt. General Mark Hertling doesn't understand is that most of the recruits that come to basic without the "warrior-ethos" mentality are also fat and lazy.
Why even have basic then? Just slap a uniform on the recruit and send him on his way with a burger in one hand and a remote control in the other. Basic is meant to turn civilians into soldiers, preparing them to fight in life or death situations.
You don't handicap your personnel by taking away life-saving training. This is one of the dumbest things I've ever seen a general officer do. Period.
After 24 years of service, I have to say that I am disappointed. "Oh, well. These guys are fat and out of shape. But man can they play Nintendo!"
When your GPS breaks, you have to use a map and compass. If your compass breaks, you have to use a map.
When your tracked fighting vehicle or truck breaks down, you use your LPCs.
When your laser sight breaks down, you use old-fashioned marksmanship.
When your rifle jams or you run out of ammo in the middle of a shyte-storm, you use a blade to make your enemy die for his ideology.
Given the options, I think that disemboweling your enemy with a bayonet is much to be desired over saying "Dude! Game over! Chill!" when you have nothing else to fight with.
Not in the armed forces but I remember reading that only the Marines still teach hand to hand combat. Is that correct? I really expected to read this article and learn that they are moving away from bayonets and onto Krav Maga or Mixed Martial Arts. The 2004 charge of British Soldiers....ummm yeah, that's intense and you can just imagine what was going through their mind. Do or die. That's all they had and the did it.
No clue about the Army and why they are going down this path. They have dozens if not hundreds of schools in China with thousands of kids who practice Kung Fu every day as their daily exercise. These schools are "votech" schools where the graduate moves into the police or military force. Ummmm...yeah, we are going to need more than bayonet training. Something says this isn't going to go well.
As for gps, 2 sats going down and you are looking for a compass and a heading. There's a reason it's called basic training. Edge weapons training has worked for hundreds of years - now isn't the time to switch it around.
I went to basic 20 years ago at fort lost in the woods. We spent two days on bayonet training. The first day was lecture and learning basic techniques. The second was a road march to, and then running, then bayonet course.
I never had to fix bayonets during ODS, but I can't imagine the Army denying soldiers this last line of defense. Now when they run out of ammo, they should just accept defeat?
Oh, and @justin_w222002:
What makes the green grass grow?
That'd be blood. "Jab between the second and third ribs! Twist! Aahhhh!"