Army Toughens Training For Generation 'Softened' By Games

The Army is remaking its basic training for the first time in 30 years to cope with a generation that, as the general in charge says, has a courage and physique shaped by, you guessed it, video games.

Speaking to National Public Radio this weekend, Army Lt Gen Mark Hertling didn't single games out specifically, but when he talks about raw recruits' preternatural grasp of technology, combined with an "across-the-board decline" in "physical capacity", we can connect the dots.

"This isn't a decline in our recruits; this is a decline in our American society in terms of their physical capacity. It's just a softer generation," he says.

It's a generation of young men and women "who are advanced in terms of the use of technology and maybe not as advanced in their physical capabilities, or ability to go into a fight."

What's more, what's upstairs needs a lot of polish, too. It's "a generation that is not as disciplined when they enter the military.

"They team differently; they have loyalty," Hertling offers, but "whereas they might have what they believe is a form of courage or discipline, it's not what we expect of a soldier in very tense and difficult situations." I suppose we can blame that on the relatively late arrival of cover-based first-person combat.

Hertling does praise the current generation for its intelligence and, again, familiarity with technology. And also their critical thinking skills, "They certainly ask a lot more difficult questions," he said. But that's not really a virtue in a high pressure job where orders are given and expected to be followed.

New Basic Training Hardens 'Softer Generation' [NPR]


    They need a new slogan, something that spells out what you're really signing on for. Since wars are always sold to the public based on lies, how about "Die for a Lie". Kinda catchy..

      Or 'You too can lose a limb and not know why'

      Or combine them.
      "Die for a lie, lose a limb without knowing why".

    Didn't George Carlin say: "War is one big dick fight." or something along those lines?

      Bill Hicks followed it with "don't give me esprit de corps, you are hired killers. Be quiet until we want to you go shoot up a third world country!"

    “They certainly ask a lot more difficult questions,” he said. But that’s not really a virtue in a high pressure job where orders are given and expected to be followed.

    If I were asked to be cannon fodder in a battle, Id be askin some really freaking difficult questions like "HOW ABOUT YOU FIRST... SIR!?"

    In an army where you can yellow card your superior for swearing at you? Get the f*** out of here.

    First do away with the yellow carding system THEN talk to me about 'toughening up the system'.

    I'm not in the army, navy or RAAF. Or even police force.

    Only reason why? They won't let me in due to epilepsy. But I trained myself to the standard I needed to be to get in. Hell I was fitter than most who were accepted.

    When I was told about this stupid, stupid, stupid system I was glad I never went in. What a ridiculous concept.

    "I suppose we can blame that on the relatively late arrival of cover-based first-person combat."

    bahaahahhaahaahha that actually made me laugh, well done

    Wait, I thought video games were turning me into a super killing machine of death and depravity?? Now its just making me weak?? What does that say about outlaw motorcycle gangs??

    "What is your major malfunction, numbnuts?" - Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (R. Lee Ermey - Full Metal Jacket)

    Yes. People of this generation are smarter and better critical thinkers.

    Of course control-freak types hate this. Thought does not take orders.

    Army training essentially works to create two things, 1) automatized obedience to authority, and 2) identification with the group. It basically works to ingrain a pack animal mentality.

    This is, unfortunately, a necessity in certain (and thankfully rare) situations.

    Still, of course the Army hates an increase in intelligence and independent thought! The leftists hate it too; as do the rightists (no surprise that both target violent video games). Anti-freedom political adgendas need an obedient and compliant populace. Authoritarian institutions cannot stand independent minds.

      If people of this generation are really smarter, why is Twilight so popular?

      I guess we'll never know...

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