Armed Services Accelerate Basic Military Training

Trainees high crawl through the mud on an obstacle course during Army Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, S.C. The nine-week course designed to transform young American volunteers into Soldiers. Photo courtesy of the Department of Defense.

Uncle Sam Wants You, virtually.

Fears of the spread of Corina Virus have prompted America’s Armed Services to alter recruitment, basic training and graduation ceremonies for future service members.

New soldiers will enter their ranks in seven weeks in order to limit extended contact for training personnel, as well as the service members themselves.

Every military branch is also screening all new recruits and trainees for signs of infection, and isolating any who may have been exposed to the virus or may be exhibiting symptoms of infection, according to Department of Defense pandemic protocols. The goal of these tests is not to stop new service members from entering into training, but rather to postpone training until after the recruit or trainee recovers completely and is no longer able to spread the virus to others.

The U.S. Army is shipping Future Soldiers to seven-week Basic Combat Training instead of the usual eight-and-one-half week BCT. Recruiters will have limited in-person contact with their Future Soldiers who are preparing to ship to training bases.

To limit person-to-person contact and ensure the health and safety of its members, US Army Recruiting Command has also shifted to virtual recruitment. Communications are carried out through texts, phone calls, direct messages, email, and video chat, rather than face-to-face.

“We are very confident in our ability to operate in the virtual space, as it has become a primary method of talking to potential Soldiers in recent years,” Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, USAREC commanding general, said via an Army statement.

“While face-to-face discussions are valuable when discussing options to serve in the U.S. Army, we are able to work around that, if necessary. Right now, I think that is necessary for the health and safety of our force and those around them.”

The U.S. Navy Recruit Training Command has announced that they are suspending all large scale graduation ceremonies for both their Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes and Officer Training in Newport, RI.

Coast Guard Training Center Cape May suspended receiving new recruits until this week, limiting entry onto the installation to mission essential personnel.

The Air Force has canceled boot camp graduations for families and U.S. Africom has curtailed a massive exercise amid the spread of the virus. Air Force Academy Cadets will no longer be allowed to travel outside the U.S. to countries with heightened security risk for the spread of Corona Virus.

“The safety and protection of our forces – U.S. and partner nations – is a priority,” U.S. Africa Command’s Gen. Stephen Townsend said.


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