After a two week break to mitigate the Corona Virus, the Army resumed sending recruits to combat training. Over 950 future Soldiers will begin arriving at initial training centers.
“We’re not changing, we’re adjusting, and continually adapting in the environment no matter where we are, because we need to train, fight, and win,” said Gen. Paul Funk, the commanding general of Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, regarding the new BCT policies.
Increased safety measures are in place using social distancing and they are training at a reduced capacity.
They are training in smaller increments in case there is a breakout of the Corona Virus, said Funk. “We can control it and move the smallest elements forward and continue to progress people through the training pipeline.”
Prior to arriving at the training facilities, future Soldiers are tested for two weeks to determine if they have symptoms of the Corona Virus or have been exposed to it. They also self isolate in their homes to mitigate exposure to the virus and then are screened again when they arrive at initial training.
For the first two weeks of training they are on a modified schedule and their health is monitored daily. Initial training courses include classes include customs and courtesies, recognizing military rank, and preventing sexual assault. Many of the courses are held outside when possible and they maintain social distance protocols. Once they complete this phase, they “hit the ground running” and finish their next 8-10 weeks of training.
All four training centers have implemented these safety measures. “We owe that kind of due diligence and commitment to our Soldiers and their parents, who send those same Soldiers to us each year to wear the cloth of our great nation,” said Funk.
The U.S. Navy is also doing preliminary health screening at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Staff assigned to the Recruit Training Command (RTC) are conducting restriction of movement in an off-site facility. Rooms with a small number of recruits are used to protect the staff and recruits, reducing the risk of spreading the virus in case anyone becomes infected.
These safety measures also protect the recruits and staff already at RTC by increasing space available for physical distancing procedures.