How to Revise Army Combatives Training?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Darrin Cook, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. Darrin Cook

    Darrin Cook New Member

    "We were teaching Soldiers too much stuff," said Hertling, a veteran of Desert Storm and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The result was a "task paralysis" and loss of focus.

    One task Hertling wants to do away with is bayonet training.
    In today's wars, there's no reason for soldiers to learn how to fix bayonets to their rifles and disembowel an enemy combatant, Hertling said. Besides, bayonets don't fit rifles soldiers carry today, he added.

    Hertling, though, conceded that bayonet training is deeply ingrained in the Army culture.

    "Some of these ideas would make old infantrymen turn over in their graves," Hertling said.

    Hertling also wants combatives or hand-to-hand fighting to de-emphasize grappling or basic wrestling moves. Instead, Soldiers need to learn to fight with their hands and use anything they can grab -- whether it is a knife or stick -- as a weapon, he added.

    Would you agree:
    1. No Bayonet
    2. Less Grappling
    3. More Striking and Improvised Weapons
  2. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    The author raises some good points but is off on most of it in my view.

    1. No. In modern times, bayonet training is not about practicality but instilling the mindset of aggression and the visualization of ramming a blade through your opponent in an effort to kill him/her. In a society that increasingly tells people that aggression is wrong and does everything in its power to instill a mindset that is counter to what is needed in the military, anything that can aid this process is a good one.

    2. No. There is a strong need for grappling. Today's soldier is often used in less lethal situations as a method of gathering intelligence or "peace keeping" or even humanitarian efforts. Having options for that soldier to restrain people that does not involving killing them is a very good thing. In addition, if you look at my comments for question number 1, they will apply as well. Grappling skills can usually be trained with with a very low degree of injury. That is a good thing as all the H2H training in the world is a waste if you cannot deploy due to being broke from your training. Finally, just because you do not WANT to end up in a grappling situation, that does not mean you don't need to know what to do if you are taken there against your will. For the basic combatives training, a well-rounded approach is the way to go.

    3. Yes. Sure, why not?

    The thing to remember is that the MACP or MCMAP is more about instilling a warrior mindset and conditioning an aggressive response than it is practicality. If the modern soldier ends up using H2H skills, something either went massively wrong, or it is in very specialized situations. Those units who are more likely to need H2H skills typically seek out instruction that matches their particular needs more closely.

    If the authors of those statements is so concerned about soldiers not having time to learn all of the skills required to be successful there are far easier ways to fix that:

    Go to any infantry post in peace time and you will see the following cycle: 1 brigade will be in a training cycle which is typically focused on small group skills and large group field training. This cycle is typically infused with a bunch of stuff that is focused on the leaders rather than the individual solder and includes a bunch of field time in which the leaders get trained and the individual soldier either sits on their asses or walks in endless "movement to daylight, err contact" scenarios which consists of all of 5 minutes of activity focused on the individual and 5 hours of activity focused on the leadership and NCO's ability to land navigate.

    The next cycle will be a deployment/readiness cycle. In this cycle soldiers largely sit around packing and re-packing their gear for endless inspections of equipment that was just inspected the day before. They update the same last will that they updated 6 months ago and largely get screwed with by their junior NCO's because they are bored as hell also.

    The last 1 will be a chicken-**** 'post work' cycle where they are out picking up trash or serving in meaningless guard duty in places which are already covered by civilian guards or, they get whored out to other units to do their menial work for them. That third rotation typically lasts about third of a year and is a colossal waste of time and manpower. If you simply take that cycle and dedicate it to improvement of individual solider skills you would have all the time you need to develop highly skilled personnel. The military decided, unfortunately, that it would rather use those soldiers in menial labor tasks than train them up during this time. I never saw the finance people out doing trash duty or pulling guard shifts, but they sure as hell had the war fighters out there doing it. In addition, if you simply take one day of PT a week and dedicate that to maintaining H2H for the remainder of the year than you will not have to worry about skill degredation.

    There is so much wasted time and BS that soldiers have to put up with. If they would simply focus on getting rid of that it would fix the entire problem. The General does not see that because he is a general and has never been an individual soldier.

Share This Page