One less skill for soldiers to master at boot camp: bayonet training

When a US Army general made the decision recently to remove bayonet assaults from the array of skills soldiers must learn during basic training, it seemed like a no-brainer.

US troops hadn’t launched a bayonet charge since 1951 during the Korean War. And new soldiers preparing for an increasingly violent war in Afghanistan already need to learn far more skills than the 10 weeks of basic training allows, says Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, head of initial entry training and the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command.

So he made a change, substituting skills drill sergeants reported that they wanted to teach new recruits in favor of dropping the time-honored practice of the bayonet charge.

But in the weeks since that decision, Hertling has heard about it. “Bayonet training is pretty fascinating,” he says. “I’ve been slammed by retirees.”

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I actually have my father’s bayonet, I use it as a letter opener.

This story reminded me of a comic I read on Friday.

A bit more on that battle here.

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