You know what nostalgia is -- fond memories of things you hated or were indifferent about at the time. Today's passing-into-history moment is devoted to that staple of boot camp, bayonet training. I know why they're getting rid of it -- the last U.S. bayonet charge was in 1951 and, as the story notes, new soldiers "already need to learn far more skills than the 10 weeks of basic training allows." And I remember the training as both irritating and challenging. But now that it's going away, I feel a little sad -- maybe just because of the idea that if I had to go through it, then, by God, everybody else should, too.
And the general who decided to do away with it is getting some pushback from people who say that focusing on the actual bayonet fighting per se is missing the point. The training is designed to develop aggressiveness, courage and preparation for close combat, according to military history professor Richard Kohn:
Bayonet training is, in short, used to undo socialization