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Opening Arguments

A slice of histor

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

Posted in: All about me, History


Bob G.
Fri, 10/01/2010 - 8:25am

The professor states we "have such reverance for the individual"...Really?
Tell that to ALL the people who are killed every year on our streets by these thugs about such "reverance".
Prof needs an "update".

Life would appear to be a lot cheaper than in years past, and in such economic times as today, that's the WRONG kind of "bargain" that we're looking for.

I guess the D.I.s in boot will soon be serving tea and scones after morning reveille?

We've already dumbed down the kids...next stop, the military?
(sure hope not)