Most Army Squads Falling Short on Infantry Skills, Reports Find

22 Apr 2019Military.com | By Matthew Cox

The U.S. Army says it will meet its readiness goals by 2022, but young sergeants in most infantry and close-combat units don’t know how to maneuver their squads or do basic land navigation, Military.com has learned.

For example, sergeants in the majority of the Army’s active brigade combat teams (BCTs) don’t know the importance of gaining a foothold when leading squads on room-clearing operations, according to a series of report cards from the service’s Asymmetric Warfare Group, known as the AWG.

The findings come at a time when the Army is racing to transition from the counter-insurgency mindset that existed in Iraq and Afghanistan to one focused on preparing combat units to fight in large-scale, conventional battles against a foe of equal strength.

Since March 2018, the AWG — a special, operational advisory unit involved in training brigade combat teams in subterranean (Sub-T) warfare operations — has submitted reports to Army leaders on several occasions identifying trends that show small-unit leaders lack proficiency in key skills required for any type of combat, a Defense Department official with knowledge of the reports told Military.com on the condition of anonymity.

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Author: Dian Welle