U.S. Army training threatened by budget cuts

U.S. Army training threatened by budget cutsThe hundreds of billions of dollars in sequester cuts that have hit the military in a disproportionate amount are now at the point where they are affecting military readiness by a cut in the number of qualified trainers available.

Informed sources have told WND that the cuts affect Army trainers as well as their defense contractors who train officers in the infantry, military intelligence and tank artillery. The deep cuts are the third round of major cuts in the past four years.

“It’s hack and slash,” a source said, noting that the cuts will result in a loss of 80 percent of the contractors, which will greatly affecting the quality of training.

“It’ll make the organization (Army) partially unworkable,” he said. “The Army will accept crappy, non-existent training so long as they can say that they’ve trained students. There’s less than the prescribed number of instructors per student.”

The problem the Army is running into is that while the number of contractors will be cut, the soldiers will still need to complete training to meet quotas. This will require them to push soldiers through the classes and greatly increase class sizes. The source said, “of course, this affects readiness.”

For instance, the source cited the example of a pre-deployment checklist course that was initially set up for 60 personnel; however, eventually 180 people were placed in the course at a single time. The end result was a drastic curtailment and an elimination of essential elements in the course in order to complete the training in the time allocated.

What we’ve got here at the Military Intelligence Captains Career Course is a pile of contractors and a skeleton crew of active duty military officers,” the source said. “These active duty guys don’t have the instructor training, nor the military experience (since) a lot of the cadre are captains or majors, so you’re talking five to 12 years of experience, versus the contractor with 20 plus, and (because) they don’t know the lesson plans because we don’t gin them up here, they’re provided to us by the Command and General Staff College.

“I honestly don’t know what they’re going to do,” he said. “They won’t be able to teach the classes, there will be a long period where entire classes of students will be sitting around instructed to ‘teach themselves.’”

According to the source the problem goes beyond the immediate results of the cuts, noting that even if the Army eventually goes back and attempts to rehire these individuals, the trainers are likely to have moved on to jobs elsewhere rather than wait around and wait for the call to come back.

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About the author

Ryan Burgas is a regular contributor covering business and finance topics.