There is nothing wrong with change, so long as it is in the right
direction. -Winston Churchill
I'm not normally one to complain about the orders I'm given or the decisions my superiors make. I generaly assume that it is very hard to judge someone's choices without first having been in their situation. I can not stay silent this time however. There has been a long, drawn out weakening of the NCO corps. I've mentioned this on occasion. I believe that a large part of this falls into accelerated promotions at the junior level, and also with the attitudes of entitlement and apathy that most of America's youth carry when they come into the Army. Recently I read an article about the changes planned for the NCO school system. A number of things bother me. The biggest changes that I noticed were at the WLC level, which (for those of you unfamiliar with the system) is the first NCO school a soldier attends. Soldiers will soon no longer be trained on land navigation, with the burden being on the unit to train the individual. I can not support this as not all units concentrate on such a basic skill. There are also plans to take away the lock-down that made PLDC a distinct learning environment, and with it staples such as wall-locker and barracks inspections. You can not teach soldiers without knowing the standards, and I think that taking this focus away from the beginnings of leadership schools just weakens the standards these NCOs will grow to enforce. But the greatest travesty is that the requirement to pass a PT test is being removed. The Army Times reports that "PT evaluations are also appropriate for the unit level before students attend the Warrior Leader Course. Marginal soldiers who are sent to the WLC risk having a negative report follow them throughout their careers." First and foremost why are units sending these "marginal soldiers"? It is the unit's responsibility to make sure that a soldier is fit for school and if a soldier can't get fit then to hold them back from the school. But more importantly what is more important, ensuring that the "marginal soldier" gets promoted, or making sure that the standards are met? Have we truly decided that the welfare and advancement of the individual soldier is more important than the needs of the Army? WTF?!?