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US Army to drop hand grenade proficiency from basic training

The United States Army will no longer require hand grenade competency for graduation from basic training because it is taking “too much time” and some recruits are not strong enough, Major General Malcolm Frost told reporters on Friday.

Published: February 20, 2018, 9:15 am

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    Washington

    Changes to the Army’s Basic Combat Training (BTC) are in the pipeline to scrap current hand grenade proficiency standards as a requirement for graduation starting next summer.

    Military.com reported that the new BCT has not only eliminated the hand grenade requirement but also the land navigation course as a graduation requirement.

    Maj. Gen. Frost said that training recruits were taking too much time: “What we have found is it is taking far, far too much time. It’s taking three to four times as much time … just to qualify folks on the hand grenade course than we had designated so what is happening is it is taking away from other aspects of training.”

    Women are not strong enough to throw the grenade far enough “if they haven’t thrown growing up” Frost explained. More than 200 000 women are serving in active duty today, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    “We are finding that there are a large number of trainees that come in that quite frankly just physically don’t have the capacity to throw a hand grenade 20 to 25 to 30 meters. In 10 weeks, we are on a 48-hour period; you are just not going to be able to teach someone how to throw if they haven’t thrown growing up.”

    According to Army Times, hand grenade training will be blended into other exercises in future. “Rather than spend time getting soldiers through the hand grenade and land navigation qualification courses in order to graduate basic, those skills will be incorporated into three new field training exercises, dubbed Hammer, Anvil and Forge.”

    On Facebook, John Clayton wrote: “Army to lower hand grenade requirements because women do not have the strength to throw it far enough to meet existing requirements to graduate SMH.”

    “One of my female soldiers couldn’t throw a grenade so she couldn’t deploy,” wrote Anthony Anderson.

    The army denied that the change had anything to do with gender-based considerations.

    Two years after the ban on women in the US infantry and armor jobs was lifted, women can now join the 101st Airborne Division, the 4th Infantry Division and 1st Armored Division.

    The US Army has pushed the Army Gender Integration plan made effective by the Defense Department in January 2016 to bring women into military occupational positions.

    “This historic achievement is a reminder of the great things we can achieve when women are seen and treated as equals and given the same chance to contribute to their country,” Senatror Tammy Duckworth, told Army Times.

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