US Army to halt basic combat training over Covid-19 pandemic

7 April 2020 (Last Updated April 7th, 2020 11:06)

The US Army is set to temporarily halt the movement of soldiers to basic combat training as the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic spreads globally.

US Army to halt basic combat training over Covid-19 pandemic
Recent graduates of basic combat training are screened for Covid-19 upon arrival at their base. Credit: Army Master Sergeant Crista Mary Mack.

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The US Army is set to temporarily halt the movement of soldiers to basic combat training as the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic spreads globally.

Army Training and Doctrine Command commander Army General Paul Funk II said that this will not pause training for the 54,000 soldiers who are currently at army training centres.

Funk said: “This conditions-based pause allows leaders to further focus on setting conditions to restart movement in a safer manner.”

Drill sergeants are enforcing social distance-enabled training and regular screening is carried out for trainees for Covid-19.

At the time of pause, commanders are expected to ensure that they follow accurate and latest procedures and capabilities to screen and test recruits.

Each new basic combat training cycle will have a two-week monitoring period. This will be followed by the start of an eight-week period of instruction of the trainees.

To contain the situation, response lessons learned from US forces in Italy and Korea continue to be applied.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is providing guidelines.

Funk added: “We are still training every day to fight and win our nation’s wars as our nation expects us to do.”

Trainees continue to be virtually recruited over social media avoiding face-to-face contact with the recruiters.

All prospective trainees have been screened for Covid-19. The screening tests are conducted at all military entrance processing stations and at the training base reception battalion.

This is followed by the two-week controlled monitoring, which involves asking soldiers about their health and recording their temperatures.

Collective training commences after 14 days, but with social distancing.