Physical Training Programs in Light Infantry Units: Are They Preparing Soldiers for the Rigors of Combat?
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
Pagination or Media Count:
This thesis studies whether light infantry physical training PT programs include the combat focus necessary to prepare soldiers for the rigors of combat. United States Army physical training doctrine stresses the development of PT programs that enhance military skills essential to effective combat and duty performance. Programs must integrate the interactive components of strength, mobility, and endurance. Unit mission essential task lists METLs provide a finite number of wartime tasks. Examination of light infantry METLs, plus identification of supporting platoon and individual tasks, revealed the physically demanding tasks an infantryman performs on the battlefield. These were then analyzed to determine the demand required regarding the physical readiness components. Surveys determined the frequency and types of tasks executed during unit physical training PT. Those tasks executed most routinely in units were analyzed to determine their physical readiness component demands. This facilitated comparison between light infantry combat tasks and tasks present in unit PT programs. Results indicate that although strength and endurance are integral parts of light infantry PT programs, mobility is almost nonexistent. This critical component is the functional application of strength and endurance. Its omission from unit programs is a glaring weakness in preparing soldiers for the fluid and complex combat environment.
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics