Military training does not prepare soldiers for combat.
The military does not adequately prepare soldiers for combat. From basic training to pre-deployment training, the majority of military training is worthless. I was an infantryman in the Army. Like all infantrymen I went to basic training at Fr. Benning, Georgia. In the Army infantryman go through a basic training that is far more rigorous and intense than other branches in the Army go through. I think that I was lucky for three reasons: 1. I had intense training by great non commissioned officers (NCO) at Ft. Benning. 2. The NCO's in my unit (after basic training) were hard core, old timers. 3. I had a less intense combat deployment prior to my vacation to Iraq. My pre Iraq deployment training was at Ft. Dix, New Jersey, and what a fucking joke it was! We had 45 year old REMFS (rear echelon mother fuckers, which consist of support people like supply, mechanics, truck drivers, MP's) training infantrymen on combat operations. Do you see any problem with this? The people that the infantryman basically protect on the battle field were conducting out training. These people typically did not know how to properly deploy weapons systems, or what tactics worked well in certain situations. We frequently had to run fake missions that lacked any kind of reality what so ever. Many of these people had never even been deployed before! We even had trainers show up hammered on one occasion. I cannot think of one positive thing to say about the training at Ft. Dix. Worst of all this base was training waves of soldiers, mostly remfs, before they deployed to Iraq. I can tell you the only thing that is more scary than a complex attack from insurgents is a bunch of improperly trained remfs on the battle field. For example on one mission we had to go to forward operating base (FOB) Warhorse in Baquba' to pick up this finance douche bag. Everybody has to load their weapons when they leave the base. As a safety precaution it is standard procedure to watch everyone load and unload their weapons. This idiot put the magazine into his M-16 backwards! I just sat there and looked at this guy in disbelief as he attempted to pound the magazine in... I ordered the guy to stop, which he did with a confusing stupid look on his face. I told him not to load his weapons, and if anything happened, that he was to just stay in the truck, that way he couldn't hurt us... There are countless stories of soldiers who were not properly trained killing or wounded other soldiers, and this includes the chair force dropping bombs on our positions. There were more military casualties in Iraq from accidents than combat fatalities. What the military should do is have 1 month of strict weapons only training and then send the soldiers to the battlefield. When they get there have them spend 3-4 months training with a unit that has already been there for nine months. That way the soldiers get trained well on actual battlefield conditions, and they get the benefit of consuming the knowledge from the people that have already been doing the mission for the previous 9 months. But since "training" stateside makes the US civilians feel better about sending people off to die, it is unlikely to change.
I hate to cite Wikipedia but this one is pretty accurate I believe.