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                  Effective Training: Increasing the Volume of Practical Exercises in Basic Combat Training
 How can we produce a more effective Soldier in Basic Combat Training (BCT)? In today’s era of social media and
shorter attention spans, it is challenging, but not impossible. Basic Combat Training consists of 10-weeks, separated by three phases: Red, White, and Blue. The culminating event, “the FORGE,”
is the last major field training exercise (FTX) executed during Blue Phase. The FORGE consists of a foot march, confidence building exercises, rigorous training evolutions and competitive events that incorporate shoot, move, communicate and survive tasks to build a more complete soldier.
In 4-39 Infantry Regiment we also incorporate a scenario into the FORGE that is rooted in history and demonstrates practical application of the Program of Instruction (POI). The scenario is called, Operation Gothic Serpent. It incorporates elements of critical thinking, decision making and rigor in a stressful, yet controlled environment. The incorporation of this tactical scenario into
CPT Jay W. Banks
the last 48 hours of the FORGE, assists Trainees in conceptualizing the practical application of
the tasks that they have learned using historical combat scenarios. This article will show how the incorporation of tactical scenarios into our FTX’s produces a more effective and mentally ready Soldier for the rigor of our profession. This article will use Gothic Serpent as an example detailing how it and other scenarios are incorporated into our FTX’s and the benefit that the Trainees get out of it.
Operation Gothic Serpent was a United States and United Nations led coalition in Somalia during 1993 with the end-state of restoring peace to Somalia and ending a bloody Civil War. The notable battle from Operation Gothic Serpent was the Battle of Mogadishu, which was portrayed
in the 2001 film Black Hawk Down. The mission that led to the Battle of Mogadishu was the kill/ capture of two high ranking enemy officials that
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