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                   Evolving The FORGE– BCT’s Waypoint 2028 for Producing a Multi-Domain Capable Soldier
 LTC Joshua A. Taylor
“The man is the first weapon of battle. Let us study the Soldier, for it
Why Change – the Environment Drives the WRequirement
ith a shift toward large scale combat operations (LSCOs) within a Multi-Domain Operating (MDO)
environment, it is important to ask what are the core tasks and skills the US Army will need from ALL Soldiers upon graduation from basic combat training (BCT), regardless of military occupational specialty, so that they may operate, survive and thrive under austere and degraded conditions within constant threat of destructive high-tech munitions and devices capable of detecting, disrupting and destroying large echelons of forces throughout the battlespace. Further, how do we align the BCT training progression and arrange the sequence of events and activities within its culminating exercise (The FORGE) to best meet that end. This article seeks to take that on with
an understanding that a desired solution must be exportable to all Army Training Centers. Further, a true “FORGE 2.0” should strive for holistic change that clarifies issues in the current linkages of the overall BCT program of instruction (POI) while retaining focus on individual Soldier development and certification. As such, any revisions to The
FORGE should avoid temptations that would lead toward larger collective level training evaluation or pure tactical STX concepts. The following is intended to set a model as a waypoint toward BCT 2028.
Retain and Enhance a People Focused Approach
To explore the desired Soldier requirements of the future operating environment, it is prudent to first explore our past. From the Ancient Greeks to the Romans – across cultures – to Frederick the Great (7 Years’ War) – Napoleon – the World Wars – Vietnam – the Gulf War – and into present day, the material forces of technology and adaptation of tactics have changed, but the common denominator in all wars (past, present, and future) has been and will remain “the heart of the Soldier, and how they process the physical, mental, and psychological effects of war.”1 If that is true, one must ask: What motivates the Soldier? What keeps them from running away? What makes them leave the relative safety of their “trench” to brave MG fire and assail another trench? What keeps them in the fight after sustaining wounds or seeing their battle buddy die? Finally, how much can they take before their heart concedes to the terror of war?
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is he who brings reality to it.”
- Ardant Du Picq

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