As the Army changes, so does Fort Jackson - - Columbia, South Carolina

As the Army changes, so does Fort Jackson


As the battlefield has evolved, so has Fort Jackson. And that evolution is ongoing.

More than 60,000 recruits a year learn to lock and load. Urban combat training is relatively new when compared to the basic training that veterans received years ago.

"When I went through basic training, we focused mainly on clearing trenches, digging foxhole positions, we were in the wood line all the time and there was no urban combat training," said 1st Sgt. Raymond Malcolm.

The exercises are a snapshot of how life as a soldier has changed. More changes are coming as the armed forces prepare to welcome women into combat roles.

"I feel good about it," said Brig. Gen. Bryan Roberts in regard to these changes. "I think the army and the other services are headed in the right direction."

Roberts, Fort Jackson's commanding general, says the changeover will have little effect on actual training. Men and women already train side by side.

"There's no segregation, females to the left, males to the right," said Roberts. "They're automatically integrated from the day they enter our reception battalion and they adhere to the same standards."

That was easy to see Wednesday afternoon on a training course built for today's conflicts and tomorrow's soldiers. 

"So far, what I've seen here the males and females have been able to execute the same tasks at the same standards, as long as they meet those standards we set for them, it's a non-issue," said Malcolm.

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