Support: March 23, 2004

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While re-enlistments among American troops who have served in Iraq are still above average, most first term troops are still leaving the service. As a result, at least half the new recruits are headed for Iraq, Afghanistan or the Balkans as soon as they finish their basic and advanced (specialized) training. As a result, basic training in the U.S. Army has been changed to prepare everyone for service overseas in combat zones. One of the innovations is a special 23 day block of basic training where the recruits operate as they would in Iraq. They are given realistic training dealing with potential suicide bombers, roadside bombs, checkpoint duty, ambushes and operating out of a base similar to the ones used by combat units in Iraq. While most troops wont end up in combat units, they will be exposed to many of the same dangers just riding around Iraq. The recruits wear the same body armor and handle the same weapons. Realistic exercises expose them to the high stress situations regularly encountered in Iraq or Afghanistan. 

 


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