Beginning summer 2019, U.S. Army recruits will no longer be required to demonstrate grenade-throwing abilities to pass training. Currently, recruits must throw grenades 25 meters in order to enlist. If they are unable to meet this criterion, they are unable to enlist. However, the Army has announced plans to eliminate this requirement, making enlistment just a little easier for the thousands of American men and women looking to serve their country each year.
Why the Army Is Dropping Hand-Grenade Throwing
So, why is the Army dropping grenade throwing from its list of requirements? In a statement, the Army responded by saying it takes too much time for recruits to learn this skill. According to Maj. Gen. Malcolm Frost, it takes three or four times more time to teach a recruit how to throw a hand grenade. Furthermore, many recruits lack the physical capacity to throw a hand grenade up to 25 meters. For these reasons, the Army will no longer require recruits to demonstrate grenade-throwing abilities.
“It’s taking three to four times as much time … just to qualify folks on the hand grenade course than we had designated so what is happening is it is taking away from other aspects of training. We are finding that there are a large number of trainees that come in that quite frankly just physically don’t have the capacity to throw a hand grenade 20 to 25 to 30 meters,” said Maj. Gen. Malcolm Frost.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the Army will stop teaching recruits how to throw grenades. The Army says it will continue training hand grenade proficiency as part of its overall training regiment. If a recruit isn’t able to throw a hand grenade 25 meters, however, he or she won’t fail training. Recruits can still pass training even if they are unable to throw a hand grenade at the previously recruited 25-meter mark.
Other Requirement Changes
This isn’t the only requirement the Army is dropping, however. The Army says its also dropping land navigation as a requirement. In other words, recruits can pass training and graduate without demonstrating land navigation abilities. Like grenade throwing, recruits will still be taught land navigation. The only difference is that they won’t be required to demonstrate land navigation in order to graduate from training.
These changes are expected to take place summer 2018. By removing these requirements, it’s safe to assume that more recruits will graduate from training and officially join the Army.