The 5-Foot Drop

From the June-July 2006 Trumpet Print Edition

“Last month, a few dozen of Capt. Meng’s privates clambered onto olive-green trucks for one of their final boot-camp exercises. The troops, traveling in an Iraq-style convoy, were ‘hit’ by a series of smoke-spewing roadside bombs. Enemy fighters, represented by pop-up targets, sprung from nearby prairie grass. A broad-shouldered drill sergeant ordered a counterattack.

“Instead of leaping off the back of the truck, as they would in a typical exercise, or in actual combat, the privates waited about 10 seconds for someone to walk to the back of the truck and place a ladder on its rear bumper. They then climbed down the 5-foot drop, one at a time.”

—Wall Street Journal, “To Keep Army Recruits, Boot Camp Gets Revamp,” February 16