In my story the main faction is losing badly and taking heavy casualties, forcing them to draft people, train them as quickly as possible, then immediately deploy them. If you had one or two weeks to train a bunch of fresh faced draftees, what are the most important things you could teach them? Note: They'd be infantry fighting guerrilla style in a desert environment.
Welp, the three people who looked at this question made a consensus, but first let me reiterate aunty’s rule of reality: you break it, you bought it. If your world requires that troops take two weeks to train, you have to decide what they need to survive the war zone you’ve set up.
Otherwise, I assume you’re talking about infantry, as most people do. You’re gonna look for
• Physical Fitness
Drill sergeants will probably push the recruits as hard as they can. Most soldiers get months to train their bodies to withstand the strains of war; getting things condensed into two weeks will mean brutal training, and it’ll probably also mean that you’ll be required to join already physically fit (yes, there’s a little leeway when you first enlist).
Depending on the attitude of the army, either there will be a ton of broken soldiers who should’ve been medically discharged due to physical disability but they’re hanging in there because the army can’t afford to lose them, or the army will trim the fat as much as possible and kick out anyone with even a moderate profile. I feel like either way given the current way the VA works, the government is going to be paying for these soldiers anyway, so it’ll probably try to retain people it realistically shouldn’t, since in that case it’s at least paying active duty soldiers rather than just a disabled veteran.
• Weapons maintenance and qualifying
Learn how to take your weapon apart, learn how to clean your weapon, learn how to put your weapon together again, learn how to shoot your weapon, learn how to clear your weapon. Learn how to take your weapon apart, learn how to clean your weapon, learn how to put your weapon together again, learn how to shoot your weapon, learn how to clear your weapon. Learn how to
Field tactics crash course. Hand signals, crouching, high crawl, low crawl, ruck marching, land nav, comms, all of this condensed into the barest forms.
While the recruits may not get as much time as they’d need devoted to this, there would probably be at least a class or two on combatives and pugil sticks, that is, basically training for melee combat both with your hands and with a rifle. While these would only be used in emergencies, suffice to say it’s one of those skills worth taking a day out to teach.
• Basic CLS ?
Hubby and I disagree on this one. I think in this situation, the army would skip teaching joes combat lifesaving courses, (applying tourniquets, pressure bandages, and so on) and they would instead just employ more soldiers to serve primarily as medics. Specializing training like this leaves soldiers more time to learn the shit they’re actually supposed to be doing. Infantry might be expected to apply a tourniquet; infantry are definitely expected to engage an enemy.
Hubby thinks that the army would actually prioritize CLS over land nav with the understanding that saving every soldier is critical, (after all, if the training time is down to two weeks, plainly we don’t have enough bodies to go around) and having soldiers trained in CLS is statistically more likely to save combatants lives. Which is true; that’s why the army started training all soldiers in CLS to begin with.
We think things like army history, the wear of the uniform, common courtesies, chain of command, drill and ceremonies, and things of that nature would probably be done away with. I think that morning PT would be done away with and drill sergeants would just get their recruits doing PT during any downtime they would ordinarily get. I also think recruits would get significantly less hot meals and probably less leniency for illness or accidents. You’re almost guaranteed to go to sick call at least once in BCT, but in this case needing to stay off an ankle for a few days may as well push you back to the beginning of training with another unit.
This is just basic training, not even including AIT! Especially if you’re looking at medics and EOD, I certainly hope the troops have longer than two weeks to train for that!
Ultimately, a world like this would be pretty rough on a new soldier, and I expect a lot of people won’t be able to handle a basic training this intense. Some of us could barely handle the current version, and that can take between ten to twelve weeks depending on reception lengths and any other delays. There might be a lot of drop-outs, or there might be people who couldn’t handle it but the army pushed through anyway and they absolutely were not fucking ready for this, but that’s all up to you, and I hope you play around with all this in your story!