AUSA’s Five Things: A Weekly Tip Sheet for AUSA Members
The basic training pilot program that extended infantry One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Ga., by seven weeks, comes to an end this Friday for 400 soldiers who will graduate after 21 weeks of training. The longer basic training is part of the effort to increase soldier lethality, a top priority for U.S. Army Futures Command, with more repetitions in core soldiering tasks such as marksmanship, land navigation and physical training.
What to watch: The pilot project ends Dec. 7. Armor and engineer basic training will be extended to 22 weeks in a pilot program that begins in January. The longer training may be expanded to other combat-arms specialties in the next two fiscal years.
The Board of Veterans? Appeals has decided to give preferential treatment to benefits claims filed by veterans or survivors living in areas that suffered significant impact from Hurricanes Florence and Michael. ?Accelerating the decision process on pending appeals claims for those veterans and their families affected by Hurricanes Florence and Michael is the right thing to do,? VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said.
What to watch: For six months, claims from the hurricane-affected counties will be advanced on court dockets. At the end of six months, the VA will reassess the status of claims. Affected counties are listed here.
3Better Ammo Security
The Army is updating security for high-risk ammunition storage facilities to extend backup power for intrusion detection systems, improve fencing and step up inspections after a Government Accountability Office review discovered lapses.
What to watch: The Army has fielded a new security management system to track and aid security inspectors to manage and conduct inspections of arms, ammunition and explosives storage facilities.
4Deadline for Non-Deployables
The number of soldiers in a non-deployable status has dropped from 121,000 to fewer than 60,000 in the last year as the Army has moved to get more people administratively, legally and medically cleared for duty. Under an Oct. 1 directive, soldiers who don?t meet deployment standards will be considered unqualified to serve.
What to watch: Soldiers who remain in a non-deployable status have six months to meet requirements. If they don?t, they face administrative separation. This means separations could begin in May for those who cannot pass the physical fitness test and meet other deployment requirements.
With a 9-2 record and ranked 23rd by the Associated Press and 25th in the Coaches Poll, the Black Knights of the U.S. Military Academy are having a great year. They?ve already beat the Air Force Academy and have defeated the U.S. Naval Academy for the two previous years.
What to watch: This is a big week for Army football. Today, announcements are expected about Army?s bowl game selection with a good chance they?ll play Dec. 22 in the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas. On Saturday, the Black Knights will face Navy, which has a 3-9 record and lost to Air Force earlier this year. Go Army, Beat Navy!
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