By Jim Garamone
WASHINGTON -- "Tough" is a subjective word. What's tough for one person might be easy for another.
Basic could be neither so physically demanding that only Olympians could finish nor so easy that couch potatoes could waddle through.
The operative clause in all military basic training is, "Without challenge, there is no achievement." The achievement the services are looking for from their recruits is not just graduation from basic training, but the ability to achieve overwhelming success on the battlefield. By challenging recruits with tough, realistic training, this achievement becomes possible.
In January, the American Forces Information Service took a look at Marine Corps and Army basic training in "Rite of Passage." The stories on this Web site close the loop with glimpses of basic training today as Navy and Air Force recruits experience it.
The sea and air services instituted higher physical standards for their trainees. Those who would complete basic training must stretch physically and mentally to succeed.
Are basic training and boot camp now tough enough? Yes, say Navy recruit division commanders and Air Force military training instructors. They say recruits are challenged across the range of basic training experiences and that a recruit who finds the physical aspect easy may find the mental challenge tough.
It all goes to make a better military.