Military Training (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Teaching soldiers to handle weapons and maneuver in battle. Until the nineteenth century, almost all training involved the drill, a series of exercises that imparted coordination and a sense of unity to soldiers fighting in compact groups. Other skills, such as uniform care and preparation of rations, were taught to new troops by veterans. By the mid-nineteenth century, shorter terms of service and improvements in military science necessitated more regular training—particularly lectures, demonstrations, and exercises in the application of military technology. During World War I (1914-1918), Germany relied upon “comprehensive” training, crash courses intended to render troops “jacks of all trades.” The United States and France ultimately opted for the analytical approach of military “Taylorism” (so named for the U.S. proponent of industrial efficiency, Frederick W. Taylor), which reduced difficult tasks to a series of explicitly defined actions.
(The entire section is 140 words.)
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