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US Army to End Bayonet Training

The use of the bayonet has been part of basic training since the beginning of US military history. Although its use in combat has becoming increasingly less common, US Army trainers had kept it in place for psychological reasons:

“Traditionally in the 20th century – certainly after World War I – bayonet training was basically designed to develop in soldiers aggressiveness, courage, and preparation for close combat,” says Richard Kohn, professor of military history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Bayonet training is, in short, used to undo socialization – to “basically to try to mitigate or eradicate the reluctance of human beings to kill each other,” Mr. Kohn says. It is one of the challenges in US or Western society “where we have such reverence for the individual, where we socialize our people to believe in the rule of law, and all of that,” he adds. “What you’re doing with young people is trying to get them used to the highly emotional and irrational and adrenaline-filled situations in which they are liable to find themselves whether they are within sight of the enemy or not – and the reluctance to take a life.”


Nonetheless, the US Army has decided to eliminate bayonet training from its basic training program and to use that time developing other skills.

Link via Glenn Reynolds | Image of the 65th Infantry during the Korean War via of the US Department of Defense

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I think the Army is backing up by dropping bayonet training.It teaches aggressivenes and the will to win.
Just because it does not happen as often as it used to,
does not mean there is no need for it.ALL soldiers
should be taught Hand To Hand,knife,bayonet,and weapons
of opportunity(E-Tool,helmet,web belt,and the like).It
could mean the difference between someone going home on a plane and going home in a body bag.
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In 2004, 2 Land Rovers of Scottish Highlanders were ambushed. They ran out of ammo while facing mortars, RPG's and machine guns. They led a bayonet charge and killed more than 20 and captured several more.
I think we need to re-think bayonets when it comes to modern warfare (no video game pun intended).
We still have a need for old school assaults.
Google the bayonet charge using Iraq and Higlhlanders as keywords.
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as far as I know, in our army it is a crime to use a fixed bayonet in war if the bayonet is not issued officially. Some army units have them, others do not have them, but then lots of the individual soldiers buy them anyhow.
The main reason why we still carry a bayonet is because it also doubles as a very good wire cutter, can opener, bottle opener and firestarter. Oh and mounted on the rifle with the scabbard on, it makes for an excellent tentpole.
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I never saw a bayonet the entire time I was in the army. I took Basic at Ft Sill in the 1970's and they did not teach it. I think a DI said once that only an idiot goes to a gunfight with a knife.
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