Army halts sending recruits to basic training amid coronavirus pandemic

In a June, 2018 photo, drill sergeants at Fort Benning, Ga., stand by as busloads of new recruits pull in to start entry level training. U.S. ARMY
In a June, 2018 photo, drill sergeants at Fort Benning, Ga., stand by as busloads of new recruits pull in to start entry level training. U.S. ARMY

Army halts sending recruits to basic training amid coronavirus pandemic

by Corey Dickstein
Stars and Stripes

WASHINGTON — The Army on Monday stopped sending recruits to initial entrance training amid the coronavirus pandemic that has restricted movement for troops worldwide and placed millions of Americans under stay-at-home orders, service officials announced.

The halt will last at least two weeks as the service looks to implement measures meant to guarantee it can safely move recruits from their hometowns to training bases without a risk of spreading the virus, said Army Gen. Paul Funk, the chief of Training and Doctrine Command. Funk said the pause, which does not impact recruits already in training, would be reevaluated in two weeks and could be extended further.

“During the pause our commanders will ensure we have the right, most current procedure and capabilities in place to screen and test our recruits,” Funk told reporters during a telephonic news briefing. “We hold the safety of our force and our communities in the highest regard.”

Funk said Monday that the decision to pause sending recruits to the Army’s four basic training locations is not the result of a coronavirus outbreak on any of those installations: Fort Benning in Georgia, Fort Jackson in South Carolina, Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and Fort Sill in Oklahoma.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.625076

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