Why The Army Canceled The 'Shark Attack' Tradition At Boot Camp | Boot Camp

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Published on 22 Nov 2020, 16:00
The United States Army Infantry School announced it would no longer conduct the unofficial ritual known as the "shark attack" during basic training. The event created an environment of chaos and confusion wherein drill sergeants yelled at the new recruits for nearly an hour, ordering them to raise and lower their heavy duffel bags over their heads. The shark attack will officially be replaced by an organized event called "the first 100 yards," which will incorporate team-building exercises and physical challenges.

In February, senior video correspondent Graham Flanagan spent four days at the Army's Maneuver Center of Excellence inside the Fort Benning military base near Columbus, Georgia, where he captured what may be the last recorded footage of a shark attack taking place.

Flanagan spoke with Command Sgt. Maj. Robert K. Fortenberry of the Army Infantry school, who explained why the Army is moving on from the shark attack. Fortenberry said the event is a product of the draft-era Army, when drill sergeants used it as a tool to identify what the Army described as "undesirables."

According to Fortenberry, the shark attack does not reflect the culture of the Army’s modern, all-volunteer force.

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Why The Army Canceled The 'Shark Attack' Tradition At Boot Camp | Boot Camp
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