April 6, 1918 – Back to it, Private Shetler

Jay would have started his basic training shortly after his arrival at Columbus Barracks about March 18, 1918.  But his hospitalization from March 25 to April 5 put that training on hold.  While he was hospitalized, the rest of his unit would have continued their basic training at Columbus Barracks.  Now he’s out of the hospital and would have been expected to pick up where he left off.

When the United States entered the war in 1917, its training program was inconsistent and unorganized.  At that time, basic training took 16 weeks to complete.  Getting help from the British and French militaries, the Army developed a training schedule that would train the soldiers quickly and efficiently and would be completed in four weeks.

In 1987, Maj. Roger K. Spickelmier wrote a Master’s thesis documenting “THE TRAINING OF THE AMERICAN SOLDIER DURING WORLD WAR I AND WORLD WAR II” (it’s really interesting).  The first part of the thesis describes how training programs were developed for soldiers entering the Army in 1917-18.  From this, I came to learn what Jay would have been trained for and when.

According to Spickelmier’s thesis, Jay would have completed about 26 of the 43 hours of what was expected to be done in Week One training.  He had some catching up to do.









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