Maj. Crispin J. Burke wrote an excellent article in Army, the Association of the US Army magazine laying out the problem and issues surrounding mandatory training.
In short, there are 256 training days a year but over 500 days required each year. Everyone understands there is a problem but nothing is being done. There are many organizations promoting required training that the Army doesn’t want to take on.
Besides the obvious, actual military training isn’t happening the Army is slowly destroying its integrity by forcing leaders top “check the block” or out and out lie about what’s being done. Over time this behavior undoubtedly impacts leader integrity and in the end the unit.
News flash, a couple of weeks ago the Branch chiefs of the Army and the Marines stated they felt their services were not ready for a conventional conflict let alone another one.
Undoubtedly much of this is due to budget cuts and an over concentration on insurgent caused conflict but the impact of mandatory on the capability and mentality of our military’s leaders is beyond doubt. In the meantime leaders are expected to selectively comply with mandatory requirements. The problem is their heads will be on the chopping block should a suicide, sexual harassment, safety, diversity conflict, unit prayer etc. incident occur in their units and they can’t document the required training. In the meantime, those wearing stars sit on their hands unwilling to eliminate mandatory training for fear of annoying powerful politicians.