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ARLINGTON, Va. — The Army will extend boot camp from nine to 10 weeks for all recruits beginning Oct. 1, an official at the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command confirmed Monday.

Last October, TRADOC leaders said that they would add an extra week to boot camp in the fall of 2008, following a pilot program involving five of the Army’s basic training facilities, TRADOC spokesman Harvey Perritt said Monday.

Army officials started the 10-week Basic Combat Training pilot course on Nov. 2, marking the first time boot camp had been lengthened since the program went from eight weeks to nine in 1998.

Army leaders did not use the additional week to add to boot camp’s already-packed training regimen, TRADOC commander Gen. William S. Wallace said when announcing the program in October at Fort Monroe, Va.

"Over my dead body will we add any tasks to basic training," he said.

Instead, Wallace said, the extra week is for drill sergeants to review, re-train, and retest skills and material with individual recruits, so they can thoroughly master required tasks before moving to Advanced Individual Training, or AIT.

The pilot ran through mid-March, at which point all Army boot camps went back to nine weeks for the rest of fiscal 2008.

The Army didn’t immediately go into the 10-week program, Wallace said, because the service trains its peak influx of recruits in the spring and summer. The boot camp and related AIT "surge" schedules were already fixed around the nine-week timing, he said.

"We couldn’t get around [the surge], in terms of scheduling," Wallace said.


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