Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2020

Department 1



A common theme in memoirs, oral histories, and other sources dealing with servicemen in World War II seems to be a focus on the experience of combat. Training, particularly individual training, is rarely discussed beyond a cursory mention, and if it is discussed at all, the overwhelming tendency is to paint a picture of half-trained cannon fodder, at best.

This paper’s goal is twofold: First, explore methods of instruction at the individual and unit levels, and explain the reasoning behind the evolution of training as the Army Ground Forces’ understanding of contemporary warfare changed; second, provide a case study at the unit level by examining the combat record of the 28th Infantry Division as well as training experiences from retired soldiers in the infantry branch.

For the sake of brevity and clarity, infantry training in the United States Army will be scrutinized, on the grounds that infantry provided the bulk of combat arms within the United States military. However, the prosecution of combined arms warfare meant that infantrymen had to operate in conjunction with other combat arms such as artillery and armor.


Written for HIST 421: The United States and World War II.