The Army’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, a century-old military leadership program, has overhauled its weapons training procedures on the nation’s college campuses after cadet drills were mistaken for possible active-shooter attacks, reports the Washington Post. Maj. Gen. Christopher Hughes ordered all 275 Army ROTC units and 700 other affiliated programs to use extra precaution during training exercises that involve the use of realistic rifle replicas and furtive movements that could be mistaken for a threat to the community.
Reports that schools were under attack in recent years were later linked to cadet trainings involving the use of AK-47 and M-16 replicas as students maneuvered on or near campuses. The new policies, which urge discretion when transporting the replica weapons and better coordination with colleges about scheduled training exercises, went into effect last week and rewrite protocols that had existed for decades. Hughes has called for ending practices that have led to moments of panic, confusion, and dread. He decided to issue new training rules after a recent incident at George Mason University resulted in police sweeping the campus in search of two men armed with rifles.