FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Army Training and Doctrine Command announced this month that all captains will be required to take the Ice Bucket Challenge before leaving the Captain’s Career Course.
“We think that this is great information for these young officers to know,” said Lt. Gen. Morgan Slater, TRADOC commander. “Many of them selected the Army as a career before they knew how well they’d do at dumping a bucket of ice on themselves on the internet. While we don’t think that most of these officers will go on to dump ice on themselves as a career, some will be able to use the exam to figure out a new course in their careers.”
The Ice Bucket Challenge is part of a new initiative that adds other assessments, such as the GRE, to the graduation requirements for the course.
“There has been some critique that the Ice Bucket Challenge isn’t a good assessment of the skills that our officers offer,” Slater continued, “But that's silly. Ninety percent of a captain's job is following dumb, nonsensical instructions passed on to them by people whose own autonomy has been severely curtailed."
"We also think the Ice Bucket Challenge demonstrates how well our officers can find a bucket, fill it full of ice water, set their phone on selfie mode, and say something inane before dumping ice water on themselves.”
While Challenge results aren’t a factor in promotion or leadership assessments, there has been a 30 percent decline in requests to Fort Wainwright and Fort Drum since the exam was initiated.
“We’re really excited about this,” Slater concluded. “We think that it will help us place our officers just as well as it helps people with ALS.”