Kinder, Gentler Army Kills Goat Lab

Goat Lab at Fort Bragg was one of the toughest, most realistic training courses in the US Military. For decades, Special Forces medics trained on goats given combat injuries. It is being ended due to pressure from animal rights activists. The result? Live goats and dead soldiers.

For years, Fort Bragg has shot, blown up and otherwise killed some 300 goats per month to train Army medics for treating wounded soldiers, according to the Fayetteville Observer. Documents show Fort Bragg’s Army Special Operations Command requested up to 3,600 goats last year. Animal activists claim the goats are shot, stabbed, bludgeoned and blown up to simulate the types of injuries those in combat face, according to the newspaper.

But the new law appears to be the end of the practice, which angered animal rights activists. Instead, medics may train on humans wearing “organ suits,” which have simulated human organs, breakable synthetic bones and even bloodlike fluid.

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21 Responses to Kinder, Gentler Army Kills Goat Lab

  1. Trent says:

    I remember our medics talking about this training. From what I gathered, the training was invaluable. It was the first time they seemed to “get it” and they loved it. A live, bleeding, screaming, kicking goat is (excuse the pun) a different beast than an “organ suits.” It is as close as you can get to the real thing, since it is a real thing that is injured. While I still believe the training standard will be high and the Deltas coming out will be able to do the job, but this could potential cost someone their lives one day. Insane.

    I wonder if this will apply to the goats, chicken, and rabbits used during SERE as well?

  2. Matt says:

    Sooo . . . how do we square Joe Biden’s righteous argument that expansion of government control via gun control legislation is worthwhile if it results “in only saving one life” with this particular action? Oh, does he mean these sorts of things are worthwhile if they result in saving one civilian life? I get it now.

  3. BrunDawg says:

    I’m sure it’s for the Kids…sorry…is this thing on? Test, one, two.

  4. R.D. Walker says:

    In SERE School, I sat on the back of a live goat, grabbed its horns and pulled its head back to expose its neck and another soldier cut its throat with a bayonet. We gutted it, dressed it, cooked it over a fire and ate it. All at Camp MacKall next to Fort Bragg.

    • notamobster says:

      (Possibly) millions of muslims do this very act at the end of Ramadan, here in the US, every year. Not a peep from the animal rights nazi’s.

    • mike says:

      What you describe is a typical, and not excessively cruel, slaughtering procedure. Goat Lab goats would be blessed to die that easily.

  5. Trevor Wilson says:

    I was one of those medics that went to goat lab and it was invaluable. I honestly know I would not have performed as well as I did, (I could have done better) without goat lab. Truely and unequivocally essencial training. I saw how much the veterinarians who were there with the goats cared about them, but they also knew this training was nessesary. I’m ashamed our government didn’t stand up for this training, it will sadly cost human lives. A large part of America needs to grow up, bambi has destroyed our nation.

    • mike says:

      You passed SF Medic course without being able to spell the word ‘necessary’, or ‘truly’, or ‘essential’? Pardon me for doubting you.

    • Ray Davies says:

      I was lucky, I got my Med/Surg training on Humans at Ft Sam. On the other hand I spent my working years in Medical Research and have used plenty of animals (Of almost all species) and I don’t believe I ever saw a researcher mistreat an animal. In fact, there were always some animals we didn’t have the heart to use. I’ve even had lab rats for pets at work, and other researcher’s pigs that were kept for over a year.

      Needless to say, the animals for research or teaching treated with respect, and in some cases, even love.

  6. mike says:

    Before Goat Lab, it was ‘dog lab’ and the POS instructors made the students develop a relationship with the dog before they destroyed the dog and left the soldier to attempt to fix the damage, both to himself and the dog. this was the same era when Army officers ordered military working dogs abandoned to the enemy in Vietnam- the US military, you know- the ones who ‘never leave a man behind’ .
    I paraphrase a decorated ranger medic, who said he believes he may answer to God for what he did in goat Lab, and that he is left with awful memories of the goat that he had cared for and rehabilitated from one after another of a series of injuries , infections, and other insults to the animals survival, only to be called into a room for a test, where he found ‘his’ goat aflame, wounded, not breathing and with pieces of trash/debris in it’s trachea blocking it’s breathing. He also mentioned disrespectful jokes made at the doomed animal’s expense. I personally might be able to accept Goat Lab, if there was some kind of respect for life going on there- but you have leaders, NCO’s with ten years as a MEDIC, laughing and writing graffiti on the weapons that they use on these defenseless doomed animals who were unlucky enough to be born in the USA, a country which doesn’t have the moral courage to annihilate it’s enemies, but wreaks living hell on helpless animals and calls it training.. An excellent place for our young soldiers to mentor. I personally would fail goat lab, and end up in Leavenworth. No amount of technical proficiency is worth sacrificing your soul.

    • John Harris says:

      The jokes made at the doomed animal’s “expense”? I seriously doubt the assertion you make, that the animal was harmed by the jokes. Furthermore, the wisecracks made at such a time are the result of a level of jading that takes place with any soldier who has faced combat more than once, career police officer, firefighter or EMS worker. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that an ability to shrug off the horror one has seen is an essential job skill when performing triage. It’s a survival skill when one treats a patient to the best of his or her ability, but the patient dies anyway. Bleeding off steam from the inevitable buildup of pressure that is more safely experienced in a goat lab, where the soldier can decide he doesn’t need that SF tab and lots to quit the course is a lot better than a lot of the alternatives which include the soldier eventually blowing his brains out because he can’t shut out the memories of his HUMAN friends bleeding to death as a result of being trained using organ suits. A person wearing an organ suit won’t ever be so adrenaline fired that he fights those who are trying to save him off with super-human strength. Training by using the most realistic scenarios will result in lives saved. Watering any training down will result in lives lost. The choice of the goat losing blood to save a human’s life is a simple choice. Choosing the goat’s well-being over the soldier’s places you somewhere to the left of….I’ll refrain from making explicit personal comments, but I am sure everyone gets the idea.

      • Ray Davies says:

        When I went through training at Ft Sam, one of the first things they did to us was to take us through the burn unit. This was in the early 60s long before there was much in the way of effective burn treatment. The burns, (Some of them down to the bone) the infection (Pseudomonis (smells light green)) and gangreen (smells dark green), and just plain staph were enough to get to a number of people. Then we got to talk to the staff where the patients were refered to as “Chrispy Critters” and a few other fun names to ease the tension. The next trip was to the trauma ward, and then ortho. If you survived the tour, then they started turning us into medics ho could do anything but crack a chest or crack a head, Basically a second year surgical residency. A number of people are still alive because of the training I and nine of my buddies recieved during the six months we were there. Hell yes there were a lot of off color comments, it was the only way we maintained any sanity, them and for years later.

  7. notamobster says:

    So which is it, Mike? Do they anesthetize the goat, or treat it like a soulless serial killer would treat its victim? You seem to be saying whatever works to your advantage to answer, above.

    I don’t support the needless torture of any animal, but if it saved one of my brothers in battle, I’d eradicate the entire species.

    • TN-Cat says:

      Damn, you’re good Nota. I read through that post twice and my brain feels like I watched a hockey game under strobe lights.

      Just a bunch of guys skating around nothing.

  8. CavScout19D says:

    My wife just did this training the last week. The only shame is that the goats are not consumed afterwards. I’m old fashioned, and don’t kill an animal unless I plan on processing it into food product. Such a waste, the meat could of even been donated to a local shelter to feed the needy?

    • R.D. Walker says:

      I guess that means that rumors of the end of Goat Lab were exaggerated. Good.

      In SERE School, we ate the goats we killed.

  9. Ray Davies says:

    The reason the goats, (research animals) are not used is because of the possibility of anesthesia carryover. Bullshit, When I was working in Anesthesia and cardiology we used pigs. I could hang, gut and skin one out in less than 15 min. The local locker took it from there and either smoked parts or turned it into ground pork or sausage. This does nor even go to mention the number of pig roasts that were had. If I had been caught using the animal like this I would have lost my job, but the chance was worth it. Also had lots of rabbit and frog legs over the years. No ill effects.

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