20+ yr Infantry Officer.
Visit me at GRUNTSandCo.com. You'll find my commentary on SOFREP, foreignpolicy, DoDBuzz, Defensetech, KitUp, Military.com. Smallwarsjournal
Wholeheartedly agree and a perspective highly ignored when discussing how many of these turds we killed in Iraq as so many constantly try to make it appear a failure in every respect.
2 days, 6 hours ago on State Dept spokesman promotes jobs to defeat ISIS
Marie needed to spread the same falsehoods on four more shows to get promoted. That's how Susan Rice made her bones.
1 week ago on State Dept spokesman promotes jobs to defeat ISIS
developing story... http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/02/18/emails-show-sensitive-info-left-exposed-after-us-pullout-from-yemen/
1 week, 1 day ago on Marines Surrender Weapons in Yemen Evac
1 week, 1 day ago on No, the Marines Did Not Surrender Their Weapons
Here are two current links to official Army sites. Note the standards range from 35 lbs in a ruck in section f. here: . http://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/rtb/content/PDF/Ranger%20School%20Prep%201%202.pdf
To 60 lbs under "training goals" here: http://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/rtb/content/PDF/Ranger%20School%20Prep%201%202.pdf
1 week, 1 day ago on Female Combat Arms Integration Driving Specialty Specific PT Test
BTW, seems the load has dropped. Used to be 70 and up...
Yeah I guess but they are also trying toi stack the deck and give the most qualified a chance of success.
What I've noticed is the two mile run requirement seems to have gone by the wayside. http://www.military.com/military-fitness/army-special-operations/army-ranger-pft
My biggest question is what are they doing training wise for road marching and functioning without sleep. My run times alone dropped a minute back in the day when I went without sleep. Of course this won't make a difference if they don't split the weight evenly as was my experience way back when.
Funny but you really ought to make it clear Sun Tzu never said that. So many people believe everything they read on the internet without checking it.
1 week, 1 day ago on State Dept spokesman promotes jobs to defeat ISIS
The Washington Post ran a story about how certain nations typically don't arm their police and have lower crime rates. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/02/18/5-countries-where-police-officers-do-not-carry-firearms-and-it-works-well/
They didn't talk too much about that British soldier that was hacked to death by Islamist radicals and how the first police to arrive didn't do anything until armed cops arrived. Good thing the radicals ran out of soldiers. They also kind of floated by the fact that the primary reason a madman in Norway was able to kill SEVENTY-SEVEN people on an island is because no one had a gun..
Maybe it's too nuanced for me?
Appreciate the link to the source document. I try not to even use this dirtbag's name to prevent any "glory" which is what these life failures crave.
BTW, the perp didn't suffer "cognitive dissonance". The psychology term refers to the
discomfort experienced by people when they hold contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time. You also suffer the mental stress when new information conflicts with existing beliefs. It can be very uncomfortable which is why some people avoid information that conflicts with their beliefs. The phenomena is essential to critical thinking and learning. According to the drunk/high perp, he was angry because nobody spoke to him in the car and/or he thought the victims were going to kill him.
Neither makes sense.
1 week, 2 days ago on Eddie Ray Routh: The Untold Story
I don't think weapons were turned over as the corrected reports explain about Yemen.
I've trained for NEO missions but not the varied tasks that an Embassy's security detail has and in any case would defer to Peter who probably knows this inside out.
All that said, destroying one's weapons while in a country undergoing a coup with people chanting "Death to America" before I'm out of their airspace seems "a little weird". (understatement intended)
But the real meat here is why such a frantic evacuation of the Embassy? Keep in mind this isn't the day the government fell. That was days earlier. No one thought getting some military aircraft into the area might be a good idea? How about coordinating with the SOF in country to do a weapons hand off and/or provide security for when the Marines are unarmed? Instead we but Marines in the position of destroying their crew served, most powerful weapons, move to the airport with less protection and then for even an instant cause them to be defenseless so they can board a plane?
Now THAT, isn't normal procedure...
1 week, 3 days ago on No, the Marines Did Not Surrender Their Weapons
While some may be trying to make hay out of this incident it
was a self inflicted wound.The initial
report came from the Pentagon itself.
"(Reuters) - U.S. Marines handed over their remaining
weapons to Yemenis at the airport in the capital, Sanaa, on Wednesday before
boarding commercial aircraft to leave the country following the closure of the
U.S. embassy, the Pentagon said."
The real question is why we were caught flatfooted and had
to depart the embassy in such a rush especially since Yemen is supposed to be
an example of the administrations successful campaign against terrorists.
In any case it must have been scary to be destroying one's
personal weapons and hoping you can get on the chartered aircraft before some
bad guy realizes the American embassy staff was totally unarmed.
I'm glad the Marine contingent was spared the ignominy of
handing operational weapons over or what the Marine contingent in Cairo had to
endure watching the US flag torn down and desecrated the morning before
Here you go... http://gruntsandco.com/sitrep/usaf-investigates-general-calling-airmen-treasonous-a10/
1 week, 5 days ago on Soldiers don’t trust Generals, Army dealing with immoral leaders
Yes the language expands PH eligibility. Where the issue is that Luddite has concerns other eligibility requirements may have changed.
1 week, 6 days ago on Fort Hood Soldiers to get Purple Hearts
@Luddite4Change @majrod @YankeePapa
I don't read it that way. It doesn't say, "supersede existing eligibility requirements".
If federal law was always taken as superseding previous regulations (even when it doesn't say so) we'd be wearing common camo patterns as Congress has passed a law forbidding branch specific camo patterns.
On a separate note, I'll be shooting you an e-mail but I think you already answered my questions.
Thanks for the link. I checked it out.
Sec 571 p 221 of 1648
IN GENERAL.—Chapter 57 of title 10, 18United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 1129 the following new section:..."
The "inserting after section" says to me this is in addition to existing eligibility requirements and not replacing them.
@LawyerHandle Sadly he just said the new law "includes" new Purple Heart eligibility language. The issue of whether it replaces or adds to previous eligibility standards is not clear.
You can find my e-mail at the bottom under "commo check"
It was in common issue to light infantry units. The 173rd, 101st and 82nd had them when they initially entered Iraq in '03. You typically have six CLU's per company/two per platoon.
FWIW, one of the reasons SOF units have way more firepower than a similarly sized conventional unit is they have access to weapons not issued to the average squad.
2 weeks ago on US troops to train Ukraine Army
If you have a link to the actual text I'd be very interested. I always like to look at the source.
On a side note I'd appreciate an e-mail from you to discuss some other issues. I don't visit FP.com much anymore.
2 weeks ago on Fort Hood Soldiers to get Purple Hearts
The Pentagon seems to be clearing things up. Col. Steve Warren,Pentagon spokesman said about personal weapons, "each bolt was removed from its weapons body and rendered
inoperable by smashing with sledgehammers. The weapons' bodies, minus
the bolts, were then separately smashed with sledgehammers."
2 weeks ago on Marines Surrender Weapons in Yemen Evac
and more http://www.nationalreview.com/article/398388/why-army-brass-punishing-special-forces-hero-duncan-d-hunter-bing-west
2 weeks ago on Soldiers don’t trust Generals, Army dealing with immoral leaders
Did not hear the "reliability" stories. Appalling!
I was trying to make that point.
2 weeks ago on Operation Inherent Resolve is mostly conventional troops
Yes but Marshall would never have been selected for CJCS today. Not politically pliable enough...
The Javelin is a very capable weapon but not something that is revolutionary. It is eons beyong the M47 Dragon missile. THAT was crap.
That said we shouldn't provide so many so that they end up in enemy coffers but the cost alone should mitigate that. The launcher unit is $125k and each missile is a little more than $75k.
FWIW - the troops tagged to train the Ukrainians are coming from the 173rd. http://www.stripes.com/us-army-to-start-training-ukrainian-troops-commander-says-1.328974
Along with my article on how many conventional troops are in Iraq, the case that training foreign forces is a special ops task is being contested day in and out..http://gruntsandco.com/operation-inherent-resolve-mostly-conventional-troops/
I don't think the Dem's deserve credit. BTW, they were only the majority in the Senate the same place that blocked legislation the previous two times as I remember it. So passing it on the third try before they lost complete control of Congress seems a bit self serving.
I'd like to see the specific wording reference making it harder to award the Purple Heart and how that coincides with existing regs. Does the NDAA supersede or add to existing regs? Not so sure about your Jordan example. They are part of a coalition.
2 weeks, 1 day ago on Fort Hood Soldiers to get Purple Hearts
FWIW it was common practice to give a bounty to local police when they picked up a deserter or AWOL. Ranged from $50 - $100.
We developed a relationship at times. Had a pothead shitbird we chaptered out of my platoon. He talked a lot of crap. On his last day we offered him a ride to the front gate. (He was in pretrial confinement). He was talking crap the whole way to the front gate and trying to provoke me. We released him at the front gate and wished him "luck" (Of course I had done a little research and discovered he was wanted for questioning for theft from his girlfriend of some jewelry to blow town.)
I motioned behind him that the officers getting out of their car were there to help him with his transition to civilian life.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Marine goes on trial for desertion today
Hmmm, you never know. I used to be surprised by the number of Marines in the CIA's Special Activity Division
Sounds like exceptionally light punishment but then again he was a Sergeant and must have done something to get those stripes in the first place that spoke well of him. It was a different time.
I don't think the sentence would have been so lax had he taken and lost a pistol or ran again for ten years after he heard he was going to get a court martial.
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Marine goes on trial for desertion today
Well, they are developing rounds that are compatible with 5" guns and 155mm howitzers. It would make sense that these are HE. While I have no doubt about the destructive capability of a KE round from a railgun it does not have the same suppression or area effects of a good old fashioned artillery shell exploding at treetop level.
The range of these shells would be 50 miles...
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Navy Railgun prototype revealed
Great development and ideally suited for naval operations where you don't have hills shielding targets behind them.
At least no government official has characterized his service as an example of "honor & distinction".
There were always those in Congress. Maybe the change in majority of the Senate made a difference in getting the amendment in front of the President.
In any case, I'd disagree there has been any change in those making the decisions in the executive branch which started this whole mess.
2 weeks, 5 days ago on Fort Hood Soldiers to get Purple Hearts
I get you.
The Army/DoD/Administration (I'm of the mind the initial assessment of workplace violence was made by the administration) didn't have a choice. Congress passed an amendment in the last national defence act that changed the Purple Heart award criteria to include events attacks by a "foreign terrorist organization" if the attacker "was in
communication with the foreign terrorist organization before the attack"
and "the attack was inspired or motivated by the foreign terrorist
(Redundant post, just saw KF chimed in)
FWIW: "In the past five years, 90 Navy skippers have been relieved of duty for
indiscretions ranging from driving under the influence to having
"But for Navy officers, losing your job doesn’t always end your career."
Seems the Navy has a higher relief rate and are a third smaller. Assuming everything's equal, one could say there are more problems in that branch but I think there are a lot of factors that aren't reflected to make any comparisons/conclusions. In any case, the differences are very interesting.
2 weeks, 6 days ago on Soldiers don’t trust Generals, Army dealing with immoral leaders
I don't know but you'd have to make some dangerous assumptions to say so.
I think your "03 - '10 Navy numbers are way off.
According to this report 21 commanders were fired in 2011 alone (not counting the last quarter). https://www.usnwc.edu/getattachment/d79951a2-72b6-4181-b735-5f98fc2ceecb/The-Navy-s-Moral-Compass--Commanding-Officers-and-
Another 25 in 2012 http://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20130203/News/302030345
That's 46 in two years. Has the Navy quadrupled reliefs over the last two years?
Tedious but not too hard to figure out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formations_of_the_United_States_Army_%28current%29
1st Armored, Cav Div & 4th ID has five BDEs & 30 BN's ea. (25 BDEs, 90 BN's)
1st & 2nd ID: 4 bde 20 BN's (8 BDE's, 40 BN's)
3rd, 10th ID, 82nd & 101st: 5 BDE's, 26 BN's (20 BDE's, 104 BN's)
25th ID: 6 BDE, 33 BN's
15 independent BDE's w/about 47 BN's
11 independent Regt's w/about 55 BN's
For a total 85 BDE's, 369 BN's multiplied by 4 changes of command (typically every two years) for a grand total of 340 BDE CO's & 1476 BN CO's or a total of 1816 commanders.
That's 7% of commanders.
3 weeks ago on Soldiers don’t trust Generals, Army dealing with immoral leaders
Agree though some of the last decades Marine employment were self inflicted wounds or branch politics requiring sharing the pie.
E.G. The Marine deployment to Helmand province after withdrawing from Iraq early is a prime example.
The early employment of Marines at Camp Rhino in Afghanistan was definitely due to the Marines unique capabilities and positioning. Iraq on the other hand not so much and the Marines suffered from a lack of mobility when it came to the race for Baghdad.
3 weeks, 1 day ago on Marines returning to pre 911 focus
Listen to them a little while. They can't help but tell you who they are.
3 weeks, 1 day ago on Soldiers don’t trust Generals, Army dealing with immoral leaders
Incredible. Wonder where he came from?
3 weeks, 2 days ago on Soldiers don’t trust Generals, Army dealing with immoral leaders
@Luddite4Change @majrod @Riceball
I have NEVER heard (let alone seen) an Army Infantry platoon sergeant achieve that position without squad leader time and for good reason.
Imagine a Battalion commander that never served as a Company commander.
The impact on subordinates and the unit no matter the good intentions of the superior can't be good.
I can only imagine how a counseling session of a subordinate would go over how to run that subordinates unit. A job the superior never had to do...
3 weeks, 2 days ago on Female Combat Arms Integration Driving Specialty Specific PT Test
Iassen - agree and disagree. The US has a responsibility to protect its citizens overseas. It's part of being a sovereign nation. If America will not come to an American's aid when he is being unjustly persecuted being an "American" doesn't mean much. This is even more important when individuals are singled out because they are American.
That said, the US Government is remiss when it allows Americans to travel to a country where their security cannot be guaranteed. There are a multitude of ways to lawfully restrict Americans from traveling. They can be done with measures as extreme as placing nations on a list where it is illegal to travel to except for very specific reasons e.g. Cuba. Often these laws are not enforced and as with many laws that remain on the books but aren't enforced we suffer severe repercussions later e.g. illegal immigration.
My point is the State Dep't can alleviate a lot of potential pressure if they make Americans traveling to hellholes where we can't protect them recognize that fact in writing.
Of course the downside of that approach is the US Gov't would have to acknowledge there are real problem areas in this world spotlighting American policy inaction. Imagine if the US said Americans can't travel to Libya. The next question would be why and it would eventually be tracked back to how we are responsible for destabilizing Libya.
For DC, silence is often an effective way to deal with huge failures in leadership. Almost as effective as announcing an investigation or "policy review", Seems to work for Benghazi, Bergdahl and our failing foreign policy.
3 weeks, 2 days ago on Opinion: The U.S. Needs a New Hostage Rescue Policy
@Riceball @Luddite4Change @majrod @YankeePapa
Agree but this isn't unique to third world countries. First world countries just have less international strife to demonstrate the holes in their militaries. Look at Ukraine.
People also fail to realize that building an indigenous Army takes years. Not so much to train privates but to train leaders and the systems necessary to support an Army in the field.
While providing the locals leadership can shortcut the path to creating an effective Army it doesn't create a stable/independent one.
I agree with you about US trainers accompanying the Iraqis into combat but if I was a decision maker I'd be very vocal about three things.
1. We're going to lose people
2. We're going to have to send a lot of people to include US combat units to secure critical victories (the French Army had troops at Yorktown).
3. If we don't stay until the Iraqi Army/Gov't is stable we'll be doing it again.
BTW, sending some US combat units also serves as insurance for specific battles we can't afford to lose and sets the example for what an Army should look like...
3 weeks, 2 days ago on Operation Inherent Resolve is mostly conventional troops
I get what you are saying. I don't think you are getting what I'm saying.
Two different PT standards even in the finance company is unfair where two NCO's might have identical scores but the female will be performing at a lower level physically because of the different standard. We've accepted it for such a long time that no one even realizes the injustice of it.
Meeting the men's standard in the Infantry isn't good enough. Meeting the minimum men's standard saddles the unit with a bunch of lower performing "infantry-people" who happen to be women. That impacts the unit's performance especially when the unit is stressed to the max as what happens in combat. The men who are overwhelmingly scoring much higher on the men's PT test end up picking up more of the physically demanding tasks e.g. building a bunker or hauling ammo/equip up a mountain side. That means the unit as a whole does less. This isn't as noticeable in support units that hardly if ever undergo the same sort of physical demands.
Let me simplify what I'm saying. Imagine a dire survival situation in the arctic where you have to cut firewood or walk with cold weather gear for hundreds of miles. Or imagine being on a lifeboat in the Pacific where your only chance of survival is to row a thousand miles to land and do it quickly because of no water/food. Who do you select when it comes time to pick a team to survive? Do you want men in better than average shape or women that met the minimum on the male PT test?
Mandating women score 80% or better on the PT test like is expected of the men in an Infantry unit (when 60% is the Army minimum) is not going to work for the EO/sexual harassment issues I've already discussed. I've seen lower performing men wilt or file the false claims of mistreatment that suck up the chain of command';s time and effort. Why do we want to increase that population?
I do not understand your comment about NCO's leaving the Infantry to get promoted and then coming back. In the Army we have assignments like Drill Sergeant or recruiting that are required for career progression but staying away from the troops actually hurts your ability to be promoted in the branch. Infantry NCO's are hardly ever sent to other specialties to serve in some role and return later. E.G you will not find one 11 series soldier in an aviation, finance, transportation, MP company. I assumed the Marines do it the same.
Do you have examples of the specific jobs 0311 troops go do to get promoted two ranks and then come back to the Infantry? That is exceptionally rare in the Army and hard to overcome.
3 weeks, 3 days ago on Female Combat Arms Integration Driving Specialty Specific PT Test
That's absolutely AWESOME news. Congrats Nick and SOFREP!
3 weeks, 3 days ago on 3/75 Sniper Nick Irving’s “The Reaper” Gets a TV Mini-Series
Great series. Just stumbled on it.
When I shoot I try to take the shot between the natural pause between exhaling and inhaling. No longer than five seconds.
For more challenging or difficult shots I hyperventilate with 2-3 quick deep breaths and then a normal breath to release the shot. It's been so long but someone who shot really well and that I wanted to emulate taught me that little trick. Don't know if it helps because of any increased O2 but it does calm me a bit.
3 weeks, 3 days ago on Reaper Tips: Holding Breath For Stability
I have some more news that's "coincidentally" related to this report of Hezbollah having an M1 tank and other vehicles... Check out SOFREP today or tomorrow.
3 weeks, 3 days ago on US resupplying Iraq with Tanks, MRAPs, HMMWVs & more
Oh heck, I'm sure there are many soldiers incensed at what Bergdahl did, of all ranks, even an overwhelming majority. I also think you're right on Generals being annoyed at the Gitmo 5. Getting back? Maybe.
Another sad truth is that among the highest decision makers there's a lot of cold calculation on what's best for "moi". The fact the Pres is coming to the end of his tenure helps the noodle spines do the right thing.
3 weeks, 5 days ago on The Deal with Bowe Bergdahl