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Great questions. You should have asked them there so the readership could have benefited.

1. The Shia see themselves as the replacements of the Sunni leaders. It would be pretty embarrassing if they weren't able to do something the Sunnis did, keep Iraq whole. Second despite what the common knowledge is many Iraqis (especially the Sunni and Shia) do consider themselves, "Iraqis" and not just Shia, Sunni or Kurds.

2. If one considers oneself a Shia first yes Iran is the better partner but as I said there is a strong nationalistic bent in Iraq. People seem to not remember history before they were born. Iraq and Iran fought a very bloody war and there were plenty of Iraqi Shia that fought in it. Further many Iraqis are envious of the US in many ways and aspire to be like us more so than be like Iran.

3. We've had troops in the ME for decades. Where were the mass uprisings? Typically we are segregated in out of the way locations. Again the "common knowledge" is our presence is a recruiting tool. News Alert: our breathing is a recruiting tool for those so inclined. This argument is most often promoted by our isolationists and the left where any excuse will do. Again, if our mere presence is enough to cause a revolt among Muslims why has Incirlik, our naval base in Qatar and Army base in Kuwait not been stormed? The evidence doesn't support the hypothesis but it sure sounds good to those that no reason is good enough for us to be there.

4. Turkey is a big deal and its authoritarian bent is instructive not a predictor of all Islam. It would be worth looking at why Turkey is taking tat authoritarian path. I would propose it's radical Islam just like radical Christianity supported the role of a king. Islam in fact has the tradition of the Shura, a pretty democratic concept. BTW, at one point our hemisphere only had one Democracy. I guess everyone else should have given up? Again, be cautious of what passes for "common knowledge" and who is passing that gas. When one needs an excuse to not do something any will do.

Be careful about "common knowledge". That kind of thinking ignored the potential for unrest when we invaded Iraq and expected the Cubans to rise up against Fidel at the Bay of Pigs. 

 http://www.dodbuzz.com/2014/09/24/analysts-airstrikes-will-fail-unless-ground-troops-combat-islamic-state/#idc-container

6 hours, 24 minutes ago on American Combat Troops inevitable return to Iraq Part II

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Has a bunch of really good questions posed about my essay over on DoDBuzz.  Thought I'd post them here.

Guest -  I did read your piece, and it is a thorough and edifying analysis of the situation and options for US action. However, I must confess that there are a few things I don't understand:

1) you describe a US threat of a partitioned Iraq as our "ace in the hole" against pro-Iranian Shia. Why is that? Why would the Shia be so invested in a unified Iraq?

2) regarding the rolling back of Iranian influence, doesn't Iran remain a better partner to the Shia than we are no matter what? They are geographically contiguous (i.e. committed to interests in Iraq constantly and forever), of the same religion, and have the money and power to keep the Sunnis at bay. The US, on the other hand, is a nation of "infidels," we are thousands of miles away, our interest in Iraq is not as strong and perhaps most offensively, we work with the Sunnis and the Kurds. Why would *****e Iraqis choose us over Iran?

3) while I agree with your assessment of the limitations of airpower and the usefulness of US ground troops in fighting ISIS, what about the effect that US ground troops in Muslim "holy lands" has on inflaming Islamic radicalism and actually helping groups like ISIS recruit? It seems to me like a Catch-22: ground troops would be most militarily effective against ISIS, but they also cause terror groups to grow and metastasize while lacking the ability to impose a long-term political solution without credible regional partners. This is why I ultimately sympathize with the Administration's desire to "lead from behind" - doesn't any long-term political solution have to be a Muslim one?

4) while it is true that there are many ethnically diverse democracies in the world, there don't happen to be any in the ME (with the arguable exception of Turkey, which is becoming increasingly authoritarian). Perhaps there is a reason for that? And yes, "ethnicity" is indeed an oversimplification, as the Stratfor article makes clear - there are indeed intermarriages and interethnic alliances in Levantine countries, but tribal/family loyalties tend to trump nationalism. While I sympathize with your DESIRE for a unified Iraq, I'm just not as sanguine about its chances. 

 http://www.dodbuzz.com/2014/09/24/analysts-airstrikes-will-fail-unless-ground-troops-combat-islamic-state/#idc-container

6 hours, 26 minutes ago on American Combat Troops inevitable return to Iraq Part II

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I think your problem is more with in finding a caring competent doctor than offiicers.  Keep in mind medical doctors don't come through the same pipeline as an officer especially the combat arms types.

This is the same community that didn't have the intestinal fortitude to flag Hasan Nidal, write hime the counseling statements he deserved when he tried to convert soldiers to Islam or justified suicide bombers and get him orders to CIVCOM (Civilian Command).  In my 24+ years in uniform I've never encountered such a radical "officer".  Then again I didn't travel in circles where a degree in law or medicine automatically earned you a commision and promotion at an advance rate.


I found most military doctors who didn't do some time in camouflage leading troops as having some real blind spots and plain weak when it came to leadership.  I preferred a PA 90% of the time anyway when it came to treatment.  Doctors tend to be pretty crappy leaders which is why hospitals often have some real issues when dealing with patients and unit leadership because they just don't get it.  I can remember reminding a soldier or two they were in the Army and not just working in a hospital.


I can understand your sense of betrayal.  It's directed at the wrong group.  I'm no psychiatrist but I don't ever remember my professors who taught me or evaluated my clinicals when I was pursuing my masters degree in counseling even describing the approach your "doctor" used.  Even with my "fluffy" Infantry style approach to counseling the LAST thing you do is make people think you don't care or render a diagnosis in five minutes.

19 hours, 55 minutes ago on Limp-Wristed Social Workers and Pretentious Army Officers

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@jpowell No problem.  I know you were coming at this from the intel side.  I just wanted to shed a little light on a highly ignored contribution.

1 day, 6 hours ago on The Boots Already on the Ground

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Good story but FWIW there's more than SOF and intel guys on the ground.  They've recently announced a division HQ being deployed from Ft. Riley that will be added to the conventional troops that were sent as planners as part of the first contingent.  (It's a good bet a good portion of the advisors at Brigade and higher HQs are conventional troops.)   http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140923/NEWS08/309230066/Army-chief-Division-headquarters-will-deploy-soon-Iraq 

Then there are the Marines protecting the Green Zone and the Co (-) of Apaches at Baghdad airport.  http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20140701/NEWS05/307010077/100-airmen-ordered-into-Baghdad-protect-airport  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/14/world/middleeast/us-sees-risks-in-assisting-a-compromised-iraqi-force.html?_r=0


Still waiting on them to name this operation.  Maybe it's like the Russians in Ukraine.  If you deny you are sending combat troops it's still not a war.

1 day, 7 hours ago on The Boots Already on the Ground

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@Luddite4Change @majrod 

Look at that truck.  There's 3 guys on one side comfortably and it looks like you can squeeze one more.  10?  I'm not convinced.  8 maybe.  Great price though.

 Some better shots of the DAGOR. http://soldiersystems.net/2014/09/24/mdm-polaris-defense-dagor/


http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/IMG_7572-0.jpg

http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/IMG_7574.jpg


BTW, just so folks know, Army squads are nine

5 days, 6 hours ago on Maneuver Conference 2014

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@Luddite4Change 

Yes on the external safety on the Glock...

The Toyota 70 isn't a bad idea (besides being foreign).  I was curious and looked up a picture. 

 http://i323.photobucket.com/albums/nn444/Vans1979/Cool/IMG_0235_large.jpg

I doubt that's going to carry a 9 man squad and two crewman.  Looks like four in the back, four inside and maybe a gunner's position if you put a hole in the roof.  That's more like nine like the Polaris DRAGO.

Price of course would be key.  It would be nice to find something that could carry 11 and still be air assault-able.

5 days, 17 hours ago on Maneuver Conference 2014

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Funny!

Consider some of these for naming the slices:

AQ is decimated

ISIS is JV

I ended our presence in Iraq

The Iraqi's didn't let me keep troops in Iraq

I need Congress to approve action in Syria

I'm ordering action in Syria

Red Line 

5 days, 19 hours ago on Leadership Decisions Can’t be Made Based on Public Opinion

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@clluelo 

Canada draws these types because of its policies.  Kind of like why Florida sun attracts Canadians...  :)

5 days, 19 hours ago on AQ tries to hijack Pakistani warship to attack US Navy

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Furniture against the door time!


I just never felt safe in hostels in Europe and avoid traveling to places I haven't been to in the dark.  Fatigue and lack of choices can drive one to choose bad places to sleep.  I won't even share the worst hotel room I slept in (skin crawls).

Good job on the knife and flashlight. 

6 days, 7 hours ago on Rome and the Night Train

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@momengineer @majrod 

I guess I wasn't clear.  I was referring to troops stateside and me not changing my outward appearance/mannerisms unless I was traveling overseas.

6 days, 8 hours ago on The Night Train and the Jihadist

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@Fred82 @majrod 

I don't disagree but I was referring to physical attacks.  Those are the ones that leave you dead.

The ones you are addressing are on the brain dead Americans.

6 days, 17 hours ago on The Night Train and the Jihadist

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@LawyerHandle 

Interesting find and classic Air Force hypocrisy when it again comes to the A10.

6 days, 19 hours ago on American Combat Troops inevitable return to Iraq Part II

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@oldSquid(Mafia) @majrod 

The only way you could pass as Japanese is if you dressed like Mount Fuji.  You're a big guy and you can get that white stuff going on up top.

http://38.media.tumblr.com/521b5cf06d969d6dc101f954a0eee05b/tumblr_mj3us1NpdJ1s3nsxvo1_1280.jpg


In all seriousness, size in height (and sometimes girth) gives us away overseas as well as the condition of our teeth.

6 days, 20 hours ago on The Night Train and the Jihadist

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@14Charlie @majrod 

Look forward to reading it.

6 days, 20 hours ago on The Night Train and the Jihadist

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@JohnPacheco 

DGI = Dirección General de Inteligencia, Cuba's version of the KGB or current FSB.


Yes, I knew what she was doing.  That's why I filed a report with the S2 (Intel Officer) which became a real pain in the ass.

1 week ago on The Night Train and the Jihadist

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@Blake Miles 

Yep, LOL.  Of course it had nowhere near the level of potential physical danger but reminds me of the time I was hanging in a dance club in a Honduran city in civies.  Pretty honey comes up to our table.  I was drinking with a bunch of NCO MP's who were pullng security for the Joint SOF TOC.  She focuses on me and over the course of the evening shares that we flew in the day before on a C141, where staying on the 4th Parachute Battalion's Cuartel (think armed FOB Nam style) and where Special Forces (we weren't but were wearing sterile jungles).  When I got back I reported it to the S2.  Turns out she was linked to DGI, was picked up and subsequently disappeared.


The world will barge in on you when you are minding your own business.

1 week ago on The Night Train and the Jihadist

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Awesome story 14C!  Thanks for sharing!


It might be worthwhile to write a little piece on PERSEC/OPSEC tips while traveling like avoid using a military ID (carry your driver's license) and buy a cheapie cover for your passport.  I HATED having to use my US brown official passport and used my civilian blue one whenever I could get the chance.  The only thing worse was having to use a black US passport (diplomat).

We Americans are so naive especially when we travel that we don't even realize how we identify ourselves as targets.  Clothes selection, physical appearance, physical mannerisms, brand labels are all giveaways before we even open our mouths.  I'm screwed because I know what I do and I won't change unless I start traveling overseas again but it's fun to sit in an airport and pick out the military guys.


The bad guys are out there to include stateside.  They don't care about your politics.  Dead American achieves their goal.

1 week ago on The Night Train and the Jihadist

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Highly recommended read on the Kurds state of mind and general state.  Great insight on Kurdistan and the future.  http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/29/fight-lives?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=*Situation%20Report&utm_campaign=SitRepSept22_2014

1 week ago on American Combat Troops inevitable return to Iraq Part II

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@LoneOperator @majrod 

My perspective too narrow?  How so, because I'm only looking at the highly illustrative SOCOM SCAR program?  How does a SOCOM created requirement, evaluated by SOCOM, selected by SOCOM and flubbed by SOCOM the fault of it not being its own branch?


"I'm not denying that SOF acquires and uses non-service standard issue uniforms, but the cost and often the fielding has not been at time when it was needed."   Evidence?

You have a unique perspective on radios.  Because the ARMY didn't have the 117G certain special forces units weren't issued it?  What was supposed to happen?  Special Forces commanders show up at conventional units and commandeer the radios that weren't issued to the conventional force for years after the SOF troops had them.  I bet that isn't a blank check either :).  C'mon we both know SOF gets the new gear ages before the conventional side sees pictures of what they are getting years later.  The list is long, the M4, CCO, ACOG, EoTech, magnifier, PEQ2, PEQ15, PEQ16, PVS7, PVS14, PVS20, and the multitude of vests, body armor and helmets.  Since when does the conventional side get anything except longer tours than the SOF side? 

But wait, who issued the groups that did get the 117G?  ANS: SOCOM.  So again how does making SOCOM a separate branch solve the problem every branch has with equipping the force?  It doesn't.


SOCOM controls the MFP11 (SOF Peculiar) process.  There's recommendations for SOCOM to change the way it does business by the rand Corp.  None of the suggestions are a separate branch.


"we need to protect it by making it a separate service."  SOF forces have existed since the Revolution.  A standing force since just after WWII.  There's no evidence that SOF is suffering.  It is in fact in its heyday.  Separating from parent branches beckons a multitude of problems you didn't address.  Everything from basic recruiting and the training pipeline SOF relies on the conventional force to resource, fund and run them.   There is also the disturbing phenomena noticed by many writers here of bureaucracy infiltrating the SOF community.  You're fooling yourself is you think by getting bigger you are going to avoid it.  You are in fact inviting more.  Again, a separate branch is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.


"I'm only suggesting that for contingencies national command authorities are not going to spin up the 82nd Airborne to jump into Ukraine on 48 hours notice." Really?  When did that stop?  The first forces deployed to Poland and the Baltic states were paratroopers from the 173rd relieved by mechanized troops from Ft. Hood.  The first troops sent to Baghdad after Mosul fell were conventional Marines.  Troops to support the evacuation of the Sudan?  Troops from Ft. Riley.  No doubt SOF is among the first to deploy.  They aren't the only ones and will not replace conventional forces when the situation is best served by those troops.  Maybe my perspective isn't the narrow one?

"Starve SOF, reduce their global presence and our leaders will be scrambling, and may not have full trust in their ability to perform."  Agree.  Problem is SOF isn't starving.  While the Army cuts 25% of the force, and becomes the smallest since 1939, the Navy fields less ships than it had in 1917 and the Air Force is at its smallest since 1950, SOF remains at its largest in history.  The sky is not falling.  At least not for SOF.




1 week ago on Should SOF Be Its Own Service?

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@LoneOperator @majrod 

"The SCAR is a great example of waste in acquisition of SOF-specific equipment that could be better managed by undoing the current arrangement."


You are factually incorrect.

 

It's ridiculous top blame the SCAR (L) fiasco on the conventional side.  It was a totally run SOCOM program.  It is in fact evidence that the already separate acquisition chain isn't going to be made better by separating it more.  It's like the Yankees blaming MLB for the decision to keep Alex Rodriguez on contract.  Feel free to list communications systems or any other system that's fielding to SOF was slowed down by its parent branch.

As for ACUs, I point to the widespread use of multicam, three color camo, woodland, indigenous camo civvies and unique patterns like ATACs used by SOF for well over a decade to bolster my point that ACUs isn't a problem for SOF.  I'll add that only NSW is authorized today to wear AOR1 as well as going back 40 years to Nam era Tiger Stripe, black dyed uniforms, jeans and or ERDL to demonstrate a strong historical record that SOF doesn't have an issue with uniforms.  You may feel there is a problem.  History says different.


"Your third argument, misses the point entirely."  Actually it doesn't.  You wrote, "Several years ago, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates accurately asserted that many future conflicts are likely to run the spectrum just short of full-scale war. Our experience in the last decade, if not the last four decades, confirms this notion."


Ukraine, the Pacific and Ebola are showing different and as stated above you rest your argument on the last decade. You can disagree that Ukraine (and even add Crimea to the mix) is not a SOF fight and that it's clandestine.  The tanks, heavy artillery, rocket systems, uniformed Russia paratroopers getting "lost" in Ukraine tell a different story.  You can ignore Panama, Desert Storm, the opening months of OIF and the decade's worth contribution of conventional forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.  It doesn't mean they don't exist.

Your argument is faulty as I've described above and below.   It only makes sense if one can simultaneously believe contradictory statements like...

"My concept is that authorities would have to be given to the SOF service chief to be able to recruit and retain troopers from each service."

Preceded by your comment in the article that, "This should not be seen as a blank check for the special operations commander" 

In what world can another unit come into a separate unit and rape it of its best talent and then not be construed as a "blank check"?  

1 week, 1 day ago on Should SOF Be Its Own Service?

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@Guy Slack 

We're never going to stand up female units.  It would destroy the argument when an all female unit couldn't move the same distance with the same gear and be in a condition to operate when they finished as a male unit.


When you integrate units you can hide these differences by giving the guys the heavy stuff or having them around to lighten the load of those that can't keep up.  I remember this lesson when I ended up carrying a Sue Ive's M14 when she couldn't finish the 12 mile roadmarch almost 25 years ago.  Ever notice you NEVER see a picture of a woman humping a medium machine gun?  The effort to hide the reality has been going on a long time.  I wasn't the last guy to carry someone else's kit.  You just don't hear about it and unlike men, women don't get sanctioned when they fail.

1 week, 1 day ago on The 75th Says “No” to Girls in the Regiment

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@NicholasP @majrod @Guy Slack 

Nick we probably agree on much but as a Special Forces vet your words hold special weight.  Your comments can be recited (probably out of context) by those with an agenda to buttress their case.  It's happened before which is why I'm commenting.

Yes, let's take everyone that can operate a gun.  Irregardless to if they are in a wheelchair, can't carry an equal load or can't keep up with the pace.  You probably don't mean that last sentence but do you realize that many hinge their whole case of women in SOF or the Infantry on "women can pull a trigger just as well as a man"?  Simplifying the demands of combat just helps their case. There was actually a lady in this thread who said she could make a great sniper.  I wonder if she has any concept of the physical demands required of a sniper?  Of course that's irrelevant to those with an agenda.  Too much detail spoils the argument.

It's the same approach that equates being an MP with being an Infantryman or SOF.  As you know, no where near the same. 


I agree with you that much of this is going to happen anyway but we don't have to be part of the insanity and our thoughtful comments and predictions may turn the tide of public opinion when the body bags start coming home.

1 week, 1 day ago on The 75th Says “No” to Girls in the Regiment

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@NicholasP @majrod @Guy Slack 

Nick, the devil is in the details.

What happens if your mission changes to a Direct Action type mission like a raid after the women have been assigned to the unit.  Do they stay in the rear with the gear (IF there's a rear and you don't have to just pick up wholesale and move)?  Or do you take them to an entirely new AO with an unknown need for them. Better yet, do they become part of your detachment and do the ____ click foot infiltration?  What happens when the mission goes Bravo Two Zero on you?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bravo_Two_Zero

1 week, 1 day ago on The 75th Says “No” to Girls in the Regiment

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@SGT_H 

I addressed this very briefly over here.   http://gruntsandco.com/sitrep/army-looking-women-volunteers-ranger-school/


Read the announcement very carefully because what it says isn't necessarily what we think it means e.g. the standards aren't necessarily the same...

1 week, 1 day ago on The 75th Says “No” to Girls in the Regiment

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@NicholasP @Guy Slack 

How much warning do you think this anonymous SOF unit gets before leaving the wire to request, test, train this mythical Amazon?

1 week, 1 day ago on The 75th Says “No” to Girls in the Regiment

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This is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.


Further the article raises a slew of strawmen to slay.


There is no equipment issue with SOF.  The ACU was issued to conventional troops.  SOF was and did use different uniforms before, during and after ACUs were issued.

SOF's M4s were always different (and better than the conventional force).  The funding always was enough to fund robust maintenance programs, field fully auto M4's and the internal parts to make them even more reliable.  Heck, SF and the Rangers themselves made the decision that the SCAR (L) was not worth the cost.  If the goal is to have the HK416 to increase reliability from 95% to a whopping 98% at over twice cost creating another service seems a bit of overkill.  


The pipleline is a significant issue.  Why would any service allow it's best to tryout for another service en masse with no return on the investment?  The single officer that makes a branch transfer is a rare exception and is typically reciprocated by a branch transfer to the losing branch.  This happens under the radar of even those involved in the transfer.  The branch transfer of enlisted is even more problematic.  Why is the Army going to let Airborne recruits try out for SOF units slowing their delivery to a regular unit that needs the same troops?  Simply not going to happen.  Furtherthe friction that exists now between SOF and the conventional force will be even further aggravated by those that don't want to be considered part of their parent branch.

Finally looking at the last decade (ignoring the major conventional phases and contribution) doesn't cover the history of warfare or predict the future nature of war.  If one wants to make the case that we no longer need conventional capability please do but just saying it's over isn't adequate.  Ukraine is not a SOF fight.  No doubt SOF could be employed in a supporting role but taking down tank, mechanized and motorized formations isn't a SOF forte.  The same could be said if the fight grows to include the Baltic states and Poland.  BTW, the majority of the 3000 sent on the Ebola mission are conventional...

1 week, 1 day ago on Should SOF Be Its Own Service?

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@YankeePapa FWIW practice was to issue foreign soldiers getting trained here a picture ID.  At a minimum it allowed them to use the PX.   Someone has their picture.


BTW, they just got found at the Canadian border...

1 week, 2 days ago on AQ tries to hijack Pakistani warship to attack US Navy

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Great stuff!  Looking forward to your next contribution!

1 week, 4 days ago on The Harmonious Fist Of China: Twenty Years of Strategy In The Making

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@Luddite4Change @majrod @Riceball 


I again agree but again I have seen even leaders who fairly evaluate and can defend their position choose not hold protected persons to standard because they didn't want the distraction of having to defend themselves (which is a sneaky way of not admitting you're scared). It can be a time intensive event that is only more draining with the severity of the infraction.  Often commanders just "overlook" the one not meeting the standard as if the standard didn't exist or just change the standard.


I share your concern about being peered out but in some cases the peer evaluations are the ONLY sanction for someone that won't pull their weight on patrol.  After initial testing there are few physical tests required of the Ranger student and no where is it stated that Ranger students must carry an equal load. (Patrol leaders are required to spread the load but not make it equal) 

There is already HUGE pressure on RI's.  I can easily see an approach where women are not held to the same standard as the men (which is my point to the whole previous paragraph).


Again, no one has stated the women will be held to the male admission standards.  What has been stated are the MALE standards which are the 18 year old male standards to score 80% in each category. The requirements for an 18 year old female to attain the same points on the PT test are 40% easier in pushups, 20% easier in the run and don't exist in the pull ups. 


I've seen this approach at West Point on the Indoor Obstacle Course where the male standards are "publicized" and the female standards including workarounds for difficult obstacles are not discussed while the powers that be declare "equal standards".


BTW, Ranger school instructors have not been part of the discussion here at Ft. Benning so while I agree with you that the Army is going to avoid accusations of "stacking the deck" against women don't be so sure that deck isn't being stacked for women.  FWIW, officers in building four walk in fear over the subject.  The message has gone out.  Consider that even questioning the policy is considered "disloyal" and you know what that word means reference your evaluation.

1 week, 5 days ago on Army looking for women volunteers for Ranger school

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@Luddite4Change @majrod @Riceball 

Agree in general except when those individuals fall in "protected" groups.

I have observed leadership not as strictly enforce standards on individuals in those groups because of a fear of EO, discrimination or congressional investigation complaints.


Commanders that don't want to deal with the bother (or risk) either accept substandard behavior and move the individual along so it remains the system's problem or place them in a position where they can do the least damage.

1 week, 6 days ago on Army looking for women volunteers for Ranger school

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@YankeePapa 

Great article.

The female officer will be characterized as a sellout as she's viciously attacked by those with an agenda and the metrosexual men that want to one up each other in demonstrating how "fair and modern" they are in their promotion of women.

Few to none will have ever been Infantry...

1 week, 6 days ago on Army looking for women volunteers for Ranger school

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@Luddite4Change @majrod @Riceball 

"Talk is cheap, its something entirely different when a person actually has to sign on the dotted line an perform."


Yes, as a Tac back at the Academy I remember on occasion listening to female cadets complaining about the injustice of not being able to go Infantry.  They tended to quiet down when reminded by their male classmates about how they loved and performed during "Infantry Week" during advanced cadet training.


I would ask why they wanted to go Infantry and they ALL responded about a perceived advantage in getting promoted.  I responded that choosing a branch because of promotion opportunities is diametrically opposed to the Officer value of "service" and personally wouldn't want to be associated with an officer that made decisions based on what would get him/her promoted.


There's a great article that YP clued me in on that speaks in a similar vein.  http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20140917/CAREERS/309170049   Another article you likely won't see discussed on "The Best Defense"

1 week, 6 days ago on Army looking for women volunteers for Ranger school

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@Luddite4Change @majrod @Riceball 

Oh no I think not.  They have exceeded the tradition of "the suck" with body armor.  

1 week, 6 days ago on Army looking for women volunteers for Ranger school

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@Luddite4Change @majrod @Riceball 

Ah, you're younger than I.

FWIW the radios today are a fraction of the size the PRC 77 and SINCGARS were.

1 week, 6 days ago on Army looking for women volunteers for Ranger school

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@The Ed Glad I could help.  I'm kicking the tires on their latest which has an external battery box.  The only downside is it comes with a low profile riser and I would like to test it with a cowitness on AR iron sights. 


The plus side is I'm told the latest is compatible with quick disconnect mounts.  Some people want to be able to remove their sight quickly.  Personally, I'm not taking the sight off after I zero it unless I have to replace a battery and this is supposed to run five years.

2 weeks ago on Holosun Micro Red Dot Sight Review

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@Luddite4Change @Riceball 

Just out of curiosity when did you go the basic course?


I agree with much of what you said specifically that serving as an Infantry officer without a tab can be challenging and that Ranger School is more demanding than the Infantry Officer's Basic Course but IOBC (or IBOLC as it's now called) is far from the "gentleman's course" it was in the 70's.  You spend 2 days short of half the course in the field.  They actually have many of the Ranger school standards incorporated in the graduation requirements e.g. 5 miles in 40 min, 12 mile road march with real ruck load (not the 35lb air assault joke), the same land navigation course etc..


Now the big differences is that you sleep and eat more in IOBC and the male standards.  It remains to be seen if women will be held to the male standards...


You can see the Army IOBC graduation requirements here on p2 http://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/199th/content/pdf/2-11%20IN%20Fatheads.pdf


They do get most weekends off though which we did not in the 80's.

2 weeks ago on Army looking for women volunteers for Ranger school

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@YankeePapa @majrod @Minou_Demimonde @BrandonWebb @jglow69

You really have to put a disclaimer out there like your book alerts YP.

I experienced carbonated drink coming out of my nose and now trying to figure out how to get the spray out from between the keys in my keyboard.


By act of Congress I am an officer and gentleman, "knuckledragger" is just a moniker for Infantrymen.  I don't consider myself exceptionally hairy and am not overly fond of Bananas.

2 weeks, 2 days ago on President Obama is No Hercules: The Hydra of Radical Islam

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@Riceball Let me know what your experience is when you put the sight through its paces.

2 weeks, 2 days ago on Holosun Micro Red Dot Sight Review

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@Minou_Demimonde @BrandonWebb @jglow69 

Yes it is.  The Muslims claimed the crusades for centuries after as a ruse to inflame the population.  

The West didn't have any troops in the ME when the Muslims invaded Spain and tried to invade Eastern Europe. 

2 weeks, 3 days ago on President Obama is No Hercules: The Hydra of Radical Islam

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@BrandonWebb @majrod @jglow69 

Yes, I've also served in the ME also.  I'm not saying our presence doesn't cause issues from time to time.  Heck, troops in Germany caused issues with the locals on occasion unless you consider the Beider Mienhoff terrorists cause to withdraw from Germany in the midst of the Cold War .

It's not the cause of current conflict.  Heck killing locals by accident is used by the enemy to stir opposition that doesn't mean we should stop using airstrikes. There are MANY good reasons we keep troops in the ME that are overwhelmingly more important than Islamic Radicals propaganda..


The Cuban Missile Crisis is not a good example.  The two ideologies were at war with each other (unless you want to make the case that we are waging war against Islam and every Muslim is a radical Muslim, I don't think so).  Further the Russians kept troops and nuclear armed missiles (tactical) in Cuba for decades after the Cuban Missile Crisis.  They were never mentioned in our dissent with Cuba.  If your example held water we'd have had at least some significant clashes with the Cubans since 1963 on the Cuban mainland (vicinity Gitmo).

We can agree to disagree I just can't let you rewrite history. 

2 weeks, 3 days ago on President Obama is No Hercules: The Hydra of Radical Islam

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@LawyerHandle 

And NOTHING will be said in the MSM.

Consider how many times we've heard Rumsfeld/Bush pummeled for not listening to Shinseki who didn't support the troop lean approach...

2 weeks, 3 days ago on American Combat Troops inevitable return to Iraq Part II

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@steelhorse They are counting on us not putting it together.

2 weeks, 5 days ago on American Combat Troops inevitable return to Iraq Part II

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Thanks Loren, you took me back to those days and made me get something in my eye.

2 weeks, 6 days ago on My First 9-11

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@YankeePapa 

Operation Here We Go Again

Operation Deja vu 

Operation Back in Iraq

Operation Ayatollah Assist 

Operation RF II (Nor Rat F---, Residual Force)

Operation No Boots

Operation Mission Accomplished

Operation JV

Operation Diminished & Destroyed

Operation Surgical Strike

Operation Red Line

Operation Inauguration Day

Operation No Combat Troops

Operation Obamacare

Operation ISIL (I Saw Iraq Last)


and last but not least...


Operation Raw (War spelt backwards)

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Iraq Airstrikes Battle Damage Assessment to Date

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@LawyerHandle 

No problem.  Iran and Russia are picking up the slack.

http://complex.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/09/10/tehrans_boots_on_the_ground_iraq_syria_islamic_state_isis_iran?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=*Situation%20Report&utm_campaign=SITREP%20SEPT.%2011%202014


STUNNING that no one has picked up who is helping us.  


Reminds me of an old Irish saying, "Show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are."

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Iraq Airstrikes Battle Damage Assessment to Date

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@CarlRC 

FWIW, Politico came out with this one today.

To Defeat the Islamic State, Follow the Money  Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/09/to-defeat-isil-follow-the-money-110825.html#ixzz3D23Axq5n


The money quote, "ISIL raises most of its money domestically in Iraq and Syria. Its income streams include oil smuggled to other countries in the region, extortion, taxes—especially on non-Muslim minorities—and other essentially criminal activities."

Interesting stuff on how ISIS pays its troops also.

2 weeks, 6 days ago on President Obama is No Hercules: The Hydra of Radical Islam

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@Waterborne 

FWIW we spend about a trillion dollars a year on education.  The Chinese spend about a 100 billion with three times the population.  More money isn't the answer.

2 weeks, 6 days ago on President Obama is No Hercules: The Hydra of Radical Islam

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@BrandonWebb @majrod @jglow69 

Brandon, I don't understand how the Cuban Missile Crisis is an example of permanent military presence causing conflict.

Gitmo on the other hand is an example of a military base that hasn't caused conflict.  Our disagreements with Cuba are much deeper than the presence of Gitmo and that's why we have issues.  Our naval presence in Qatar or Army base in Kuwait aren't the cause of conflict.

Add Bosnia to the list.

We can agree to disagree but the historical record is pretty strong.

2 weeks, 6 days ago on President Obama is No Hercules: The Hydra of Radical Islam

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@CarlRC 

I don't disagree Carl that Arabs in certain countries are funding terror.  I'd even agree that some Arab countries from time to time do it for their own twisted reasons (like when we wouldn't support the Syrian rebels and Saudi & Qatar stepped into the vacuum) but a major component that never seems to get addressed are Islamic money practices and the use of charities to fund terrorists. http://www.cfr.org/terrorist-financing/tracking-down-terrorist-financing/p10356 

If a Saudi, Yemeni etc. high roller uses couriers to get funding to a terrorist group is the host nation responsible if it is trying to keep that from happening?  I guess just as responsible as the nation who issues a passport to these foreign fighters traveling to join the jihad.  Hello al-Awlaki...

Further these terrs aren't dumb, they are figuring out a multitude of ways to fund themselves including selling oil, ransoming hostages to European countries that pay, extortion, taxing Christians etc.


So yeah, I'm with you on some of this money coming from Arab countries but the problem is much bigger than Arab gov'ts playing both ends.

FTR, not saying it doesn't happen.  I'm saying there's more money coming from other sources and they ALL should be addressed. 

2 weeks, 6 days ago on President Obama is No Hercules: The Hydra of Radical Islam

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