20+ yr Infantry Officer.
Visit me at GRUNTSandCo.com. You'll find my commentary on SOFREP, foreignpolicy, DoDBuzz, Defensetech, KitUp, Military.com. Smallwarsjournal
Yes, as much as his having been in the military...
2 days ago on The Kathleen Belew Veteran Stereotype
Classic leftist elitism and arrogance over anyone who decides to serve their country. Never mind that the military veteran is generally better educated than the average American, are less likely to have a record and come mostly from the middle class. (interestingly the rich are actually better represented in the military than the poor though both segments are under represented in comparison to the population)
Why let facts get in the way of a good narrative.
2 days, 10 hours ago on The Kathleen Belew Veteran Stereotype
FWIW This Aint Hell reports Miller held a clerk MOS 71L.Now this was from a time before the 18 series MOS but a Special Forces qualified clerk?
Records state his primary MOS as 71L4S (S used to stand for special forces qualified) but he's also listed as a 71L4P (P is airborne qualified). The post military picture I saw him in wearing BDUs was sporting airborne wings but not a CIB which is what he would have been awarded if he had fought as a special forces soldier.
We'll see. Better investigators have requested his records. In the meantime I wonder if the press will put out a BOLO for military clerks...
@HonestBroker247 Miller was a white male, married and father of five. He was an Odinist (pagan religon). He ran for public office four times. He was also a convicted felon. He was also a trucker longer than he was in the military yet the focus will be on his military service.
Yeah, no surprising focus there. Let's reflect on that...
2 days, 11 hours ago on The Kathleen Belew Veteran Stereotype
When a left leaning vet goes on a rampage (e.g. Dorner who voted for the current Pres and was anti-gun) the media doesn't do an expose on how the military facilitated that violence. (They have the same amnesia when it's a Muslim soldier. e.g. MAJ Hasan, SGT Akbar)
Peter Bergen wrote a similar article for CNN on 4 April. http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/04/opinion/bergen-right-wing-violence/
Let the media talk. They can't help but tell you who they are and what they believe and yet, some will defend them and/or state there is no bias...
As I said not long ago, one can address the symptom but hat never fixes the illness. Anti-military prejudice is a fundamental part of the left (though all on the left don't share it). Failing to call it for what it is just ensures it continues and only the left can fix itself but they won't if it never has the bright light of truth put on it.
No problem. We all learn from each other.
I'd argue that the LAV has had a lot more success than the Bradley. During Gulf I the Bradley actually destroyed more enemy vehicles than any other vehicle platform to include the M1.
The Bradley is actually an outstanding vehicle. Its only shortcoming is it doesn't carry a full infantry squad, a price paid to mount that 25mm/TOW equipped manned turret. The Bradley actually exceeds the LAV in every category except speed on the road
and amphibious ability. The Bradley carries more troops, is more lethal, more protected and has
superior mobility than the LAV which is a pretty good recon vehicle.
And while the Army's Stryker is based off of the Swiss Piranha (same vehicle the Canadians and later the Marines built the LAV off of) it is significantly different than the Marines use of the LAV which is limited to its recon elements unlike the Army's primary use as an Infantry carrying vehicle. The Marines are actually adopting the Army Stryker approach a decade later with the MPC.
The downside is the MPC carries a max of 10 Marines and a Marine squad is 13.
5 days ago on Budget Cuts: A Missed Opportunity for the Marine Corps
Yes, the Marines did lead on the A2 like the Army led on the Garand, M14, M16 (borrowed from the USAF) and the M4.
The Army was mostly equipped with A2's by 1987. I was issued my first one in '86 when I was in the 101st and by that time the 82nd, 10th Mountain and 7th ID had already switched over. When I got to Europe in '90 the four plus divisions there had been running A2's for some years.
As for the LAV, the Marines adopted it from the Canadians (who got them from the Swiss). The LAVs equipped with a 25mm turret is actually a descendant of the Bradley program which was fielded two years before the LAV. When the Army looked to field the Stryker they borrowed LAVs from both the Marines and the Canadians to test the concept and then substantially redesigned the vehicle to the point that the metal isn't even the same.
The Bradley unlike the LAV was built from scratch and assuredly did not fail tests for years. There was an Air Force Colonel named Burton who has done lasting damage to the Bradley. I've always been entertained how so many would value an Air Force officer's opinion about an Infantry fighting vehicle over Army officers assessments. Burton insisted the Bradley be tested against weapons it was never intended to defend against like main tank rounds. This was later portrayed by some as failure which is ridiculous. The Bradley was never meant to defend itself against a tank. It would be like putting a LAV against a T72 and when the 125mm round went through both sides saying the LAV "failed".
The movie "Pentagon Wars" (based on Burton's book) is a great comedy but pathetic history. The book is little better though it does a good job of telling how the military tries to jam too many things onto a military system. The Marines demonstrated the same error in the failed EFV.
5 days, 17 hours ago on Budget Cuts: A Missed Opportunity for the Marine Corps
While I agree the Assad released a bunch of Islamists it wasn't to dilute the opposition so much as to portray the rebels as radicals when they overwhelmingly weren't. It's taken almost three years of consistent US dithering and nonaction for the Islamists to equal the secular rebels in numbers.
5 days, 18 hours ago on What The Syrian Civil War Is Really All About
@islanddude58 Assad has some pretty good stuff.
Wiki has some good info on the different rounds capability. The later rounds really increase lethality and almost double range but considering the T72's the Syrians have you really don't need much improvement on the initial TOW lethality.
The Javelin is badass. 2000m, man portable, top attack fire and forget missile. It's better than most TOW rounds except for range.
1 week, 2 days ago on US TOW Missiles spotted in Syria
The 800 lb Gorilla is why does the media promote the damaged vet narrative and why is it promulgated?
Until one dissects and understands the multiple reasons (e.g. money making and political perspective) one has no chance of really changing things. We can't compete with the media in getting out their narrative but we can educate Americans and have them vote with their wallet. It takes away one reason and attacks the treasury of the second.
1 week, 4 days ago on What Main Stream Media Isn’t Getting Right About Veterans & PTSD
@SEAL76 @weavertgYou just described media SOP. They publish a story sensationalizing "damaged vets" on page 1 and two weeks later a retraction on p 16 after the obits.
They've achieved their mission of tarnishing the military AND stayed true to "journalism" by publishing a retraction.
The indoctrination continues...
Didn't realize you lost your dad that way.
My condolences to them and you.
2 weeks ago on Ft. Hood – From The Perspective Of A Victim Of Violent Loss
@Kiyabear @majrod@islanddude58 I have mentioned it to The Blaze. Since you quoted it here at length I didn't want people to go away misinformed.
2 weeks, 1 day ago on The Ft. Hood Shooting & What Motivates The Active Shooter
The Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 5210.56, signed into effect in February 1992 by Donald J. Atwood, deputy secretary of defense under President George H.W. Bush
addresses security personnel and duties of GOVERNMENT ISSUED weapons
and addresses that service members may not be use personally owned
weapons in the execution of official duties.
It does not
address the carrying of a privately owned concealed weapon or possession
of privately owned weapons on post. These regulations were issued
through policy letters typically issued by the post commander. Every
soldier I've seen punished for carrying a personal weapon were charged
for disobeying the local commander's directive not the DoD
From my experience since 1985, it was primarily after
a local incident involving a soldier shooting, a significant event like
the Oklahoma bombing and/or the 1990's increased concern over extremist
groups, that post command's concerned themselves and limited soldier's
weapon carrying rights.
The Blaze quoted Steven Bucci, a
military expert for The Heritage Foundation who
served 28 years in the Army and retired in 2005 with the rank of
colonel, said, “We have never had our soldiers walking around with
weapons all the time, other than in combat zones,” That's true, but we
didn't go hog wild in ensuring our troops were unarmed until after DoD
Directive 5210.56 hit the streets. Putting the blame squarely on
Clinton might be much but the move towards disarming troops was greater
during his administration than the last year of the Bush (elder)
@BrandonWebb @majrodAs a former company commander with responsibility for 100+ troops and later as a regimental XO with a 1000 cadets and a strong believer in the 2A I'm conflicted.
I think soldiers with a valid CCW should be allowed to carry.
Soldiers who live on a base should be able to keep their weapons in their homes as long as they secure them. To me that means a safe when they aren't home.
Barracks living has problems though. The rooms are not well secured and are not necessarily private. In those cases the weapons should be secured in the unit arms room. There is also the issue of often really rowdy behavior in the barracks. When a weapon isn't present fistfights almost always end up being minor affairs. When young troops have uber knives, slingshots etc. I've seen relatively minor situations become major ones with records of otherwise sound service destroyed by moments of bad judgement. There are no easy answers.
All that said, I never had problems with soldiers who have a valid CCW exercising that right on post but it can be a problem during PT sessions or before a field problem because securing weapons in cars isn't a very good solution especially when it becomes common knowledge that someone carries. There are answers that can provide safety, respect for the 2A and minimize POW security issues but the blanket POW prohibition keeps that discussion from happening.
@11BRecon Yes that drove me nuts also.
Right under that is the general ignorance that military bases are filled with top tier targets that can't defend themselves because the weapons are largely locked up in the Arms Room.
Condolences to the families of the killed and wounded. Blue on blue just adds to the senselessness of a senseless act.
Those who support 2A rights should inform themselves as well as possible to contest the inevitable propaganda. BTW, military bases are the largest gun free zones in the nation.
I hope those selling these are caught and prosecuted.
What about the other branches?
2 weeks, 1 day ago on NCIS and Navy Investigating Stolen Military Technology
@Sir Drinksalot Didn't confirm the translation but it would be big news if it was true.
Then again the Russians claimed they pulled a BN (less than a 1000 men) from the broder where tens of thousands are massed.
No confirmation from our sources.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Russia continues to mass troops on Ukraine border
It's going to be hard to make a legal argument without basing it in the constitution but we are all allowed to have an opinion.
You can equate the war with terrorists as the same as the war on hunger. Some think an athlete is a hero for hitting the winning home run in the bottom of the ninth or scoring a winning touchdown.
As for me, I chalk that up to people taking the real meaning out of words especially those that embody the highest principles or worse not really understanding what the words "war" or "hero" really mean.
I think about personal beliefs all the time and especially how they jive with my values and principles...
I personally believe one should be a vet to vote, there should be a balanced budget amendment and term limits but the constitution is what I swore to uphold.
We as Americans have a right to believe what we want. It also says so in the constitution (Amend 1 Freedom of speech).
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Philosophy of War Series: War Crimes
@jasonthomas @majrod@BrandonWebb@LawyerHandle Jason - my erlier comment aboiut the Journos batting a 1000 is tongue in cheek.
I agree with you. If the military isn't going to address an issue the media should. My problem is that the media often portrays these issues in the worst possible way or take credit for something the military is addressing. Abu Ghraib is a classic example. The military discovered and revealed the iincident.
Uh where did I EVER say we were in the business of exporting "capital fucking D, God fearing, apple pie democracy"?
Making up things I said doesn't weaken anything I actually said...
The Air Force used 41 MH-53H's to do the CSAR mission in the 90's. 20 CRH's is almost half the number and we have a much smaller air force now. (4000 vs 8000 aircraft)
2 weeks, 2 days ago on USAF Rescue Gets New (Old) Helicopter
"I'll answer you more in detail later on the other topics Will."
Look forward to the spirited debate. :)
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Philosophy of War Series: War Crimes
I reject your premise Brandon.
The "American justice system" is not the appropriate tool to apply to enemy combatants. You are continuing to apply law enforcement protocols designed to primarily govern our citizens in time of peace with a state of war environment and enemy combatants. I've explained how and why this is incorrect and how the constitution makes specific separations for the conduct of war and the role of the different branches in gov't during conflict.
The constitution provides wide latitude to the Pres to wage war as the CIC. The constitution recognizes the Geneva Convention as well as other international agreements specifically focused on the conduct of nation states during war as the LAw of the Land after 2/3rds of the Senate approves such a treaty. The Congress also has the authority under our constitution and international convention to establish special procedures to deal with the enemy in time of war.
It's the same basic recognition that war and peace are fundamentally different that makes it obvious that state and federal law don't cover the special responsibilities and situations of servicemen requiring the creation of a parallel justice system called the UCMJ. Applying civil law to terrorists is as absurd as charging a servicemember with insubordination, AWOL, or desertion in a civilian court. Those laws don't exist in the civilian sector or peacetime arena and in fact are protected by various aspects of the Bill of Rights.
The "spirit" of the American justice system is projected by our military protocols, regulations and treaties that guide us in waging war and make us by far the most moral of nations in the conduct of war. NOTE: NOT PERFECT for we aren't and nothing is in war. If not, we would have the enemy just disappear which has been SOP for the majority of nations on the planet.
"What about non-combatants who we detained by accident?"
These are covered by the Geneva Convention. This includes noncombatants who support the enemy (who may be detained as per Part I. General Provisions
To the best of my knowledge we haven't had any non-combatants (bystanders) held by accident for quite awhile.
@BrandonWebb @LawyerHandleI repeat... "As for buzzwords I used the wrong term. Apologies. I meant to contest
your unsupported statement, "With the Guantanamo Bay detention camp,
we’ve also successfully circumvented the very Constitution".
@BrandonWebb @majrod@LawyerHandle Are you referring to their news segments (typically 9 - 7) or their largely conservative hosted shows like Hanity?
I don't disagree that Hanity wants to make Obama look bad (as well as their morning show) but the rest of opinion shows (e.g. O'Reilly & Susteren) are pretty even handed reporting both sides of various issues. Their news segments are pretty even handed. The Pres needs no help in looking bad.
You are misapplying the constitution. The Bill of Rights (including the 6th amendment) is primarily targeted at citizens, domestic criminals and peacetime situations. That's why Abraham Lincoln was able to circumvent large portions of the constitution.
If you want to apply the constitution to combat or in a state of war the 4th amendment protects people from search, seizures and arrest without reason & without a warrant. Using your logic every raid we've conducted is unconstitutional because we didn't have a warrant. Then there's the 5th amendment that requires a grand jury to hold anyone after being charged. We haven't done that so we have to release everyone if you want to apply that right and be consistent. You can't apply one right and ignore another. That's the foundation of rule of law.
The incongruent logic of the left applies laws & rights meant for a peacetime US to a wartime situation. If the US constitution governs our military we have a conflict with posse comitatus which says the military can't be used to enforce domestic law. The bill of rights ARE domestic law for use in a peacetime environment otherwise we'd be infringing on terrorists rights to bear arms when we shoot them exactly for that reason. This incongruent logic eventually drives one to explain the paradox of how posse comitatus lives with a constitution that specifically authorizes a military. Once you start applying the constitution improperly you have all kinds of problems like explaining how the UBL raid or drone strikes are legal. I'm always stunned by the left's rationale to apply law enforcement approaches in a time of war. The mental gymnastics required boggle the mind.
This of course confuses the left because the constitution clearly delineates how wars are to be waged and who has what authority. The Pres as the CIC in times of war has wide latitude in the execution of his responsibilities. Further, the constitution's treaty clause (Article II, Section 2, Clause 2) makes treaties the Law of the Land after a 2/3rds passage in the Senate (the same ratio needed to pass an amendment). The Geneva Convention as well as many other agreements specifically concerning the waging of war guide our nations waging of war as delineated by the constitution. The Geneva Convention specifically states combatants can be subject to indefinite detention until hostilities are ended between the combatants.
As for buzzwords I used the wrong term. Apologies. I meant to contest your unsupported statement, "With the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, we’ve also successfully circumvented the very Constitution".
I know the arguments that try to portray Gitmo as unconstitutional. As I've demonstrated above, they are based on an incorrect understanding and application of the constitution. If Gitmo was really unconstitutional we could easily solve this with a Supreme Court decision. Eric Holder has failed to bring a case. The administration knows they'd lose and why it continues to obey laws that keep Gitmo in place. Heck, if Gitmo was really unconstitutional this administration would be acting unconstitutionally! The line Gitmo is unconstitutional is useful though in fanning flames. (Not your motive but why the line persists)
As for Fox bashing Obama I'd disagree vehemently. The talking heads on Fox may on occasion blame Obama for cloudy days but the news has been overwhelmingly on target with their reporting on the administration's failures as they did with his predecessor.
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Philosophy of War Series: War Crimes
@Sir Drinksalot I think your assessment of the EU is on target but I'm very inclined to believe Putin will establish a land bridge to Crimea. Right now Crimea is at the mercy of the Ukraine for food, water and energy. Russia also wants to reach out to Moldava to annex the eastern portion of that country.
The Ukrainian response to Russia taking the land bride will determine if Russia takes Eastern Ukraine or all of the Ukraine. It's like murder. After you kill the first person it doesn't really matter how many you kill. Deaths while taking southeast Ukraine will produce the same "sanctions" as taking all of the Ukraine. "Might as well get it done" will be Putin's response.
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Russia continues to mass troops on Ukraine border
@LawyerHandleOh I think the MSM's motives are pure. They bat a 1000 when it comes to trying to sully, sensationalize and demonize the military. That's journalism 101.
The "Collateral Murder" video story I did for SOFREP is not an anomaly. http://sofrep.com/24991/bradley-mannings-greatest-contribution/
Great essay Brandon and I look forward to the discussion.
isn't unconstitutional. The treatment of the detainees may be a valid
issue of debate as well as if some should be there but POW/detainee
camps aren't unconstitutional nor is indefinite detention. They started
this war. They can end it. Until then we are under no legal/moral
requirement to return those that have waged war against us.
YP - concur.
Agree officers have more authority/responsibility but I don't think that's necessarily why there's a plethora of bad officer stories. Officers ARE expected to (and should IMO) be better than average. Most are in my experience. In a platoon, you have one LT out of 40, so 39 sets of eyes are on him and with that much attention one 's decisions always get a colonoscopy. (The numbers grow exponentially as an officer progresses.) Hey, no sympathy here, that's why you get paid the big bucks.
I suspect the reason you rarely if ever see an officer lambasting enlisted men is twofold. First, most officers know the slug NCO is an aberration and not descriptive of the NCO Corps. Further, it's hurtful of the reputation and image of NCOs and they need those things to be effective. You hurt your unit/branch by taking apart a group's leader in public. (look at the damage a nation endures when its leaders are embarrassed on the world scene) Secondly, it's the kiss of death from my experience. You hardly hear an officer ever telling a story about a bad NCO. Among officers, any officer who didn't eat last, didn't clean his own weapon or in general didn't pull his weight was mocked, shunned and/or eventually lost the respect of his peers and superiors. Not saying those types don't exist. My first assignment was replacing a Lieutenant relieved for failing to set the example (e.g. slept at security halts, took extra time off). They just have to keep their repulsive predilections secret. While the opposite (bashing officers) is generally condoned or even encouraged in certain cliques...
(Personally, I don't like telling those stories because I know it
embarrassed my NCO's and I respected them enough to avoid embarrassing them unless we need to discuss it and learn something.)
2 weeks, 5 days ago on Letter To The Editor: Let Sergeants Run The Unit Says Retired USMC Officer
Great article! There are some disconcerting trends out there and I've addressed them obliquely from a leadership perspective both here on SOFREP and on my young blog. I fear the only way we will truly be able to adress some of the core issues at echelons above reality is for a truly cataclysmic war or a continuing drone of military scandals sicken the American public like they were after Nam which placed military service and those that wear the uniform at somewhere a little higher than whale droppings.
My best moments in over two decades in uniform involved serving with NCO's. I'm sure I could fill small book with anecdotes. My memories generate many a smile as I remember Sgt Alter who ran the first squad in my first platoon who always bitched about being lead in column but bitched even louder when he wasn't. I NEVER got lost during a foot movement and while confident of my own land nav I "checked" our position while the lead squad did the navigation.
Sgt Alter was later killed along with my first squad in an air to air collision at Ft Campbell with a TF 160 Blackhawk that was traveling in the wrong direction. (SOP at Campbell which was shaped like a big peanut were to travel in a clockwise rotation when flying to or out of the airfield.)
I also remember SFC Boynton who was the NCOIC of my small active duty detachment advising a Guard Infantry Battalion. He was a fountain of knowledge and great input on where we could make a difference in helping the Infantry BN achieve its goals and increase readiness. He was also a PT horse in an assignment where it would have been easy to slack off. Sadly he would never achieve SGM status because of the letter of reprimand he received (inappropriately I believe) for the death of three Ranger school students on his watch.
I could easily tell of a dozen more outstanding NCO's like my first PSG SFC Hammond, the crusty Vietnam 1SGT's of my light infantry time, the grizzled squad leaders I served with In Iraq and played many a game of dominoes or spades back in the rear or SFC Willie Burns who I played "good cop, bad cop" with as we tried to mold a couple of hundred cadets into future officers and more. I don't possess the eloquence to communicate what a privilege it was to serve with them or to explain their immeasurable contribution in almost every facet of military endeavor which would take volumes and I still wouldn't do them credit.
I look back at my time in the service with great pride, appreciation and affection for the NCO's I served with. I'm sure I learned more from NCO's than I ever taught.
I liked this authors approach to the issues and agree with him. Unfortunately these essays always devolve for most into officer bashing sessions. I refrain from contesting the popular image that only officer's suck by relaying stories where I've personally seen NCO's not live up to their calling. I have too much respect for NCO's in general to gripe about NCO's who were cowardly in combat, disloyal to superiors because they couldn't meet the standards and tried to undermine higher's authority or stole.
I can share that those that repeatedly and only have bad things to say about officers wound those officers that gave their all for them. While they may break faith with me, I will not return the favor. I just love the NCO's I served with too much who I'm sure if they were here would rain an unquenchable wrath on those discontents starting with the NCO creed and ending with their oath of enlistment.
To the casual reader of SOFREP I caution you about believing the popular media driven stereotype that every or even the majority of officers are arrogant, incompetent asses who can't read a map and are responsible for everything that goes wrong in the military. I do ask you to consider the source when you hear that portrayal.
"The small female court officer escorting a "man mountain" who
overpowered her, took her pistol and killed four people is one of a
number of cases where you have to wonder about standards..."
L O N G ago I took a coed basic and advanced hand to hand combat course sat the Academy. "Sparring" was not coed. The final test (a maze you had to negotiate with 7-10 different situations) had all male aggressors who frankly didn't go full force on the woman. Passing was based on demonstrating proper application of the appropriate technique.
Since the USS Mahan incident I spoke with my friend who was an MP and CID agent of 20 years (he is also an accomplished jujitsu practitioner). We didn't discuss standards but he did say the sparring was coed. His is an Army perspective.
My point is sometimes the standards are designed to not really stress the individual (immaterial of gender). That's because most courses have to have graduates to exist and standards can get in the way. Something to keep in mind as the DoD addresses integrating the sexes in further combat roles.
2 weeks, 5 days ago on Double Shooting On Navy Base Explained
"And there will be debate anew over the role of women in the military in
ratings that require a high degree of physical strength to ensure they
are not disarmed by a perpetrator, and live to see the Chief of the
Watch killed trying to shield them with his own body."
I predict there will be no discussion...
Heck, it's hardly reported in the major news e.g. NYT that
there was a woman involved.
2 weeks, 6 days ago on Double Shooting On Navy Base Explained
Of course SOF won't be sitting on the fence in a large conventional conflict (or even a small one) but it won't be the decisive one. My effort was to explain some of the reasons between the conventional and SOF friction. It's not all about ego and being nasty to each other.
"As for SOF conducting ops that caused friendlies or fence sitters to go over to the bad guys I have serious doubts about that."
are numerous examples. Jack Murphy himself has mentioned the issue and
there are incidents recounted in "The Outpost" and "Outlaw Platoon". No doubt conventional forces have made their own enemies but a lack of coordination by SUF units when operation in conventional AO's have left a mes for the conventional forces to clean up.
Where did I EVER say Conventional and SOF don't compliment each other?
I agree the forces are complimentary but maybe you should read this essay again. It is ALL ABOUT ADVERSARIAL relationships. Why are you confronting me for promoting both organizations and giving the author a pass?
3 weeks, 2 days ago on How SOF got Screwed by the Conventional Force–A Lesson from Jim Gant
@Luddite4Change @majrod@LauraKinCAYou may have a point there about OSI influencing the USAF IG. Anyone with half a brain would realize the Academies are different environments and the damage done to the honor code by the use of informants is deep. Cadets see this and take those lessons on to the Air Force. The statement by the IG that informants were appropriate was extremely disturbing but that statement was coming from a JAG officer. JAG officers simply don't have a great deal of leadership experience and in this case it showed. I wish we knew for certain OSI had a role but I think leaving the issue to a bunch of lawyers was just as bad.
I don't know if the DoD could have done any better but they would have been very challenged to do worse.
BTW, THIS is a story I'd wish Tom Ricks would sink his teeth into if I wasn't so sure he'd stand with the JAG officers.
Hope you read my original piece on the subject...
3 weeks, 2 days ago on Air Force IG fails Cadet Informant
Yes, and still unacceptable...
3 weeks, 3 days ago on Air Force IG fails Cadet Informant
Good info. Keep in mind Marine tours were/are always shorter than Army tours. 7 mo vs. 12 mo (recently the Army went to 9 mo and during the Iraq surge inflicted 15 mo tours on units deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan).
I also just noticed the award was made 18 months after the event. Add a couple of months for tracking folks down and scheduling a ceremony and it might nbot be as bad as one may think.
3 weeks, 3 days ago on Navy Corpsman Awarded Silver Star
@Luddite4Change I haven't really been tracking that. Awards can be strange things. The higher they are, the higher the approval authority.It would be a shame if these are held up for the wrong reasons.
@HonestBroker247 @majrod I hesitate to go into it here because I don't want to distract from Peter's subject or make this a Mattis (or worse) Marine Corps bitch session. We all have our flaws.
For your personal edification it's covered in the book in detail and "The Daily Beast" published an excerpt. I posted the link above, here it is again, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/01/18/the-green-berets-who-saved-karzai.html
The book even provides more context (the mistake, casualties, actual situation etc.). Mattis was very wrong.
An AFSOC Pavelow flew in from Pakistan to do the MEDEVAC from over two hours away breaking a bunch of regs when Mattis was less than 45min...
I recommend the book for the whole story.
3 weeks, 3 days ago on USMC’s “Re-awakening” Initiative & A Needed Look in the Mirror
@YankeePapa FWIW, NJP used to be a very valid and useful discipline tool. There was a time where the CO could dock your pay or even take a stripe for an infraction. The individual could then learn their lesson, straighten up and continue on to have a hugely successful career. Not any more.
What happened during the early 90's drawdown and is in full swing again is a troop's record is scrubbed for NJP for even the most minor offense. ONE NJP eliminates you from re-enlisting. This is the reality of draw downs that civilians are never made aware
of. Makes it easy for the bean counters but absolute hell for the
leadership. Saw many a good soldier that had a minor offense three years prior become unable to re-enlist even with Company and BN commanders asking for waiver authority.
NJP is effectively removed as a minor disciplinary tool today. The soldier may suffer years down the road for a minor offense but one that justifies some lost pay, extra duty and a lost stripe. Now junior leaders have to find other tools to influence and discipline which gives rise to some cases of extra PT going a tad too far. This is a sin and violates a cardinal rule I learned long ago, "Never give troops a task they are unequipped to handle". How can we expect junior leaders to enforce discipline and standards if we don't give them tools to do it. Not providing tools just makes them "fall guys". For me it breaks faith and is symptomatic of the lack of loyalty down the chain which is as important as loyalty in the other direction.
What those bleeding hearts who tinker with the military (and the uniformed pansies that allow it) don't fathom is different things motivate different people. Some soldiers will respond to a disapproving look while others need the discomfort of physical stress to remind them of the appropriate standards. These same dilettantes don't understand that paperwork and field environments don't often lend themselves to field environments.
In the meantime it's the small unit leaders that must deal with well intentioned and PC "wisdom" that knows better than all those that have "been there and done that".
@Jsilva3071 It's from the book the "The Only Thing Worth Fighting For"
3 weeks, 4 days ago on USMC’s “Re-awakening” Initiative & A Needed Look in the Mirror
"the Army's mission was to maneuver through the desert and go straight to Baghdad." is actually a very common misconception and is very poorly documented in the common media.
Actually the Army did not
attack across the desert but up highway 1 & 8 (the Army never gave them names) fighting through several cities e.g. Samawah, Najaf, Karbala, Hindiyah and Hillah. FWIW Army hostile fire deaths were actually heavier than Marine casualties if you don't count friendly fire incidents and accidents.
@Jsilva3071 I'd caution anyone against putting any General on a pedestal. The overwhelming majority are politicians in a uniform.
I'm indifferent about Mattis though he definitely looks like the quintessential Marine General and has some awesome one liners. Like most politicians he has some serious skeletons in his closet that few discuss (e.g. refused to send help to an SF ODA hit by a 2000lb bomb because they might be in contact, his role in relieving COL Dowdy for not moving fast enough in the early invasion of Iraq where the Army arrived at Baghdad first).
Peter - thought provoking article that addresses some of my favorite and heart felt subjects.
I've been very interested in Amos because he is so dissimilar to other Marine Commandants. He has been a frequent topic in my blog over his questionable behavior in the Marine urination video, the attempt to discredit a Marine lawyer who has blown some serious whistles and his recent effort to censor Marine Times for reporting these issues. This is not beneficial to the Corps.
Then you touched on what really is the blatant misuse of the term "hazing". Two relatively recent cases where a Marine and a Soldier committed suicide for being disciplined after repeated serious substandard behavior (e.g. sleeping on guard duty on a combat outpost etc.). This is a conscious effort to remove an effective training tool from our leaders to make their job more difficult or ignorance of the reality of what's possible in a combat and training environment as well as the costs for not making on the spot corrections.
NOTE: The links I posted don't tell the whole story and in many ways go out of their way to promulgate a false definition of hazing. While Lew and Chen did suffer some inappropriate treatment there was not widespread "hazing". Hazing being "the imposition of strenuous, often humiliating, tasks as part of a program of rigorous physical training and initiation." FYI, Chen and Lew weren't being initiated and they weren't undergoing physical training. They were being punished or negative reinforcement for shortcomings in their performance. There is a difference. Unfortunately our society has becomes so out of touch with what is appropriate physical correction that anything sounds extreme (especially when described in the worst emotional ways by the press) and our military leadership has defaulted to making politicians happy instead of educating them so as to protect their future promotion.
My position is there is a place for subjecting soldiers to physical stress to correct a shortcoming. There is also a limit to how much physical discomfort a soldier should be subjected to as well as a time to ditch physical punishment and engage NJP.
The Russians are even wearing multicam in some cases.
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LOL, I'm used to being watched...
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I would like to have seem SF emphasize its FID capability but I don't
blame them totally for doing the sexy DA mission. We didn't have enough
SF to do all the FID needed and the conventional side abdicated the
majority of DA missions to SOF so it seems to me they are both at fault.
"I feel like that (direct action) also really hurt U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and
the GWOT in general. Partnerships and forming relations with indigenous
forces are what win in asymmetrical warfare. We've known this for
Every war is different. There's no one answer to asymmetric warfare though relying on kinetic action when something else is needed isn't helpful. On the other hand, I'm one for killing a lot of bad guys quick if you have to go to war. If nothing else, it provides security for rebuilding because rebuilding while a war is going on saddles security forces with a security mission AND killing bad guys.
1 month ago on How SOF got Screwed by the Conventional Force–A Lesson from Jim Gant