And be careful. I know more than you think. And before you turn this into branch vs. branch foolishness, open your eyes. First let's dismiss the campy "nobody's perfect" garbage and look at the problem. You may as well be on a JV Team in High School pretending that there is no Varsity, because "nobody's perfect." Clearly, all branches have their issues. But issues that routinely kill its own for lack of preparedness should not be dismissed. Relying on a basic tired slogan to explain away real problems only allows it to persist. The Army's problem is institutional.
"Size" is the routine copout. And this is why soldiers die needlessly. Army generals are very aware of the problem and this is why they have been seeking to emulate the Marine Corps in training, but have failed thus far because the Army is an organization that loves their very defined concreted roles. Training is everything. However, the problem here is that until the rest of the Army acknowledges the problem, the problem will persist. You write of arrogance. What blocks the Army's ability to protect its soldiers is false pride, false arrogance, ego and a continual talent for going on the defense against the Marine Corp's reputation. You displayed it right in your post. Most of the problems that come out of the Army is due to a lack of discipline, which an absence of training facilitates.
Soldiers are not taught that they are riflemen first. They are taught the bare minimum in infantry at Basic and most never go back to that training again beyond their technical field training. Years later, when they find themselves on a convoy in a combat zone, they will do so with their kevlars off and weapons not at the ready. They will do so with dirty, rusty weapons and without the knowledge of how to attack through and turn the ambush around. They will do so while stepping on gas pedals leaving others behind, thereby dividing the force, to fend for themselves. They will do so without an attitude that they are killers. They will do so without any sense of where they are. And they will do so because they are taught that they are not infantry year after year. It's almost as if soldiers are anti-trained. Army infantry is more elitest than Marine infantry in that it looks down upon the rest extremely maliciously. This has become so institutional that the idea of providing routine annual infantry training to regular soldiers damages the stigma of being infantry. Therefore, the Army's "we're too big" becomes the default excuse for hundreds of dead soldiers who were unprepared for combat. And the idea that "it does more" is no excuse for soldiers not knowing how to soldier.
The notion that "Every Marine a Rifleman first" is very real. This is why an Osprey mechanic or an Admin clerk can field strip guns, operate armored vehicles, and conduct themselves on patrol. This simply does not exist in the Army. And without this sense of conduct and discipline, the Army routinely gives the world its Abu Ghraibs, Jessica Lynchs, Robert Bales', and even investigations into gangs at Fort Gordon and others. In regards to Army Infantry, the general lack of discipline routinely breaks SOP and this is why it routinely gives the world blunders like overwhelming friendly fires, Black Hawk Downs, and Mai Lais. This lack of discipline trickles down the ranks. Walk up to a stranger and ask what he does and he will say he is a Marine (if he's a Marine). Ask another and he will say that he is a mechanic in the Army. The soldier is a mechanic, first. See the difference in attitude? Further examples would be burly mustaches hanging over lips, frumpy uniforms, tipped back caps, weapons hanging from slings that are too long and improper, etc. Most soldiers carry themselves lazily and despite Army regs being lax, they do exist and the leadership routinely looks the other way. "Such things aren't important," yet this translates into conduct on the battlefield, on the convoy, on the post, etc.
But let's see what some of the Army thinks.....
Here's some words from an Army General and an Army Lt. Col....
Later, as commander of the Second Marine Division, and later still as commandant of the Marine Corps, Gray was in a position to implement Boyd's ideas about "maneuver warfare."
Their first combat test came in Grenada in 1983. They passed.
"We've got two companies of Marines running all over the island, and thousands of Army troops doing nothing," an Army general was quoted as saying at the time. "What the hell is going on?"
Pentagon analyst Franklin "Chuck" Spinney, Boyd's closest associate for many years, said, "The Marines [later] used Boyd's tactics in the first Gulf war, and they worked like gangbusters."
As the Marines showed success after success with their maneuver-warfare doctrine, elements of Boyd's thinking began percolating into the Army.
"If the Marine Corps picks it up, the Army's first reaction is to try to discredit it," said retired Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, a leading military strategist. "If it proves to work, they'll copy it and claim it was their idea all along."
Little-known pilot shaped U.S. strategy in Iraq"The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle!" ~ General Pershing, US ArmyToday, we need expeditionary forces in all of the services, and the army is belatedly waking up to that. But no matter how theoretically effective it may be, an army that cannot get to the war or conflict is useless to the American people.
There's been a readiness crisis in the military, and especially in the army, since the mid-1990s. The former army chief of staff, for whatever reason, went to the Hill and lied about readiness. I think what we've seen in the 1990s is a politicization of the service chiefs and the Joint Chiefs overall. The administration's done a good job of picking primarily weak men, which is why Shinseki's such a great surprise. But everybody in the army knew. The people down in the motor pools, at the training ranges, in the battalions and brigades and divisions knew there were shortages of ammunition, of spare parts, or training funds. And yet again and again, the chief and the deputies went to the Hill and said, "Well, everything's pretty good, we could use a little more of this, but we're doing fine, sir." It wasn't true.
In the Gulf War, U.S. Marine Corps wheeled vehicles were killing Iraqi T-72 tanks. Now the people that sell us the heavy armor and heavy guns would have told you that was impossible. But the Marines did it.
"The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of Marines. LORD, how they could fight!" ~ Major General Frank Lowe, US Army
"Do not attack the First Marine Division. Leave the yellowlegs alone. Strike the American Army" ~ Orders given to Communist troops in the Korean War; shortly afterward, the Marines were ordered to not wear their khaki leggings to keep the enemy from immediately fleeing.
"Panic sweeps my men when they are facing the American Marines." ~ Captured North Korean Major
The Marines are careful, brave fighters...they were like hunters, boring in relentlessly without fear. I never heard a wounded Marine moan."
~ The U.S. Army General Staff
"We have two companies of Marines running all over this island and thousands of Army troops doing nothing!" ~ General John Vessey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
"I have just returned from visiting the Marines at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!" ~ General Douglas MacArthur, US Army
"The more Marines I have around the better I like it!" ~ General Mark Clark, US Army
"I can never again see a United States Marine without experiencing a feeling of reverence." ~ General Johnson, US Army
Notice how these Army Commanders from different eras make such high remarks regarding the Marine Corps and they aren't referring to their own branch? Why do you think that is? You think the arrogance of Marines need to hear it from Army Generals? We don't have our own Generals to blow smoke? Perhaps it's because the Army needs to listen to these truths for once. But why do you think the bulk of the Army would rather stick with their status quo than evolve? Oh...because "they are too big."
Let's look at the present. How many soft targets and poorly trained soldiers have been captured and caught with their pants down? Iraqi insurgent leaders told their fighters to attack only Army personnel after they learned their lesson in Anbar. Tali-Ban forces have been ordered by their commanders to refrain from making major contact with the Marines marking them "crazy and unkillable." Sound historically familiar from war to war? General Patreaus had instructed General Mattis to train up Marine contact and advisory teams so that they could replace Army teams in Helmand who would rather hunker down than be aggressive in the mission. By the way, these Advisory Teams are not made of Infantry in the Marine Corps.
So, instead of getting defensive, why don't you actually reflect on the very real truth that the Army is severely lacking in its discipline and its training and the result is a professional Army full of soldiers and units that can't conduct themselves properly in combat. You have every proof in front of you from year to year and from war to war, yet nothing changes. Could there be an institutional problem, not being solved due to ego? Default excuses prevail.
Last edited by MSgt; 01-28-13 at 10:03 AM.
Top of their website says this:" Even though the Secretary of Defense has decided to allow women in combat jobs, the law has not been changed to include this. Consequently, only men are currently required to register by law with Selective Service during ages 18 thru 25. Women still do not register. (January 24, 2013)"
Selective Service System: Welcome
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This is to the women who responded yes to the poll..........Do you want to or have your sisters, daughters sign up to selective service or the draft?
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