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MikeF
06-28-2010, 02:23 AM
Putting the D in METT-TC.

I describe the D as decentralization. Specifically,


Train your subordinates, give them specific guidance and clear mission, hold them to a standard, and then let them do their thing with your support. If they cross the line, then replace them, but DO NOT ever hamper them from completing the mission that you asked them to do. This involves trust both up and down, left and right along the line. Unfortunately, trust and truth are all so elusive in the natural state of man.

Or as David Kilcullen suggests,


Train the squad leaders ó then trust themí

Why do we hand wave this, and then wish that we could be squad leaders as we progress through the ranks?

Within the last decade in my direct experience, decentralization is not done.

Where did we fail?

Ken White
06-28-2010, 03:31 AM
Where did we fail?We don't do this right:
..."Train the squad leaders ó then trust themí "...We can't do the second part because we don 't do the first part as well as we could or should. Platoon Leaders don't fare much better. We also do not cull and remove the dregs of leaders as well as we should...

Can't trust folks in combat unless you're reasonably sure they'll try to do the right thing...

MikeF
06-28-2010, 03:39 AM
We don't do this right:We can't do the second part because we don 't do the first part as well as we could or should. Platoon Leaders don't fare much better. We also do not cull and remove the dregs of leaders as well as we should...

Can't trust folks in combat unless you're reasonably sure they'll try to do the right thing...

For a regular army unit, I'd suggest that no patrol base should be no smaller than company size. It simply needs a Co CDR and 1SGT there. That's for the fixed position not withstanding roving partrols and continual presence.

That's why I started this thread- to discuss towards getting it right.

Ken White
06-28-2010, 04:33 AM
all Co Cdrs and / or 1SGs are not bad habit free. Not by a long shot. I've seen more than one PL carry a poor Co Cdr and more than one PSG carry a mediocre 1SG...

I could also point out that you are perhaps dismissing your own call for a more decentralized approach -- down to your level but not lower? :wry:

Seriously though, I generally agree with you given today's state of training and that intangible thing, trust in subordinates or lack thereof.

However, I strongly believe that should not and need not be correct. What should be able to be done is to put a properly mission sized element in place where it needs to be placed without resorting to the artificiality of 'senior' leadership. And that is an artificial, 'discipline' and 'care for the troops' (or comfort level of the Bn Cdr and Staff. Or the Bde ditto) related issue and not a mission driven constraint.

Of course, I do not agree with the concept of FOBs at all, any size below Bde Base Camps. I think FOBs are a really bad mistake and are quite wasteful of personnel and resources. We should be able to send platoons and even squads out and about on extended patrols -- though frankly I doubt we'll in the near term be allowed to become that well trained or capable of truly distributed operation for a number of reasons, not least risk avoidance.

In most US FID efforts, the other guy initiates the majority of the contacts. That's due to over caution and under training on our part. That's just wrong and shouldn't be allowed. The FOB concept (or Firebase as they were in VN) contributes to that, it is a rare setup that isn't under constant observation by the bad guys and thus departure of patrols, changing of sentries, arrival of resupply and all that are meticulously plotted and are known. OTOH, A unit that stays out and moves in a truly well planned but apparently random and absolutely non-repetitive manner frequently * and is resupplied at random times and places will rarely be hit because the opponent doesn't have time to get set up.

* < 24 hours for a Bn or Co, < 12 hours for a Platoon and < 6 hours for a squad. Agility and flexibility will ALWAYS beat stasis and schlerosis.

The terrible thing is that we used to do that and it worked well. In 1950 and 52 as a flipping Corporal I wandered about with a Squad in various parts of The Land of the Morning Calm for days on end to include in back of the Chinese MLR. Later, had Squads that worked for me do it constantly in in the SEA War Games of 1966, five to seven day patrols were the norm.

By 1968 in Viet Nam, one could not (legally -- but pretty much ignored by good units) move outside a US Artillery fan or move in less than Platoon sized elements -- and that was discouraged. Believe it or not, one of the drivers of that last dictum was the Loggie complaint that such elements were too much work to resupply. Been downhill ever since.

Occasional bright spots. 1-504 in OEF 1.5 in early 2002 in Afghanistan was patrolling in Co and Platoon sized elements intially and very successfully but then as the Bagram bureaucracy built up, they were converted to FOB manning. :mad:

I'm not terribly worried by the decline in competence and capability in those aspects because given a big war that foolishness will have to go by the wayside very quickly...

COMMAR
06-28-2010, 04:45 AM
Within the last decade in my direct experience, decentralization is not done.

Its not done presently but its something the Marine Corps been putting a large amount of their effort in since 2004 with "Distributed Operations". Fielding an effective DO Platoon in Afghanistan '06 that attached to the US Army's 10th MtnDiv.

But truly began working on the Idea in the early to mid '90s with the "Hunter-Warrior Program".

Excerpts from that 2006 Deployment to Afghanistan:

Nowhere to Hide

Experimental distributed ops unit proves its worth in Afghanistan

By Christian Lowe Times staff writer
May 22, 2006

They were about seven miles away, nestled deep within Afghanistan’s high mountain ridges that soak up radio transmissions like rounds into body armor. It was the kind of terrain that lends itself more to communicating via smoke signal than high-tech radios.

The convoy was cut off from its base. A Marine was down, and the convoy was taking fire from Afghan fighters on a peak high above.

That’s when 1st Lt. Carlo DeSantis stepped in.

Just below another ridge to the west, DeSantis heard the desperate calls from his fellow Marine, 1st Lt. Phuong Phan, who was leading a convoy out of their forward operating base, Camp Blessing, when it was hit by a roadside bomb and ambushed by Afghan fighters firing rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns.

Phan’s calls for help couldn’t get through the mountainous terrain to Camp Blessing.

So, using sophisticated communications gear normally found with commanders above his grade and using training previously bestowed solely to aviators, DeSantis fired up his satellite radio to relay Phan’s reports to Camp Blessing, redirected aircraft trolling the Afghan skies for close-air support and coordinated a helo-borne casualty evacuation — all well beyond visual range of the convoy he stepped in to help.

“At the time, I was the only qualified person in the vicinity to control the aircraft,” said DeSantis, whose infantry platoon has been trained as an experimental “distributed operations” unit, during a May 10 telephone interview from his base camp in Afghanistan.

“I could see the aircraft, but I couldn’t see Lt. Phan’s convoy. So it got a little tricky.”

A top Corps initiative that officials claim will change how the service trains and equips its infantrymen, distributed operations envisions a rifle platoon equipped with sophisticated, long-range communications gear using special training and tactics that make it capable of dividing into smaller units and operating far from support or higher command.

The exploits of DeSantis’ platoon — 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines — have garnered the attention of top Marine Corps brass, who describe the unit’s special capabilities as the wave of the Corps’ future.

Even the Pentagon’s 20-year strategy, detailed in this year’s Quadrennial Defense Review, said the Corps’ distributed operations concept provides “commanders with an expeditionary force able to conduct ‘low-end’ [special operations forces] missions as well as traditional operations.”

The training and equipment is meant to give Marines at lower levels the capabilities normally found in company or battalion staffs. But after years of lofty talk, the DO concept was put to the ultimate test in a combat environment with the deployment of DeSantis’ platoon to Afghanistan.

By all accounts the experiment was a success. But it certainly didn’t end with the dramatic rescue of Phan’s Jan. 25 ambush...

http://www.leatherneck.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29960



Onto the Battlefield

The Marines Corps’ new warfare concept gets a field test

By MATT HILBURN, Associate Editor
SEAPOWER Magazine August 2006

When 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines deployed to Afghanistan last spring, its 44 members moved the Marine Corps’ new concept of warfare off the Power Point slides and onto the battlefield.

The concept, called Distributed Operations (DO), hinges on empowering small teams, typically the size of a rifle squad or 12-13 Marines, to operate independently and miles apart within the battle space. These dispersed, fast-moving teams would perform many of the tactical missions normally assigned to companies or even battalions, with younger, lower-ranking Marines making decisions entrusted only to the higher ranks in larger, conventional Marine units.

Yet the DO units would make only a small footprint, presenting today’s adversaries with a confusing, rapidly changing picture of U.S. strength and intentions.

DO was developed in response to the rising threat of terrorists and insurgent forces — the kind of enemy that does not attack in a conventional, centralized manner... http://www.navyleague.org/sea_power/aug06-44.php


There are alot of moving parts to this & Cmdrs are obviously risk adverse.. Before you can move towards it you have to be sure to cover all sectors.

Mother's of America & your local Congressman can shut down any good idea Permanently if there's bad execution w/out well documented evidence that it could be relatively effective.

Ken White
06-28-2010, 05:02 AM
That's why I started this thread- to discuss towards getting it right.I'll give a more detailed answer than my initial attempt.

We started failing when we adopted European practices in the nascent US Army. We adopted and excessively -- for American mores and tastes -- heirarchial model. (That's not going away)

We exacerbated that over the years by having Congress force numerous arcane rules on personnel management and training practices driven by domestic politics, the Mothers of America, obtaining votes and fiscal concerns as opposed to mission requirements. (That's not going away)

Fast forward to Viet Nam. The average Bn Cdr in 1968-72 found he had few to no field grades, CPTs or senior NCO but had instead a host of LTs and NCOC Graduate SGTs. He discovered they were all great kids who would do anything you asked of them -- but they didn't know much so they needed constant watching. Thus the micro-managing Generals of the 80s and 90s were born. Old habits die hard. (That CAN be changed!)

Then came adoption of a training system that is designed to produce mediocrity. It was instituted to handle the poor intake that was McNamara;s Project 100,000 and was not changed when the Draft went away and the 100K guys got assimilated and some good fresh blood was obtained.The Task, condition and Standard foolishness is mind numbing and attempts to trash it are routinely defeated because the system makes it easy on the 'Trainers.' (That can be changed)

Add societal changes -- we are a terribly risk averse society -- and political changes and you have an Army that is risk averse. (That may be changeable...)

Just add all that to my first response and that's where we went wrong.

How to fix it? My subversive suggestions will not be provided; You guys will have to fix it. I will offer four non-subversive thoughts: Things that cannot be changed can be worked around. Things that can be changed will have to start at the bottom and work up -- top down does not work in a heirarchial model because even if you have a really sharp charismatic person at the top trying to change the direction the elephant is committed to, the mid level work avoiders will just wait him or her out (See Meyer, E.C). OBTE is not perfect but it is a big step forward. Do not let the system co opt the good guys until they become part of and continue the risk averse and micro management syndromes.

Good cess... ;)

Kiwigrunt
06-28-2010, 06:28 AM
I totally agree with Ken that a corporal should be able to operate a section/squad during a multiple day patrol. The Yanks did it, and the Anzacs did it. It was not uncommon to kick out sections or half platoons over a wide area. And battalion should know where they are, so if they are likely to lose radio contact you put out relay stations/posts/patrols. So the DO Ďnew warfare conceptí isnít that new. Where it may differ somewhat is in the fact that we have better technology to further capitalise on the concept.

I also donít think that rank inflation has helped. Having a high percentage of sergeants and above in a platoon is no different from having corporals, provided they have the same training. In the long run, rank inflation in itself will just shift the problem up the horizontal ladder.


Now with regards to earlier points raised, training and trust, I donít think these issues are limited to the military. I think they are systemic in todayís western social fabric. Ken often mentions mediocrity, so does Barry Schwartz in this 20 minute TED talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/barry_schwartz_on_our_loss_of_wisdom.html).

MikeF
06-28-2010, 07:01 AM
I totally agree with Ken that a corporal should be able to operate a section/squad during a multiple day patrol.

Duh.


Now with regards to earlier points raised, training and trust, I don’t think these issues are limited to the military. I think they are systemic in today’s western social fabric. Ken often mentions mediocrity, so does Barry Schwartz in this 20 minute TED talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/barry_schwartz_on_our_loss_of_wisdom.html).

Back to the thread. Truth and trust are elusive. It is simply easier not to trust.

I would suggest that is the easier wrong.

Ken White
06-28-2010, 01:28 PM
Great comment -- what's it mean?

This too:
Back to the thread. Truth and trust are elusive. It is simply easier not to trust.

I would suggest that is the easier wrong.What does that mean?..Sorry for the non compos mentis glazed look but I can't do zen before my fourth cup of coffee... :D

What, specifically is the thread? Your first post alludes to trust and then says:
Within the last decade in my direct experience, decentralization is not done.

Where did we fail? Do you want comments on decentralization or on trust or answers to that "fail" question or do we just wax philosophical? Is the topic decentralization or trust. It can be both and one is enemy of the other but a little clarity might help...

Kiwi Grunt's link is IMO appropriate, societal tolerance for and even pursuit of mediocrity on the basis of 'fairness' and other foolishness is a part of the problem in both overcentralization and lack of trust. Armies are a reflection of the societies from which they come and follow the rules -- written and unwritten -- of the governments for which they work...

I can do mission orders and FragOs but I gotta understand the Commander's intent. ;)

As an old Armor COL once told me "If the guidance wasn't followed, then it wasn't clear..." :wry:

slapout9
06-28-2010, 01:44 PM
As an old Armor COL once told me "If the guidance wasn't followed, then it wasn't clear..." :wry:

Quote of the week stuff!

MikeF
06-28-2010, 02:09 PM
Great comment -- what's it mean?

I was just up too late last night ;). What I meant to say is that I agree with Kiwigrunt.

Steve Blair
06-28-2010, 02:35 PM
But you do miss some important points. In addition to the European model, it must be remembered that for about 110 years or so the Army was viewed by most as a nuisance to be tolerated and not the backbone of national defense. That role was to be filled by the trusty militiaman or state volunteer (who we saw in action as late as the Philippines and lingers on in a much more organizationally mature form as the National Guard). As for training...we have historically SUCKED at what is now called basic training. It didn't even really exist until the 1880s, and even then it was more focused on "square bashing" (and not much of that). It was assumed that the unit would take care of practical training, but again there was more talk than actual action. Soldiers were authorized minimal ammunition for weapons practice (5-10 rounds A YEAR in some cases), and actual target shooting didn't gain widespread acceptance until after 1876 (Custer ring any bells?).

And the "Army is the backbone of the militia during wartime" mindset (a result of the Civil War, among other causes) was tolerable so long as units remained intact. But the policies put into place by Root (some needed, others not so much) started the slide toward our "ticket puncher" personnel and promotion systems. Trust is something that's built over time, and that doesn't happen when officers are rotated every two years or so and NCOs often don't remain in place, either.

To get back to Mike's question (or at least part of it), you can't build trust until you have unit stability. We're better now that we were ten years ago, but it's not where it should be. Up or out should also go away. I don't know that society as a whole is risk-adverse, Ken, but I do know that the military seems to think that it is. Combine that with the whole "zero defects" insanity and you get what we have today.

We have to honestly look at where we have been before we can move ahead, IMO. There were good things about the old regimental system, in addition to some defects. I hope (and maybe I'm an optimist) that we are smart enough now to take the good from the bad.

Hope that's of some help, Mike. I can get more specific if you'd like about some areas.

slapout9
06-28-2010, 02:42 PM
Fast forward to Viet Nam. The average Bn Cdr in 1968-72 found he had few to no field grades, CPTs or senior NCO but had instead a host of LTs and NCOC Graduate SGTs. He discovered they were all great kids who would do anything you asked of them -- but they didn't know much so they needed constant watching. Thus the micro-managing Generals of the 80s and 90s were born. Old habits die hard. (That CAN be changed!)



I come from that Army period roughly (72-75) and you hit it right on the head, we were short LTs the whole time I was in,E-6's were Plt. Sgt. often E-7's were the Plt. Leaders.

Ken White
06-28-2010, 03:19 PM
which I will now proceed to discard for verbosity...:D
...it must be remembered that for about 110 years or so the Army was viewed by most as a nuisance to be tolerated and not the backbone of national defense. That role was to be filled by the trusty militiaman or state volunteer (who we saw in action as late as the Philippines and lingers on in a much more organizationally mature form as the National Guard).And the National Guard would like to see a return to that model -- but that's another Thread... :D
As for training...we have historically SUCKED at what is now called basic training.True. Sadly, still quite true -- and it applies to initial entry Officer training and education as well.
Trust is something that's built over time, and that doesn't happen when officers are rotated every two years or so and NCOs often don't remain in place, either.Also true and also adversely impacted by our very dysfunctional Personnel system. However, that pre and post Civil War continuity is gone, never to return. Even the 1930s -- or 1950s -- degree of stability will not be regained...
To get back to Mike's question (or at least part of it), you can't build trust until you have unit stability. We're better now that we were ten years ago, but it's not where it should be. Up or out should also go away.I agree that 'up or out' should disappear but the stability you want is highly unlikely to be obtained for a number of reasons. We are too mobile as a society and that is particularly true in the employment arena; the Army will of necessity reflect that. While more stability would be a tremendous asset, it is unlikley to be obtained and IMO, that's not a crippling loss.

That lack of stability does contribute to a lack of trust due to lack of detailed knowledge of observed subordinate and unit performance but we did not have that stability in WWII, Korea or Viet Nam and median performance while not great in any of those was certainly at an acceptable level. Thus stability can be seen as desirable but far from an imperative.

The issue then becomes what could replace unit stability for a work force that will rotate for a variety of reasons, good and bad? I believe that better training will go part way -- most of the way, if done correctly -- in offering a viable if not perfect substitute.
I don't know that society as a whole is risk-adverse, Ken, but I do know that the military seems to think that it is. Combine that with the whole "zero defects" insanity and you get what we have today.I believe both factors are in play. Society is much more risk averse now than it was 40 years ago and probably two orders of magnitude today compared to 80 years ago. That's a fact. It is proven by Bicycle helmets and in my area FEMA Hurricane response and Federal Flood Insurance, in yours by Farm subsidies. However, you are correct in saying the Armed Forces seem to adopt that aversion in Spades; adopt it to the point of perversion...

Zero Defects is problematic but the real culprit is not that mentality, it is the bureaucratic inertia that permeates all of DoD -- all of the US government. The US Congress bears considerable responsibility for those flaws as well as for inculcating and fostering the risk aversion factor societally. That same Congress is going to be responsible due to existing statutes for much of the propensity for the services as institutions to not develop unit stability. The Congress can provide the partial substitute -- better training.
We have to honestly look at where we have been before we can move ahead, IMO. There were good things about the old regimental system, in addition to some defects. I hope (and maybe I'm an optimist) that we are smart enough now to take the good from the bad.Agreed. The issue is to keep the good and not hold on to the bad out of sentiment. Our propensity to think today's problems are vastly different and to disregard all sentiment in such endeavors is wrong, so too is our propensity to keep the wrong things in a futile effort to turn back clocks...

Steve Blair
06-28-2010, 03:31 PM
Didn't think you'd forgotten them, Ken, but this is one of those issues where I don't think total brevity is our friend....;)

I think you could get around some of the stability issues if you got rid of or modified the "up or out" culture. I've seen too many officers who are more than willing to knife others if it gets them up the ladder. And a touch more stability (I'm not looking at miracles here...just more than two years on station might make a huge difference) might do something to cure the "give him a good rating and slide him on to the next unit" mentality. If you know you're going to be stuck with a dud for more than a few months, you might actually DO something about him or her. Systems that reward (or are seen to reward) incompetence and backstabbing usually produce more of the same.

I'm not naive enough to think that we'll ever get a good regimental system back, and I'm also not naive enough to think that we'll really fix training. In the current climate there's just not enough glory to be had from doing that. And these days that's what it seems to come down to.

RJ
06-28-2010, 04:07 PM
Steve,

I believe the Marines have a good regimental system in place and have expanded it to inclued Air, armor and artillerly attachments. Most units are deployed as Bn of a specific Regt. and the troops in those regiments always refer to their time in a Marine Regiment as "when I was with 3/5 (Third Bn, Fifth Marine Regt.) in discussing they time in service."

The Marines lost that flavor in Vietnam, but understood how serious a mistake it was to feed individuals into a line outfit piecemeal over a long period of time and corrected it. I believe the US Army and the Marines are much more Unit identy conscious now than in Vietnam.

I served in the 2nd Recon Bn and enjoyed the whole rubber boat and 9 man recon squad experience. But my fondest memories of unit and teamwork at the squad and platoon level was as a rifle squad leader with Mike Co, 3rd Bn, 5th Marines.

The foundation needs to be solid and it will support all of the wight above it.

Steve Blair
06-28-2010, 04:09 PM
Quite true, RJ. The Marines have always held onto that feeling of regiment. I think the Army started going wrong when it went to a battalion-based structure and pulled lineage from old companies to give those battalions "heritage" and ignored historical ties and associations. Reflagging is a nasty thing.

RJ
06-28-2010, 04:50 PM
Thanks Steve,

I don't live too far from Fort Drum, NY and the 10th MD, One of the 10MD's connected Army Reserve/NG units is a reserve rifle Company about 5 miles from my home. They are in Catskill, NY. They wear the 10MD patch and the 1st ID patch, having served with both units in combat over the past 9 years.

I know a couple of thier NCO's and am impressed with thier attitude and ability.

The quality shines thru and this unit doesn't have any problem attracting new recruits and picks up a few former regular Army types with time in Iraq or Afgahnistan now and again.

Growing confidence at the squad and platoon level must start at the squad level.

You have solid volunteers, especially those who volunteer for Army and Marine enlistments. And I suspect, a lot of your young officers and nco's have proven themselves in their deployments.

The first Marine Regimental MTU to Afgahnistan had close to 40% of its number who were on their 2nd or 3rd deployments. I believe those young officers and NCO's pass o a lot of experience in the train up peroid the whole Regiment cycled through before heading to the Hindu Kush.

The Army should have the same intermix of combat veterans and recruits. Is this benefiting the quality of your line companies and their leaders, or not?

I realize, for the most part I'm preaching to the Choir, but sometimes nudge towards the basics is a good thing.

MikeF - Thanks for starting this thread, as I believe it will add to the positive and decrease the negative by focusing on the small units needs and wants.

Ken White
06-28-2010, 05:49 PM
While I share your fear that the current climate militates (pun intended) against fixing the training problem, I r an optimist -- there's got to be a Pony in there somewhere... :wry:

tankersteve
06-28-2010, 08:05 PM
Mike, Ken, et al:

While I agree with the trend toward mediocrity (the lack of selective promotions in the Army officer corps is a glaring example of this) exists and is rampant in our society, there are things that can be done to mitigate its effects and one was mentioned, Unit Manning.

If units were stablized for 3 years, with all leaders having stability in jobs, then the company commander would be comfortable saying that '3d Squad' is running a 72-hour patrol. He would know how 3d Squad was trained, be comfortable with their performance during LFX and FTX, MRE, etc. He would know that all/most of the Soldiers had been in the squad for a year, were really proficient in their tasks, and any team leaders that were not up to snuff were either retrained to an acceptable standard or replaced with someone who could hack it.

However, the Army and ARFORGEN, is putting folks into bad positions where no one knows anybody else. If you don't know them, how could you ever trust them? (Personal example - I am reporting to a brigade 3 shop going to A'stan. I will be reporting in mid July. Main body movement is in August. I bet the BDE CDR has a lot of confidence that I can work a request for air in a TIC or thoroughly understand the ROE...:o)

The Army has shown that it can change. It wants to do unit manning. We cannot blame this on bureaucracy, although we did for years. It was poor leaders not understanding the problem or willing to fix it. Instead, the Army sucked it up at the battalion level.

I hope the Unit Manning initiative gets activated again, after ARFORGEN and OPTEMPO levels off.

Tankersteve

Pete
06-29-2010, 03:42 AM
It's been 26 years since I was in the Army, so my observations about training at the unit level are probably out of date. At the time it seemed to me that the individual training of soldiers was almost invariably the Task-Condition-Standard stuff as it was written in the Soldier Qualification Test manuals with little deviation, especially if there were training inspectors with clipboards making the rounds. Unit training, on the other hand, was always an imitation ARTEP (Army Training and Evaluation Program) in which we tried to do everything at once--fire the howitzers, either live or dry, camouflage the guns and vehicles, have a chemical agent attack, and occasionally have aggressor activity on the perimeter.

When I'd suggest that we ought to concentrate on particular tasks until we got them right, the standard response was to "Train the way you fight," which meant to do everything all at once. My feeling was that we were doing everything in a sort of mediocre way, and if we didn't focus on getting specific things right we'd always be half-*ss. I was in field artillery, so the main ARTEP criteria were the speed and accuracy of the fire missions--all the other stuff was of secondary importance. Before the ARTEPs came along in about 1978 the artillery used to have "service practice," which meant firing the guns without all of the other distractions getting in the way.

In one of his books Russell F. Weighley said that of all the branches in the Army the artillery comes the closest in peacetime to doing what it does in war, so perhaps the units I was in had it better than I realized. I never went to the training center at Fort Irwin so I have no experience of how good the simulations there are.