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Thread: More training, less parading urged.

  1. #81
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    Well said, Sergeant, well said indeed.

    Traditions and ritual are the base of military service. They are there for a reason.

    I am the last person in the world who enjoys any type of drill and ceremony, but it's vital, especially in the first stages of recruit training. I despise parades, but understand their worth as a matter of espirit de corps. They should be extremely limited in their scope however.

    One thing I think needs to be focused on in the military of the 21st Century for all service is the development of self disclipline, rather than what I call "pressured discipline." I need to expand my thoughts on this before posting any further...

  2. #82
    Council Member nichols's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie 14 View Post
    I'll buy that, but while we're getting back to basics, what's with all the simulators?

    What happened to diesel fuel, ammo, and field time? Do they have a tank recovery simulator too? Maybe they could make a close order drill simulator...

    Train like you're going to fight...
    Charlie,

    Sorry about the delay in giving my 2 cents on the above.

    Simulations can not replace field time. From a training perspective they can make field time much better. Usually towards the end of training the unit is finally working like a well oiled machine. Analytical and intuitive decision-making is at it's best because they have had the past couple of days in the field to learn the tactical problem that is being presented. Up until now Infantry Simulations have been dealing with intuitive/recognitional type decision-making training.

    Current simulations that are being fielded beginning in August give the end user the ability to import geo-specific terrain. The models are being accurately created in the sim; you will run out of gas, ammo, and SDZ will have an effect in regards to direct and indirect fires. A day or so of sim work before you take your unit into the field will give you the opportunity to work out C2 issues within your unit and work the tactical problem.

    Near term, should be about 12-18 months from now you will be able to pull in geo-specific culture & language. The goal is to do mission rehearsal.

    The services are starting to put a lot of funding, effort, and thought into Ground Combat Arms type simulations.

    Just throwing this out there hoping that you'll keep an open mind until you've seen the results of the simulation training.

  3. #83
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    I'll chime in on the value of simulators. Things like safety, training distractors associated with running a life fire range and ammo forecasting/ordering/cost make "range day" a pretty intense event. Simulators like the EST 2000, where you can put a squad online and shoot a large variety of scenarios using virtual ammunition can really steepen the learning curve in combat shooting.

    In an earlier thread, http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=2687 I remarked how much I learned by spending an afternoon shooting in the EST 2000 simulator, and for things like shooting aerial moving targets, or moving targets at all, there is really no replacement for a good simulation.

    I build and shoot AR15s as a hobby; I can think of no place where I can shoot my AR at an aerial target. I mean, the bullet has to go somewhere, and not having to worry about where your "misses" go allows you to press the envelope on how to get "hits."

    OBTW, I also coach 3P smallbore, and I don't think it's a coincidence that our best shooters make good soldiers. The discipline-thing is key to both.

  4. #84
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    Charlie 14, I'll echo what RTK said. As an armor company commander in Germany, we spent more time in the field than we ever did in simulators. Granted, UCOFT (unit conduct of fire trainer) is the essential gunnery trainer for gunner/TC combinations. CCTT is a fantastic training tool as well for company teams. Where else in Germany could I run my tank company through desert scenarios (this was back in 00-01, pre OIF) so they are familiar with fighting in desert terrain, and not just German woodlands. We had the capability to really hone technical skills in these simulators...but they are just that simulators.

    I'd guess we spent a day in the field for every hour of sim time we went through. That was one of the big advantages being stationed in Vilseck vice a Baumholder or Schweinfurt. Grafenwoehr was right out the back gate so we had access to maneuver areas any time we rolled the tanks. Hohenfels, although small and the "Minor league" of CTCs still provided us with some of the best maneuver training possibe. We also went to some old Russian training areas in Czech which were great training, but ecological disaster areas.

    I think striking a balance between field and sim training is a vital combat multiplier. There are just some experiences you can't physically or fiscally do without a simulator (or a court martial) but then you cannot replace the essential lessons of field time.

    As for the rifle team comment, I have yet to have a single one of my infantry or armor soldiers benefit from the existance of rifle teams. Doesn't mean they aren't worthwhile in some PA manor...I just think there are better places for these competitive shooter to be...like training our units prior to going into combat. Do these rifle teams step away from their competitions and high speed gear to train joe in 3-505 PIR? If you want to prove their worth to me, don't bother showing me links to two or three historical great shooters. Show me a link where members of the Army Rifle Team are going TDY to units and teaching our young soldiers how to be better shooters, especially in combat environments not to olympic try outs, and shooting match trips.
    Last edited by sullygoarmy; 06-05-2007 at 01:45 PM.
    "But the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet withstanding, go out to meet it."

    -Thucydides

  5. #85
    Council Member nichols's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sullygoarmy View Post
    Czech which were great training, but ecological disaster areas. .
    Hey, only good comments about Czech Republic allowed, there are no disasters, just good beer.

    I have fond memories of 7th CATC.

    Quote Originally Posted by sullygoarmy View Post
    As for the rifle team comment, I have yet to have a single one of my infantry or armor soldiers benefit from the existance of rifle teams.
    You have to look at it from a Marine perspective (cheap). I used to have our sniper platoon participate in the Far East Competition on an annual basis. A lot of 5.56mm & 9mm ammo down range without taking out of our annual ammo allotment.
    Last edited by nichols; 06-05-2007 at 02:17 PM.

  6. #86
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    Nichols,
    Amen!! Nothing but great things to say about Czech and Prague. The training area was just dilapidated by the Russians but we ended up pouring money into the place. It was great training, especially after you've done 9 or 10 rotations through Hohenfels...you kind of get a feel for the place and need some new ground to stomp on.

    I think your idea with using the sniper platoon for competitions. If we could merge the rifle/pistol team experts with the tactical experts, I think it would be a win win. The rifle team gets constant experience and some real world two way live fire range time and the troops get the benefits of experienced "technical" shooters.
    "But the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet withstanding, go out to meet it."

    -Thucydides

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    Quote Originally Posted by sullygoarmy View Post
    If you want to prove their worth to me, don't bother showing me links to two or three historical great shooters. Show me a link where members of the Army Rifle Team are going TDY to units and teaching our young soldiers how to be better shooters, especially in combat environments not to olympic try outs, and shooting match trips.
    Well, that's fair. I don't know how common it is but I do know that it's been done with great results.

    9th Infantry Division commander MG Julian J. Ewell did just that in 1968. He brought AMTU instructors from Ft. Benning to Vietnam to train 9th Division snipers. Major Willis J. Powell commanded the instructor staff.

    From Inside the Crosshairs by Michael Lee Lanning:

    "Powell, a native of Guthrie, Oklahoma, had more than twenty years in the army and had advanced to the rank of master sergeant before attending officer candidate school. Along with the experience of years of competitive shooting at the national and international level, Powell had served a previous tour in Vietnam in 1963 and 1964 as an adviser to the ARVN."

    I reiterate that I don't know how common this has been.
    Last edited by Rifleman; 06-08-2007 at 01:09 AM.

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    Rifle teams and ceremonies aside, here's a better question.

    Is it necessary or benificial for West Point to have a football team? I mean all that time spent practicing for that BS Army/Navy game could be better spent shooting, couldn't it?

    Honest, I was not the young paratrooper who once yelled "Beat Army!" from a second floor window of the Charlie Company barracks in Vicenza when a zealous Hudson High graduate was walking.....
    Last edited by Rifleman; 06-08-2007 at 01:36 AM.

  9. #89
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Actually, dropping football at West Point is overdue, imo. And not because it is an expensive distraction from training, either. It is the shabby way they treat the football players.

    Joe Lineman is recruited and encouraged to be 300 pounds. Then, he is persecuted for being overweight. Sometimes, even in the same breath. This kind of institutional two-faced, dishonest "crap" then becomes an object lesson for ALL West Pointers. Basically, it teaches them that if you want to get ahead, cheat, and then discard the people who got you there.

    My personal opinion is that ALL golf courses on Army bases should be converted to rifle ranges, and competitive shooting should take the place of golf. There is no bigger time and money waster (as well as places to kiss ass and make under the table deals) than the golf course. At least on the rifle range, when you are giving your boss a blow job and/or working a deal to avoid deployment, you can both be improving a "warfighter skill" in the process.

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rifleman View Post
    Is it necessary or benificial for West Point to have a football team? I mean all that time spent practicing for that BS Army/Navy game could be better spent shooting, couldn't it?
    Good question. It's not like they're competing for the national championship year after year....
    Example is better than precept.

  11. #91
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    That kind of thinking could lead to all sorts of questions. For instance, why is there still a Marine Corps music program? Why does the Army sponsor cooking competitions?

  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    Actually, dropping football at West Point is overdue, imo. And not because it is an expensive distraction from training, either. It is the shabby way they treat the football players.

    Joe Lineman is recruited and encouraged to be 300 pounds. Then, he is persecuted for being overweight. Sometimes, even in the same breath. This kind of institutional two-faced, dishonest "crap" then becomes an object lesson for ALL West Pointers. Basically, it teaches them that if you want to get ahead, cheat, and then discard the people who got you there.

    My personal opinion is that ALL golf courses on Army bases should be converted to rifle ranges, and competitive shooting should take the place of golf. There is no bigger time and money waster (as well as places to kiss ass and make under the table deals) than the golf course. At least on the rifle range, when you are giving your boss a blow job and/or working a deal to avoid deployment, you can both be improving a "warfighter skill" in the process.
    Blow jobs as a warfighter skill? I knew I hated golf for a reason....

    I am going to the range today---alone.

    My 2 pet peeves in this arena are the "All Army Sports Teams" for whatever

    And as a one-time hardcore skydiver and 82d guy, the Golden Knights Army Parachute Team--especially those team members like Cheryl Stearns in the 1970s who was recruited into the Army for the team--boosted to NCO--and never served in any real unit. The Knights still do this crap.

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Odom; 06-08-2007 at 01:07 PM.

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    Default I'm still trying to count to two

    Gotta see "all Army" teams for what they are -- recruiting tools. Back in the 80s anyway, there were two major categories of kids with a "propensity" (technical term) to join the Army: student athletes and smart kids with no education resources. Recruiting themes and the way they were presented specifically targetted those groups.

    New sport -- Tilting windmills?

  14. #94
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    Default Call Me, Don Quixote

    New sport -- Tilting windmills?
    I am in! Where is my armor?

    Tom

  15. #95
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    Is there a genuine recruiting value for today's generation in either the USMC band(s) or the all-Army bakeoff, though? A lot of these anachronisms need to go.

    If we're going to have showpiece efforts wasting money and organizational efforts, at least sponsor an all-Army MMA team or something that today's youth finds somewhat appealing.

  16. #96
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    Gentlemen,

    This is in reply to no post in particular, just my recollections of standing in some formation. I never recall being the least bit inspired being told to move 1 centimeter to the left or right. The other soldiers also thought it a complete waste of time. Completion of a job well done or getting through an obstacle course? Yes, that boosted morale. It might be a source of satisfaction for whoever is moving around the privates, sort of like controlling my nephew's robotic racecar by remote control.

    Now that I'm at it, I'll add spending hours buffing floors in a barracks to that list, too. That is a military tradition (if still in effect) that needs to be rexamined if we are talking about outdated military activites. I'm all for hygiene and clean conditions, but that was just plain harrassment, in my view.
    No signature required, my handshake is good enough.

  17. #97
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    I always prefered COD and formations to doing knuckle pushups on hot pavement. I always liked mess duty better than low crawling in loose sand after a couple mile run with a full pack on. Of course in those days, we were in it for the pay.

  18. #98
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    Why does the Army sponsor cooking competitions?
    Because Soldiers like to compete to prove that they are the best at what they do. In my mind, cooking competitions are the "Best Ranger" competition for the 92G community and I think there is value in that. It drives and motivates Army cooks to better learn their trade and that in the end benefits everyone who eats their chow.

    That being said, I'm no fan of golf either. The courses need to get turned into running trails and then turn the carts into remote control targets for Soldiers to practice EOF procedures on with live rounds.

    While I'm ranting, why not do away with Change of Command ceremonies and speeches and replace them with Change of Command BBQs and Change of Command toasts? Families are invited, food is served, once everyone has eaten, you pull everyone into a horseshoe, outgoing commander says his farewell, the ceremonial passing of the guidon/unit colors happens, and the incoming commander says a few words. Is that so hard or unappealing to that many people?

    Also, why not teach CLS, combatives, and other related military training during off-duty hours and on weekends? I think that this would benefit leaders who cannot always cut away for a full work week or more to go take a class as an individual as well as motivated Soldiers who are told "You don't need to know that" but still have a desire to learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sullygoarmy View Post
    We also went to some old Russian training areas in Czech which were great training, but ecological disaster areas.
    What a BS... Actually, military training areas have the best protected and conserved nature in the country, comparable with national parks. For example, the best Czech red deer trophies are from VVP Libava (military training area Libava).

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