Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 41 to 59 of 59

Thread: Wear of the Uniform/Appearance Off-Installation

  1. #41
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bonita Springs, Florida
    Posts
    37

    Default

    Ah, yes! I remember those so-called "Ridgway" or "Castro" hats. The first year or so I was in the army, we wore them. What a nightmare! Then they were replaced by something sort of like a baseball hat. In Vietnam we bought them locally, as we did our cheap, black insignia with the paper underneath the threading. Two washes in the Saigon River and the paper came through the thread. Great stuff! The hats had a stiff front (I guess that's the crown), then rode up your head in the back. From there they went to that mish-mash hat you guys wear today.

    The army has always been "fatigue-cap challenged," especially since the marines don't have the same problem. To me, they should just ditch the whole mess and wear the beret with "fatigues" or "combat dress" or whatever initials you use to describe those uniforms.

    I never did like camouflage uniforms in public and I don't much like the battle dress I see walking around the Nut House today or even testifying before Congress. To me, it's just another case of lowering the bar, but maybe that's what a volunteer military needs.

    Someone posted on here that you were not allowed off post in the old-style green fatigues except traveling to and from home and with gas stops factored in. That's correct. But also, in those days, you had a Class B uniform of khakis that was as comfortable as can be. Of course there were about 4 variations of that uniform and you could even buy a tropical worsted ("TW's") version that was gorgeous. Each June, there would be a switch-over from Greens to TW's or khakis (for EM), then a switch-back some time in the fall.

    The old green fatigues were simply a work uniform and were starched-- heavily, I might add! Combat dress was never worn in public and the jungle fatigues we wore in Vietnam were never starched. Woe betide any of my men who managed to work starch into his combat jungle fatigues!

    The advent of the beret-- to me-- was a sartorial nightmare. Leave that to Special Forces. Our uniform gurus try to be all things to all people and incorporate every idea ever invented into what's worn now. The army has more crap on that green uniform; I'm surprised they don't allow you to wear multiple combat patches on the right sleeve... run 'em up and down until they reach the cuff! (Oops! I hope I haven't given anyone an idea!)

    I do like the idea of the blue uniform; sort of reminds me of the old Indian fighting army. Different width stripes for officers and NCO's, sergeants and corporals; shoulder boards. And a beret...? Maybe in a parade they make you wear the helmet with it, along with bloused desert, jungle, or combat boots (or whatever they're called today). Wouldn't that look spiffy? But with all the unit pins and all the badges and ribbons, where will they put the name tag?

    Wait! Here's another idea! On the back, like the NFL!

    As for the German army at the train station... uh-huh! Why not? Hey look... the other day I saw guys with their grimy "baseball" hats on, work boots, cut-off T-shirts, and shorts having dinner in a fine restaurant. Why should the military set its standards any higher than our civilian "bosses"? Pretty soon, the bar won't have any lower to go... then everyone should be happy.

    Best wishes,
    Fred.

  2. #42
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default You might want to talk to some of them instead

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred III View Post
    ...To me, it's just another case of lowering the bar, but maybe that's what a volunteer military needs. ... Why should the military set its standards any higher than our civilian "bosses"? Pretty soon, the bar won't have any lower to go... then everyone should be happy.
    denigrating something you apparently aren't familiar with.

    Having also played in the SEA war games -- though not in Saigon -- and watching and talking to many serving today, I have no doubt that these kids today, officer and enlisted, are across the board, smarter, better educated, better trained and far more tactically and technically competent than the vast majority of folks who served in Viet Nam.

    As was true during Viet Nam, they are not responsible for stupid decisions made by their bosses.

  3. #43
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bonita Springs, Florida
    Posts
    37

    Default

    First of all, Ken, you read the post wrong. I was not knocking the army or the military of today or of yesterday. I would never even consider doing that.

    As for the military being smarter, better educated, better trained, etc., that's like saying baseball players are better today than they were in the 1950's. The argument is specious. If it wasn't for the lessons the army of the 60's taught, today's army would be no different. Sure it's better educated, better trained. Part of that is because the equipment is better and we're smart enough-- some, anyway-- to have learned a few things from Vietnam. It was Vietnam that forced the military-- dragging and screaming-- into the volunteer force. It was able to impose higher education standards because the pool was smaller. It weeded out all the ROTC/USAR officers who had about as much business in the military as my mother.

    As for the leadership, I seem to smell the same rat I smelled a number of years ago. The uniform changes, but the culture doesn't. It seems the higher up one goes, the more easy it is to forget the lessons we impart to junior officers... you know, the starry-eyed ones who think they can change the world. The ones who bleed the most.

    I'm so sick of the way our soldiers are treated I can't even stand to watch the roll-call of honor on PBS when they flash the KIAs across the screen; been there, done that, my friend.

    So please, don't pick a fight with me about our military. You and I are wielding the same stick. It's just that my memory is very, very keen and I don't forgive easily. I also don't forget; and I'll stack the men I had in Vietnam or Europe or the States against anyone you care to put up against them. Just level the field; give them the same training in and with the same equipment... and you know something? They do even better. Why? Because they had to. I didn't have many volunteers.

    As for tactics... Iraq is not an example of something I would use to tout modern American tactics, especially in light of "lessons learned"... or not.

    Best wishes,
    Fred.

  4. #44
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,111

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred III View Post

    It weeded out all the ROTC/USAR officers who had about as much business in the military as my mother.
    Fred,

    Perhaps the above definition is not as precise as intended however, be that as it may, as a ROTC/RA/ARNG/USAR type I respectfully disagree with the above.

    Regards,

    Steve
    Sapere Aude

  5. #45
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wherever my stuff is
    Posts
    823

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred III View Post
    As for tactics... Iraq is not an example of something I would use to tout modern American tactics, especially in light of "lessons learned"... or not

    So please, don't pick a fight with me about our military. You and I are wielding the same stick. It's just that my memory is very, very keen and I don't forgive easily. I also don't forget; and I'll stack the men I had in Vietnam or Europe or the States against anyone you care to put up against them. Just level the field; give them the same training in and with the same equipment... and you know something? They do even better. Why? Because they had to. I didn't have many volunteers.
    Congratulations. You've successfully pissed off 3 members in good standing with 2 combatative posts. And those are just the ones who have responded.

    If that's the case about tactics, then you aren't looking very carefully or you're looking through a broken lens.

    You're fond of comparing the comparison of today's Army and the 1960s Army with the comparison of baseball players. Today's Army and yesterday's Army don't even play the same sport so your challenge that your Soldiers from yesteryear would do better than the Soldiers of today holds no water here. There is no comparison. The Spartans were very good in 480 BC. The Army of the 1960s was very good in 1960. The Army of today is very good today. That's it.
    Example is better than precept.

  6. #46
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bonita Springs, Florida
    Posts
    37

    Default

    Steve--

    That was a poor choice on my behalf, so I apologize. There were plenty USAR officers who were very good, just like there were plenty RA's who weren't. My deepest apology.

    RTK--

    As far as the tactics go, my lens is far from broken and I am looking a lot more carefully than you might believe. Also, please apply the term to where it is meant; I am not applying it in the parochial sense, so maybe I haven't made myself clear here, either.

    Also, a simple analogy does not indicate "fondness," and I hardly lay down a challenge to anyone. I am simply stating that the soldier of the 1960's, given the same equipment and the same training, would be no worse or no better than the soldier of today. I hardly consider that a challenge. Comparisons of this sort are always dangerous, but it is not above these boards or any other boards to try to analyze these comparisons. It's like putting you and me in a bull ring. I'm now an old man and I'm sure you are considerably younger. What would anything prove?

    The fact remains-- and it's awful to even consider-- that we are mired in Iraq in very much the same way we were mired in Vietnam, and if you think that ain't the truth, then your lens is broken or you're reading the wrong stuff and I don't care how many times you've been there or how touchy a subject it is to you. The fact is, my friend, you've been used and one of these days you're going to figure that out. Sometimes that's OK; it's just that at this time I don't feel it is, and if we had pulled our tactical heads out of our tactical butts when we should have, maybe we'd have a lot less than 4,000 KIA, and maybe this whole conversation wouldn't be taking place and you could concentrate on figuring out if your eyes match the blue of your new uniform.

    If I have offended you, I apologize; that was not my intent. And that's neither cynical nor sarcastic; that's sincere. It certainly wasn't my intention to antagonize or PO anyone on this board. I don't post much here, but I read a lot of it and I respect too many of you to act like a know-it-all or to antagonize you. Whether you realize it or not, we are on the same team, the same side. My frustration with all this is palpable, just like it was 40 years ago; no difference. Live with that for a while, my friend. You may be on your way to doing so.

    Very best wishes,
    Fred.

  7. #47
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Well...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred III View Post
    First of all, Ken, you read the post wrong. I was not knocking the army or the military of today or of yesterday. I would never even consider doing that.
    I read it the way you wrote it; that may mean you could better consider your words or it could mean I misinterpreted you.
    The argument is specious. If it wasn't for the lessons the army of the 60's taught, today's army would be no different.
    Actually, I'm incredibly lazy and tend to avoid specious argument. We can disagree on that Army of the 60s -- and, as the saying goes, I was there before you got there and was there after you left.
    I'm so sick of the way our soldiers are treated I can't even stand to watch the roll-call of honor on PBS when they flash the KIAs across the screen...
    Your prerogative. I disagree, they really get treated pretty well -- the important thing, though is not what you or I think and I know the majority of them are generally happy with their treatment and their jobs.
    ... been there, done that...
    In a different era with different rules...
    I'll stack the men I had in Vietnam or Europe or the States against anyone you care to put up against them. Just level the field; give them the same training in and with the same equipment...
    Thank you for corroborating my point
    ... and you know something? They do even better. Why? Because they had to. I didn't have many volunteers.
    Now that might be specious since it isn't going to happen. As for the many volunteers, you should've gone Airborne, then there would have been nothing but volunteers around.
    As for tactics... Iraq is not an example of something I would use to tout modern American tactics, especially in light of "lessons learned"... or not.
    Sure it is, look at the bright side -- in Viet Nam it took us seven long years to turn around badly flawed tactics, in Iraq it only took a year and a half. Since you only had a couple of years with the Louisville pop up, I guess if you think the tactics in RVN were good, you were there after 1969, they were pretty fair by then...

  8. #48
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wherever my stuff is
    Posts
    823

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred III View Post
    The fact is, my friend, you've been used and one of these days you're going to figure that out. Sometimes that's OK; it's just that at this time I don't feel it is, and if we had pulled our tactical heads out of our tactical butts when we should have, maybe we'd have a lot less than 4,000 KIA, and maybe this whole conversation wouldn't be taking place and you could concentrate on figuring out if your eyes match the blue of your new uniform.
    After 24 months in Iraq, I don't think I've been used. Of course, I keep volunteering to go back. Perhaps I was brainwashed into believing what I and my Soldiers were doing was right.

    Blame my Serbian stubbornness, but it's not that I think we were doing better after our second tour, but we were doing better after our second tour. Not only that, the Iraqis in our area were better off too because they had a significant hand in securing their cities.

    I don't need a body count to know the cost of success or failure. I've spent more time at memorials the past 5 years than my students have had in the Army. Memorial Day is not just a 4 day weekend anymore; its the day I remember all my dead friends. Quitting wouldn't do them any justice. I'm reminded of GEN Petraeus' adage "hard isn't hopeless."
    Example is better than precept.

  9. #49
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,444

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred III View Post
    The fact is, my friend, you've been used and one of these days you're going to figure that out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fred III View Post
    I don't post much here, but I read a lot of it and I respect too many of you to act like a know-it-all...
    I will let those two quotes stand alone and move on to a different point (but one more related to the thread).

    I remember, before 9/11, getting a fair amount of training during our preparation for deployment to Bosnia for how to interact with the media. It was surprisingly good training about how to establish ground rules, taking care to ensure the media was not choosing a questionable backdrop for the video, and, most importantly, how to stay in your lane. There was a lot of focus on recognizing when you are not knowledgable about a topic or recognizing when your comment is inappropriate. This seems to be lost on many.

    Consider the handful of 82nd ABN Soldiers in Baghdad writing an NY Times editorial that looked at the situation in their unit's sector, in their collective opinion, and then extrapolated this into a country-wide assessment and a critique of strategy. There was the guy in uniform who wrote dispatches of questionable accuracy for the New Republic, before being called out as a liar. I am sure that all of us can think of one or two individuals from every unit that we have been in whom we cringe at the thought of representing the Army by wandering around in uniform and speaking to anyone who cares to listen. They often speak out of their lane and jump at the opportunity to unload all of their gripes about the military upon whatever unsuspecting and well-meaning civilian is willing to listen.

    If we want to unleash every Soldier to be a spokesman, then there should be some common-sense instruction that accompanies it. Given the current load of requirements on our force, I don't think that there is much white space in the training schedule for that instruction.

  10. #50
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bonita Springs, Florida
    Posts
    37

    Default

    Ken--

    I would like to believe you misinterpreted me.

    The army of the 60's: I have just been told my combative posts have PO'ed 3 members in good standing of this board. You may have been in it before me and you may have been in it after me. But I was in the army from 1962 to 1972, and I was airborne (trained), I was a ranger, and I was even in Special Forces for a very, very brief time. I would stack my brief career up against anyone's and I would stack the ability of many of my soldiers up against anyone, today or yesteryear. If you want to argue training; if you want to argue equipment, I yield. But please, you speak of denigrating; others speak of being PO'ed. I flung the tomatoes back in 1967 when they were flung at me; I wore my uniform proudly, despite the fact I got speeding tickets from every GD cop in sight simply for going 2 mph over the speed limit-- or was it because I was wearing green? I'm only doing the same thing now, Ken. I don't like being told the man who died in my arms was not as smart as the man who died in RTK's arms.

    By being treated decently, I mean that they were sent over to fight a war that wasn't ours. Pick your venue.

    "Different era...": no question, no argument.

    As I said, I did go airborne... circumstances kept me from airborne units.

    As for the tactics used in Vietnam, it depends on how you look at it. It isn't that simple, it isn't that cut and dried. We had different forces doing different things. Maybe if we had some of the understanding the men in Iraq are also missing, things would have been different a lot sooner than 1969.

    RTK--

    I have no doubt you were doing better the second time around. My gripe is not with guys like you, it's not with your soldiers. I'm a believer in the Powell Doctrine. I don't like using American soldiers frivolously, despite the fact that I enjoyed my two years in Vietnam enormously. Well... maybe that's hyperbole, but you get my point. I was a soldier and that's what soldiers do. I also never said what you and your men were doing was not right; it's just that we had no business doing it. That's the whole crux of my point, my argument.

    I also have absolutely no doubt that the Iraqis in whatever area you were in were better off for having you there. But why? How about Zimbabwe next; then it's on to Burma, aka, Myanmar; chose one next: Iran or North Korea; after that, it's Lebanon, then Syria, and maybe one or two of the -Stans: Uzbek, Tajik.

    Can't you guys get it? I f***in' hate to see you die; I hate memorials to the newly fallen. Like I said before, I'm an old man now, but if I could go in a younger man's place, a man with a family and children, I would go there in a heartbeat (easy to say, right?), not because I believe in it, but because I hate it and because I would do just as you have done. Only do me a favor, will you: don't tell me your men are better men than mine, either today or yesterday.

    I hope the air is clear. Like I said, I meant no offense. Every man who wears or who has worn that uniform, blue, green, or pinks-and-greens, is the same to me as my brothers (who never served).

    Best wishes,
    Fred.

  11. #51
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred III View Post
    Ken--I would like to believe you misinterpreted me.
    So would I but the venom of your posts makes that difficult. The intent of this Board is to discuss the practices of warfare, obviously there is a political quotient and equally obviously people have beliefs and feelings on the current war and the employment of the force. Fine; we should be able to discuss the whole gamut without vituperation.
    You may have been in it before me and you may have been in it after me. But I was in the army from 1962 to 1972, and I was airborne (trained), I was a ranger, and I was even in Special Forces for a very, very brief time.
    I was.
    I would stack my brief career up against anyone's and I would stack the ability of many of my soldiers up against anyone, today or yesteryear. ... I don't like being told the man who died in my arms was not as smart as the man who died in RTK's arms.
    Not a thing wrong with taking up for the troops you served with -- I dislike using the possessive when discussing Troops, A. Lincoln made that illegal many years ago -- and I suggest re: your latter point that folks who serve today do not like being told that, as you said in your first post today "To me, it's just another case of lowering the bar, but maybe that's what a volunteer military needs. ... Pretty soon, the bar won't have any lower to go." You flung first and you predictably got it back; don't like snark, don't lead with your chin.
    By being treated decently, I mean that they were sent over to fight a war that wasn't ours. Pick your venue.
    That's apparently your opinion and you are certainly entitled to it. Can't speak for others here but I personally strongly disagree with you on that.
    As for the tactics used in Vietnam, it depends on how you look at it. It isn't that simple, it isn't that cut and dried. We had different forces doing different things. Maybe if we had some of the understanding the men in Iraq are also missing, things would have been different a lot sooner than 1969.
    Doubt it; the Army was hooked on fighting land wars in Europe in the paddies from 62 until late 68. In Iraq, the same thing was initially true but that changed as soon as a GO in the wrong place at the wrong time departed; same thing in RVN. The good news is, that as I said, in Iraq it took only about 20% as much time to get smart as it did in RVN.

    As an aside, I spent two infantry tours in RVN all in the woods with two pretty good units and also briefly did some advisory work. I have watched the kids today train at Bragg and I have little doubt about the improved quality of the troops overall and their training in particular. Thats why I think your "lowering the bar" comments are quite incorrect. The Bar is higher now than it was in 1965-75. That's a matter of public record.
    RTK... I also never said what you and your men were doing was not right; it's just that we had no business doing it. That's the whole crux of my point, my argument.
    RTK can speak for himself but I will point out that's not what you initially said.
    Only do me a favor, will you: don't tell me your men are better men than mine, either today or yesterday.
    Since RTK did not say anything along that line and I did, I'll point out that I did not say today's men were better than in your day. What I actually said was ""these kids today, officer and enlisted, are across the board, smarter, better educated, better trained and far more tactically and technically competent than the vast majority of folks who served in Viet Nam."" Note that does not address their manhood or say they're better men, just that they're those things I said. I stand by that remark.

  12. #52
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wonderland
    Posts
    1,284

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Surferbeetle View Post
    Fred,

    Perhaps the above definition is not as precise as intended however, be that as it may, as a ROTC/RA/ARNG/USAR type I respectfully disagree with the above.

    Regards,

    Steve
    Ditto. My experience was the inverse. The ROTC/USAR/ARNG guys were used to replace the Active Duty RA types who had no business being there. And provided that I've been all of the above, I think I can speak with a certain authority on the issue.

    Something about "glass houses" and throwing stones doesn't help anyone...

  13. #53
    Council Member RTK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wherever my stuff is
    Posts
    823

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred III View Post
    I also never said what you and your men were doing was not right; it's just that we had no business doing it. That's the whole crux of my point, my argument.
    I am an adult and a leader in an all volunteer force who has had multiple opportunities to leave this vocation for something safer. I chose not to. I don't need someone to "stick up for me" because they don't believe in what I'm doing. That's what I can't stand about the war protesters who "hate the war but love the Soldier." It implies I don't know what the hell I'm doing and that I'm, for lack of a better term, too stupid to understand what I'm getting myself into. Please stop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred III View Post
    I also have absolutely no doubt that the Iraqis in whatever area you were in were better off for having you there. But why?
    Why? Because it's morally imperative. We went in, we broke things, it's our responsibility to make things better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred III View Post
    Only do me a favor, will you: don't tell me your men are better men than mine, either today or yesterday.
    I never did. I will say this, however, that I agree with Ken about the variables. Remember than 500 years ago people thought the world was flat. Given similar upbringing and background to someone today, I doubt the same people would say the world was flat. Evolution doesn't make the newer better, just better equipped given technologies and educational upbringing. That's a scientific fact.
    Example is better than precept.

  14. #54
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    3,195

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    The Bar is higher now than it was in 1965-75. That's a matter of public record.RTK can speak for himself but I will point out that's not what you initially said.Since RTK did not say anything along that line and I did, I'll point out that I did not say today's men were better than in your day. What I actually said was ""these kids today, officer and enlisted, are across the board, smarter, better educated, better trained and far more tactically and technically competent than the vast majority of folks who served in Viet Nam."" Note that does not address their manhood or say they're better men, just that they're those things I said. I stand by that remark.
    And this is historically pretty normal. I could go off on one of my rants about how the volunteer force has actually been the historical NORM for the Army, but I'll spare folks....

    Education and technology always drive an overall improvement in troop quality. The GI in Vietnam was better educated than his World War II counterpart, who in turn was better educated than his World War I forefathers. And the same statement applies to the population at large. Better than what came before? Possibly in some ways, but not in others. Where the spikes take place is often in the quality of volunteers (something we've seen in the Civil War, Spanish-American, Mexican, and so on). The draft was never really equitable, and tended to be less so as soon as any shooting started or there was a planned drawdown.

    This sort of vitriol is also as old as the United States...and in some ways predates it. Traditionally pacifist/isolationist New England states were against just about every major conflict we had prior to 1900 (except when they got all riled up about slavery). Troops on the Frontier were routinely accused of being tools of just about everyone in close proximity. And similar attacks came against troops in the Philippines.

    Reassuring? Not really. But it does show that there are some constants in our social history, I suppose....
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  15. #55
    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,127

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred III View Post
    I have no doubt you were doing better the second time around. My gripe is not with guys like you, it's not with your soldiers. I'm a believer in the Powell Doctrine. I don't like using American soldiers frivolously, despite the fact that I enjoyed my two years in Vietnam enormously. Well... maybe that's hyperbole, but you get my point. I was a soldier and that's what soldiers do. I also never said what you and your men were doing was not right; it's just that we had no business doing it. That's the whole crux of my point, my argument.
    Fred,

    We welcome your partcipation in the board. However, it took several specious attacks (or which read as such) against the current force and tactical leaders to get to your real argument - that you disagree with the criteria for employing US soldiers, which gets them killed. Sounds like a good start for a discussion on criteria for employment of US military, which is separate from this thread.

    However, earlier in the thread you stated:

    Sometimes that's OK; it's just that at this time I don't feel it is, and if we had pulled our tactical heads out of our tactical butts when we should have, maybe we'd have a lot less than 4,000 KIA, and maybe this whole conversation wouldn't be taking place and you could concentrate on figuring out if your eyes match the blue of your new uniform.
    That isn't an attack on the national leadership or decisions leading to the use of force. It is a clear accusation that somehow the current force has its head in its rear regarding the tactics employed. Like RTK, I have 29 months in Iraq at BCT and below level (most proudly as a company co) and am interested in the basis for this assertion. As an ROTC grad I was also interested in your implied swipe at non-USMA and non-OCS (by implication) officers. This isn't the 1960's Vietnam officer corps. Sure there are duds around, but I also haven't experienced your assertion that our current senior leaders (FG and up) are out of touch and treating the juniors badly. In fact, I would say the war has brought the cream to the top of the officer corps. While the occasional dud is around, I have seen mostly tremendous leadership out of our officer corps, up to the general officer ranks - I'd be happy to name names and places if you like. Even better, most of them are being promoted - fast. Note the CPT attrition isn't currently due to poor leadership, but deployment tempo. I also haven't experienced a leader yet who I felt recklessly or stupidly risked his men in combat for any reason. That, and as I put to Ken in another thread, there are few "helicopter generals" in this war. Every BDE/BN CO I know of walks regular patrols with his men. The ADC of the 101st was a regular in my BN AO and often walked patrols with my guys to get the ground truth.

    No one is stating there are better men today, only that the quality of the soldier (moral, educational), training (due to education and resources), and equipment are better than the army has had before in any conflict. No one has argued the character and mettle of today's servicemen is any less or more than those who went before.

    Don't drop a Vietnam template of the Army on this one - as you stated, it's a false comparison.
    Last edited by Cavguy; 06-03-2008 at 03:24 AM.
    "A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge."- Oddball, Kelly's Heroes
    Who is Cavguy?

  16. #56
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,444

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cavguy View Post
    That, and as I put to Ken in another thread, there are few "helicopter generals" in this war. Every BDE/BN CO I know of walks regular patrols with his men.
    Yup. I saw a Colonel (a staff officer, not a commander) manning an M240B in the turret of his HMMWV during a patrol into our city in OIF III. That patrol was hit by two IEDs, about 5 minutes apart. We thought that was pretty badass. That may be going a bit far for an O-6, but it speaks somewhat to the mindset of our officer corps today. They would rather be deep in the action than hovering safely above it. Most prefer to be near the action, not for the glory, but because they are confident that they can lead when the Shiite hits the fan.

  17. #57
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    489

    Default

    Getting back to the ACU/uniform argument:

    I've heard from a few people supposedly "in the know" that the reason why the uniform changes so oftenly is because it's one of the few aspects of quick change associated with being the CSA. Most new initiatives take a good deal of time, changing the uniform is much easier...

    I'd just like to stick with a "cross the board" set of unis for about the next 10 years...
    "Speak English! said the Eaglet. "I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and what's more, I don't believe you do either!"

    The Eaglet from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland

  18. #58
    Council Member Umar Al-Mokhtār's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cirenaica
    Posts
    374

    Default The Marines are not immune...

    as I remember under Mundy we switched from crew neck Ts to either V neck or no T in our "Charlies" the Army equivilent being the short sleeve shirt with Class A trousers. What a nice expense which lasted exactly four years. This also caused some leadership angst about excessive chest hair.

    I remember the mama sans in Oki would actually add starch to the washers in the last few minutes of the rinse cycle. If you did laundry after them some of your civvies would come out a bit stiffer than they went in.

    For headgear the Corps hasn't changed the utility cover all that much since WWII, other than the fabric.

    The funniest thing I saw with the green cotton utilities were boo boos with the USMC/Eagle Globe and Anchor iron-on. When you received a new set you also had to buy the iron-on. The unwary would often fail to note that the iron-on's directions were printed on either side of the emblem but just happened to also be of the same iron-on material. A few young Marines ended up with a new pair of utilities with a nice set of iron-on directions neatly afixed on either side of the port pocket.
    Last edited by Umar Al-Mokhtār; 06-09-2008 at 11:07 PM. Reason: Poor spelling skills
    "What is best in life?" "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women."

  19. #59
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Agree with Ski up to a point. Prior to 2003 the easiest and quickest way to "leave your mark" was to change the uniform. I went through several variations of this uniform "shell game" from 88-03. Since 2003 the quickest way, at least in the Marine Corps, for the Commandant to leave his mark has been equipment procurement. I did a tour in DC and was out of the operational forces for two years before doing an IA billet in Iraq. In that time frame almost all the gear issued to me had changed. I was shocked that the USMC had developed a methodology to "turn" that quickly on gear.

    Not looking forward to going back to v-neck versus crew neck or green versus brown t-shirts changes again.
    Last edited by Crusoe; 06-28-2008 at 12:34 PM. Reason: left out words

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •