Military issues…

This was brought to my attention by one of my readers (thanks Tim)…

The U.S. Army will soon launch a redesign of Basic Combat Training intended to build more discipline after many commanders complained that new soldiers often show up to their first units with a sloppy appearance and undisciplined attitudes.

Apparently, there is a significant set of issues with discipline, showing up on time, and ‘entitlement’…  Full article, HERE at

And the Navy is hurting, deferred maintenance, OPTEMPO that is beating ships and crews into the ground, less than 50% of strike/fighter aircraft are flyable, etc…

Total ship count is less than three hundred, and is currently 36 short of ‘minimum’ requirements…

In the past 18 months, there have been multiple congressional budget continuing resolutions. One was the longest in history; another was the fourth-longest. During those 18 months, the Navy has operated for just five months with an enacted budget, and the rest has been under continuing resolutions.

All that means is that they are STILL under the sequestration budget, which was finally cleared with the latest budget, but we are already 5 months into 2018, so there are five MORE months of deferred maintenance across the force…

Full article is HERE, notice that ADM Richardson says we really need 350 ships to break even on ‘required’ commitments… Sigh…

It’s going to be a long road to get the US military back where it needs to be, it can’t be fixed in 3-4 years, it will take 10-15 years, at best…


Military issues… — 20 Comments

  1. The Chinese are building at a furious pace to have the capacity to confront the US in blue water. I’m not a fear-monger, but you can’t simply ignore it, unless you watch the news on most channels where it is a 24/7 hate-fest aimed at President Trump. It has a way of distracting from world events when that’s all that the media does.

    The CNN/MSNBC crew need to eat some Tide pods…just saying. It’s a very progressive thing to do. It’s not as progressive as taking a comfort pet with you on an airplane, but almost.

  2. Holy Crap, I don’t know much about the Navy, except there are a lot of moving parts on ships and aircraft that require a lot of training, knowledge, and maintenance just to work at all. Same for the Air Force I think.

    Having spent four years in the Good Green Army in the late 60’s I do know a bit about the Army, we were part of a lean, mean fighting machine when we finished basic and our First Sgt. McCord told us that except for the men going into combat arms we were as good as we were going to be as soldier because the next phase AIT, etc would not require as much from us.

    So, how’s that co-ed Army crap working out, going for runs in tennis shoes and wearing a good awful uniform that makes troops look like a lumpy sack of crap. Then there is the Army dress uniform that makes soldiers look like extras in a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta. Reading the plans for improvement in the link mostly what I saw were buzz words and crap.

    I have know idea how to work with a combined unit of men and women however I do know that pushing recruits hard every day, up to their limit but not beyond in conditions that are too hot, too cold, too wet and uncomfortable, not being chicken shit but having high expectations and consequences for failure creates bonding unit cohesion. Our worst fear in the summer of 1966 was that we would washout for some reason and have to retake basic. Of course in those days if you decided you did not want to participate you got to go to jail so there was that too.

    We lived in WWII wooden barracks with coal fired hot water, when it worked, ran a few miles before breakfast which in good weather we ate behind the mess hall standing up so the mess hall would stay clean. All meals were that way when it wasn’t raining, putting your steel tray on boards chest high, getting food down as fast as possible for a little bit of free time before the next formation and all that. Lots of PT with running in combat boots twice a day, marching everywhere, shooting those nice old M-14’s and they were not stingy with ammo and in the evening after supper sitting on the ground dry firing until it was too dark to see. The last few weeks learning to trust each other so we could leapfrog past live covering fire of our buddies.

    As for the hand grenade we spent a lot of hours throwing dummy grenades at tires and threw one live grenade and then moved on. I almost forgot the hours we spent in bayonet training yelling kill and stabbing boards covered with part of an old tire hung up on springs just to get us in the mood.

    I sound like an old man saying back in my day,,, and looking back 52 years I realized that 52 years before 1966 it was 1914 and WWI had not begun our Army was less than 100 thousand men, 52 years before that the old timers were in the Civil War. We have seen our Army build up and fizzle down a lot of times, millions during wars 8 million in WWII and 1.4 million in the late 60’s and I have no idea if we have or need the ability to expand and equip our military but it would be a challenge if we did. By the way, in the department of defense the ration of flag officers to other ranks in the US is 1/1,400 which compares to 1/6,000 during WWII and that makes no sense at all in peace time.

    Sorry about the rant and getting off topic a bit but this stuff bothers me. If history tells us anything someone is going to war with someone else before too long and the strength of our nation has played a large part in the peace up until now.

    • Did Basic and AIT at Fort Lost in the Woods 1963. Remember well the bayonet training. Out Field First Sargent was a Korea vet. Told us in Korea a lot of soldiers wouldn’t fire their rifles. They stayed huddled at the bottom of their foxholes. Said, “No gutless #$%^$% are graduating from this company”.

      As to the Navy and Air Force, turning that mess around will take longer than the Army.

  3. I am not surprised about the complaints of lack of discipline, questioning orders, wanting to be buddy-buddy with superiors, and slovenly appearance as those are all very common complaints for the private sector as well. Most especially among the 18-30 year old age crowd. I have seen folks who show up for a job interview wearing clothes I wouldn’t have worn to the gas station for gas, never mind the grocery store when I was their age. Hell, folks wear pj’s (or what looks just like) out to dinner.

    I blame the parents, and Hollywood. Discipline, doing as you are asked, quickly without complaint, and manners are all values most folks no longer value at all any more. You can turn on any channel of the TV and see the complete trashing of these and other values. We wont even talk about the total lack of physical fitness in our culture today.

    Details do matter. Not just for looking sharp, but for doing “the job”, whatever that job may be, correctly.

    And if the Army can teach history, the way it happened, and highlight the Metal of Honor recipients, I want the Dept. of
    Education to take a page from THAT book!!

    I think one reason the military has declined is there are few folks who are willing to fight for the military. We, as a country, haven’t really suffered in a war since WWII. And there was an atmosphere of being ashamed of the military during and after Viet Nam. Can’t show dead solders coming home as it will upset the country. Well, yeah!! And that would bring scrutiny to how the battles and war were being conducted, so maybe things would have changed, like letting the folks on the battlefield make the rules, instead of folks 5000 miles away. Instead it takes having ships bang into each other, and sailors die, to show that the training isn’t enough, and, oh, by the way, the maintenance isn’t happening, so it is just a matter of time before planes/choppers start falling out of the air, or ships/boats begin sinking.

    There are very few jobs these days where if you don’t do procedures exactly right, folks die. Dead. Can’t push a reset button and get a do-over. The military is one of them. So I am glad to see that volunteering doesn’t mean you are entitled to skate through. And, if the girls can’t meet the reqs, either get more fit, or find a slot where you can meet them.

    Of course, the entire premise relies on the concept of “work”, which is also an unknown concept these days.

    Climbing off the soapbox now…

  4. Pres. Reagan was able to rebuild the military more quickly, after the Carter years, but then it wasn’t as badly run down & depleted as it is now.

  5. LL- Yep, and NONE of that is getting covered!

    OT- Yep, the folks that trained us had been in combat, and knew what was coming… Today, not so much.

    Suz- Excellent points! There isn’t a reset in the military.

    Rev- True. We had new programs coming on line that Carter didn’t kill.

  6. “If history tells us anything someone is going to war with someone else before too long and the strength of our nation has played a large part in the peace up until now.” Well said OldTexan.

    Before both WWI and the sequel, no one wanted the US to be their enemy in an all out, no hold barred, total war. Germany in WWI finally came to the conclusion that the US most likely wouldn’t fight, and if we did we were too weak to make a difference before Germany won. In 1941 Japan and Germany made the same mistake. How many times do we have to learn the old lesson “Si vis pacem, para bellum”?

  7. Wake me up when DoD starts caring more about warfare than everyone’s naughty bits and what they do with them.

  8. Last year, the home page for the US Navy listed their organizational objectives.

    #1 was “Increase Diversity.”

    Perhaps their problem is a bit more serious than a budget shortfall.

    • There’s whatever else it does to readiness, but worse, the social justice (and don’t forget the green fuel) agenda is in effect a tax that takes money right of the top from any money budgeted to the Navy.

  9. “Fundamentally Transform” was the phrase.
    And DAMN if he didn’t do it.

  10. You would think that America would learn this lesson, we pay so dearly every time we must re-learn this same lesson. From the Spanish-American war to WWI and II, Korea and Vietnam, Desert Storm I, II and Three. Yet we turn aside and go down the same path we curse when we find out where the path leads.

    I served in a Special Forces unit. It was a unique unit with unique skill requirements and a unique mission. There were only two of these units on the planet. Did you catch that terrible word? The word that I chills my bones? The word that says we Americans did NOT learn, AGAIN!

    My unit and it’s sister unit was closed on 01OCT17. The powers that be said they had a plan to make it better. Gather the small units into one joint unit so that similar skills could grow together. Pretty words. Yet when they dropped the axe on 36 authorized manning positions, those slots did NOT flow to the promised land of “joint training centers” as they promised. No, they just went away.

    You see, they never intended to move those positions, that was a fairy tale told to gullible people so that they would rubber stamp the planned loss. Because who will miss the very expensive 36 positions? In the big picture 36 is nothing especially considering how expensive those 36 were to equip and train.It worked because the gullible wanted to believe and those who wanted the units to die wanted them dead permanently and quickly.

    The two units had to die because Special Forces are VERY expensive. Those who play with other people’s money HATE Special Forces, too much money and resources going to small units that by their very nature are quiet professionals. The bean counters in the puzzle palace look at the balance sheet and the dollar per manned slot is way out of line with the rest of the force. So they had to die and never to be seen again.

    Until we need them. And when America needs them, we will need them badly. And then one of the truths of SF will be realized (again). Special Forces take a LONG time to train and be brought up to speed. And there will be crying and gnashing of teeth while the wizards of smart morn the decision to kill off SF units so that the politicians could use the dollars to buy more votes.

    Ecclesiastes 9:14 There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siege works against it. 15 Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man. 16 So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.

    MSG Grumpy

  11. Once again, we see that Santayana was right, when he said “Those who will not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” We’re always preparing to fight the next war with the training, tactics, and knowledge we gleaned from the last one.

    Sometimes I think that Heinlein had the right idea when he suggested that military service should be a requirement to holding any public office. It might eliminate some of the PC bulls**t that gets in the way of training for the actual mission.

    But I’m old and cranky, and since the sun is over the yardarm somewhere in the world, I may have been into the adult beverages. Sorry!

    • I considered that when I first read it, and agreed.

      Now… I don’t think it would work. It might have, back in Heinlein’s time, but it looks like most of the PC bulls**t is coming from the military itself nowadays.

      The military’s greatest enemy isn’t ISIS, it’s the Pentagon itself.

  12. I pray that the Submarine Fleet can resist the worst of this, but I fear they will not. And brothers, and sisters, will die. The ocean is a harsh mistress and those that sail beneath the waves must never forget that. ET1/SS

  13. Being the world police is expensive..

    Might be time to take a hard look at our priorities and obligations.

  14. I seem to recall reading that during the last maladministration, there was active weeding out specifically of those with combat experience. And of course any non-SJW attitudes.