Archive for the army life Category

Don Gomez knocks the draft arugement out of the park

Posted in army life, politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2, December 2013 by chockblock

Via Hotair.com:

“The most important point in arguing against bringing back the draft is that we don’t need it. That is, the armed forces are currently having no problems with recruiting, and in most cases, are recruiting over 100% of their target goals. To bring back the draft, the military would have to do one of two things in order to make room for the conscripts: increase the size of the overall force or partition off a certain quota of positions to be made up of conscripts. Considering the current economic situation and the planned reductions in troop numbers, increasing the size of the overall force is a nonstarter. Given the military’s current recruiting success, partitioning off “slots” for draftees could work only by turning away otherwise qualified recruits. Then, there would still only be a tiny portion of the armed forces that were draftees in a mostly all-volunteer force.
Why Bringing Back the Draft Makes No Sense Don Gomez, Small Wars Journal

Given that the Army has gone from a high of 500,000+ to a low of 470,000 and dip below that, why on earth do we need to put Americans who don’t want to join into the service?

I suspect that it’s part of the left’s plan to gut the military to pay for more social welfare. Lefty policy wonks want draftees so that they can scream about “skin in the game”. Sorry this isn’t football.

Most positions in the military are combat service and support, not shooting or kicking down doors. Most draftees would wind up fixing trucks and mopping floors. The old school Keyensian economics numbskulls think that’s a good idea. Reality is that it’s a bad idea and will turn the clock back to the hollowed out force of the 1970′s.

A word about benefits and costs in the Military

Posted in army life, army training, HOOAH!, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 26, November 2013 by chockblock

Gee seems personnel costs aren’t eating the DOD alive. That the DOD’s senior leadership was lying and cost are up elswhere in larger ammounts than ”’personnel”’!.

Okay, lemmie ‘splain:

In the 90′s, weapons tech was teh smexy, but the budget was low. Pay, the housing allowance and other bennies ”barely” kept up with inflation. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines were on food stamps. Units were cut right and left (look at a map of pre-1989 West Germany, 1995 Germany and now). Many qualified troops left as flying hours were cut, 2 aircraft were cannibalized to keep one flying and the whole being military on food stamps thing.

Slick Willie agreed to the Future Combat System, JSF and a few other weapons programs, that were delayed. He punted and was more interested in oval sex in the oral office.

So 9/11 happened, BAH and pay were on the upswing. While recruitment was up before OIF, ~2004 the numbers went down. I was there, headlines like “empty seats at Benning” were in the Army times. Then some brain dead git addicted to power point came up with the “moral waiver”. Promotion points dipped and many idiots got in. So to preserve the proggies and hardware (and fat contracts) This Aint Hell gives us the money quote:

“Congress is deeply resistant to cutting pay and benefits. So the Pentagon leadership’s rhetorical focus on soaring personnel costs may help reduce pressure on the broader military budget.

“If you focus on the least doable thing, what you gain is leverage to bring the whole budget up,” Adams said. “By pointing to the hardest thing to change, they hope that the whole budget will continue to be high.”
Stars & Stripes: Report: Pentagon emphasizing personnel, but budget costs up across the board”

Well, not only is it the “hardest thing to change”, it impacts fewer voters, because cutting actual defense spending impacts contracting and manufacturing jobs and entire local economies. Whereas, cutting the number and pay of troops affects far fewer people – people who wouldn’t ordinarily vote for the current administration and it’s less likely to have any real impact on elections.
– Jonn Lilyea slams the DoD

Yup, because having good troops leave because they can’t feed their families, pilots leave because of poor maintenance and low flying hours and a garrison military nitpicking every little behavior worked so well in the Clinton Era.

If the Bush era was one of fat waste and flushing money down the toilet, the Clinto era was one of dry rot. It was Clinton’s DOD that came up with contractors and no-bid contacts to DynCorp, KBR et al. Bush just went over the top. Far from saving money, the new soldiers of fortune cost much, much more:

“We know that sergeants in the military generally cost the Government between $50,000 to $70,000 per year. We also know that a comparable position at Blackwater costs the Federal Government over $400,000, six times as much.”

The left wants to go back to a draft so they can take money from readiness, going back to the era of a small army/navy swelling with draftees. We have members of Congress saying that we need to “slash” future bennies.

Bollocks.

What is needed is to fire the contractors, replace them with Reservists/National Guard, enlarge the Guard and Reserve and slash the DoD Civlians, O-5 and up, E-7 and up armchair warriors who’ve never deployed. End the draft.

When an Active duty US Vice Adm. Bill Moran has to “dispell rumors”, things are bad (go click on that link).

The 90′s sucked. As troops leave for better pay elsewhere, the military rots from within. I suspect that’s what some want, but do we really want a return to the 30′s Army?

Military pay and benefits

Posted in army life, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 3, February 2013 by chockblock

One again there are calls to “reform” military pay. I’ve said on this blog before that our service members don’t get paid enough. No we’re not europe; defense spending is not breaking the bank it’s actually smaller now. But many still attack our bennies.

Some bloggers, like In from the Cold, have struck back.

We have a powerful ally:

Col. Mike Hayden, USAF (Ret), deputy director, MOAA Government Relations
“Statements that rising personnel costs are “unaffordable”…“out of control”…”unsustainable”… and “will impact readiness” are geared to make headlines, alarm the reader, and (not infrequently) generate support for pursuing additional studies.

“If personnel costs continue growing at that rate and the overall defense budget remains flat with inflation,” CSBA authors hyperbolized, “military personnel costs will consume the entire defense budget by 2039.”

Elsewhere, they acknowledged that will never happen. But the quote was seized and repeated by reporters, pundits, bureaucrats and other “analysts.” E.g., James Kitfield did so in the July 2012 National Journal.

Is there any chance personnel costs will consume the entire defense budget by 2039? Of course not.

Before examining the personnel share, let’s first consider that the defense budget has consumed a progressively smaller share of federal outlays over the last 50 years”

The Military Officer’s Association of America is made up of people who’ve fought America’s wars. Company level commanders who’ve had to deal with military families. The Association of the United States Army echoes the call to help soldiers get better pay.

There are many leftist dirtbags who insist that the military revert to the Regan/Carter era of pay.

Pay freezes and benefit cuts would cause the Army to bleed numbers. Soldiers on food stamps, NCO’s and officers leaving, morale nosediving and enlistment down. The left wants that, I don’t.

How about we cut the think tanks and the pay of Congressmen who say stupid things instead?

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre”

Posted in army life, army training, guns, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 5, December 2012 by chockblock

The Second Coming

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity”

–”The Second Coming“, William Butler Yeats

“The missile tests popping up all over Asia should be seen in this light. Everyone’s arming up, starting with Russia. As we speak, Moscow is rearming missile units with Russia’s most advanced ICBM, the Yars missile, which was first tested in 2007. The Topol-M missile, tested in 2004, is already deployed.”
–”Missiles, missiles everywhere” December 4, 2012 by J.E. Dyer, HotAir.com

Mr. Dyer goes on to list missile developments in Asia, including the Nork’s upcoming missile test. Oh, and “Nork” is not racist, btw.

US Army Patriot missile units are in the middle east, defending our allies in the Arabian Gulf. Egypt’s “moderate” president flees the presidential palace because Egyptians don’t like a dictator. India and China are flexing their muscles.

The left, when not plugging their fingers in their ears (that “norks is racist comment is based on a tweet by a leftie with the IQ of a tree stump), they spit on our country:

But will a film like Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty,” about a specific, recent event — the killing of Osama bin Laden — resonate in the same way that her previous, fictional movie about the Iraq war, “The Hurt Locker,” did with its fearless main character channeling our deepest fears about the price of that misbegotten war?

Oddly, my deepest fears about the war were that (a) the rules of engagement prevented victory, and (b) any gains made would be lost to politics. Both of those fears have been realized.
–”Yet more fear and loathing of American culture (and history) at the LA Times“,by Joel Engel (giving a “reason you suck speech” to the LAT’s Reed Johnson)

The left wants to pretend that the world loves and shares their Marxist worldview. The world is have vs. have not’s and not the real world of hate and power hungry haters.

Either we recognize that there is a bear in the woods or we let the bear attack.

“And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

We’ll find out soon enough.

Huh…

Posted in army life, army training, guns, politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 7, October 2012 by chockblock

“But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed much. Each year, the overwhelming majority of new military recruits are young and male. In that sense, the American military of 2012 still looks a great deal like the American military of the 1970s, the 1940s, the 1860s, or the 1770s. For that matter, it still looks a lot like virtually every group of warriors in virtually every society during virtually every period of human history.

It’s time to question the near-universal assumption that the ideal military recruit is young and male. The nature of warfare has changed dramatically in the last century and the capabilities most needed by the military are less and less likely to be in the exclusive possession of young males. In fact, the opposite may be true: when it comes to certain key skills and qualities likely to be vital to the military in the coming decades, young males may be one of the least well-suited demographic groups.”

No Army for Young Men
Soldiers these days need less muscle and more maturity, so why do we still focus on recruiting 18-year-olds?
BY ROSA BROOKS

My least favorite blogger, Ms. Brooks actually hits one out of the park. I was mad at her epic fail as she questioned military pay and benefits. Hey, service members aren’t paid high enough lady!

But she hits the right notes with this piece. For some reason the left wants to screw over our allies. The New York Times wants us to leave Taiwan. War is Boring and the Atlantic want the US to leave Japan.

In the midst of teh peacenik crazies, it’s nice to see someone admit that soldiers are ADULTS.

The US military does not enlist, nor commission children. I’m gonna say that again, the US military does not enlist, nor commission children.

The reason the military recruits in high school is to get young people as they turn 18. Given the 20 year career path many take, that means a young man or woman could enlist at 17 (with their parent’s permission). Starting at E-1, they go up the ranks. The higher ranks are capped per federal regs and age limits, but promotion is based on merit. So a young man or woman can join at 17, get promoted and then retire at the age of 40 if they want. Or they can go to a service academy, ROTC or plain ole’ college then get a commission as an officer. Or they can do the “high school to flight school” and become a warrant officer and fly for the Army. There are officers, warrant officers and enlisted who have 25+ years of service, some with over 40. The point is that high school age Americans had a place in the military of the past.

Flash forward to the 21st century, those over 17, hell those up to 40 can join. Yes, a career in the military is hard on the body. That said, those fresh out of high school have a place. Instead of drinking and parting their way through teen years mark II, they could get a job defending their country. But being 20, 23, or 33 doesn’t make them unfit. If anything older service members bring skills and experience into the mix.

The myth that junior enlisted are “children” dates back to conflicts of old. Yes, even up to Vietnam, the military and civilian leaders kept tossing bodies at the problem. Now we live in the era that makes Vietnam’s tech level look like the Napoleonic Wars. More young soldiers have families, more junior enlisted are older than 20. The draft should go the way of segregation, “don’t ask, don’t tell” and vacuum tubes.

Her blog is the usual leftist screeching that war is too easy, somehow. I applaud her for saying that soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines ARE NOT children. It’s time everyone realizes that. All Americans over 17 should get calls from recruiters.

About that Pacific Re-alignment…

Posted in ADA, army life, army training, guns, politcs, rankers, tech pron, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 16, August 2012 by chockblock

As seen on DEW Line: Chinese and Russian aircraft.

So the DoD wants to shift to the Pacific. Here’s the reason why they should be worried. The Russian plane has a radar that poses a deadly threat to fourth generation aircraft. The Chinese are putting a real fighter on board the carrier most lefties think is just for show. So a real fighter with their new navy.

And this is why the Pacific is becoming a dangerous place.

BTW: lost in the disappointment in the “Arab Spring” and it’s failure in Egypt:

“CAIRO – Egypt’s Islamist president ordered his defense minister and chief of staff to retire on Sunday and canceled the military-declared constitutional amendments that gave top generals wide powers”

Egypt’s president cancels amendments that gave military power, names vice president: Associated Press.

Patriot Missile Operators:

Egyptian Air Defense Command:

MIM-104(PAC-3) missile: 4 Batteries (4 Stationary (towed) units per Battery, 16 missiles per unit plus 2 reloads each)

Israeli Air Force (GEM+)

This won’t end well….

And the draft talk continues

Posted in army life, army training, politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , on 14, July 2012 by chockblock

I suspect that talk of a draft is from people who don’t have “skin in the game”. Armchair Generals who’ve never served on the front lines. Some believe that a draft is cheaper for some reason.

Cue my wall of text:

“So, in the New York Times, Tom Ricks echoes Stan McCrystal’s call to bring back the draft. Ricks is two days younger than me, but our life experiences are quite different, apparently, because his vision of a draft is decidedly not to support our warfighting capability, and contrary to McCrystal’s plan to have every American community have “skin in the game” in the next war, Rick’s sees it as a jobs program and to provide cheap labor – an Army of janitors;”
Ricks: Draft our kids: This Ain’t Hell.

“McChrystal admits that it would lead to a loss of professionalism in the ranks, but I guess because he’s a liberal deep inside (he voted for Obama, he says) the loss of a successful military is secondary to everyone’s feelings about war. Americans were largely against the surge in Iraq, and their opinions didn’t matter, because it happened anyway. Americans wanted the wars to end and they voted for Obama…the casualties since the “peace President” took office are 2/3s of the total US casualties in the nearly 11-year war. So what good would everyone having “skin in the game” do for our policies?”
McChrystal calls for a draft: This Ain’t Hell.

“The U.S. Army by the end of the Vietnam War suffered from a bad case of this; as mentioned above, many films set during the War show military units that are barely wearing uniforms, with half of the soldiers high most of the time. While this often seems jarring to viewers, any soldier who was there will tell you that it was absolutely Truth in Television: the army was falling apart, discipline had gone completely to hell, the percentage of heroin-addicted soldiers had reached the double digits, and killing your own commander was so common as to get its own Deadly Euphemism: fragging.
Mildly Military“: TVTropes.org

ordered to de-ice them before flying operations in wintertime. It is recalled that, since no jet fuel was available for jet heaters, these soldiers used brooms to remove the ice, a process which resulted in the MiGs’ honeycomb structures such as elevators, flaps, rudders and ailerons being seriously damaged.

Several of the MiGs never flew again. Not coincidentally, Hungary ended the draft in 2005.
by DAVID AXE, warisboring.com

From a General who can’t keep his mouth shut, a lefty mouthpiece journalist and many, many corners of the ‘net.

The draft has its origins in Medieval warfare. When kings would go to war, they would call upon the nobles (princes, lords, barons, other minor nobles). In exchange for their loyalty to the king, they promised their fighting men. In exchange for living on a noble’s land, the peasants would have to fight for their lord and their king.

Castles and kings became towns and democracy. However conscription remains. The west fought countless wars with conscripts. The left is still just angry about Bush. McCrystal just wants to vindicate himself and possibly run for office.

Wars are not fought so much as processed. Information, high tech weapons, cultural sensitivity are more important than just stuffing bodies into uniforms. WWI was the last time armies just lined up and shot at each other. WWII, Korea, Vietnam, were wars of maneuver, Korea and Vietnam brought politics to the mix. Desert Storm, the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan would have chewed up and spit out Forrest Gump.

A draft army is a slave army, forced to fight.

The mission of the military is to fight and win the nation’s wars. This crap about “making men out of boys” or “building citizenship” is utter bullshit. The draft-era military was all about sending men to die. That was one of the way the North won the civil war. We don’t fight that way in the 21st century. Those who are too spoiled, too fat, to criminal or too leftist don’t need to be in uniform. The reporter asking for a draft won’t send his kids to fight. He undermines his point by asking draftees to do the easy jobs that the DoD as long ago given to civilians.

“Civilians are like beans; you buy ‘em as needed for any job which merely requires skill and savvy.
But you can’t buy fighting spirit.”
Starship Troopers

Before WWII, most jobs in the military were simple. Technology marched on between the wars. The airplane, tanks, radio, as the war ground on we got rockets, jets and the bomb. The Cold War saw computers go from filling a room to being able to fit in the palm of your hand. We don’t need ersatz “soldiers”. Even the smallest amount of carelessness can kill. Draftees will make this worse.

“I also think there are prices too high to pay to save the United States. Conscription is one of them. Conscription is slavery, and I don’t think that any people or nation has a right to save itself at the price of slavery for anyone, no matter what name it is called. We have had the draft for twenty years now; I think this is shameful. If a country can’t save itself through the volunteer service of its own free people, then I say : Let the damned thing go down the drain!
Robert A. Heinlien: 29th World Science Fiction Convention, Seattle, Washington (1961)

Well said.

Link: Brad takes down the jobs Rick’s “army” would do.

Why why should use technology: part 2

Posted in army life, army training, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 7, July 2012 by chockblock

“Thanks for saving me with your technology. By the way, I hate technology!”
The Nostalgia Critic, On Star Trek: Insurrection.

Drones will no doubt raise novel issues under the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure. They will require rules. The same is true of any technology, of course. The Supreme Court held unanimously earlier this year that police can’t attach a GPS tracker on someone’s vehicle without a warrant. This isn’t reason to ban all use of GPS trackers by law enforcement. The fear of drones is, in part, the fear of the new — it is Luddism masquerading as civil libertarianism.
–”The Great Drone Panic“: By Rich Lowry, National Review.com

The left and the fringe always hate technology. Give it time and drones will be as common as the Iphone. And some new tech will be the focus of their ire.

It’s still stealing

Posted in army life, army training, HOOAH!, politcs, tech pron, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , on 30, June 2012 by chockblock

“If you steal, you’re gonna lie, if you lie, you’re gonna steal.
1SG at Fort Jackson, 2004

“WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court cited First Amendment free-speech rights in striking down a law that made it a federal crime to falsely claim to have been awarded military medals.

The 6-3 majority opinion upheld a Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that had declared unconstitutional the Stolen Valor Act, a 2006 statute Congress passed “to protect the reputation and meaning” of military honors.”
“Court: You Can Tell Lies About Being a War Hero “, By EVAN PEREZ, WSJ.com

So the law was poorly written. It doesn’t matter. People will lie about being war heroes, phoney soldiers and facebook commandos seeking things they didn’t earn. Like jobs. A democrat claims to be a “Green Beret”, when called out he throws a tantrum. Another wanted music stardom, so he faked being a hero. One woman duped a college into a free ride before she was caught. Another was a comic book author and “anti-war” activist. None of them have seen combat.

They got what was coming to them, the morons were exposed. Good riddance.

It’s not a game. People assume that a soldier, marine, sailor or airman has skills. That someone who has been in “combat” is brave enough for a job as a police officer, firefighter or news correspondent. They lie to get a job that they have no right to have, they are stealing. The left loves phonies, so they were the loudest ones to scream about the Stolen Valor act. It would expose all those “veterans” that march in their protests.

The law will get re-written. In the meantime we have teh interwebs. Keep blogging and writing. Thieves are like cockroaches, they hate sunlight.

Reforming Defense: Lockheed makes a “jeep”

Posted in ADA, army life, army training, guns, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 25, June 2012 by chockblock

“Lockheed Martin would like you to know that just because it’s an aerospace titan that moonlights as a shipbuilder, that doesn’t mean it can’t also build a new fleet of ground vehicles for the Army and Marine Corps.”
High stakes in the JLTV competition: By Philip Ewing, DoD Buzz.com

There are companies building the replacement for the HMMWv, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). It’s a new jeep for the military.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the Humvee was too light. It was a soft skinned taxi for soldiers and a whip for commanders. There were “up armored” versions, but they are rollover queens. I used to drive a command post variant. After upgrades, our M1113 was 500 lbs away from both axles snapping and was top heavy. The JLTV is designed from the ground up to be an armored anything: taxi, truck, command post, ambulance or gun truck.

Now Lockheed has some issues with building things for the military. There was the scandals over foreign military sales. Yet this same company built the SR-71 and F-117.

Lockheed's new whip

JLTV three variants during the Technology Development phase

Judging from the comments in the DOD Buzz article, some just don’t have faith that Lock-Mart won’t screw the truck up:

tee June 22nd, 2012 at 7:35 pm

With LM’s current recorder as a benchmark if they get it, it will be way over budget and years behind schedule.

And that’s the tamest one.

I for one welcome out of the box thinking. I do have doubts however. Boeing decided to get into the lucrative jetfoil business, the Future Combat Systems and the KC-767 lease. They ended well, in that jetfoils are forgotten, the FCS was canceled and the KC-767 lease sent an Air Force official to prison.

What’s needed is out of the box thinking, but not so out of the box people lose their minds. I hope Lockheed Martin delivers the goods. If they are making junk, they deserve to lose. It’s not the 80′s anymore, political connections, pork barrel politics or lobbying shouldn’t decide who builds what. Make stuff that works.

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