Archive for army training

And now a stealth insult from BREAKING DEFENSE

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 15, December 2013 by chockblock

This doesn't happen as much as  Russell Rumbaugh thinks it does

Because a soldier’s child under the knife would actually be true.


For the most adamant, personnel costs are about to eat the entire Department of Defense budget, reducing it to just a welfare agency and leaving the United States at the mercy of its enemies. Since the creation of the All-Volunteer Force, spending per servicemember has risen inexorably. The Department—as with the rest of the country—has watched its healthcare costs dramatically outpace inflation. Since the defense budget started expanding in the late 1990s, Congress has consistently heaped largesse on defense personnel. It repealed the retirement reform passed in the 1980s just before it kicked in, let former military members double dip by taking their military retirement pay while drawing a full civil service salary, allowed retirees to keep both their retirement and disabled pay, created the $10 billion-a-year TRICARE for Life Medicare supplement, and expanded eligibility for both healthcare and retirement benefits.
Budget Deal Proves That Congress CAN Take On Military Pay & Benefits Costs , Russell Rumbaugh, BreakingDefense.com

I’ve said before that personel costs are NOT eating the DoD alive.

If anything it’s a ploy to keep the big projects going. SO the recent budget deal screwed vets 62 and younger. Their COLA (cost of living adjustment) is slightly below inflation. Ouch. Pensions are fixed and for some who can’t work it’s their only income. Oh it is supposed to save $1 billion a year but future budget numbers are always 1 part projection and 2 parts fantasy.

This Rumbaugh clown thinks that pay and benefits are some luxury to be “cut”. No there is no personnel vs. readiness battle. During the 90′s the problem was cuts across the board. Now we have things like ARMY FAMILY COVENANT:

The pledge states simply: You are changing your life for the Army, so it seems that a bond should be formed that lets you know this is not a commitment taken lightly. The Army will look out for you, your soldier and your entire family. For we are all one family in the Army and should act accordingly.
– via GoArmy.com

So what does Rumbaugh use to illustrate this?

A picture of a pet in a vet clinic.

There isn’t a middle finger big enough.

You have spat upon every child, spouse and retiree who’s had to go under the knife, see a doctor, pay for food and balance a budget. Pet care is an OUT OF POCKET EXPENSE YOU DIPSTICK!!!

Ahem. Child care isn’t free either, service members pay on a scale based on rank and/or income.

Health care, pay and the tax free food and clothing sales keep service members in uniform. You should know that Rumbaugh, you were in the Army in the 90′s when people were on food stamps due to low pay. I noticed several references to the “All Volunteer Force” like it’s a bad thing. I’m starting to suspect that this is another stealth call to bring back the draft because a drugged out, unprofessional military is cheaper somehow…

According to MOAA calculations, a service member who retires as an E-7 would see an average loss of more than $3,700 a year in retired pay by the time he or she reached age 63, while an O-5 stands to lose more than $6,200 a year.

“A 20 percent reduction in retired pay and survivor benefit values is a very substantial cut in military career benefits, and does not represent good faith to our men and women in uniform,” MOAA president and retired Vice Adm. Norb Ryan said.

William Thien, the Veterans of Foreign Wars national commander, said the provision puts the all-volunteer military in jeopardy.
Levin: Proposed COLA reduction to get second look

Good for the veteran advocates and military associations, we need to push back before the idiots and arm chair generals ruin the military.

tl;dr – join MOAA or AUSA to keep the benefits and pay you’ve worked for.

Don Gomez knocks the draft arugement out of the park

Posted in Uncategorized, rankers, army life, politcs, 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 HOOAH!, army life, War On Terror, army training 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.

The cost of Defense

Posted in HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11, November 2012 by chockblock

I admit that I am a Cold War baby. I was born in the 70′s, my father worked as a defense contractor. He met my mother when he was in the Air Force.

But what has the military done for the rest of us?

  • The very existence of this Wiki was made possible via the US Department of Defense wanting to create a way for people to gain access to powerful research computers they were geographically separated from—for both purely scientific/academic and military projects. Incidentally, it also protected the flow of information between military installations from attacks (up to and including nuclear weapons). This is what became the Internet. (The World Wide Web and the hypertext system, while still vital, was a civilian thing)
  • Your sat-nav. NAVSTAR GPS, developed for the US military and made available for public use after the KAL 007 shoot-down.
  • Supersonic flight—first done by the US Air Force.
  • The Moon Landings—military-trained pilots. Of the 12 men to walk on the Moon, only one (Harrison Schmidt) had never been a member of the US Armed Forces. Of the remaining 11, only the first (Neil Armstrong) was directly employed by NASA: Armstrong was a retired Navy test pilot, while the remaining 10 were still active-duty Air Force and Navy pilots (4 Air Force, 6 Navy).
  • US Space Exploration in general—the Titan space launchers were originally for Superior Firepower.
  • Antibiotics. In order to keep troops healthy, the US Military developed a way to mass produce penicillin in World War II to ensure every soldier would have access to some.
  • Nylon—originally created for parachutes. Or rather, originally created for women’s stockings, which used the silk needed for parachutes at the beginning of World War II; old stockings were turned into parachutes. And then they ran out of old silk stockings and started making the parachutes out of old nylon stockings and whatever other nylon they could get their hands on. Women held stocking drives to support the war effort.
  • Duct tape—originally created as a waterproof packing tape for supply crates being carried ashore in amphibious landings. In the military duct tape is colored olive drab instead of silver, and nicknamed “mile a minute tape” or “ninety mile an hour tape.”
  • In response to large natural disasters around the world, when the US sends aid, the first responders are usually the military, who have the logistical capacity to quickly move a lot of supplies and medical personnel, often to territory that doesn’t lend itself easily to conventional civilian transportation due to limitations of local infrastructure (pre-existing limitations or those caused by the disasters themselves). Entire naval battle groups have been rerouted to provide aid, occasionally even as the disaster is in progress.
    On the internet an anecdote exists of a supposed conference listing some of the capabilities of aircraft carriers in disaster situations, including on-board hospitals, cafeterias designed to feed thousands and the ability to both provide electricity to shore based facilities, and provide a landing point for rescue aircraft.
  • One of the benefits of joining the US military since WWII is having your college paid for by the Montgomery GI bill. One can also get a scholarship by joining the ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps, essentially a college level cadet program that leads into a military career as an officer). In addition, each service offers the ability to gain college credit, and in some cases having a degree is a requirement for promotion even for the enlisted. In America joining the military to get an education is a fairly common motivation, helping to make the military an institution of society in many parts of the US.
  • – TVTropes: “Yanks With Tanks”

“There is no National Defense Service Medal for veterans of the Cold War. What were America’s GIs up to? They went on alert when Egypt claimed the Suez Canal in 1956. They manned missile silos in North Dakota and piloted B-52s aimed at Soviet targets. They crewed nuclear-armed submarines and drove tanks in the Fulda Gap between West and East Germany. Some of what they did is still secret.”
–”A Cold Shoulder for Cold-War Vets“, By BARRY NEWMAN, WSJ.com (via XBradTC)

So out come these idiots from George Mason University:

In 2010, the United States government spent more on national defense ($738.8 billion) than it did
at the height of the Cold War spending in 1986 ($572 billion), when the U.S. was competing in
an arms race against the then superpower U.S.S.R.

Once the U.S. embarked upon the path of permanent war, starting with World War II, the result was a permanent war economy. The permanent war economy continuously draws resources into the military sector at the expense of the private economy, even in times of peace. We explore the overlooked costs of this process. The permanent war economy does not just transfer resources from the private economy, but also distorts and undermines the market process which is ultimately responsible for improvements in standards of living.

What? What technology has been suppressed? What has been held back?

Let’s look at the budget:

Yea, less than a quarter even if you add in the “generous” pensions vets get from the Dept. Of Veterans Affairs. Here, here, here and here I destroy the left’s favorite arguments about the military:

  1. We don’t need a draft.
  2. Pay is not generous.
  3. The military is smaller today that it was during the cold war.
  4. There is no need to “reform” pay.

What we have here is a failure to adjust for inflation. “1986 ($572 billion)” becomes 1,2 trillion in 2012. 2010′s $738.8 billion becomes $349.9 billion in 1986 dollars. The military is smaller and cheaper than during the cold war.

I suspect that the left hates the military and some want to side with our enemies. The only country that had a military-industrial complex that broke it was the former USSR. A command economy sucks because it has to choose guns over butter. Like North Korea:

North Korea at night.

North Korea fights global warming!

The “report” from Thomas K. Duncan and Christopher J. Coyne i long on sweeping lefty generalizations and short of specifics(And if TvTropes can call out their bullcrap…). The “military-industrial” complex was a term Eisenhower(R) used to refer to Kennedy(D) and his fear that Kennedy would spend more on defense. Then Vietnam happened under LBJ, man walked on the moon and the DoD had huge growth. I’m stationed on an air base expanded and built upon during the Kennedy era.

I sense bad things for those of us in the service, since this is catnip to the left.

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.

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot…

Posted in politcs, rankers, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , on 23, September 2012 by chockblock

So 2008 was supposed to be a break from the George W. Bush presidency. The left kept jumping up and down saying that he was an evil moron etc.

The media really didn’t know the people they put in the White House and they never bothered to find out. We have an administration that kowtows to an angry mob, thinks it can advance a liberal agenda on the backs of dead Mexicans, downplays a Marine unit that is non-mission capable and the media just goes along with it.

I get that the left hated Bush. The election, the Iraq war etc. The man could never catch a break. However our current government seems to be doing a worse job. The Arab spring? Came about because of Saddam’s fall. The administration sits on its hands as crazed radicals take control of Egypt and demand the release of the man behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade center. Instead of charting its own course, the DOJ works with a liberal organization to slander reporters covering the DOJ. The media doesn’t cover the war in Afghanistan, yet lamets that there are no protests and outcry over it. Energy policy that hits the poor and working families hardest. There was never any hope and change. Only Washington insiders protecting their own. I’ve always suspected that the conspiracy theories about Bush were the left’s wishful thinking. They wanted to be able to manipulate the government for their agenda. Hence the millions wasted on Solyndra, high-speed rail in cali and our complete loss of influence in the Middle East. Why does the administration have to arrest a filmmaker?

Because theory and ideology are more important than real people and elections are more important than the truth. The lunatics are running the asylum.

You are what you hate lefties. You gave us a government that is made of fail. With the coming budget cuts and you’re leadership’s failure to act, this is your fault. Bush is out of office. This is not inherited . This. Is. Your. Mess.

Dilbert on 6 Sigma

Posted in army training, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , on 4, September 2012 by chockblock

Dilbert.com, this strip says it all:


RIP Neil Armstrong

Posted in HOOAH!, politcs, rankers with tags , , , , , , on 26, August 2012 by chockblock

And more people saw the moonshot than attended Woodstock...

Neil Alden Armstrong (August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012) was an American astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor and United States Naval Aviator. He was the first human to set foot on the Moon.

Godspeed!

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