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sandsjames
02-20-2015, 01:01 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/19/politics/army-ethics-lying-report/index.html

Military members don't practice the honesty and integrity they preach? I, for one, am shocked.

Rusty Jones
02-20-2015, 01:08 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/19/politics/army-ethics-lying-report/index.html

Military members don't practice the honesty and integrity they preach? I, for one, am shocked.

Honesty and integrity? You mean that shit they beat INTO you in basic training, that NCOs beat OUT of you when you get to your first duty station because it gets in their way? Yeah, I know what you're talking about!

Rusty Jones
02-20-2015, 01:27 PM
Let's be realistic: people lie. And with the military being a CYA environment, it only exacerbates that problem. Even more, people are being tasked with workloads that are so large and deadlines that are too soon to be completed by ethical means.

And before anyone slams officers because of this article, remember that enlisted are no better. The difference is, all we can lie about is dumb shit like whether or not task that we were supposed to complete before we went home for the day got done.

sandsjames
02-20-2015, 02:53 PM
Let's be realistic: people lie. And with the military being a CYA environment, it only exacerbates that problem. Even more, people are being tasked with workloads that are so large and deadlines that are too soon to be completed by ethical means.

And before anyone slams officers because of this article, remember that enlisted are no better. The difference is, all we can lie about is dumb shit like whether or not task that we were supposed to complete before we went home for the day got done.

There is no doubt that everything you say here is true. I guess what surprises me most is that the report was even done. Who in their right mind actually believed that people in the military are more honest than their civilian counterparts?

Rusty Jones
02-20-2015, 03:19 PM
There is no doubt that everything you say here is true. I guess what surprises me most is that the report was even done. Who in their right mind actually believed that people in the military are more honest than their civilian counterparts?

You know what I'd like to see happen? The Air Force should do an experiment - take recruits and bypass basic training. Just simply take a whole day and where they're issued uniforms and then they're given CBTs on how to wear it and rank recognition. Then ship them straight off to tech school.

I want to see if basic training really even matters. Like, would they actually be different from the rest of the Airmen that DID go? The Army and Navy can try this too, by the way. What many people don't know is that the Marine Corps DOES have enlisted Marines who've never been to boot camp. They're members of the "President's Own" band. I don't know any of them personally, but I can't seem to find any complaints on the internet from Marines saying that the President's Own bandmembers are a bunch of undisciplined shitbags. If anyone can find it, let me know.

Stalwart
02-20-2015, 03:41 PM
What many people don't know is that the Marine Corps DOES have enlisted Marines who've never been to boot camp. They're members of the "President's Own" band. I don't know any of them personally, but I can't seem to find any complaints on the internet from Marines saying that the President's Own bandmembers are a bunch of undisciplined shitbags. If anyone can find it, let me know.

True, but not really painting the full picture.

For example:

Members of the President's Own automatically enter the Marine Corps as a SSgt and are enlisted specifically for duty with the President's own, they will never do anything else.

Almost all have degrees in music, more than half (last I had heard) had graduate degrees in music. Most have been professional musicians for years.

Members of the Presidents own never handle weapons; they are not expected to do anything other than be in the band.

TJMAC77SP
02-20-2015, 03:50 PM
You know what I'd like to see happen? The Air Force should do an experiment - take recruits and bypass basic training. Just simply take a whole day and where they're issued uniforms and then they're given CBTs on how to wear it and rank recognition. Then ship them straight off to tech school.

I want to see if basic training really even matters. Like, would they actually be different from the rest of the Airmen that DID go? The Army and Navy can try this too, by the way. What many people don't know is that the Marine Corps DOES have enlisted Marines who've never been to boot camp. They're members of the "President's Own" band. I don't know any of them personally, but I can't seem to find any complaints on the internet from Marines saying that the President's Own bandmembers are a bunch of undisciplined shitbags. If anyone can find it, let me know.

I think it would make a large and negative difference to do as you suggest. Basic training is so much more than learning to wear the uniform and who and how to salute.

The President's Own has a very limited duty sphere so really can't be compared to a line Marine (as I am sure any on the MTF will attest to).

Stalwart
02-20-2015, 03:55 PM
I read the article yesterday, then teased an Army LTC buddy about it.

Overall, I think there are practices that are unacceptable, and some of this is a culture/perception/mentality where people can find a way to make a statement that is not an outright lie, but frames a statement or answer in the best possible way. This is not just an Army issue, or an officer issue ... it exists in every branch and in the enlisted ranks as well.

I saw a commander who told an Admiral that he was unable to meet tasking because the commander didn't have enough people to do the task, as he had been reporting to that Admiral for 18 months ... it was an awkward room to be in -- he took the rare step of saying 'no'. He went on to be successful (currently a 2-star and a close mentor of mine).

ID-ing people who are less than honest is usually easy and while I am not perfect, I generally do steer clear of folks who are.

Rusty Jones
02-20-2015, 04:29 PM
I think it would make a large and negative difference to do as you suggest. Basic training is so much more than learning to wear the uniform and who and how to salute.

The President's Own has a very limited duty sphere so really can't be compared to a line Marine (as I am sure any on the MTF will attest to).

Here's the thing, though - most of what's instilled in basic training all goes to shit within months, if not weeks, of an FNG reporting to his new duty station anyway. So really, what's the point? I'm just curious to know whether or not basic training really makes a difference.

sandsjames
02-20-2015, 04:32 PM
You know what I'd like to see happen? The Air Force should do an experiment - take recruits and bypass basic training. Just simply take a whole day and where they're issued uniforms and then they're given CBTs on how to wear it and rank recognition. Then ship them straight off to tech school.

I want to see if basic training really even matters. Like, would they actually be different from the rest of the Airmen that DID go? The Army and Navy can try this too, by the way. What many people don't know is that the Marine Corps DOES have enlisted Marines who've never been to boot camp. They're members of the "President's Own" band. I don't know any of them personally, but I can't seem to find any complaints on the internet from Marines saying that the President's Own bandmembers are a bunch of undisciplined shitbags. If anyone can find it, let me know.

It would make very little difference. Look at many of our officers who attend nothing more than a short OTS before becoming active duty.

Air Force basic training is now changing week 8 from being part of the "Warrior Week" or whatever they call it now and turning it into a full week of nothing but briefings about SARC, etc.

The 2nd AF and AETC are changing Tech School to take time away from technical training and start including more of the SARC, resiliency, etc type stuff as well. We were briefed yesterday that beginning in may our 8 hour training day is turning into 6 hours of Tech training and 2 hours to make sure everyone has feelings and care about each other. That is 25% of our training time. It's not happening in all the schools, but in a large majority.

On day one we now issue the students an "inspiration survey". We then do it again before they graduate to see if we have "inspired" them.

Training "warfighters" is no longer a priority. We are just ensuring that we teach grown adults how to act like grown adults. Basic training is not needed for that.

sandsjames
02-20-2015, 04:36 PM
Here's the thing, though - most of what's instilled in basic training all goes to shit within months, if not weeks, of an FNG reporting to his new duty station anyway. So really, what's the point? I'm just curious to know whether or not basic training really makes a difference.

We asked the same question yesterday as to how we'll know if the results of all these touchy feely programs are working. We were told that there was no way to measure it. I guess we would need to have some do the traditional courses and some do this other bull shit and make comparisons 10 years down the line. Same could be done with basic. Start a trial program. Send 10% of people to a 1-2 week class on customs/courtesies, then send them on to Tech School/home station. See if there is a difference. I bet there wouldn't be much of one.

Stalwart
02-20-2015, 04:59 PM
Send 10% of people to a 1-2 week class on customs/courtesies, then send them on to Tech School/home station. See if there is a difference. I bet there wouldn't be much of one.

This is kind of already done with Navy Officers -- thos who are Direct Commission Officers. They do not attend OCS, they are commissioned before they attend thier 2 week DCO school. The majority of DCO's are medical type fields, not Line Officers ... and while they are great folks, doing great things ... they have a limited scope. I don't think you see the same demands or levels of leadership from a DCO that you get from a Line Officer.

Basic Training / Boot Camp etc is a good baseline; it isn't perfect and over time some things are tweaked to reflect the environment. Yes, some of the things taught at boot camp are just teaching someone how to be an adult (in USMC Boot Camp) we had a class on how to balance our checkbook -- no shit.

At the same time, we also got alot of familiarity with basic weapons handling, gear (what it is, how to wear it & how to use it), bringing everyone to a common level of physical fitness.

Maybe a better question (IMO) is not how to do away with Boot Camp and teach those things elsewhere and how do we better reinforce & retain the fundamentals that Boot Camp is meant to instill as part of our military and service specific cultures.

TJMAC77SP
02-20-2015, 05:13 PM
While I wouldn't defend a position that everything learned in accession training is valuable and retained I equally would disagree with any position that states the opposite; that it is all useless and somehow evaporates when contact is made with the 'real' military component. Just too simple a premise to survive reality.

sandsjames
02-20-2015, 05:18 PM
At the same time, we also got alot of familiarity with basic weapons handling, gear (what it is, how to wear it & how to use it), bringing everyone to a common level of physical fitness. In AF basic there is so little weapons training that it wouldn't even be a consideration as to whether or not we kept basic.


Maybe a better question (IMO) is not how to do away with Boot Camp and teach those things elsewhere and how do we better reinforce & retain the fundamentals that Boot Camp is meant to instill as part of our military and service specific cultures.I think the reinforcement and retain...ment...can only come from experience. Again, I'm speaking from the Air Force side where by week 2 of tech school the majority of discipline is already gone.

I know that the point always hammered home to us was that the main point of basic was to teach "attention to detail". I just don't see it carry over.

Of course this isn't really on the trainees, as it's the NCOs/supervisors who let these things get out of hand, but if we've already got such visible proof that everything they learn in basic is gone within the first year then what's the point?

I learned more about military structure and weapon handling in 2 weeks of CST with the Army then I learned in 6 weeks of basic, 8 weeks of tech school, and 20 years of active duty with the Air Force. Of course, the Air Force did let me fire 60 rounds from and M16/M4 every couple of years.

Rusty Jones
02-20-2015, 05:20 PM
At the same time, we also got alot of familiarity with basic weapons handling, gear (what it is, how to wear it & how to use it)

Here's the thing about this - Navy Seabees are a good example of why that's not even necessary. Unlike the Army and Marine Corps, there's no training out in the field in Navy boot camp. No bivouacking, no moving under fire, crawling through the mud, none of that. There's no SOI after boot camp for them, either. They simply learn all that stuff when they report to their battalion. And they can hold their own just as good as the Army Corps of Engineers can.

Stalwart
02-20-2015, 05:27 PM
I think the reinforcement and retain...ment...can only come from experience. Again, I'm speaking from the Air Force side where by week 2 of tech school the majority of discipline is already gone.

So is the issue BMT (what the AF calls it?) or the leadership at tech schools and duty stations and how young, impressionable, 1st term airmen are (not) being led?

Not a jab ... but an honest question.

sandsjames
02-20-2015, 05:36 PM
So is the issue BMT (what the AF calls it?) or the leadership at tech schools and duty stations and how young, impressionable, 1st term airmen are (not) being led?

Not a jab ... but an honest question.

It's about a couple things. One is that it's about how they are being led after basic, no doubt about that. Even so, the Air Force is extremely functional, even with the lack of "discipline" that so many argue is necessary.

The other thing is that it's a bit of a conundrum. In basic, they teach teamwork. They teach being a key part of something and doing things as a unit. After basic, however, that's no longer true. Everything in the Air Force is individualized. Written tests, PT tests, awards, decs, ratings, etc. Barring a couple rotating unit awards based on "it's your turn" everything comes down to the individual. Even deployments (I know this has been discussed in here) within the Air Force are on an individual basis. I never went anywhere downrange with more than one or two other people from my own unit. So, I think we would be far better off if the training was more "individual" based, rather than group based. Practice how you play, right?

I realize that this might now make sense to someone from a service where teamwork is critical, but almost every single thing throughout all facets of the Air Force can be done successfully by the individual.

Rusty Jones
02-20-2015, 05:37 PM
So is the issue BMT (what the AF calls it?) or the leadership at tech schools and duty stations and how young, impressionable, 1st term airmen are (not) being led?

Not a jab ... but an honest question.

Apparently, the Marine Corps is just as bad. Half those Terminal Lance strips you see are about Marines being annoyed by boots and corrupting them so that they're less annoying.

Stalwart
02-20-2015, 05:50 PM
Here's the thing about this - Navy Seabees are a good example of why that's not even necessary. Unlike the Army and Marine Corps, there's no training out in the field in Navy boot camp. No bivouacking, no moving under fire, crawling through the mud, none of that. There's no SOI after boot camp for them, either. They simply learn all that stuff when they report to their battalion. And they can hold their own just as good as the Army Corps of Engineers can.

While there is a big differnce between a Marine who is an infantryman and a Marine who is an admin clerk, based on what I have seen, the Marine who is an admin clerk is more proficient at standing a post or a gun emplacement than a Seabee. Granted, the overall mission of the USMC is different than the USN.

I do fall back on the argument here being "most of what people learn in recruit training is lost quickly." Based on that, is the problem with the training or how the training is followed up on / reinforced when not in that training environment?

Some personal thoughts on the problem:

-Is this a job, or is this a profession: a 15 hour day in boot camp allows a lot of training; way too many (not all) people get comfortable with an 8-hour work day unless they are deployed or in a formal training environment. The military is much more than a job, it is the Profession of Arms. The most junior E-1 generally has a much more generous compensation package (pay, benefits, medical / dental, 30 days of paid vacation with no vested service etc) than someone of similar experience / training in the civilian world; we should not be afraid to take time to train them. Since when did the training day have to end at the 8 hour or 9 hour mark / at 1600, 1700? Not saying that every school house go to 18 hour days, but if basic service culture is crammed into someone for 6 or 8 or 13 weeks and lost withing a year ... the problem is in the reinforcement and culture that follows the training.

-NCOs: Not the majority, but way too many that aren't acting like an NCO. The first line of leadership for junior personnel is the NCO but too many don't want to take the time to lead those in thier charge. Some NCOs aren't allowed to lead ... got it ... but way WAY too many are willing to not lead and just get the paycheck. Too many who say "this isn't part of my job" (see above about how this isn't just a job). Too many who are content to stand on the sidelines and bitch about a problem than to take ownership of or constructively assist those who own the problem. This isn't hatin' on NCO's but an observation over 24 years of service, 12 of which were enlisted.

-Officers: Not the majority, but way too many that aren't being officers. Too many who look at the miltiary as a job (see above) or are counting the days until their minimum obligation is up to pay back thier college education. Too many who allow themselves to get pushed out of leading their Platoon, Division, Flight etc and buy into being told that they don't need to lead thier people and to leave it to the SNCO or LCPO. The SNCO/LCPO and Junior Officer are a leadership team and should act as such.

Stalwart
02-20-2015, 05:52 PM
Apparently, the Marine Corps is just as bad. Half those Terminal Lance strips you see are about Marines being annoyed by boots and corrupting them so that they're less annoying.

I chuckle a lot at Terminal Lance -- mostly because there is a hint of reality in them ... but they are far from a stellar example of life in the Marine Corps ... kind of like how Broadside is a funny take on the Navy.

Stalwart
02-20-2015, 06:03 PM
The other thing is that it's a bit of a conundrum. In basic, they teach teamwork. They teach being a key part of something and doing things as a unit. After basic, however, that's no longer true. Everything in the Air Force is individualized. Written tests, PT tests, awards, decs, ratings, etc. Barring a couple rotating unit awards based on "it's your turn" everything comes down to the individual. Even deployments (I know this has been discussed in here) within the Air Force are on an individual basis. I never went anywhere downrange with more than one or two other people from my own unit. So, I think we would be far better off if the training was more "individual" based, rather than group based. Practice how you play, right?

Legit point, I do know of some USAF aviation units that deploy as detachments of folks for deployments (saw them at AUAB and Incirlik), a couple of aircraft with the pilots, aircrew, maintainers etc. OIC was a Maj or sometimes a Lt Col.

I fully get that what works for the USAF may not be what works for the USN, USMC, USA and vice versa. I paint a lot of my perspective on the USMC, since that is where I learned all my habits ... and for the most part it worked and still serves me well even as a Naval Officer. In infantry school, the typical 'in garrison' training day was from 0600 - 2000, in the field it was 24 hours (yeah you slept but stuff was always going on. The SOI instructors swapped out on who was staying late (past 1600/1700) so that thier quality of life wasn't constantly in the crapper. Follow on training from SOI gave me a bit more personal responsibility and when I arrived at my first unit I was kind of micromanaged by my Fire Team Leader (a Cpl - E4).

Big picture ... yes, the Marines (in general) are the most disciplined IMO of the services, I don't think the USAF needs that. But, I think one reason for that is the Marine culture is one that expects it -- I have come to really believe and have observed that people will meet the bar you set for them. If you set the bar high, and let people know that 'excellence is the standard' they will meet that standard; if you set the bar low and have low expectations you will get what you expect.

sandsjames
02-20-2015, 07:09 PM
IBig picture ... yes, the Marines (in general) are the most disciplined IMO of the services, I don't think the USAF needs that. But, I think one reason for that is the Marine culture is one that expects it -- I have come to really believe and have observed that people will meet the bar you set for them. If you set the bar high, and let people know that 'excellence is the standard' they will meet that standard; if you set the bar low and have low expectations you will get what you expect.

I guess it depends on what you consider a high bar. To me, it's that AF members can deploy and maintain their equipment and support the warfighters as best they can. What determines that is job training and experience, not boot camp and exercises.

Stalwart
02-20-2015, 07:27 PM
I guess it depends on what you consider a high bar. To me, it's that AF members can deploy and maintain their equipment and support the warfighters as best they can. What determines that is job training and experience, not boot camp and exercises.

The culture from the Marine Corps was much more of "excellence (in everything) is the standard." You could have been the greatest in the world at your MOS tasks, but then there were the general 'Marine things' like PT, drill, personal appearance, uniform standards etc. Understanding that no one can excel in everything, you can try to excel and give your best regardless of if you think a task is bullshit or not. The bare minimum is just that ... the minimum ... and minimum effort was simply not acceptable. I attended a couple of other service schools and the detachment OIC or Senior Enlisted always brought up during your check in that Marines may not always be an honor grad, or 1st place etc. ... but we wouldn't be lazy, late to class or formations / evolutions, have unsat uniforms or rooms. Now, there is practicality that gets inserted here -- I never spit shined my boots (it's bad for your feet), but they were always highly buffed in garrison. I never ran my 3 mile run in less than 18:00 minutes, but I never slacked off on it either. Not every Marine took this to heart, but that is the culture and the culture has a way of getting you to comply -- willing compliance was always easier than getting the extra attention of your Plt Sgt.


Edit: probably going to try to go back onto the OP and stop my personal /threadjack ...

sandsjames
02-20-2015, 07:37 PM
The culture from the Marine Corps was much more of "excellence (in everything) is the standard." You could have been the greatest in the world at your MOS tasks, but then there were the general 'Marine things' like PT, drill, personal appearance, uniform standards etc. Understanding that no one can excel in everything, you can try to excel and give your best regardless of if you think a task is bullshit or not. The bare minimum is just that ... the minimum ... and minimum effort was simply not acceptable. I attended a couple of other service schools and the detachment OIC or Senior Enlisted always brought up during your check in that Marines may not always be an honor grad, or 1st place etc. ... but we wouldn't be lazy, late to class or formations / evolutions, have unsat uniforms or rooms. Now, there is practicality that gets inserted here -- I never spit shined my boots (it's bad for your feet), but they were always highly buffed in garrison. I never ran my 3 mile run in less than 18:00 minutes, but I never slacked off on it either. Not every Marine took this to heart, but that is the culture and the culture has a way of getting you to comply -- willing compliance was always easier than getting the extra attention of your Plt Sgt.


Edit: probably going to try to go back onto the OP and stop my personal /threadjack ...

Those standards are no different. The question is, does Basic Training help to achieve those standards and can they be achieved without BMT?

Stalwart
02-20-2015, 07:42 PM
Those standards are no different. The question is, does Basic Training help to achieve those standards and can they be achieved without BMT?

That is probably service specific, but a valid question.

Rusty Jones
02-20-2015, 08:01 PM
That is probably service specific, but a valid question.

I can speak for Navy on this one. Shipboard firefighting. When I was in boot camp, I was trained on the old OBA. But when I hit the Fleet, we were using SCBAs. In addition, Navy boot camp has "props" that are designed to similate a shipboard enviroment... but they're worthless when compared to the real thing. Also, I only remember one or two days of training on shipboard firefighting before "Battle Stations."

Even if one tried to argue that the training was still worth something, we've had plenty of prior service Army and Air Force who were able to learn shipboard firefighting onboard the ship, when they didn't even though Navy boot camp.

UncaRastus
02-20-2015, 10:22 PM
MCRD training to break civilians from that mold into becoming responsive recruits is part of the goals of the Drill Instructor. To teach individual and as a group to learn what discipline is part of the training. To root out, at least in my day, 50% of the recruits as being either mentally or physically unfit was a key part of winnowing down the initial larger set of recruits to a much more trainable group.

Part of training was to stress the recruits out as much as was legally possible. Loud towards them? Of course. Physically punishing them? That was and is done without having to lay a hand on them, although I have seen that done.

Taking them out of the civilian world except for letters and Christmas packages? Yep. 13 1/2 weeks was the time we had to get them prepared to go on to the next part of their training. We always made sure that each and every recruit had the attitude that whatever was thrown his way was not impossible for that recruit to complete.

I am not taking away from anyone else's basic training. Marines do, however, have to be as lean and mean as possible to accomplish their goals. Yes, I do realize that maybe an S1 clerk is not as polished at doing what infantrymen do. I do recall, though, a few times from the past when it was thrust on to the shoulders of the clerks and cooks and mechanics and plane fixers to completely destroy the enemy that attacked, and that they did their job of killing very proficiently.

One of the classes that I taught as a DI was USMC history.

When anyone says that every Marine is a rifleman, that person does have a good point. Everybody in the Corps does have to attend the SOI, even though the training is a bit truncated for non infantrymen. Even though those non infantry don't take the whole bit of training that infantrymen do, they are still highly trained in the use of their rifles.

To keep this short, let me just say that while recruit training may seem pointless to some of you, to the USMC, it is a very stringent beginning to train Marines, and to try to do without bootcamp would become disastrous.

And let's face it. Every dude that wants to become a Marine expects a bit of hell when they go to bootcamp, don't they? To not expect some of the rigors of bootcamp for the Marines would be like an AF person saying, "I graduated high school! Why can't I fly one of them there jet propelled fighty planes?"

From back in the day, when I asked an AF friend what his recruit training was like, he snickered and said that it was 6 weeks of getting to know everyone else in his flight.

Army? Not sure on that. I do remember when a bunch of Army Drill Sergeants arrived, to see how we did our training. At the rifle range, they were astonished and dropped the BS Card, because, for number 1, we weren't shooting, using sand bags to rest our weapons on while firing.

My response to that was that I congratulated the Army on being able to figure out how to get into a firefight with sandbags, complete with sand, when they were out on patrol or doing urban warfare.

I couldn't well answer them on the 500 yard range that all Marines had to shoot on. However, their observers in the butts saw how the targets were indeed being shot. End of that question.

They had a lot of questions on why, for the DIs always being in the face of recruits. For why the DIs were the grenade pit instructors. And so on. A slew of questions, but that's been quite some time. I do remember, when the Army DSs tried to go with the series (4 platoons, training together) on a PT run, and how they all dropped out before the platoon was halfway through that run.

Still, though, I know nothing about Army recruit training, from a hands on or friend reported experience.

Navy? When I went to OSVET training, I was made our Company Commander, kind of. For the first 3 weeks out of 6, when we completed the OSVET training, we didn't receive any of our uniforms. The last 3 weeks, we finally did get them. For the training, we didn't do the firefighting. We didn't actually learn anything about the Navy, from what I recall. Nor how to do anything, Navy style.

Having been made the Company Commander while remaining part of the company (having been a DI in the USMC previously), I could only wonder about how hard it was, to be a Navy recruit, because for some reason, we never did go to any classes with the recruits.

This is all reporting on the different recruit training efforts made by the armed forces from some time ago, so it may have nothing to do with current training.

Rusty Jones
02-21-2015, 05:41 AM
I couldn't well answer them on the 500 yard range that all Marines had to shoot on. However, their observers in the butts saw how the targets were indeed being shot. End of that question.

Have you ever shot on an Army range before? I have. I've shot on Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps ranges before - and I've found the Army ranges to be the most difficult. For the Army, they use pop up targets at varying distances. The closer they are, they shorter they stay up. It's not like the Navy and Marine Corps where you're allotted a certain amount of time to hit whatever you can. In the Army, EACH target is only up for a certain amount of time. Once you miss it, that point is gone for good.

Stalwart
02-21-2015, 12:14 PM
Have you ever shot on an Army range before? I have. I've shot on Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps ranges before - and I've found the Army ranges to be the most difficult. For the Army, they use pop up targets at varying distances. The closer they are, they shorter they stay up. It's not like the Navy and Marine Corps where you're allotted a certain amount of time to hit whatever you can. In the Army, EACH target is only up for a certain amount of time. Once you miss it, that point is gone for good.

I don't think you have the full picure there, it sounds like you only shot the basic marksmanship course when you shot on a USMC range.

The Annual Rifle Training (ART) course of fire is the one you use to teach basic marksmanship to all Marines and recruits. The ART is not "a certain amount of time to hit whatever you can", you have a set amount of rounds which are scored as hits or misses (except in boot camp it is still scored based on how close you get your round tothe center of mass of target), once you expend a round it is gone.

200 yds: 25 minutes to shoot a total of 15 rounds (5 standing/5 kneeling/5 sitting)
200 yds: 1 minute rapid fire with a combat reload (start standing, move to kneeling position to fire)
300 yds: 5 minutes for 5 rounds (sitting position)
300 yds: 1 minute rapid fire with a combat reload (start standing, move to sitting position to fire)
500 yds: 10 minutes for 10 rounds (prone position)

The Marines also have a course like you described above (Combat Rifle Marksmanship Courses and internediate & advanced courses) with targets that are only exposed for a short amount of time while the shooters are moving on foot to the targets from 200 to 25 yards and are exposed for 10 seconds at longer range and progressivly shorter times until you get to 25 yds the targets are exposed for 3 seconds. The shooters engage short duration targets, moving targets, and multiple moving targets. When I left the USMC in 2003 the instruction was MCO 3574.2j ... they may be on version k or l by now, but as of 2 months ago the they were still shooting the CRM.)

The various courses are designed to build proficiency with the assumption that the recruit has never fired a rifle for accuracy at long range and building to combat shooting environments. At 25 yds the average Boy Scout at summer camp can hit a target. Hitting a moving target is difficult and hitting a target with an M16 at 500 yds is (almost) impossible if you don't understand basic marksmanship, battle shight zeroing and windage. At 500 yds the target will appear smaller than your sight and failure to adjust for wind can have your rounds impacting several feet from the intended target usingthe same settings that you used at 200 yds. You have to crawl before you walk, walk before you run.

Stalwart
02-21-2015, 02:04 PM
So the original post got me thinking:

I am not a USNA grad, nor a product of ROTC but a prior enlisted guy who went to college on my own time and was then commissioned. Even without the 4 years of "A midshipman does not lie, steal nor cheat nor tolerate those that do I have and expect a general sense of honor from those in uniform. After all, you need to shoot straight with the boss. Can't fix problems if nobody knows about them.

At USS FIRSTCOMMAND, I saw things that blew my mind.

I saw people who shotgunned training records to pass an inspection, who ran a program like total ass for 11 1/2 months and then went into a flail-ex for two weeks to get ready for an inspection. I led small teams of a dozen or so Sailors on submarine deployments and saw some of the same things but with regard to maintenance of the ship (the magical tool that you must have as part of an inventory, only 3 exist on the east coast so they are passed from boat to boat to fudge readiness.

At USS SECOND COMMAND, I was a leading teams of aircrewmen to det sites to conduct airborne operations. Some things were different (NAVAIR is real serious about safety) but some things were the same. I eventually was a Department Head and the IG coordinator and got another lesson in integrity. Multiple divisions (DIVO's and LCPO's) who were fudging training stats, inspection stats, readiness reports ... information that skewed them to be doing their job when they really weren't.

Onboard USS THIRD COMMAND, the same games. I didn't let my Division or when I was the Department Head, I didn't let the Department play them. For months, at readiness and training meetings I was always reporting substandard readiness numbers & the other Department Heads offered me advice on how to skew my numbers and I kept on reporting the truth. For a while I wasn't overly popular, but eventually I was able to get the equipment we needed (not on loan but permanently), training got accomplished, mission was made. The really odd thing, people were happier in the end having their own equipment, being legitimately trained and qualified for their jobs then when things were half-assed. It took pain and hard work to get there, but the attitude of the Department shifted for the better. When the time came for our annual Fitness Reports which was about halfway through the pain / hard work phase of this I had low expectations since I was always dinging myself. I was rated as the #1 O3 on the ship, ahead of the Surface Warfare Officers on a surface ship, that is a big deal. The report was amazing and I credit that report as completely responsible for me promoting to O4 two years early. The CO made it very clear that he knew what I was doing, and that he appreciated me doing my job the right way ... despite the pain.

This stuff happens all the time, and it kills me. My basic principle was and is that I don't tolerate it, be honest with yourself, be honest with your people, be honest with your boss. No one can fix a problem they don't know about. Be smart, know the instructions, know what is your responsibility and what is someone else's, be realistic ... a bad situation won't get fixed overnight.

I am NOT a paragon of virtue, a self-righteous, pious holier than thou guy. But this is the integrity that I was taught to always have - tell our boss like it is, even if we take a face shot. Don't deprive the system of the feedback loop - those inspections should be there to alert the system that HEY, they failed because there aren't of those magic tools, or enough money to send people TAD to get required training, or hours in the day to accomplish all the tasks.

The mentality that "well, the powers that be know all about that problem, and they're working on it or that they don't care" doesn't cut it.

I get why some Army officers lie. I don't think it is ALL of them, I don't think all Navy officers lie or all of anyone in the military does. Aviators and nukes can say "I'm not flying it" or "I'm not up-checking that aircraft" or "We can't do that" - there are serious repercussions if you are found fibbing (I had a friend who lost command for a NATOPS check that wasn't done right, but signed off anyway.)

I like the "get it done" attitude, and some of the M*A*S*H - like capers I have seen make me laugh more than cry. But the bottom line is that there is a point in both the enlisted and officer career paths where your career is/should be less important than doing your due diligence to your duty, future promotion be damned. When (if) you get to that point says a lot about you as a person.

UncaRastus
02-21-2015, 03:19 PM
Stalwart,

Throughout my career, I got to work with a few mustangs, and every time I did, I was impressed. As you already know, slackers don't go from enlisted to officer rank. Maybe that happens to be the USN/USMC thing about mustangs.

From my perspective, there may be a NJP here and there, at least while I was in, but it takes honest hard work and honesty in everything else to allow a mustang to exist.

Quite a different set of circumstances from those that attend Annapolis or go through the 2 week 'Fork and Knife School', after completing a bachelors degree.

I actually enjoyed working with mustangs. Also with CWOs that were brought up from the ranks. The one thing that I can say is that both types of officers were brutally honest to their enlisted people, and that they would go bat for them, if needed.

Mustangs understand the gripes of the enlisted, because they've been there. Officers that never were enlisted either don't understand the enlisted, no matter how hard they try, or, in some cases, they don't ever want to understand the enlisted people.

I would rather have had a mustang than a ring bearing officer as the officer that I reported to. Maybe things have changed?

Stalwart
02-21-2015, 06:13 PM
Stalwart,

Throughout my career, I got to work with a few mustangs, and every time I did, I was impressed. As you already know, slackers don't go from enlisted to officer rank. Maybe that happens to be the USN/USMC thing about mustangs.

From my perspective, there may be a NJP here and there, at least while I was in, but it takes honest hard work and honesty in everything else to allow a mustang to exist.

Quite a different set of circumstances from those that attend Annapolis or go through the 2 week 'Fork and Knife School', after completing a bachelors degree.

I actually enjoyed working with mustangs. Also with CWOs that were brought up from the ranks. The one thing that I can say is that both types of officers were brutally honest to their enlisted people, and that they would go bat for them, if needed.

Mustangs understand the gripes of the enlisted, because they've been there. Officers that never were enlisted either don't understand the enlisted, no matter how hard they try, or, in some cases, they don't ever want to understand the enlisted people.

I would rather have had a mustang than a ring bearing officer as the officer that I reported to. Maybe things have changed?

I am not near as good of an officer as many people around me.

Mustangs / priors come in 3 distinct groups:

-those who are really good officers.
-those who are average officers.
-those who are really sub-performing officers.

:)

Being a prior really helps as a O1/O2 and maybe into your time as an O3, beyond that point you have perspective (as you pointed out) but the skill sets of priors and non-priors start to blend. Same thing with the commissioning source, I have known really sharp academy grads, ROTC grads, OCS folks, LDO's and Warrants ... I have also known some real dumbasses from all of those groups ... most were average. The jobs are really different, my enlisted time gave me an edge as an ENS, as a LCDR it gives me more ribbons than my peers which gets noticed once a month when we wear service uniforms. I enjoy the perspective, am proud of what I did as a NCO & SNCO, but I did also choose my path. My methods and mentality were undoubtedly framed by my experiences as an enlisted infantryman but I chose to put on the bars. But, when I finally retire my shadow box will be a-freakin'-mazing.

BT BT

Technically, the Navy doesn't consider me a 'Mustang' since I am not an LDO or Warrant, wierd. Many of my friends who are LDO's & Warrants don't agree and don't exclude me from thier super secret mailing groups in the command ... but it is what it is ... nothing really lost.

giggawatt
03-06-2015, 08:43 PM
http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--N82S3xhh--/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/17x3gjxve4tisjpg.jpg

sandsjames
03-06-2015, 09:11 PM
http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--N82S3xhh--/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/17x3gjxve4tisjpg.jpg

No waaaaay!!!!

Oh, and always remember, you can't triple stamp a double stamp.