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Archive for June, 2018

The Baldwin Articles – Leadership: Acting Like a Leader

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

When asked what experience had been most critical in preparing him for senior command in WWII Dwight Eisenhower allegedly replied, “I studied drama under MacArthur for three years.” Now, I suspect Eisenhower thought that MacArthur was a drama queen but the teaching point is that leaders always have to ACT like leaders. To be clear, we are NOT referring to Hollywood style acting. Military leaders will be ineffective if they are ever perceived to be “faking it” by their soldiers. There are no movie magic special effects, convenient plot devices, stunt doubles or reshooting of scenes in military leadership. Rather, it is important that leaders meet their subordinate’s expectations and “walk the talk” while always acting accordingly.

This dynamic means that leaders do not have the luxury of entertaining their own emotions at the expense of the organization. Despite any personal misgivings, a leader has to display confidence. This is especially important if he or she does not feel confident at all. Leaders have to motivate organizations even if they are personally unmotivated in the moment. A good leader must project calm strength, a positive attitude, singular focus and dedication to mission – particularly in the most adverse circumstances. In other words, good leadership demands that individual leaders set the right example and tone. This is a military fact, not some exercise in esoteric navel-gazing. For good or ill, a unit will reflect the attitude of the leader. A weak leader who cannot live up to the leadership role – if not replaced – will inevitably foster an undisciplined and unfocused organization destined to fail in combat.

A while back, I told the story about how – under threat of Article 15 – I was kicked out of an infantry battalion in Germany and transferred to the Divisional Pathfinder Detachment. That kind of “rehabilitative” transfer rarely happens. How was I so lucky? With due respect to Paul Harvey (for you old timers who know who that was), here is the rest of the story. Many factors lined up in my favor in this situation. Most importantly, my Platoon Sergeant and First Sergeant saw some potential in me. Damned if I know why. I had recently returned from the 3rd Infantry Division’s PNCOC or Primary Noncommissioned Officers Course. PNCOC was only open to combat arms in those days. PLDC or Primary Leadership Development Course started later and was for combat support and combat service support. Eventually the two were combined as PLDC.

PNCOC was both a classic NCO Academy with room and uniform inspections in garrison and patrolling for tactical leadership training. This was the winter of 1975-76, and the instructors were all Vietnam combat veterans so our patrolling in the German forests had a very jungle rather than Warsaw Pact flavor. I loved the patrolling but hated the garrison portion. On graduation day, I was in my dress greens when one of the cadre grabbed me to buff one of the hallways in the school building one last time. I was pissed. Lining that hallway were some very sharp wooden replicas of the combat arms unit crests of the Division, each about 10” x 16” square. Since I was alone, I stole the one for my unit, the 15th Infantry, and put it in my duffel bag.

When I got back to my battalion, I figured it was just a matter of time before I was tracked down. There had only been about four of us from my battalion in the class. So I showed the crest to my First Sergeant and told him why I took it. About that time, my Company Commander came back to the orderly room. The First Sergeant said, “Hey Sir, Baldwin just got back from PNCOC and they gave him this for being Honor Grad!” and he showed the Captain the crest. The Captain congratulated me and the First Sergeant had one of the company clerks immediately hang the crest right next to the orderly room door. I do not think PNCOC ever came looking for it and it probably hung there in the unit for years afterwards. It was a very nice crest.

However, the First Sergeant knew that I was a poor fit for a mechanized infantry unit and it was probably just a matter of time before I got into real trouble. Fortunately, he and the NCOIC of the Pathfinder Detachment were drinking buddies. The detachment desperately needed airborne infantry bodies but was not a priority fill as compared to the infantry battalions. Even more importantly, my Company Commander was an aviator rated officer. This was before aviation became a branch. As a practical matter that meant that the Captain had to get two hours of flying time in Hueys per month to maintain his rating. He knew and had flown with the Aviation Battalion’s leadership while in Germany and in a couple of cases had flown in Vietnam with the same guys.

The truth is that when they brought me into the Commander’s office and gave me the Hobson’s “choice” of an Article 15 or a transfer the fix was already in place. My Company Commander actually supported the move and had already personally worked out the transfer between the two Battalion Commanders. I know this because after a couple of beers at the Rod and Gun the First Sergeant told me the whole story about six months later. All that being true, then one might ask why the show…why the drama? The answer is simple. My leadership understood how important it was to act like leaders. They could not very well “reward” me for getting into a fight with another three-striper. I needed to be taught a lesson. Probably more importantly, they were sending a message to the rest of the unit. Standards have to be enforced and discipline maintained. My Company Commander probably was angry with me, but he was not as angry as he wanted me and the other soldiers in the unit to think he was. He was being a good leader.

From him and many others afterwards, I learned the important lesson that leaders rarely get to act the way they might actually feel but instead must act in a way that is of greatest benefit to the unit and the mission. I used that example to guide me countless times over the years – especially when delivering the classic “ass chewing.” The trick is to make it count by inflicting pain without doing permanent damage. As a case in point, I had a young cook attached to my SF Company (-) in a West African country in the mid-90s. The young man had slipped off the Host Nation base alone to hook up with some local girl the night before. His NCOIC brought him in after he and my SGM had already had their turns. I was not mad at the kid. He was young and stupid just like I had once been. And most of us have had our own ill-advised adventures with the most powerful substance known to mankind.

Therefore, I proceeded to verbally melt him down to his component atoms – for his own good and the good of the unit. It was one of my best ass chewings ever and I wish we had filmed it for future professional study. Still, in the end, I knew that in a couple of days the sting of my words would fade and the lure of that young lady would not. So, my SGM and the NCOIC arranged to protect the young man from his impulses and to ensure he would have closer adult supervision for the rest of the deployment. I do not know if that young man benefited personally and professionally from that experience the way I did in Germany years earlier. But I do know that we successfully kept him out of further trouble and reinforced the message to the rest of the unit so that no one else tried anything similar. I have no doubt that anyone who has been in the military any length of time will have seen leaders who do it right and some who get it wrong. Bottom line: Good leaders must always act like leaders to the satisfaction of their bosses, their peers and their greatest and most important critics – the soldiers in the unit.

Unity Tactical Independence Day Sale

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

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Unity Tactical is celebrating Independence Day with a bang! We are offering our fellow red-blooded patriots an incredible deal on G17 and G19 Gen4 ATOM Slides (black or FDE) and Optic Adapter Plates. From July 4-8, SAVE 20% on ATOM Slides and Adapters! That’s a savings of$100 on slides and $12 on adapters. No coupon code necessary. Markdowns will be automatic on the website.

The ATOM is the original modular optic-ready drop-in slide for Glock pistols. Featuring a patented dovetail cut, ATOM slides accept a host of optic plates with proprietary footprint bases for your favorite mini red dot sights from Aimpoint, Trijicon, Leupold, Vortex, Insight, and more. You don’t need to marry your factory sight with a dedicated optic by having it custom machined. Tired of your current optic? Simply pop out the plate and install a different one for your new red dot sight! ATOM’s come ready to accept your factory Glock internals. Swapping them literally takes less than a minute. ATOM Slides come with Suppressor Height Iron Sights factory installed for co-witness through your red dot. The rear sight is in front of the optic to add a layer of protection from bad ejections or needing to rack the slide single handed. It’s 2018 and we put optics on our pistols. Do it the right way with the Unity Tactical ATOM.

www.unitytactical.com

“ATOM Slides are the best damn upgrade for your pistol.” -America

Army to Extend OSUT for Infantry Soldiers

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

WASHINGTON — In 2019, the Army will extend one-station unit training for Infantry Soldiers from 14 weeks to 22 weeks. Changes to the program are meant to increase Soldier readiness, making them more lethal and proficient before they depart for their first duty assignment, according to the Infantry School commandant, Col. Townley R. Hedrick.

Col. Jackson J. Seims relinquishes command of the 2nd Battalion, 54th Infantry Regiment, 198th Infantry Brigade to Col. Thomas J. Siebold Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at Kanell Field, Fort Benning, Ga. In 2019, the Army will extend one-station unit training for Infantry Soldiers from 14 weeks to 22 weeks. In 2019, the Army will extend one-station unit training for Infantry Soldiers from 14 weeks to 22 weeks. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Patrick A. Albright, Maneuver Center of Excellence)

The new OSUT program will include expanded weapons training, increased vehicle-platform familiarization, extensive combatives training and a 40-hour combat-lifesaver certification course, said Hedrick.

Further, the change will include increased time in the field during both day and night operations and include an increased emphasis on drill and ceremony maneuvers.

A NEEDED CHANGE

For the past 44 years, Infantry Soldiers were trained in a 14-week program of instruction. Ten weeks were allocated to basic military training, and an additional four were reserved for training Infantry-specific skills, Hedrick said. The Infantry career field makes up approximately 15 to 17 percent of the total force.

U.S. Army Infantry Soldiers-in-training assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 198th Infantry Brigade, begin their first day of Infantry one-station unit training (OSUT) February 10, 2017 on Sand Hill, Fort Benning, Ga. In 2019, the Army will extend one-station unit training for Infantry Soldiers from 14 weeks to 22 weeks. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Patrick A. Albright, Maneuver Center of Excellence)

Discussions about changing OSUT began shortly after Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis identified the need to re-establish readiness and build a more lethal Infantry force, Hedrick said. And the Army Vision, recently published by Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper and Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, reinforces the defense secretary’s priority.

“Extending OSUT is about increasing our readiness and preparing for the future,” Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey said. “This pilot program is the first step toward achieving our vision of the Army of 2028. With more time to train on critical Infantry tasks, we’ll achieve greater lethality.”

In response to the increased focus on readiness, specifically within the Infantry force, leadership within the U.S. Army Infantry School approached the 198th Infantry Brigade, which trains all Army Infantry forces, and asked what could be done to make better Infantry Soldiers.

“We asked them if they had a longer training pipeline, what could they do with it,” Hedrick said.

In turn, the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence and the Infantry School started a combined effort with the 198th Infantry Brigade and the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command to develop an improved 21-week OSUT program. After consulting with the Army chief of staff, however, the combined OSUT team was directed to extend the new program to 22 weeks and include combat water survival training, he said.

The preliminary 22-week OSUT pilot program is slated to start this July with a graduation date scheduled for December, the commandant added.

The new 22-week OSUT should begin in 2019, sometime between July and October.

With the upcoming 22-week course, the Infantry School has already identified what new Soldiers will be part of the improved training, Hedrick said.

“U.S. Army Recruiting Command has already gone back to those identified personnel, regenerated their contract, and let them know that they would be part of the first classes to execute a new and improved training program,” Hedrick said.

THE NEW PROGRAM

Under the new OSUT program, Soldiers will get more training with their M4 rifle and increased hands-on experience with the M240 machine gun and the M249 squad automatic weapon.

“So across all the Infantry weapons, they will get more bullets,” Hedrick said. “And they will also shoot more at night, rather than just doing a day familiarization fire.”

In addition to increased weapons training, Soldiers will receive more field training experience, including tactical training repetitions that focus more on squad formations during day and night operations, he said. The goal is to help trainees understand where they fall within a fire team or rifle squad and make them more proficient while operating in the field.

“We looked at land navigation and individual Soldier skills,” Hedrick said. “Under the new course, a Soldier will do an individual day and night land navigation course on their own. They will also do a basic combative certification. That improves the mental and physical toughness of Soldiers coming through the Infantry OSUT.”

Additionally, the Infantry School has added six days of vehicle platform training to the new program. Under the 14-week program, Soldiers only received one day of training with their assigned vehicle. During the new course, Soldiers assigned to a Stryker or Bradley unit will learn how to drive and perform maintenance on their assigned vehicle.

A U.S. Army Infantry Soldier-in-training assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 198th Infantry Brigade, engages the opposing force (OPFOR) May 2, 2017, with a M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) on a Stryker to provide support-by-fire during a squad training exercise, Fort Benning, Ga. In 2019, the Army will extend one-station unit training for Infantry Soldiers from 14 weeks to 22 weeks. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Patrick A. Albright, Maneuver Center of Excellence)

Furthermore, a more significant emphasis on drill and ceremony has been built into the new curriculum.

“It is all about conditioning, following commands and working as a unit, so you will see an increasing level of discipline through drill and ceremony,” the commandant said. “We think this gets us to the objective of a more expert and proficient Soldier.”

Changes to the program create an extended and more gradual training process to help decrease injuries caused by lack of nutrition or poor conditioning, Hedrick said

“We’ve developed a set of metrics, with the U.S. Army Research Institute for Behavioral and Social Science Solutions to try and evaluate how the Soldiers are doing during the 22-week pilot program versus the 14-week program,” Hedrick said. “We’ve got an evaluation plan to try and look at ourselves and see if the product coming out has an improved proficiency — like we think it will.”

MANNING AND FUTURE OSUT CHANGES

With an increased time of training, the Infantry School must expand from five to eight battalions to ensure the same annual throughput of approximately 17,000 well-trained Soldiers. Fortunately, resources and facilities are available at Fort Benning to support the new program, Hedrick said.

Additionally, the Infantry School has been working with TRADOC to ensure they have enough drill sergeants in place to meet the 2019 launch date for the new 22-week OSUT.

A U.S. Army Infantry Soldier-in-training assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 198th Infantry Brigade, rappels off Eagle Tower March 4, 2017, on Sand Hill, Fort Benning, Ga. In 2019, the Army will extend one-station unit training for Infantry Soldiers from 14 weeks to 22 weeks. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Patrick A. Albright, Maneuver Center of Excellence)

Under the current 14-week program, three drill sergeants are responsible for training a platoon of 60 Soldiers. For the 22-week program, the Infantry School is looking to augment OSUT companies with six additional Infantry instructors.

Overall, the additional instructors provide a better student-to-instructor ratio during certain aspects of the course, the commandant said.

At the conclusion of the 22-week pilot, the OSUT team will review the results and determine what parts of the program need to be re-sequenced. The pilot will also be used to determine the list of tasks assigned to each instructor, Hedrick said.

In addition to the changes to the Infantry School’s curriculum, the Army is looking at extending other OSUT programs. Currently, the U.S. Army Armor School and U.S. Army Engineer School are performing internal analyses of their curricula to determine what resources will be needed to extend their own programs.

“Extending Infantry OSUT will allow us to allocate more time to honing the necessary skills to provide greater capability to our commanders,” Dailey said.

With our first major change to Infantry training in 40 years, he said, we are investing in future Army readiness, which will ensure we are prepared to deploy, fight and win our Nation’s wars when called upon to do so.

By Devon L. Suits, Army News Service

The Summit Experience – Day 6

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

Today’s schedule for our Summit Experience included the Park and Trax. We had eggs, pancakes, tater tots and ham. While it wasn’t bacon, ham comes in a close second on the pig edibles scale.

Next, we lined up by activity for flags. After the requisite Pledge, Oath and Law, instructors from the various areas led crews to their facilities.

First up was the Park, a skateboarding experience. Scouts were issued Helmets along with Elbow and Knee Pads. The Skateboards were passed out based on shoe size. Next, they given very extensive instruction in how to safely ride a skateboard. Apparently it paid off, because no one was hurt.

There is plenty of space to skateboard.

The Crew had wraps for lunch and then hiked to Trax. Once again, they were issued Helmets along with Elbow and Knee Pads. Since they take such a beating, the bikes were very simple, with a rear brake.

There are three progressively more difficult dirt tracks. They include bumps, jumps and turns. After establishing the fundamentals, the Scouts moved on to the next course. The final track is set up for racing and race they did.

Combat Flip Flops – Enlightened Space Force T-Shirt

Friday, June 29th, 2018

Everyone is talking about the proposed US Space Force, but it seems like no one is thinking about it. That is, except the guy on this t-shirt.

www.combatflipflops.com/collections/clothing

TacJobs – Quality Assurance Manager at Kriss USA

Friday, June 29th, 2018

Kriss USA Inc.

Chesapeake, VA 23320

$60,000 – $70,000 a year

Summary

Responsible for ensuring a product or service meets the established standards of quality including reliability, usability and performance.

Main Job Tasks and Responsibilities

• draft quality assurance policies and procedures

• interpret and implement quality assurance standards

• evaluate adequacy of quality assurance standards

• devise sampling procedures and directions for recording and reporting quality data

• review the implementation and efficiency of quality and inspection systems

• plan, conduct and monitor testing and inspection of materials and products to ensure finished product quality

• document internal audits and other quality assurance activities

• investigate customer complaints and non-conformance issues

• collect and compile statistical quality data

• analyze data to identify areas for improvement in the quality system

• develop, recommend and monitor corrective and preventive actions

• prepare reports to communicate outcomes of quality activities

• identify training needs and organize training interventions to meet quality standards

• coordinate and support on-site audits conducted by external providers

• evaluate audit findings and implement appropriate corrective actions

• monitor risk management activities

• responsible for document management systems

• assure ongoing compliance with quality and industry regulatory requirements

Education and Experience

• 10+ years of QA experience preferred

• certifications are an advantage including Quality Auditor, Quality Engineer, Quality

• Improvement Associate, Six Sigma

• quality inspection, auditing and testing experience

• experience with implementation of corrective action programs

• product or industry-specific experience

• strong computer skills including Microsoft Office and databases

• knowledge of tools, concepts and methodologies of QA

• knowledge of relevant regulatory requirement

***Excellent benefits package offered, 10 paid holidays observed, PTO, 401K matching, health, dental, vision, life insurances

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: $60,000.00 to $70,000.00 /year

Experience:

• Quality Assurance: 10 years

Location:

• Chesapeake, VA

Required work authorization:

• United States

Required travel:

• 25

To apply, visit www.indeed.com.

BATFE Is Reportedly Working On Reducing NFA Item Wait Times

Friday, June 29th, 2018

According to a brief article on American Rifleman, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is planning to spend about $13 million and add 25 new positions during Fiscal Year 2019, for “…additional equipment, software updates, contract support and NFA system modernizations.” Reportedly, this will result in a processing time within 90 days for NFA applications, much more agreeable than the current average wait time of 160+ days, depending on the filing method. For those who aren’t familiar with the Fiscal Year, it starts on October 1st and runs through September 30th of the following year, so the earliest any of this could start taking place would likely be late 2018.

ZEV Technologies, Unveils Second Release in Series of Limited-Edition Custom Glock Slides

Friday, June 29th, 2018

Their latest release, the Raven, is offered in both Gen 3 and Gen 4 models for the Glock 19 platform. This one-of-a kind slide coated in black diamond-like carbon (DLC) features chevron styled serrations on top that continue down the sides for an improved grip surface. Front side windows complete the unique, aggressive shape of this slide.

Each slide is numbered out of 250. Production numbers are limited to 250 for each version offered, with a combined total of 500 produced. The first 25 of each version is available now directly through our website and the rest can be found through ZEV’s dealer network across the USA.

To purchase the Raven, visit: www.zevtechnologies.com/raven