Tactical Tailor

Archive for the ‘Profession of Arms’ Category

What Sort Of Man Reads Infantry?

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

For decades, Infantry Magazine was the professional journal of the grunt. Printed by the Infantry Center, it facilitated outreach to members of the branch, informed on modernization efforts and served as a platform for professional writing. This ad promoting the publication, was printed during the early 70s heyday of men’s pulp magazines, with their lurid covers, promising to satisfy an appetite for life.

I love the combat ace look, with ascot, starched OG-107 fatigues, aviator shades and leather gloves. The only thing missing is a Vietnamese Ranger badge or jump wings, and direct embroidery.

The text reads:

What sort of man reads Infantry?

He’s the guy who’s always there when the going gets tough. Cool, self-assured and thoroughly in control of the situation, he makes the difference no matter what team he’s on. A profile of INFANTRY readers shows that 98% have specialized skills. Taste patterns in clothing reflect remarkable similarity and conformity, leaning towards the conservative. The IM reader is widely traveled, 97% having traveled abroad or resides in a foreign land. An outdoorsman at heart, he is the bon vivant of cuisine au natrual (sic). The INFANTRY buff is well informed and willing to go out of the way for a superior product.

Army Combat Fitness Test Set to Become New PT Test of Record in Late 2020

Monday, July 9th, 2018

FORT EUSTIS, Va. — Army senior leaders have approved a new strenuous fitness test designed to better prepare Soldiers for combat tasks, reduce injuries and lead to ample cost savings across the service.

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The six-event readiness assessment, called the Army Combat Fitness Test, is intended to replace the current three-event Army Physical Fitness Test, which has been around since 1980.

Beginning October 2020, all Soldiers will be required to take the new gender- and age-neutral test. Before that, field testing set to begin this October will allow the Army to refine the test, with initial plans for up to 40,000 Soldiers from all three components to see it.

“The Army Combat Fitness Test will ignite a generational, cultural change in Army fitness and become a cornerstone of individual Soldier combat readiness,” said Maj. Gen. Malcolm Frost, commander of the Army’s Center of Initial Military Training. “It will reduce attrition and it will reduce musculoskeletal injuries and actually save, in the long run, the Army a heck of a lot of money.”

At least six years of significant research went into the test’s development as researchers looked at what Soldiers must do fitness-wise for combat.

“Throughout that research and testing, the goal was to provide our leaders with a tough, realistic, field-expedient assessment of the physical component of their Soldiers’ individual readiness,” said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey. “The ACFT is scientifically-validated and will help better prepare our Soldiers to deploy, fight, and win on any future battlefield.”

Roughly 2,000 Soldiers have already taken the test, previously called the Army Combat Readiness Test. They also provided feedback as part of the Army Training and Doctrine Command and Forces Command pilots that began last year at several installations.

“The current PT test is only a 40 percent predictor of success for performing in combat and executing warrior tasks and battle drills,” Frost said. “This test is approximately an 80 percent predictor of performing based on our ability to test the physical components of combat fitness.”

SIX EVENTS

While the ACFT still keeps the 2-mile run as its final event, it introduces five others to provide a broad measurement of a Soldier’s physical fitness. The events are completed in order and can take anywhere from 45 to 55 minutes for a Soldier to finish.

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— Strength deadlift: With a proposed weight range of 120 to 420 pounds, the deadlift event is similar to the one found in the Occupational Physical Assessment Test, or OPAT, which is given to new recruits to assess lower-body strength before they are placed into a best-fit career field. The ACFT will require Soldiers to perform a three-repetition maximum deadlift (only one in OPAT) and the weights will be increased. The event replicates picking up ammunition boxes, a wounded battle buddy, supplies or other heavy equipment.

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— Standing power throw: Soldiers toss a 10-pound ball backward as far as possible to test muscular explosive power that may be needed to lift themselves or a fellow Solider up over an obstacle or to move rapidly across uneven terrain.

— Hand-release pushups: In this event, Soldiers start in the prone position and do a traditional pushup, but when at the down position they release their hands and arms from contact with the ground and then reset to do another pushup. This allows for additional upper body muscles to be exercised.

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— Sprint/drag/carry: As they dash 25 meters five times up and down a lane, Soldiers will perform sprints, drag a sled weighing 90 pounds, and then hand-carry two 40-pound kettlebell weights. This can simulate pulling a battle buddy out of harm’s way, moving quickly to take cover, or carrying ammunition to a fighting position or vehicle.

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— Leg tuck: Similar to a pullup, Soldiers lift their legs up and down to touch their knees/thighs to their elbows as many times as they can. This exercise strengthens the core muscles since it doubles the amount of force required compared to a traditional situp.

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— 2-mile run: Same event as on the current test. In the ACFT, run scores are expected to be a bit slower due to all of the other strenuous activity.

The ACFT gauges Soldiers on the 10 components of physical fitness: muscular strength and endurance, power, speed, agility, aerobic endurance, balance, flexibility, coordination and reaction time. The current test only measures two: muscular and aerobic endurance.

TEST SCORING

The vast majority of policies with the APFT will likely be carried over to the new test.

Scoring could be similar with 100 points for each event for a maximum of 600. Minimum scores, however, may change depending on a Soldier’s military occupational specialty. Soldiers in more physically demanding jobs may see tougher minimums, similar to how OPAT evaluates new recruits.

“The more physically challenging your MOS, the more you’ll be required to do at the minimum levels,” said Michael McGurk, director of research and analysis at CIMT.

Another difference is that there are no alternate events planned for this test, he said.

Soldiers will still get adequate time to rehabilitate from an injury. But under a new “deploy-or-be-removed” policy, Defense Secretary James Mattis said in February that troops who are non-deployable for more than 12 months will be processed for administrative separation or referred to the disability evaluation system.

“Generally speaking, somebody who has a long-term permanent profile that precludes taking a fitness test may not be retainable for duty in the Army,” McGurk said.

At about $20 million, the new test will be more costly for the Army to conduct. A single lane of equipment at full retail value is about $1,200. A battalion set of equipment will range from $12,000 to $20,000. Those prices will likely drop as the Army buys more sets at wholesale.

Equipment should last about 10 years, meaning it will cost less than $3 per Soldier over time.

“If I have a femoral neck fracture in the hip of a Soldier, that injury will cost the government about $1 million,” McGurk said. “So, if I avoid 20 of those injuries a year I’ve paid for the program for the next 10 years for equipment. The potentials on return are very significant.”

COST AVOIDANCE

The Army estimates $4 billion is spent each year due to injuries, non-deployable Soldiers, accidents and other health-related costs.

As part of its culture change, the Army is building a Holistic Health and Fitness System to produce healthier and fitter Soldiers. The new test is one piece of the system, in addition to the OPAT, the improvement of fitness centers, and healthier options at chow halls.

Army researchers studied foreign militaries that have rolled out similar holistic programs and found them to be highly successful.

The Australian army, for instance, introduced it to their basic training and saw a roughly 30 percent reduction in injuries.

“Do I know we’re going to have a 25-30 percent reduction? No, but I certainly hope we will,” McGurk said. “We think [the test is] well worth it and it’s the right thing to do for Soldiers in any case.”

Feedback from Soldiers so far has also been overwhelmingly positive.

“As we all know, physical fitness training can become rather monotonous if people train the same way,” McGurk said. “So, a lot of them saw this as a great change and how it required them to use different muscles.”

While some Soldiers may disagree with replacing the current test, McGurk said that fitness has come a long way from 40 years ago when the APFT was first developed.

“In 1980, running shoes were relatively a new invention,” he said. “The Army was still running in boots for the PT test back then. Change is difficult, but we’re an Army that adapts well to change.”

ARMY VISION

In early June, senior leaders outlined what the Army should focus on over the next decade to retain overmatch against potential adversaries.

The 2028 vision statement, signed by the Army’s secretary and chief of staff, calls for modernized equipment, particularly the development of autonomous systems. It also stresses the need for physically fit and mentally tough Soldiers to fight and win in high-intensity conflict.

“Technology is going to be dominant and we need a lot of things that we’re looking at through modernization,” Frost said. “In the end, you still need the United States Army Soldier to be able to seize and hold terrain.”

The ACFT is a foundational method, leaders believe, that the Army can use to start a new era of fitness and obtain Soldier overmatch in combat.

“The current leadership … has really coalesced and understands the importance of fitness itself and the importance of the PT test to drive that change in culture,” Frost said. “They’ve made the decision and we’re ready to execute.”

By Sean Kimmons, Army News Service

Don Purdy Rules to LIVE By (Don’t Forget Nothin!)

Sunday, July 8th, 2018

This list of rules by Retired Army CSM Don Purdy (Ranger Hall of Fame) has been passed around for years.

1. Shoot from the shoulder. Pistols are back up weapons. Learn to shoot well. Marksmanship is critical.

2. Carry all the ammo and water you can on your person.

3. Don’t lean weapons agains trees and walls.

4. Weapons on safe until its time to kill.

5. Machine gunners should be corporals.

6. Guns must be trained to maneuver on there (sic) own. Crew drills are critical.

7. Reload drills are critical.

8. Firing in the blind and dead gunner drills must be executed.

9. Soldiers must know how to use the weapons properly and everyone elses.

10. Train on foreign weapons when possible.

11. Camouflage! It works.

12. A bayonet is a weapon. Train your soldiers to use it to kill the enemy.

13. Do Combatives. Also rifle P.T.

14. When in the defense or preparing one never get more than arms reach from your weapon.

15. Keep shirts and K-Pots on when digging.

16. Don’t lay ammo in the dirt. Carry sand bags so you can lay magazines and other ammo on the bags when in defense.

17. Soldiers need to know basic demo.

18. Use VS–17 panel for daytime signal that you have no verbal commo.

19. Handling of POWs and medevac must be practiced constantly.

20. Execute withdrawals under pressure. Live fire when possible.

21. Silence is golden. Learn to whisper. Even on radios.

22. When in the heat of battle leaders talk others shut up.

23. Stay off the radio. No unnecessary chatter.

24. Use whistles, star clusters as back up signals.

25. When in a MOUT Defense have a destruction plan in case of a withdrawal under pressure.

26. Wheel barrels (sic) are great in a MOUT environment.

27. Don’t forget! Sanitation Plan.

28. Always think dirty. Think about what you would do if the doo doo hit the fan right now.

29. Move like a cat (rat?) and don’t hesitate.

30. Read the battlefield.

31. Do bang! drills. This teaches soldiers to react to every contact instantly. In less than one second rounds should be going back at the enemy.

32. Hip pocket training is excellent. All leaders need to know how to do this properly and efficiently.

33. NCOs TRAIN Soldiers!

34. Discipline, Discipline, Discipline. Its too late when the fighting begins.

35. Drill & Ceremony is important. Do it right.

36. Uniformity is important.

37. If you think something is wrong it is.

38. Be prepared to take charge.

39. Not everyone can be an Infantry soldier. Get rid of the weak.

40. Nothing out of a ruck sack except what is necessary.

41. Eat one thing at a time and immediately pack it up.

42. Trash goes back in the rucksack (MRE).

43. Be ruthless on those who leave equipment or ammo on the battlefield.

44. Keep the plan simple and violent.

45. Smoke doesn’t stop bullets.

46. Breaching tools are a last resort to breach.

47. Never pass a threat.

48. Don’t daisy chain claymores.

49. Train with live grenades as much as possible.

50. Train soldiers to react to bumping into enemy personnel in close quarters.

51. Talk to your soldiers about the reality of there (sic) mission (Life and Death).

52. NCOs must never back down in front of there (sic) soldiers.

53. Never reduce standards of discipline when in a hostile environment. Be ruthless.

54. Leading from the rear is like pushing spaghetti up hill.

55. NODs on during darkness.

56. Improvise when necessary. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

57. Field hygiene is important.

58. If you want to know what the enemy is doing think about what you are doing.

59. Treat your enemy as if he is the baddest of the bad. Do not underestimate him.

60. Always use boot laces not zippers.

61. Boots stay on. Only remove when necessary one boot at a time.

62. Infantrymen must have the heart of a lion. Leaders (NCOs) must develop that heart. The infantry has no room for the weak or faint of heart.

63. Your mission is to close with and destroy the enemy with any means possible. You must live in the environment on the ground. The mission has priority. The fight comes first then the recovery of dead and wounded.

64. Always plan resupply and medevac procedures thoroughly.

65. Keep the bi-pods down on MGs and SAWs when moving.

66. Place two tracer rounds in magazines first so you will know when your (sic) about to have to change mags.

67. Teach your squad leaders how to direct guns with tracers.

Never smile for photographs.Always keep things simple. Complicated plans don’t work out well.

Lastly I wish to point out that the role of the NCO is awesome. You own the soldier. Train them for war not for peace. Be hard but fair. Never forget where you came from. Learn from failure and confess when your (sic) wrong.

There is no room for boot licking, gut eating, ticket punching NCOs in the infantry. Police your ranks of self servers. There (sic) scum of the earth.

Don Purdy
P.S. Root Hog or Die
March or Die
Get tough or Die

More rules to Live By

1. When preparing to move don’t let everyone get up at the same time.

2. When searching enemy bodies strip them and put the clothing in a trash bag.

3. Before assaulting across a kill zone throw hand grenades.

4. When moving across the kill zone remove weapons from enemy bodies.

5. Gun crews do not fire claymores.

6. Sqd leaders fire on semi during an ambush so they can pick up the fire if there is a lull. Team leaders also if it is a platoon size ambush.

7. Weapons will cook off when hot. Be careful.

8. Rear Security!

9. Use snipers whenever possible. Good for your moral (sic), bad for the enemies.Fix Bayonets!If possible carry concealed back up radio.Make the enemy die for his country.

Lastly always quit (sic) yourselves like Soldiers.

Don Purdy

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.

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

Detachment B-52 (Project Delta) Reconnaissance Tips Of The Trade

Monday, June 18th, 2018

When I joined the Army in 1985, most of my senior NCO leadership had served in Vietnam. They were men who had seen combat and we hung on their every word as we trained.

In the late 80s, I served in a LRSD in Germany. We turned to photocopies of a document produced by the Vietnam-era Military Assistance Command Vietnam Studies and Observation Group’s Det B-52 aka Project Delta called ‘Reconnaissance Tips Of The Trade.’

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We poured over its 32 pages which were gold to us, offering guidance on how to configure equipment and conduct ourselves on patrols. Some of the information was outdated due to equipment changes, other data was not applicable because we faced a different foe, on different terrain. However, the basics remained the same. Around the same time, 1st Bn 7th SFG(A) released up update called ODB-720 Tips. Unfortunately, it was much more difficult to share information pre-internet and I never saw a copy until I was on a 3rd Group SOT-A in the early-90s.

The original is available on the web from Chapter 31 of the Special Forces Association at www.sfa31.org/deltarecontips. Whether you’re reading from a historical perspective or a professional one, there are still a few gems in there.

SFAB – Company Advising Team

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

Theres been a lot of debate about what the Security Force Assistance Brigade brings to the table.

The core action element of the SFAB is the Company Advising Team (CAT) which consists of twelve personnel. Senior advisors lead the operations section and the support section. Both of the Infantry or Armor battalions, as well as the Cavalry squadron, can field nine of these teams, which are assigned the warfighting function enablers.

Team Leader = KD CPT 11A/19A
Assistant Team Leader = KD 1SG 11Z/19Z

Operations Senior Advisor = SSG 11B/19D
Intelligence Advisor = SGT 35F/M/N/P
Assistant Operations Advisor = SSG 11B/19D
Fires Advisor = SGT 13F
Explosive Hazard Advisor = SGT 89D/12B
Support Senior Advisor = SSG 11B/19D
Medical Advisor = SGT 68W
Logistics Advisor = SGT 92Y/92A
Communications Advisor = SGT 25U/C/L/S
Maintenance Advisor = SGT 91B

US Army Shows Us How Soldiers Have Changed Over The Last 50 Years

Saturday, May 26th, 2018

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