Go Army?

Army Strong or Army Wrong? Six Things The Army Could Learn From The Marines

By Lonnie Watson

Today, I may make some people mad. But what I want to address is vitally important.

I have been a drill instructor in a prison boot camp (an adult penitentiary down South) for over six years now. We train and rehabilitate non-violent offenders using a 105-day military style boot camp. Before that, I served for 21 years in the regular Army and worked a gig for Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) anti-terrorism training organization for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

During my military career, I served two tours in South Korea (one of which was retro-actively considered a combat tour because of the unanticipated battle on 23 November 1984), one tour in Germany, two Middle East combat tours, and a total of five and half years as a paratrooper and jumpmaster. I say all this not to spout out my resume, but so that I can assure you that I am absolutely qualified to make the statements I am about to make.

In the last six and a half years since I took on this job, I have been studying to become a drill instructor. Where did I go for my research? The Marine Corps.

I have always been fascinated by the Marines. In fact, I have served alongside them on several occasions. I began reading articles, watching hours and hours of video, and speaking with many Marines (drill instructors and non-drill instructors alike).

Over time, I have become a bit of a self-proclaimed, self-educated expert on Marine training: what they do, how they do it, why they do it, when they do it, etc. In the process of studying their training, I have come to several conclusions. I have also come to several conclusions about the Army, some not so good – some are downright scary.

Here are the things I have learned through my extensive research:

1. The Army runs a softer, “human dignity based” reception and receiving when the recruits arrive. The reception is so weak that it sets a very bad tone for the remainder of not just their training, but for their whole career in the Army. Recruits show up to a firm welcome by the drill sergeants and staff, but it’s not the controlled mayhem of a Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD). In fact, it seems to comfort and reassure soldiers as if to say “calm down and relax, it’s going to be all right.” Now that is all right if that is a message from your mother, but it’s not okay when we are trying to build the next generations of Spartans.

Marine receiving, on the other hand, is a “shock theater” from the minute they get off the bus through their graduation. The mayhem starts when their feet hit the “deck” and it never ever lets up. The discipline and stress is through the roof! The Army reception staff occasionally get perplexed as if to say “silly Private, get over here…shucks, what are you doing?”

In an MCRD, the recruit would be screamed at: ”GET OVER HERE! TOO SLOW, GO BACK! GET OVER HERE! STOP EYEBALLING ME! GET YOUR HEELS TOGETHER! Hey there was something you were supposed to say when told to do something, WHAT WAS IT? RESPOND!…AYE AYE SIR! RESPOND!”

See the difference? Here’s what I always say: weak pick up, weak recruits, strong pick up, strong recruits. That means if you “go in punching,” so to speak, the recruits know you mean business, you are not playing, and you are tougher than they are. You want them to be nearly peeing their pants from fear and stress.

The Army feels we need to treat people with dignity and respect and that people will shut down if screamed at too much. If that were true, the Marines have been doing it wrong since about 1952. That’s around the time that the Smokey bear hat and the structured chaos of boot camp kicked into gear. Don’t get me wrong: the Marines always wrote the book on discipline, but during the 1950’s the MCRDs really stepped up their game.

2. The tone the Army sets in basic training is wrong. The Army trains; the Marines indoctrinate. Do you see the difference? The Marines initiate the recruit into a culture, the Army trains them in tasks. Sure, the Army has core values that are really good. The values make sense and they are motivating, but the Marines ingrain it deeper into a youngster’s soul.

While the Army does change the person’s life, it does not instill the intrinsic values in the same way that the Marines do. Unless you are in an elite Army unit like Infantry, Airborne, Rangers, Special Forces, or Delta, you just don’t have the warrior ethos that the Army claims it builds. If you are a motivated gung-ho individual and you are not in an elite unit, the Army (or at least fellow soldiers) treat you like an oddball. How do I know this? I have spent a total of about 30 years around it, and I have been in Airborne, Infantry, and attached to Special Ops units, as well as regular units. In the Marines, gung-ho motivation is business as usual. You stand out if you aren’t highly motivated.

3. The Marines base their training on indoctrinating the individual into the core values of the Marines. Their training relies heavily on close order drill. They believe that drill instills a sense of teamwork and attention to detail that no other activity can. Drill teaches an individual that there are immediate consequences for an individual’s actions on their group. In other words, when one guy messes up a movement, it doesn’t go unnoticed. That soldier makes his squad look bad, that squad affects the platoon, and so on. Have you ever seen one guy in a formation either doing something late or doing the wrong movement? It sticks out like dog balls!

Now take this concept – that my actions affect the group as a whole – and apply it to war. If I move and am seen by the enemy, I may not just get myself killed, but my whole squad, platoon, company, etc. When you train with that kind of attention to detail, you are disciplined.

The Army conducts impeccable training in close order drill. In fact, the largest source of failure for students at the drill sergeant school is testing of the drill modules. So why does the Army not march as well as the Marines and why is marching not as high a priority in the Army?

4. The Army introduces combat skills earlier than the Marines do. The Army trains more combat tasks in its basic training that the Marines. Now while this may seem like a good idea, it’s really not. Teaching combat tasks before a person is fully indoctrinated in the love of corps and country is a very bad idea. It’s like letting a kid who just learned how to drive enter a NASCAR race. The kid may have great skills, coordination, and reflexes, but the reality is that they have only been driving less than a year.

The Marines realize that indoctrination in the love of God, Country, and Corps has priority over learning “nuts and bolts” training. In fact, if a person is properly indoctrinated, they can be taught the other skills too, ultimately mastering them with more zeal than a person who had not been indoctrinated.

Keeping this in mind, the Marines focus on just a few things in boot camp but they drive those few things home. Drill, core values, marksmanship, fighting spirit, physical fitness, and teamwork are really all you learn in Marine Boot Camp. If a recruit masters these, the rest is strictly academic. They learn the more advanced combat skills in a course called Marine Corps Combat Training (MCT).

The Army on the other hand doesn’t get as in-depth with marksmanship, although they do get proficient at shooting, but then focus on assaulting objectives, fire and maneuver, and other combat tasks Marines don’t see until much later. The Army has removed bayonet fighting from basic training based on the rationale that you are not issued a bayonet downrange (slang term for deployed combat area) and no one uses bayonets in combat anymore.

The Marines approach this concept differently. The Marines believe that bayonet drills and bayonet sparring (pugil stick fighting) instill a killer instinct that can be obtained no other way. The Marines then integrate their bayonet fighting into their own indigenous martial art called MCMAP (Marine Corps Martial Arts Program). This fighting system employs the concept of “one mind, any weapon.” A motivated Marine can pick up a shovel and kill the bad guys like Sampson swinging a donkey’s jawbone. Why? Because he is indoctrinated in the art and mentality of a warrior. The Army trains warfare – make no mistake – but it takes the front seat over indoctrination.

5. Everything in Marine Boot Camp is done with speed, intensity, and volume. In Army basic you are required to move very fast, but the tone is different. The Marines “count down” every task in boot camp. That means they say “go” or “ready move” and then you have an allotted amount of time to accomplish the task. If you don’t finish in time, you do it again, and again, and again. I saw more count downs in Airborne School than Army basic training.
I think the reason we don’t do this in the Army as much as the Marines do is because of time constraints. We have much bigger platoons and companies in Army basic training and fewer drill sergeants (or DI if you prefer) than the Marines do. You have somewhere to be and you have more skills to learn and there isn’t enough time to keep putting pants on in less than 30 seconds. But look at it this way: the Marines take a longer period of time (13 weeks in the Marines versus the Army’s 9-10 weeks) to train fewer skills and indoctrinate the mind, body, and soul of the recruit.

This might also explain why we do not spend as much time on drill in Army Basic Training. There are lots of skills to be taught and very little time to do so. Every Army unit I have ever served with has been weak in drill. Sure, we can march from point A to point B, but anything beyond that and we need to rehearse. Why? Because in the Army we do not emphasize drill like we ought to. Drill needs to be on the training schedule like PT or any other task. But we do it in basic training and then we let it go.

6. The Marines use a “rebirth system,” so to speak. Marines are not called Marines verbally or in any other way until they have “earned the title.” The Army calls their recruits “soldiers” from day one.

The Marines understand that you are not a full-fledged Marine until you have earned the insignia of the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor (the EGA as Marines call it). This is not done until the very last week in which recruits participate in an event called The Crucible. This is a 56 hour “gut check.” Recruits undergo a hell week, a series of combat team tasks over that 56 hour period on very little food and sleep.

These tasks are not complex. We are not talking about a huge military strategy here. We are talking about moving ammo cans over an obstacle course, evacuating a casualty under fire through the sucking mud, and getting a squad over a distance with obstacles and difficult terrain.

The crucible awards a “badge” or “award”… the EGA. There is a “becoming” associated with graduating Marine Boot Camp. It’s like a caterpillar emerging from a cocoon as a butterfly or in this case, emerging as an elite warrior. This attitude follows the Marine for the rest of his or her life. It is a significant and emotional event that is never ever forgotten. In order to get that similar effect in the Army, you would have to go to Airborne or even Ranger school.

We must find a way to raise the bar in the Army. We must find a way to make the Army an elite concept. It must become more than a catchy slogan “Army Strong” and a way to make money for college. We must return to the Spartan roots that made us great. Because right now, we are not great.

Obama: Crime Created by ‘System,’ Successful People ‘Just Lucky,’ ‘Wasn’t Nothin’ You Did’

I cannot believe “our” president stood before a graduating class of African American college students and spewed such hate  and discontent. If this was not an anti-white, anti-establishment speech than what was it? To send these young people out into the world having been told by their black president that everyone who has succeeded in life was due to luck and “nothin'” they did personally is absolutely inexcusable. Of course, there are cases where that is true; I mean let’s face it, he is the perfect example of “nothin'” he did. I have never been so ashamed of a president as I am with this sleazy, racist, Muslim  scumbag,  This president does not deserve any respect from me, he is tearing our society apart piece by piece. He may be your president, but he certainly isn’t mine. IMHO, he is as worthless as a piece of worn-out chewing gum. Not that it matters much to me, except for our country’s safety, but we are the laughing-stock of the world. Semper Fi, JB


Our Own Muslim Racist Pig
Our Own Muslim Racist Pig

In his commencement speech to the graduating class at Howard University last weekend, President Obama excused crime in the African American community as something fostered by an “unfair and unjust” system.

He also said successful people were “just lucky” and hinted they didn’t make their success; “It wasn’t nothin’ you did,” he insisted.

Obama appeared at the historically African American Howard University on May 7 to send the graduates off into the world with some inspiring words. But much of what the president said was less inspirational and more conspiratorial.

The president spent a large portion of the first 15 minutes of his speech properly impressing upon the minority students in attendance that they are living in an era of unprecedented opportunity. But even as he noted how far African Americans have come in America today, he said he would be speaking to the inequities blacks face.

Still, in the first half of his speech Obama did mention how far African Americans have come since he was a child. For instance, Obama praised pop queen Beyoncé and TV show runner Shonda Rhimes as examples of how far African Americans have progressed since the Civil Rights movement began in the U.S. He also noted that blacks have come a long way in business and the law.

But finally, about twenty minutes into his speech, he did, indeed, get to the usual victim mentality all too often seen on the political scene today.

At one point Obama excused crime as a result of an “unfair and unjust” system and noted that success is all just “luck.”

The president decried the judicial system and insisted blacks are being imprisoned unfairly.

“We can’t just lock up a low-level dealer without asking why this boy, barely out of childhood, felt he had no other options,” Obama said.

He went on to claim crime was a result of the system, not the actions of criminals.

“We have cousins and uncles and brothers and sisters who we remember were just as smart and just as talented as we were, but somehow got ground down by structures that are unfair and unjust,” he said.

That brought the President to his thoughts on success being more a result of luck than hard work.

“And that means we have to not only question the world as it is,” Obama intoned, “and stand up for those African Americans who haven’t been so lucky–because, yes, you’ve worked hard, but you’ve also been lucky.”

As an aside, the President of the United States then told his audience of his “pet peeve.”

“That’s a pet peeve of mine — people who have been successful and don’t realize they’ve been lucky. That God may have blessed them; it wuddn’t nothin’ you did. So don’t have an attitude.”

This line invokes his “you didn’t build that” gaffe from 2012 when Obama insisted that people with a successful business “didn’t build that” on their own and that government was really the catalyst for success.

The President’s commencement message is essentially that if you are black in the U.S. and you are successful, it was just luck and most blacks are held down by an “unfair and unjust” system that won’t allow them to succeed.

Obama also raised eyebrows when he insisted that he never intended to create a “post-racial society” with his presidency.

“My election did not create a post-racial society,” Obama told the graduating class “I don’t know who was propagating that notion. That was not mine.”

It was a speech that talk show host Rush Limbaugh called “hideous.”

The President’s speech comes on the heels of years of releasing into the public tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who have been apprehended and convicted of committing violent criminal offenses including rape, drug dealing, drunk driving, and even murder.

Further, with his “national reentry” policy, Obama has also worked to soften or eliminate the consequences of committing serious crimes and ensure ex-cons are given the same advantages as lifelong, law-abiding citizens.

Obama’s own efforts are only emboldened by the efforts of the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives in pushing a sentencing reform bill that some senators charge will release violent felons and drug traffickers back into the public.


PS. Can I get a comment on what I consider to be the most disgraceful speech any president in my lifetime has ever given? I mean, am I losing it or what? Help me out here.

Eat More Chicken

This has to be, without a doubt, the most asinine thing I have ever heard coming from a politician’s mouth. I feel certain the mayor and the councilman have better things to do than to spread a, failed I might add, attempt to get New Yorkers to eat less chicken.  OMG

todd-starnes-coverPoultry vs. Pinhead: New York City’s mayor says boycott Chick-fil-A

Mayor Bill de Blasio and members of the New York City Council are calling for a city-wide boycott of Chick-fil-A – urging citizens to refrain from eating plump juicy chicken breasts tucked between hot buttered buns.

“I’m certainly not going to patronize them and I wouldn’t urge any other New Yorker to patronize them,” the mayor told DNAInfo.com.

Councilman Daniel Dromm was even more blunt – accusing the Southern restaurant chain of spreading a “message of hate.”

Chick-fil-A opened its first New York City restaurant in 2015 – followed by a second location in April. The mayor’s remarks came after it was announced a third restaurant would be opening in Queens – which happens to be the district represented by Councilman Dromm.

So why does the mayor and the city council have a problem with Chick-fil-A – the unofficial chicken of Jesus?

Well, Chick-fil-A is owned by a devoutly Christian family. Back in 2012 company president Dan Cathy ruffled feathers by telling a reporter that he believed marriage is between a man and a woman.

And Sweet Lord Almighty, but the militant LGBT activists and leftwing lawmakers have been squawking ever since.

“What the ownership of Chick-fil-A has said is wrong,” said De Blasio, a de-facto Communist sympathizer who eats his pizza with a fork.

So it’s not so much that de Blasio is anti-chicken as much as he is anti-Christian.

Councilman Dromm, who founded the Queens Lesbian and Gay Pride Committee and organized the first Queens LGBT Pride Parade and Festival, deeply loathes Chick-fil-A.

“This group imparts a strong anti-LGBT message by forcing their employees and volunteers to adhere to a policy that prohibits same-sex love,” Dromm said in a statement. “It is outrageous that Chick-fil-A is quietly spreading its message of hate by funding these types of organizations.

Councilman Dromm is either ignorant or a liar – or perhaps both.

“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender,” a spokesperson told DNAInfo.

Chick-fil-A is not in the business of spreading hate. They are in the business of selling chicken and waffle fries and deliciously refreshing lemonade.

And they do not have a policy that prohibits same-sex love. That’s a blatant lie. Chick-fil-A could care less whether birds of a feather flock together or not.

Another item to consider: Chick-fil-A employs hundreds of New Yorkers – adding significant tax dollars to the city’s coffers.  And that doesn’t even include the cash donations they’ve made to a number of NYC charities.

But that doesn’t matter to people like Mayor de Blasio and Councilman Dromm. Full and complete compliance to the LGBT agenda is the only thing that matters – even if it means hundreds of New Yorkers lose their jobs.

Perhaps the mayor and the city council should mind their own business and let Chick-fil-A mind theirs.

Meanwhile, New Yorkers don’t seem all that interested in obeying the mayor’s boycott. As matter of fact, instead of eating less chicken – they’re eating more chicken!

There was a lunchtime line that stretched around the block at the Chick-fil-A located a block away from the Fox News Corner of the World.

Before I head over to Chick-fil-A for a snack, I wanted to make one more observation.

It was last year – just after they had opened their inaugural store in Manhattan. I noticed that after two weeks of drinking all that sweet tea and eating fried food, New Yorkers seemed a bit more – how can I put this – a bit more pleasant – and easy going.

Folks on the subway were even waving at each other – with all five fingers – instead of one.

Now, that’s the power of the capital G — Gospel Bird.

Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. His latest book is “God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values.” Follow Todd on Twitter@ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.


U.S. military currently unable to handle major crisis: Study

Meanwhile the all unknowing American sleeps well at night “thinking” he is safe and protected. Oscar Wilde would call him a cynic. In his words, “Someone that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
Trust in those that are there and have been there, we grow weaker and weaker by the day; mid-1970’s redux? Semper Fi, JB

flag bearerA flag bearer holds the American flag as American forces take part in the opening ceremony of Flintlock, anti-terrorism training in Thies, Senegal, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. Flintlock is annual military exercises that focuses on anti-terrorism and security training by American and European security forces to country’s taking part. (AP Photo/Jane Hahn)

– The Washington Times – Wednesday, May 4, 2016


U.S. military readiness has deteriorated over the past year, according to a new study by a conservative think-tank that said the four service branches are unable to “meet their day-to-day requirements” and lack the “operational depth required to respond to a major crisis.”

The study by the American Enterprise Institute in Washington homed in on comments made during a series of March congressional hearings by top military commanders, who “painted a somber picture of military readiness.”

 “Reflecting on the preceding years, they described, in the language of the Pentagon, a military driven to the ‘ragged edge’ of readiness,” the study said. “What they meant was that the military could meet the demands of the day but would not be able to handle a major crisis quickly and decisively.”
With regard to the Army, the study said overall readiness “has not improved in the past year, and the force was not able to keep up with the pace of operational demands.”

“One-third of the Army is ready to go to war against a powerful conventional foe, short of the target of having two-thirds of the force ready, as defined by Army training and operational plans,” the study said.

If the nation were to face a major crisis, the Army would likely have to deploy all uncommitted forces, including active duty, reserve and National Guard soldiers to respond, the study said, adding that the Army “would not be able to respond to two simultaneous conflicts.”

It also says the Marine Corps and Navy are currently worn thin by high rates of deployment and deteriorating equipment and could not keep up with the pace of global deployments over the past year.

With regard to the Air Force, the study said the service has sacrificed its ability to conduct a large-scale campaign with anywhere near the size and speed desired by Pentagon commanders and continues to train pilots for only mission-specific needs.

One Marine's Journey From Private to Colonel

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