The Minute Book
Tuesday, 15 September 2015

British Operational Rations
Topic: Army Rations

British Operational Rations

Excerpted from Operational Ration Packs of the British Armed Forces, Defence Food Services (DFS) Defence Equipment and Support, Bristol

24 Hour Operational Ration Pack (ORP)

The 24 Hr GP [General Purpose ration] is currently available in one of 20 menus. These menus are mixed 10 to a box, with box A containing menus 1-10, and box B menus 11-20. These are then mixed on the pallet with an equal number of box A and B. In this way the maximum number of menus is made available to the end user. Menus are changed frequently to ensure maximum choice to the end user and to prevent menu fatigue. The 24 Hr rations have a number of variants that are designed to meet the religious and cultural requirements of the modern, diverse nature of the British Military. All of these variants are based on the standard 24 Hr GP, and are suitable for consumption by everyone. They are designed for the British Serviceman and woman. Seen side by side, the variants would be very difficult to tell apart from the GP. They are based on the same macro and micro nutrient requirements and go through the same FSP process. The variants have 10 menus per outer carton and are comprised of Vegetarian, Halal, Sikh/Hindu and Kosher.

10 Man ORP

The 10 Man ORP is designed primarily for use by military chefs in a field kitchen, with one box (10 rations) feeding 10 men for one day. This ration is used once any warfighting phase has passed and when the tactical situation allows the deployment of a field kitchen. They are also suitable for use by the novice or “hobby chef”. The components should be used according to the instructions on each packet/sachet/tin. Various guides exist to enable the chef to make the most from the contents of the box, flexibility in use being the key to the production of a variety of tasty meals. Each box of 10 rations is designed to enable a two course breakfast, lunch and three course dinner to be made, as well as various drinks, both hot and cold. In use, the pouches, cans etc should be heated until piping hot, opened, and the contents within 90 minutes and disposed of if not used within this time. In the absence of adequate refrigeration, care should be taken not to store the components in direct sunlight, and especially when opened.

Currently there are 5 main menus and although there are no specific ethnic varieties available, there are sufficient vegetarian components within the menus to produce a vegetarian option if required. Each box comes with a range of basic raw materials, a chef's pack containing flour, yeast, spices and other condiments etc and a number of hot and cold drink choices.

24 Hour Jungle Ration

The 24 Hour Jungle ration is based on the standard 24 Hr ration with additional supplements and a Flameless Ration Heater (FRH). The Jungle ration is designed for use by the SF and other specialist units and is not usually available for general consumption. Currently it provides a minimum of 4,500 kcal per day.

Cold Climate Ration

The Cold Climate Ration (CCR) is a specialist and lightweight, high calorie 24 Hr ration designed for use by troops above the snow line or in the high Arctic. It comprises mainly dehydrated main meals with a range of snacks designed to be eaten on the go. The CCR ration provides a minimum of 5,500 Kcals per ration and currently 8 menu choices are available, mixed per outer.

12 Hour ORP

The 12 Hr ORP is a lightweight ration designed for patrolling for durations from 4 – 12 hours. It comes complete with a FRH thus dispensing with the requirement for an additional heating source. In addition to a main meal in a retort pouch, it also contains a number of snack items and drink powders, but NO hot beverage items. Due to its utility in fulfilling a number of requirements, e.g. for drivers, remote guard posts etc, and its ambient shelf stable nature, it is available to any unit worldwide where this type of operational ration is required. It is also useful in meeting a nutrition gap where the daily energy expenditure is expected to be in excess of 6,000 Kcals, e.g. arduous training.

The 12 Hr ration provides a minimum of 2,000 Kcals per ration and currently 10 menu choices are available including one vegetarian.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 14 September 2015

The C.F.A. at the Somme
Topic: CEF

The C.F.A. at the Somme

Contributed by Colonel G.W.L. Nicholson, CD, Ottawa, Canadian Army Journal, Vol. 18, No. 3, 1964.

The 13th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, disembarked at Le Havre on September 14, 1915, and for the next twelve months manned their guns in the misery of the mud of the Ypres Salient, and fought at St. Eloi, Sanctuary Wood and Hooge. Early in September, 1916, they moved with the 2nd Canadian Division to the Somme. Their arrival there is described in GunFire, the history of the 4th Brigade, C.F.A.: During the last day's march into the Somme, Driver George Wisheart, 13th Battery, was leading driver of the leading gun of the leading Battery of the leading Brigade of the 2nd Canadian Divisional Artillery, and mighty proud old George was of that fact. The Battery was halted in a small village where a certain British Battalion was billeted; and where troops are billeted it is customary to find a Regimental Padre. Down the village street came the British Padre and, with the best of intentions, but nevertheless somewhat too dignified an air, enquired of George, "What Division are you, my man?" "Second Canadians, sorr!" George answered. "Ah yes! Where are you going, my man?" "To the Somme, sorr." "Ah indeed!", and glancing along the line of well kept horses, burnished brass, and shining leather, and taking us for new troops, the Padre further remarked: "I suppose you're going in to your baptism of fire?" Old George stiffened as he thought of the past twelve months up in the Salient, and with stinging voice replied: "Baptism is it, sorr? Not by a damn sight! It's our bloody golden wedding!"

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 13 September 2015

Toxic Leadership (Ulmer)
Topic: Leadership

Toxic Leadership

Toxic Leadership: What Are We Talking About?, by LTG Walter F. Ulmer, Jr. (US ARmy Retired), ARMY, June 2012.

The U.S. Army War College study, "Leadership Lessons at Division Command Level-2010: A Review of Division Commander Leader Behaviors and Organizational Climates in Selected Army Divisions after Nine Years of War," surveyed and interviewed 183 officers from four divisions just returning from deployment in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom. The study summarized officer views of toxic leaders as "self-serving, arrogant, volatile, and opinionated to the point of being organizationally dysfunctional … very persuasive, responsive, and accommodating to their seniors." In those interviews, the report continued, "it seemed clear that officers were not describing the 'tough but fair,' or even the 'oversupervisor,' or the 'not really good with people,' or even the 'rarely takes tactical initiative.'" These officers' perceptions make a discernible, important distinction between tough and toxic. An assessment of a leader as inferior or even unsatisfactory based on decision-making inadequacies, clumsy interpersonal skills or lack of drive did not automatically label him as toxic. It is also possible to "make tough, sound decisions on time," "see the big picture [and] provide context and perspective," and "get out of the headquarters and visit the troops"—the top behaviors of a highly regarded senior leader as reported in a 2004 division commander study—and still be conspicuously toxic as judged by a majority of subordinates. In other words, while all toxic officers are ultimately poor leaders, not all poor leaders are toxic. The forthcoming version of Army Doctrine Publication 6-22, Army Leadership notes, "Toxic leadership is a combination of self-centered attitudes, motivations and behaviors that have adverse effects on subordinates, the organization and mission performance." A recent study on ethical behavior by the Army Center of Excellence for the Professional Military Ethic, "ACPME Technical Report 2010-01: MNF-I Excellence in Character and Ethical Leadership (EXCEL) Study," stated, "The Army should develop leaders who understand the line between being firm … and being abusive; and identify and separate those found to be abusive." Identify and separate are the important words.

A proposed definition: Toxic leaders are individuals whose behavior appears driven by self-centered careerism at the expense of their subordinates and unit, and whose style is characterized by abusive and dictatorial behavior that promotes an unhealthy organizational climate. Other observations about toxic leaders from surveys, interviews and literature—most derived from research and discussions about senior leaders or managers—are:

  • They rarely take blame or share glory.
  • They are not toxic all the time, or to all people.
  • They are rarely if ever toxic when in the company of "the boss."
  • They sometimes have good ideas and accomplish good things.
  • They can be charming when the occasion fits.
  • They are frequently described as extremely bright and hard-working.
  • They often have a coterie of devoted "fans" who keep appearing on their staffs.
  • Most have been seen as toxic by subordinates since early in their career.
  • Their boss either does not know or pretends not to know, and almost never records, their abuse of subordinates.

elipsis graphic

Two of the categories used in data collected from selected CGSC and War College student samples during 1996–2010Estimates in population
Essentially transformational: Inspirational, encouraging, puts mission and troops first; coaches, builds teams and a healthy climate; sets high standards for self and others; generates and reciprocates trust.30–50 percent
Essentially toxic: Alienates and abuses subordinates; creates a hostile climate; often rules by fear; rejects bad news; seen as self-serving and arrogant; is skillful in upward relationships; usually bright, energetic and technically competent.8–10 percent

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 13 September 2015 12:08 AM EDT
Saturday, 12 September 2015

How to Overcome Nervous Troubles (1920)
Topic: Taking Advantage

How to Overcome Nervous Troubles

A Returned Soldier Tells How he Regained Health and Strength

The Carp Review and Carleton County Advertiser, Carp, Ont., 15 July 1920

Nervous troubles of all kinds, particularly nervous debility, work a remarkable transformation in the patient. The change is both physical and mental. The sufferer loses weight and strength, and frequently becomes irritable and fault finding. Troubles that were thrown off without any difficulty assume exaggerated proportions. Other symptoms of this nervous condition are poor appetite, headaches, exhaustion after little effort, and frequently distress after meals.

The cause of this debility is generally starved nerves. The blood which gives the nervous system its food and power to work efficiently has become thin and weak, and until the blood regains its tone and strength there can be no improvement in the condition of the nerves. In cases of this kind Dr. Williams Pink Pills will be found to be the very best medicine. They make rich, red blood which feeds and strengthens the starved nerves, and in this way restores the sufferer to full health and strength.

Proof of this is found in the case of Mr. Fred Sander, London, Ont., who says:

"While on service with the Imperial forces in Africa. I completely lost my health through continual hardship and shock. I was sent back to the base hospital suffering, so the doctor said, from nervous debility. After spending some time in the hospital I was invalided back to England as unfit for further service. After spending a long time in Netley Hospital, I was given my discharge, but was still a weak and nervous wreck, absolutely unfit for work. I have neither the strength nor ambition to do anything. In London I doctored for three or four months with a civilian doctor, who finally advised a change of climate. I was terribly nervous, suffered from sleeplessness, smothering and sinking spells, and pains in the heart; my hands and feet were always cold and clammy. At this time I decided to come to Canada, and shortly after reaching this country was advised to try Dr. Williams Pink Pills. After I had taken the pills for some weeks I found myself improving. I continued using the pills for several months with the result that they fully restored my health. My nerves are now as steady as a rock; my appetite the best, and my eyes and skin, which had turned yellowish, are clear and healthy looking. I feel like a new man in every way, and fit for anything, I have since recommended the pills to several friends, and know of several cases where they were beneficial in the influenza epidemic. I am of the opinion that should any of my returned soldier comrades use Dr. Williams Pink Pills, for shell shock, they would be a great help to them."

You can get Dr. Williams Pink Pills through any dealer in medicine or by mail, post paid, at 50 cents a box or six boxes for $2.50 from The Dr. Williams Medicine Co., Brockville.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 11 September 2015

German Army; Rations in Winter (1943)
Topic: Army Rations

German Army; Rations in Winter (1943)

German Winter Warfare, Military Intelligence Division, Washington, December 1943


All commanders and all units concerned with rations should always be conscious of the fact that they have the very responsible task of keeping their troops healthy. In the winter the troops should receive warm food and hot drinks more often than in summer. Hot soups should be served frequently with breakfast and supper. Always have hot water ready for preparing warm drinks. The colder the weather, the more fat should be included in the food. Food, especially cold cuts, must not be served if its temperature is under 50 degrees F. Cold easily causes deterioration or reduction of nutritive value; therefore, special attention should be given to the transportation, storage, and care of food which is susceptible to cold.

Alcoholic drinks should be issued only at night in bivouacs. Rumn should not be given unless it is mixed with hot drinks, such as tea. If liquors like cognac and vodka are issued, care must be taken that some soldiers do not receive more than their regular share either as a gift from other soldiers or by trading.

If it is anticipated that serving from field kitchens will not be possible, powdered coffee, tea, and other rations should be issued in advance to enable the soldiers to prepare their own hot drinks and hot food. To prevent overloading the men, however, only essential rations should be issued. Otherwise they will throw away whatever seems to be superfluous at that moment. Every man must know how to cook and should be given opportunities to practice cooking. Patrols and raiding parties should receive rations which are light and do not occupy much space.

Field Rations In Extreme Weather

In extremely cold weather, the following rations are especially suitable for the field kitchen: frozen and canned meat; hard salami; bacon; smoked meat; fresh vegetables, including beans and peas; spaghetti; macaroni; noodles; frozen potatoes; and frozen vegetables. Food which has a high water content should not be taken along.

Hot drinks should be issued. If the soldier cannot be fed from the field kitchen, he should be issued the following provisions:

(1)     Bread ready for consumption and with some sort of spread on it. The men should wrap it in paper if possible and carry it in their pockets to protect it against the cold.
(2)     Cracked wheat bread.
(3)     Dried and baked fruits.
(4)     Candies.
(5)     Chocolates.

Drinks carried in the canteen will stay warm to some extent only if the canteen is well wrapped and then placed inside the bread bag or pack. If the canteen is carried outside on the bread bag, the contents will soon freeze. Never permit soldiers to eat snow to quench their thirst, or to drink cold water on an empty stomach. Snow water should be drunk only after it has been boiled. (Caution!)

Emergency Rations

WVhen on reconnaissance or isolated sentry duty, a soldier is often forced to be economical with his food. The following suggestions on how to make provisions last are based on Russian recommendations for emergency foods for guerrillas, stragglers, etc.

a.     Frozen Meats

The simplest way to keep meat in winter is to let it freeze. Before being boiled or fried, it should be thawed over the range. If quick cooking is necessary, cut the frozen meat into little pieces and place them on the lid of the mess kit, after adding fat and a little salt. Keep the meat over the fire until a sample is at least tolerably tasty. During the thaw period, thawed meat will easily spoil. To prevent this, cut the meat into thin slices, dry them on a piece of sheet iron over a stove, and sprinkle them with salt. Meat thus cured will keep reasonably long.

b.     Raw Fish

Cut the frozen fish into thin flakes, or, preferably, scrape the fish with a knife instead of cutting it, so that thin shavings are formed. If need be, it can be consumed without cooking.

c.     Food from the Woods

The red bilberry grows in pine woods beneath the snow. Cranberries are found in mossy bogs. Fir cones and pine cones, when held over a fire, will open and yield nourishing seeds. Yellow tree moss is poisonous. Other tree mosses, especially Iceland moss (steel gray), become edible after several hours of cooking. The rushes which grow on the banks of rivers and lakes have root ends which can be eaten when boiled or baked. Wild apples or bitter fruits, like those of the mountain ash, become sweet after freezing.

d.     Sawdust Flour

Flour rations can be stretched by adding sawdust flour, made preferably from the pine tree, but birch bark may also be used. For this purpose, carefully cut the outer layer of the bark from a young tree. Make two ring-shaped incisions in the inner layer of bark, about a yard apart, and vertical cuts between them. Then carefully lift off segments of the inner bark with a sharp knife, cut them into small pieces, and boil them, changing the water several times to eliminate the taste of tar. Next, dry the pieces until they are not quite brittle. Finally, mash and pulverize the pieces in the hand.

Usually sawdust flour is mixed with rye flour in a proportion of 25 to 100 or even 50 to 100. It is stirred into the dough with water added. Sour milk may also be added. The dough is rolled out very thin, and small flat cakes are baked.

e.     Baking Bread in Mess Kit

Bread can be baked in the mess kit in hot ashes. This method is employed only when other bread cannot be obtained. The simplest and quickest way is to use baking powder. The ingredients are two mess-kit covers full of rye or wheat flour (about 540 grams, or 1 pound 3 ounces); one mess-kit cover about half full of cold water; one-half ounce of baking powder; and one-half teaspoon of salt, if it is available. Mix the ingredients slowly, add cold water, and knead the dough until it becomes medium stiff. This dough is shaped into a roll the length of the mess kit. Roll the loaf in flour and place it in the mess kit. Close the mess kit with its cover, and put it under embers and hot ashes, baking the dough for about 1 1/2 hours.

Effect of Cold Weather on Food

The following articles of food will not spoil or at least will not deteriorate materially in extreme cold: bread; meat and meat products of all kinds, including canned meat; canned and fresh fish; fats; dried beans and peas; dried vegetables; dried fruit; macaroni, spaghetti, noodles, and other grain products; rice; coffee; tea; sugar; salt; spices; and dehydrated foods.

Canned vegetables; mixed fruit preserves which have been prepared in water or in their own juice, as well as sauerkraut and beans in cans or barrels; marmalade; and honey freeze easily but generally do not deteriorate. They should not be stored where the temperature is below the freezing point. Milk, fruit juices, mineral waters, wine, beer, and liquor in bottles or barrels should be protected against freezing; otherwise the bottles and barrels may break. Red wine will not keep in cold temperatures. Potatoes become sweet when frozen and their palatability is thereby affected. Both hard and soft cheeses lose flavor, dry out, and crumble after they are thawed out.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 10 September 2015

Soviet Operational and Tactical Principles

Soviet Operational and Tactical Principles

FM 100-2-1—The Soviet Army; Troops, Operations and Tactics, July 1984

The offensive is the basic form of combat action. Only by a resolute offense conducted at a high tempo and to great depth is total destruction of the enemy achieved.

Combat maneuver units must be mobile and capable of rapid movement.

Fire support, command and control, and logistics must be as mobile as maneuver units.

Conduct thorough and continuous reconnais- sance. Find the enemy's weak points.

Perform a thorough estimate of the situation and make timely, analytical decisions. Be realistic. Consider the mission, enemy, your own combat power, terrain. weather and light conditions, and time.

Prepare and plan extensively and in detail.

The planning and conduct of an operation must involve the full coordination and coopera- tion of all commanders involved.

There must be unity of command, a single commander for any operation.

Fully orchestrate all available combat mea~s in a coordinated, cooperative, combined arms effort.

Deceive the enemy. Attack from an unexpected direction at an unexpected time. Use terrain and weather to your advantage.

Strike early with great force. Constantly strive to preempt and dominate the enemy.

Attack the enemy violently and simultaneously throughout his depth. Carry the battle to the enemy rear with swift penetrations by maneuver units, fires, aviation, airborne and heliborne assaults. and by unconventional warfare means.

Be bold and decisive. Seize and hold the initiative.

Prosecute an operation relentlessly, without pause, under all conditions of visibility or NBC contam ination.

Keep the enemy under constant pressure and off balance. Do not allow him to react effectively.

Fully exploit the effects of nuclear or chemical strikes with deep attacks by all available forces.

Whenever possible achieve mass by concen- trated, massed nuclear or nonnuclear fires 2-4 rather than by massing maneuver forces.

If maneuver forces must be massed, do so rapidly. Disperse them as soon as possible after the task has been achieved.

Maneuver first with firepower. Firepower is maneuver.

Maneuver forces should attack the weakest points in enemy defenses. If necessary, create weak points or holes with nuclear or nonnuclear fires. Bypass enemy strongpoints to strike deeply into his rear.

Avoid frontal attacks. Whenever possible strike the enemy in the flanks or rear.

Maintain security of your own flanks and rear.

Maintain sufficient follow-on force to assure achievement of the mission and to deal with contingencies.

Maintain uninterrupted combat support.

Maintain effective, continuous command, control, and communications. Loss of communications leads to loss of control and defeat. Maintain redundant communications at higher levels. Rely on audio and visual signals and well-rehearsed battle drills at lower levels.

Staffs at every level must have the equipment and skills necessary to collect and analyze information quickly and to develop and dissemi- nate orders rapidly based on the commander's decision.

Employ radioelectronic combat to deprive the enemy of effective command and control of his combat forces.

Adhere to the spirit and letter of a plan. If the plan fails, use initiative to accomplish the mission.

Be prepared to react effectively to a rapidly changing battlefield. Develop procedures to deal with numerous contingencies.

Think quickly and be decisive and resourceful in accomplishing the mission.

Conserve fighting strength through the use of combat vehicles with collective NBC protection, dispersal of forces, minimum combat power necessary to accomplish a task, the use of captured enemy equipment, and effective logistics.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Cooperation of Infantry with Tanks
Topic: CEF

Cooperation of Infantry with Tanks.

Instructions Issued by German General Staff.

Military Notes on Training and Instruction, No. 1, U.S. Army, August 1918
(Translation of a German order).

I.     The task of the tanks is similar to that of the artillery accompanying the infantry, and comprises :

(a)     The engagement of hostile supporting points, machine guns and centres of resistance.

(b)     The support of the infantry during hostile counter attacks.

II.     One of the deciding factors to ensure success is a prompt exploiting on the part of the infantry of the effect produced by the tanks.

The position of the infantry, whether preceding, in line with, or in the rear of the tanks, will depend on the tactical situation.

For attacks with short objectives, the infantry and tanks will advance in close touch with one another. In the case of distant objectives, the speed of the tank prevents it from keeping pace with the infantry. This temporary delay must not cause the infantry to stop; it must continue to carry out its task with all possible rapidity, irrespective of the progress made by the tanks. Should the infantry be held up in front of a strong point, the tanks will immediately pass through the line of the infantry and will work their way forward to attack and destroy the point of resistance.

Positions which the artillery may not have been able to engage, for example, machine gun nests situated on reverse slopes or which have not been previously located (flanking emplacements which are suddenly encountered), must be put out of action by the prompt intervention of tanks. The infantry must follow immediately in rear of the latter; tanks themselves cannot maintain possession of a captured position.

For defence against counter attacks, the tanks will dash forward from the positions they occupy at the moment the counter attack is launched and will make for the parties of the enemy which may have succeeded in penetrating our lines. This is the best method of securing co-operation by the tanks in counter measures carried out by our infantry.

It is very important that infantry and tanks should maintain close touch and that their respective commanders should personally confer together during the battle.

The tank crew, if their tank is put out of action, will take part in the attack as an assault detachment, making use of their machine guns and carbines.


Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 9 September 2015 12:02 AM EDT
Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Discipline; US Army, 1946
Topic: Discipline


Leadership Courtesy and Drill, War Department, Washington, February 1946

a.     Discipline, in a military sense, is the state of order and obedience among military personnel resulting from training.

b.     Military discipline must not be a cowed state of subservience. The sort of obedience to be developed in a subordinate is an intelligent, willing obedience rather than one based solely on habit or fear. Habit plays its part and is one of the chief objectives of drill. Fear of punishment also may be used, but only as a powerful means of reminding the petty offender that such actions are against the interests of the group, or of eliminating entirely the contamination of the few incorrigibles. American qualities of initiative and resourcefulness function best when obedience is inspired by an understanding of the objective and by loyalty to a cause, a leader, or a team. Obedi ence of this sort functions whether the leader is present or not. It pervades the life of the soldier from the courtesies of daily association to the assault on the battlefield. It wins battles.

c.     Mass discipline and morale are essential qualities for securing cohesive action and for insuring that singleness of purpose which alone can triumph over the seemingly impossible conditions of war. The successful leader will teach his men to recognize and face fear, because fear is the enemy of discipline and morale. Fear unchecked will lead to panic, and a unit that panics is no longer a disciplined unit but a mob. There is no sane person who is altogether without fear, but with good discipline and high morale, all will face danger, if not willingly, at least stoically, because of their ingrained sentiments of duty, of courage, and of loyalty, and because of their sense of pride in their country, in their unit, and in themselves; in other words, because of their esprit de corps.

d.     The necessity 'for discipline is never fully comprehended by the soldier until he has undergone the experience of battle, and even then he may lack a basis of comparison—the contrast between the grimly efficient combat action of a disciplined unit and the shameful failure and probable disintegration of one which lacks that intangible quality. However, it is not only during battle itself that discipline and leadership will be necessary for the maintenance of morale. The first test may come during the long and trying periods of training, of marching here and there without evident purpose, but the greatest tests will surely come during the periods of reaction after battle, and of boredom and dull routine when the unit is employed on nonhazardous duty. At such times the stimulation of excitement will be absent and morale will depend largely on leadership. A high standard of discipline must be imposed. The men must be exercised both mentally and physically, and the leader must be energetic in insuring the comfort of his men and in arranging for their welfare.

e.     True discipline should be based on mental, moral, and physical training designed to insure that all respond to the will of the commander, even though he is not present. Drill is the foundation of disciplinary training; it compels the habit of obedience and stimulates the feeling of corporate strength as the unit moves together as one man. The strictest obedience and formality on parade can and should be combined with real friendship and understanding off parade. Nevertheless, the first essential of discipline training is example, and no man who is himself undisciplined can claim the moral right to discipline others. The leader must therefore be faultless in conduct and punctilious in the performance of all duties. Discipline in a leader includes the discipline expected of a soldier, plus the willingness to accept full responsibility for the condition and conduct of his unit.

f.     The object of punishment is reform or the elimination of those unfit to serve 'in the team. When necessary, the leader should punish promptly and justly, after fair warning. The punishment must be governed by the Articles of War and should be fitting to the offense and to the individual, considering his age, length of service, and personal characteristics. In administering punishment, the leader must remain calm, impersonal, and dignified. He must never humiliate a subordinate in the presence of others when it can be avoided. In administering a rebuke, the leader must appeal to the subordinate's pride in himself and point the way to atonement, being sure to indicate that the misconduct reflects unfavorably on the organization.

g.     Discipline is maintained in much the same manner as it is attained. There is not and should not be a sharply defined line of demarcation be tween the two. Common sense, good judgment, fairness and justice, high morale, pride, and responsibility contribute as much to maintaining discipline as to attaining it.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 7 September 2015

On the Psychology of Military Incompetence
Topic: Leadership

On the Psychology of Military Incompetence

A Sandhurst Guide, Pilot version, Easter 2012

Norman Dixon's book [On the Psychology of Military Incompetence] looks at incompetence in military leaders throughout history and considers whether, rather than being random occurrences, they are, in fact, a result of the military system. In particular he considers whether people with certain psychological characteristics are drawn to a military career, and whether the military insulates and exacerbates these characteristics in them.

Some might feel that Dixon's study has little relevance to the British military of today, with much of his evidence drawn from the characters and experience of the late-Victorian and Edwardian army. He bases many of his hypotheses on the mostly public school background of military officers, theories that perhaps require revision in an age when the demographic of officer candidates is considerably broader. Modern military readers might also struggle to relate to Dixon's fascination with the issue of toilet-training and its influence on character, as well as his perception of military men inevitably being the progeny of distant, disciplinarian parents and affection-starved childhoods.

If one persists, there is much in Dixon's book that remains applicable to the British military today. Most military readers are likely to find something of themselves in his examples. His assertion that the institutional culture of the military breeds an intellectual conservatism, resulting in dangerous 'group-think', should serve as a warning to all military leaders. He also cautions against military leaders becoming so invested in their own plan that their mind fi lters information, accepting that which reinforces their perception of a situation, but discarding that which doesn't. Dixon draws attention to the military need for order and discipline, suggesting that this conditions military minds to comfortable certainties, despite disorder and uncertainty being the prevailing characteristics of the battlefi eld. He also argues that most military failures result not from being too bold, but from not being bold enough, and that the higher a military leader rises in rank the more they are motivated by fear of failure, rather than hope of success, resulting in a reduced willingness to take risks.

Dixon's book is also very useful in helping to understand how the culture, values, and ethos of British military leadership have emerged from a largely amateur tradition. He divides leaders into two broad types, task-specialists, concerned principally with output, and social specialists concerned principally with the maintenance of harmony and cohesion in a group. Dixon considers the phenomenon of how some of Britain's most incompetent military leaders were still loved by their men, despite leading them to slaughter. He concludes that, although poor task specialists, they were excellent social specialists, with reputations, often made as junior leaders, for being brave and caring. Principally, their incompetence resulted from being promoted beyond their capability.

Obviously, the ideal military leader is both a task and social specialist, and reading Dixon's book, the reader will no doubt see how much more output-related modern military leadership has become. Never-the-less the book challenges the reader to look at some of the cultural attitudes that do persist in our military today and ask if they are still relevant. Is it still important that our leaders are gentlemen, or have a 'sense of otherness'? Given the much improved educational standard of our soldiers, can we still assume that the leader is more knowledgeable than those he leads, and if not should this result in a less autocratic, and more cooperative style of leadership?

This is a challenging and informative book that should be read with an open mind. It highlights some uncomfortable truths about the military psychology and the dangers inherent in the military culture for decision-making and leadership, and provides useful warnings to be heeded from its negative historical examples.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 6 September 2015

US Military Rations
Topic: Army Rations

US Military Rations

Excerpted from 2015 Operational Rations Handbook, U.S. Army Natick Soldier RD&E Center, DoD Combat Feeding Directorate

Individual Rations

Meals, Ready–to–Eat (MREs)

The Meal, Ready to Eat is the primary individual ration of the US Armed Forces. The balanced nutrition and low logistical burden of the MRE give America's Warfighters the ability to fight and win in any environment. Meal, Ready–to–Eat, Individual MRE.

Modular Operational Ration Enhancement (MORE)

The Modular Operational Ration Enhancement (MORE) was developed to augment daily operational rations with additional components tailored to particular environments. There are two types of MORE; one targets high altitude and cold weather while the other is intended for hot weather operations.

First Strike Ration® (FSR)

The FSR is a compact, eat–on–the–move assault ration designed for high intensity combat operations. The FSR is substantially lighter and more compact than the Meal, Ready to Eat, enhancing Warfighter consumption, nutritional intake, and mobility.

Meal, Cold Weather/Food Packet, Long Range Patrol (MCW/LRP)

The Meal, Cold Weather (MCW) and the Food Packet, Long Range Patrol (LRP) are designed to meet the unique requirements of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and Army Special Operations Forces (SOF). These specialized forces require appropriate nutritional and operational characteristics for extreme cold environments, as well as a restricted calorie ration with a long shelf life that can be used during initial assault, special operations, and longrange reconnaissance missions.

Group Rations

Unitized Group Ration (UGR)

There are currently 4 rations in the UGR family:

  • The UGR–Heat and Serve consists of precooked, shelf–stable food issued in lightweight polymeric trays.
  • The UGR–M is the primary group ration of the Marine Corps, and contains dehydrated items to meet the Corps' expeditionary requirements.
  • The UGR–A consists of both shelf–stable and perishable components. It delivers the highest–quality, most fresh–like field feeding available anywhere.
  • The unique UGR–Express uses chemical heating technology to provide hot food anywhere on the planet, without the need for specialized field feeding equipment.

UGR–H&S — Unitized Group Ration–Heat & Serve

Aside from the UGR–E, the UGR–H&S is intended to be the first group ration available in theater, often utilized in combination with the MRE for daily feeding. The UGR–H&S can be prepared on field kitchens without refrigeration capability. Like all Unitized Group Rations, the UGR–H&S simplifies the logistics chain by including everything needed to serve a group meal in a single NSN. Each UGR–H&S module contains 50 servings of pre–cooked food, serving utensils, dining packets, trays, and trash bags.

UGR–A — Unitized Group Ration–A

The UGR–A is designed to provide restaurant quality group meals to Warfighters in the field. It is the most highly accepted ration in the UGR family. The UGR–A is the only military operational ration that contains frozen food components. For that reason, it is based on a build–to–order assembly process that requires refrigerated/frozen storage and a field kitchen for preparation.

UGR–A — Short Order

The Unitized Group Ration – A Short Order (UGR–A, Short Order) is designed to provide Warfighters with high quality short order entrées in locations where a dining facility is not available. This creates increased universal acceptance by providing Warfighters with an alternative to the current center of the plate meals.

UGR–M — Unitized Group Ration–M

The UGR–M is used primarily by the Marine Corps. It is designed to meet requirements for providing Marines with high quality group rations that do not require refrigeration and are quick and easy to prepare. All ingredients in the ration are shelf stable, with an emphasis placed on including commercial products in all menus.

UGR–E — Unitized Group Ration–Express

The UGR–E provides a complete meal for 18 Warfighters in remote locations where group field feeding would not otherwise be possible. It is a compact module that does not require cooks or a field kitchen for preparation. With the simple pull of a tab, the UGR–E is ready to serve in 30–45 minutes. One UGR–E module provides all of the items necessary for a complete meal to serve up to 18 Warfighters, including 4 trays of cooked food, drink pouches, snacks/candies, compartmented dining trays, seasoning, disposable eating and serving utensils, condiments, beverages, napkins, wet–naps, and trash bags.

Navy Standard Core Menu (NscM)

The Navy Standard Core Menu (NSCM) is designed to standardize food service throughout the Navy fleet while providing more variety and nutritious choices to Sailors. It meets the diverse tastes of US Navy sailors by offering old favorites like pizza and burgers along with more ethnic choices, like vegetable stir–fry and chicken fajitas. The NSCM facilitates a more streamlined procurement process and ensures consistency in product availability.

Special Purpose Rations

Tube Foods

The purpose of tube food is to feed U2 reconnaissance pilots in the U.S. Air Force (USAF) during missions that may last as long as 12 hours. The high altitude profile of these missions requires pilots to wear full pressure suits and helmets that cannot be removed, making it impossible for them to consume conventional rations. Tube food attaches directly to a feeding tube that extends through a receptacle on the helmet to the inside where the pilot is able to sip the food from the straw–like tube. The Combat Feeding Directorate is the sole supplier of tube foods to the USAF and has unique facilities and food processing equipment to produce a wide variety of these highly specialized, unique products. All tube foods provided to the USAF meet strict requirements for percentages of fat, protein, and carbohydrates while being flavorful and easy to consume and digest. These requirements result in a product that provides sustenance sufficient enough to enable pilots to perform exhausting physical and cognitive duties for periods up to 12 hours.

Meal, Religious, Kosher/Halal

The Meal, Religious, Kosher/Halal is utilized to serve those individuals in the military service who maintain a strict religious diet.

Meal, Religious, Kosher for Passover

The purpose of this ration is to feed those individuals in the military service who maintain a Kosher for Passover diet by providing three meals per day for not more than eight days during their observance of Passover. Like the MRE, it is a totally self–contained meal combined in one single flexible meal bag.

Food Packet, Survival, General Purpose

The Food Packet, Survival, General Purpose is used by the Services to sustain an individual in survival situations, including escape and evasion, under all environmental conditions, and when potable water is limited. Requested by the Air Force, it is typically stored in the survival kit on aircraft and is meant to provide basic sustenance for periods less than five consecutive days.

Food Packet, Survival, Abandon Ship

The Food Packet, Survival, Abandon Ship is used by the Navy to sustain personnel who must abandon ship. It is positioned in lifesaving craft aboard larger ships.

Food Packet, Survival, Aircraft, Life Raft

The Food Packet, Survival, Aircraft, Life Raft is used by the Navy to sustain personnel that survive air crashes at sea. The packet, along with other essential equipment, is supplied in the emergency kits carried aboard naval aircraft.

Ultra High Temperature (UHT) Milk

This item is used by the Armed Forces as a mandatory supplement and/or enhancement for operational ration feeding during operations which either do not have refrigeration capability or have limited capability. It is used in situations that do not permit resupply of perishable foods.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 5 September 2015

Factors Causing Soldiers' Overload
Topic: Soldiers' Load

Factors Causing Soldiers' Overload

The Factors of Soldiers' Load; A thesis presented to the Faculty of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College; Master of Military Art and Science, by Stephen J. Townsend, Major, USA, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 1994

1.     Lack of Appreciation for the Problem.

  • lack of awareness of doctrine, management techniques, etc.
  • unwillingness to take action to correct

2.     Fear and Fatigue.

  • Fear-Fatigue-Fear cycle
  • magnified by uncertainty over threat, mission, support

3.     Fear of Risk.

  • desire to plan for every contingency
  • fears of the staff: unit failure, soldier discomfort

4.     The Fire Load.

  • false beliefs: ammo = high morale, out of ammo = defeat
  • lack of reasonable SOPs or lack of enforcement

5.     Drag of Orthodoxy.

  • tradition and the conservative military mindset
  • tyranny of the SOP: worst-case, total uniformity

6.     Discipline and the Enforcement of Standards.

  • Failure to establish or enforce/inspect packing lists

7.     Nature of the Soldier: "from hoarding to ditching".

8.     The Lack of Transport (strategic and tactical).

9.     The Myths of Training.

  • misconception that training capabilities = wartime
  • problems created by the way we train: structure of exercises, funding, tooth vs. tail focus
  • simulations don't necessarily help

10.     The Failure of Technology.

  • new capabilities = more weight
  • increasing requirements can kill weight savings
  • "load creep:" excessive durability, isolation of decisions, multi-purpose items, "close enough"

11.     Terrain and Weather.

  • special equipment needs
  • effects on mobility: heat, gradient, soil conditions

12.     Physical Conditioning: the APFT vs. the foot march.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 4 September 2015

85th Cdn Inf Bn – Platoon Competition
Topic: CEF

85th Canadian Infantry Battalion
(Nova Scotia Highlanders)

Platoon Competition

85th Canadian Infantry Battalion War Diary, February 1919, Appendix 4

I.     Platoon Organization (100 points total)

Divided in the following manner:—

(a) Knowledge by men of their Section Commander, Platoon Sergeant, Platoon Commander, Company Officers, Battalion and Brigade Commanding Officers.10 points
(b) Knowledge of men by Platoon Commander, of names, residences, and previous occupation.20 points
(c) Knowledge by Section Commanders of names, residences, and previous occupation of all men in their section.10 points (for each section)
(d) Knowledge by men of order of seniority in their own section, down to 3rd in Command of sections.10 points
(e) Knowledge by Officer, Platoon Sergeant, and Section Commanders of order of seniority in Platoon and Section, down to and including 2nd i/c of sections. Section Commanders not required to know seniority below Section Commanders of other sections than their own.20 points

II.     Dress, Personnel, Equipment, Arms, and S.A.A. (200 points total)

One or more points will be deducted for each of the following irregularities:—

(a)     Cap badge not properly braced on inside of cap.

(b)     Collar or shoulder badges not put on in the regulation manner or badges missing.

(c)     Buttons undone.

(d)     Kilt not put on straight.

(e)     Hose top — Improper amount of "turnover".

(f)     Flashes — incorrect position and incorrect length showing.

(g)     Puttees — improperly wound around leg; or ends of puttee not pointing to rear, or edge of puttee ragged or frayed.

(h)     Feathers — ragged edges.

(i)     Unmended or dirty tunic or kilt — 1 to 4 points.

(j)     Equipment does not fit snugly.

(k)     Cross straps not in proper relative position, i.e., right over left.

(l)     Short straps on ball pouches hanging loose or pouches not fastened.

(m)     "D" buckles on cross straps not in proper position.

(n)     Steel of bayonet and bayonet scabbard not burnished.

(o)     Ammunition, deficient or not polished. — 1 to 5 points.

(p)     Dirty brass — 1 to 5 points.

(q)     Dirty rifle — 1 to 5 points.

(r)     Deficient oil bottle or pull through — 1 to 3 points.

(s)     Hair not cut or unshaven — 1 to 5 points.

(t)     Boots not blackened or not laced properly — 1 to 3 points.

(u)     Other irregularities, not noted above — 1 to 5 points.

III.     Officers and N.C.O's. (75 points total)

Points will be deducted if words of command are not given clearly or if they are given too hurriedly; or if Officer or N.C.O. giving command stands in a "slouchy" attitude.

IV.     Drill. (495 points total)

A.     Fall in:— (50 points)

Regulation method as laid down in Battalion to be used. Points will be deducted for any irregularity.

B.     Manual of Arms:— (220 points)

(a) For Inspection — Port Arms20 points
(b)Examine Arms20 points
(c)Ease springs and order arms.
This movement men will be cautioned to remain at the examine arms instead of automatically "ordering arms" after "easing springs."
20 points
(d)Fix Bayonets.20 points
(e)Slope Arms.20 points
(f)Present Arms.20 points
(g)Slope arms from present.10 points
(h)Order Arms.20 points
(i)Unfix bayonets.20 points
(j)Pile arms.20 points
(k)Unpile arms.20 points
(l)Stand at ease.10 points


(a) March Past in Column of Route20 points
(b)March Past in Line20 points
(c)50 points will be given for march past in column of route. Points will be deducted for (1) not swinging arms properly, i.e., straight from shoulder. (2) Not turning head and eyes toward inspecting officer, or any other irregularities in the movement. 
(d)75 points will be given for march past in line. 

D.     Squad Drill:— (100 points)

Platoon will be formed up as a Squad.

E.     Section and Platoon Drill Including Casualty Drill (100 points)

Points will be deducted for:—

(a)     Lack of control by unit commander.

(b)     Any other irregularity.


Platoon Commanders to have a written parade state with them. This will be handed over to the judges when the platoons "Fall In."

Platoons to be organized on a four (4) section basis.

Platoon Commander and Platoon Sergeant will each have a Platoon Roll Book. Each of the four Section Commanders will have a Section Roll Book.

Platoon Roll Books will contain the following information about each man in platoon:—

(1)Regt. No.
(3)Name, surname first.
(5)Date of enlistment.
(6)Married or single.
(8)Previous occupation.
(9)Date of first arrival in France.
(10)Special qualifications — Course, etc.
(12)Residence at time of enlistment.
(13)Relationship, name and address of next of kin.

In "Remarks" the "Shows" man has been in with Battalion.

Section Roll Books will contain the following information for each man:—

(1)Regt. No.
(3)Name, surname first.
(4)Billet No.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 3 September 2015

VC Supply Caches
Topic: The Field of Battle

Summary of Salient Points Learned With Respect to VC Supply Caches

Viet Cong Base Camps and Supply Caches; Counter Insurgency Lessons learned No. 68., July 1968

a.     The use of information provided by PWs and Hoi Chanhs can materially assist units in locating caches. Information provided by such people must always be considered and, whenever possible, exploited to the utmost.

b.     The VC use natural and man made anthills as caches for weapons and munitions.

c.     Caches are more easily identified if units recognize the key protective measures used by the VC.

d.     Flocks of birds are a frequent indicator of the proximity of rice caches.

e.     Analysis of the disposition of booby traps in an area can lead to the discovery of valuable VC stores and material.

f.     When searching for caches, operations should be methodical, deliberate and thorough.

g.     Operational planning must include methods of extracting rice or destroying it in place.

h.     Rice caches can normally be effectively scattered by the use of cratering charges and effectively contaminated with CS.

i.     Rice caches are infrequently booby trapped.

j.     The VC frequently place grenade type booby traps inside bags of rice. Therefore, all rice bags should be sanitized by EOD and Engineer personnel prior to handling. (see Fig. 6)

k.     Engineer bulldozers cab be effectively utilized in the destruc­tion of rice caches by pushing them into rivers or constructing suitable LZs close to the caches to allow evacuation by air.

l.     Caches are usually well concealed, located in the proximity of transportation routes, and are not placed in any discernible patterns.

m.     Extraction of rice caches are ideal missions for RVNAF's organic transportation units and Province/District Headquarters in carrying out Civic Action Programs.

n.     Nipa palm trees have been used by the VC to store equipment. The foliage of these trees offers excellent concealment for caches.

o.     Medical supplies should be evacuated through intelligence chan­nels rather than being destroyed in place.

p.     The use of probes and mine detectors in locating buried caches has proven to be effective.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Topic: Leadership


ARDP 6-22—Army Leadership, Headquarters Department of the Army, Wahington, August 2012

Foundations of Army Leadership Character

Character, comprised of a person's moral and ethical qualities, helps determine what is right and gives a leader motivation to do what is appropriate, regardless of the circumstances or consequences. An informed ethical conscience consistent with the Army Values strengthens leaders to make the right choices when faced with tough issues. Army leaders must embody these values and inspire others to do the same.

Character is essential to successful leadership. It determines who people are, how they act, helps determine right from wrong, and choose what is right. Elements internal and central to a leader's core are:—

  • Army Values.
  • Empathy.
  • Warrior Ethos and Service Ethos.
  • Discipline.

Army Values

Soldiers and Army Civilians enter the Army with personal values developed in childhood and nurtured over years of personal experience. By taking an oath to serve the nation and the institution, one agrees to live and act by a new set of values—Army Values. The Army Values consist of the principles, standards, and qualities considered essential for successful Army leaders. They are fundamental to helping Soldiers and Army Civilians make the right decision in any situation. Teaching values is an important leader responsibility by creating a common understanding of the Army Values and expected standards.

The Army recognizes seven values that all Army members must develop. When read in sequence, the first letters of the Army Values form the acronym "LDRSHIP":—

  • Loyalty.
  • Duty.
  • Respect.
  • Selfless service.
  • Honor.
  • Integrity.
  • Personal courage.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Classification of Officers
Topic: Officers

Classification of Officers

The Memoirs of Field-Marshal Montgomery, 1958

Up to this point in my career [January 1920] I had received no training in the theory of my profession; I had behind me the practical experience of four years of active service in the field, but no theoretical study as a background to that experience. I had read somewhere the remarks of Frederick the Great when speaking about officers who relied only on their practical experience and who neglected to study; he is supposed to have said that he had in his Army two mules who had been through forty campaigns, but they were still mules.

I had also heard of a German general who delivered himself of the following all-embracing classification about officers, presumably those of the German Army. I understand that he said this:

"I divide my officers into four classes: the clever, the stupid, the industrious and the lazy. Every officer possesses at least two of these qualities. Those who are clever and industrious are fitted for high staff appointments; use can be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy is fitted for the highest command; he has the temperament and the requisite nerve to deal with all situations. But whoever is stupid and industrious is a danger and must be removed immediately."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 28 July 2015 6:08 PM EDT
Monday, 31 August 2015

US Army Rations, 1913
Topic: Army Rations

US Army Rations, 1913

Field Service Regulations, United States Army, 1913

The Army Regulations prescribe the following rations, the commander determining the kind appropriate for the service to be performed, except that the use of the haversack ration is enjoined for troops operating beyond the advance depots:

  • Garrison ration. — For troops in garrison and permanent camps; also for use in time of war except for troops beyond the advance depots.
  • Haversack ration. — For troops beyond the advance depots.
  • Filipino ration. — For Philippine Scouts.
  • Emergency ration. — For troops in active campaign for use in cases of emergency.

Haversack Ration

or canned meat16
Hard bread16
Coffee, roasted and ground1.12

Emergency Ration.

The emergency ration is a preparation of food compressed into cakes and packed in sealed tin. It is furnished in addition to the regular ration, but is not opened except by order of an officer or in extremity, nor used when regular rations are obtainable.

In addition to the regular rations, commanders, may authorize the issue, within limits prescribed in Army Regulations, of certain articles, such as soap, candles, and matches.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 30 August 2015

German Infantry Notes; Instructions for Combat (1918)

German Infantry Notes; Instructions for Combat

Military Notes on Training and Instruction, No. 1, U.S. Army, August 1918 (Translation of an order of the Fourteenth German division, June 18, in sector south of the Aisne From French Third Army Bulletin, July 3, 1918).

(a)     General Remarks.

1.     Hold the first line of resistance against every hostile attack.

2.     Our activity must constantly keep the enemy on the alert, inflict losses on him by every means possible and render his supply service as difficult as is within our power. The enemy must be worn out and his fighting strength exhausted as quickly as possible. On the other hand it is necessary, without sacrificing the security of our defense, to save our own troops as much as possible, protect them against losses, maintain their offensive power, and if possible, increase it. The troops must be imbued with the idea of their absolute superiority over the enemy. Everything should be done to supply and shelter the troops.

3.     The new French gas renders a still stricter gas discipline necessary. Non-commissioned officers must keep constantly on the watch. Our troops must know that our mask affords full protection if adjusted in time.

4.     All possible information regarding the enemy and particularly regarding the units in front of us, on his defensive organizations, on the artillery and trench mortar emplacements, must be obtained.

(b)     Infantry.

The advanced line must be held with as small a garrison as possible. Troops willbe distributed to a very great depth.

The troops must be instructed in their duties at the various posts in the advanced zone.

Automatic rifles, trench mortars and rifle grenades must be very largely used in order to force the enemy, who is in a position very much inferior to ours, to keep below the surface of the ground.

Patrols willbe very active. Particular care will be exercised in choosing the patrolling party, so as to avoid losses in prisoners. Every opportunity for taking prisoners will be seized.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 29 August 2015

Toxic Leadership
Topic: Leadership

Toxic Leadership

Toxic Leadership, Colonel George E. Reed, U.S. Army
Military Review – July–August 2004

In 2003, 20 [U.S. Army War College] students focused on the topic of command climate and leaders' roles in shaping it. The students provided a well-considered description of toxic leaders:

"Destructive leaders are focused on visible short-term mission accomplishment. They provide superiors with impressive, articulate presentations and enthusiastic responses to missions. But, they are unconcerned about, or oblivious to, staff or troop morale and/or climate. They are seen by the majority of subordinates as arrogant, self-serving, inflexible, and petty."

A loud, decisive, demanding leader is not necessarily toxic. A leader with a soft voice and façade of sincerity can also be toxic. In the end, it is not one specific behavior that deems one toxic; it is the cumulative effect of demotivational behavior on unit morale and climate over time that tells the tale. Toxic leaders might be highly competent and effective in a short-sighted sense, but they contribute to an unhealthy command climate with ramifications extending far beyond their tenure. Three key elements of the toxic leader syndrome are:—

1.     An apparent lack of concern for the wellbeing of subordinates.

2.     A personality or interpersonal technique that negatively affects organizational climate.

3.     A conviction by subordinates that the leader is motivated primarily by self-interest.

elipsis graphic

Toxic leadership, like leadership in general, is more easily described than defined, but terms like selfaggrandizing, petty, abusive, indifferent to unit climate, and interpersonally malicious seem to capture the concept. A toxic leader is poison to the unit—an insidious, slow-acting poison that complicates diagnosis and the application of an antidote. Large and complex organizations like the military should look for the phenomenon since culture and organizational policies might inadvertently combine to perpetuate it.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 28 August 2015

Training of Infantry, 1918
Topic: Drill and Training

The Infantry

Fundamental Principles and General Directions Governing the Training of Infantry.

Training Circular No. 5, Infantry Training; [US] Army War College, August, 1918.

10. (a)     Discipline. Modern war as now carried on in Europe, requires of infantry the greatest discipline obtainable. The failure of men to carry out their orders implicitly in an attack means unnecessary heavy losses, if not absolute failure. It is found that only thoroughly disciplined troops can carry out a modern attack where every step must be taken in accordance with: a careful schedule. The first great step then in fitting infantry troops for service abroad is to inculcate this spirit of discipline.

This can be done:

(1)     By every officer setting a proper example for those below him in rank of promptly and cheerfully obeying orders and regulations, by a careful and exact performance of every duty and by exacting the same of all subordinates.

(2)     Dress and military courtesies: If men are allowed to be sloppy and untidy in dress, slipshod and careless about rendering courtesies, the military spirit is lost and the command remains undisciplined.

(3)     Precision and snap in drill: This must be insisted on. Movements must be executed exactly as prescribed. For example, in executing right front into line from column of squads, it must be insisted that the corporal so conduct his squad that it comes exactly to its place without closing in after halting; that the command halt is given as a foot strikes the ground; that pieces all come down together, etc. All other movements must be executed with the same precision,.

Never allow a movement to drag; "snap" is necessary; increase rather than decrease the cadence. Most close order drill is for disciplinary purposes. If done with precision and snap the object is attained; if not, the more you have of it the worse the command. Men become confirmed in doing things only approximately as told.

(4)     Leaders must know their work. There must be no hesitation, commands must be given correctly and with snap. Leaders must treat all subordinates with courtesy, correct reasonable mistakes without harshness, give clear and reasonable explanations, show men how. When men fail through persistent carelessness, inattention or willfulness, then use as drastic measures as necessary. Leaders must insist that all subordinates do their work properly, but they must set the example themselves.

(5)     Cultivate esprit de corps, pride in the organization, and in the subdivisions even to the smallest. Competitive contests between smaller units are of great advantage.

(b)     The ultimate object of all instruction being field service efficiency, field maneuvers and field firing should be considered as the culmination of previous training and the test of its thor­oughness.

(c)     The efficiency of the squad, including its leader, is the basis of efficiency and this efficiency in turn depends on the thoroughness of the training of individual members of this unit.

(d)     The efficiency of every command depends on the effi­ciency of the units or teams composing it. As each team in a large command must be under the direct control of its immediate chief, it is evident that such chief should have all possible charge of the instruction of his team. (Footnoted — 1 Officers must, however, because of the inexperience of the great majority attention to individual of the noncommissioned officers, give personal instruction and to that of the squad and platoon, in order that the train­ing may proceed along right lines and due progress be made.) Authority and responsi­bility should exist in equal degree. From such a system there should result not only suitable instruction of the, team, but also comradeship among the individual members, pride in the team as a unit and that confidence and habit of command on the part of the leader so necessary to efficient leadership.

(e)     Drill movements are of two general classes—first, drills of precision and, second, maneuver and combat exercises.

The precise movements of the manual of arms and close-order, drillare not for the purpose of teaching men how to get about on the battle field. They will hardly be used there at all. One of the principal objects is to train the soldiers' minds and bodies to habits of precise, unhesitating obedience to the will of the leader, so that in the stress of battle they will obey without con­scious effort, mechanically, automatically, as the easiest and most natural line of action.

Maneuver and combat exercises are intended for instruction in the proper handling of troops in campaign and on the battle field. There should be rigid adherence to orders and instructions. It is hardly possible properly to conduct a drill or exercise without special forethought and preparation for that particular drillor exercise. After each drill or exercise the specific work for the next one should be announced, so that leaders may have time to prepare themselves.

The drill or exercise should be made interesting, not only by variety, which is necessary in order not to exhaust the soldier's attention by straining it too long on ofie subject, but also by comments on the part of leaders, continued throughout the drill and directed toward those elements whose performance is un­usually good or bad.

(f)     There must be a definite and progressive plan and schedule of instruction. Every course of instruction should embrace certain definitely prescribed subjects and be for a definite period in order to unify instruction, prevent unnecessary repetition and use the available time to the best advantage. On the completion of the prescribed course of theoretical instruction all study should not cease, but sufficient post-graduate work should follow to broaden the student's professional horizon and keep him in touch. with new methods and ideas.

(g)     Officers and non-commissioned officers of each grade should be competent to take up the duties of the next higher grade. Military efficiency can only be attained through competent and instructed officers arid non-commissioned officers.

(h)     Lectures are valuable aids in military training. Those to enlisted men should be about one-half hour long; to officers they may be longer. The number of lectures on any particular subject will depend upon its nature. They should be delivered by those specially qualified on the particular subjects. The lecture meetings should be as informal as is consistent with discipline,' questions and discussions should be arranged. The appropriate use of maps, diagrams and illustrations, including moving pictures, is advantageous.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 27 August 2015

Clothing, Necessaries, and Badges of Non-Effectives
Topic: The Field of Battle

1617—Disposal of Clothing and Necessaries and Badges of Non-Effectives:—(B)

Extracts from Volumes 5 and 6 of Canadian Army Routine Orders, R.Os. 1541 to 2755, 31 Dec 1942


The following articles may be used in conjunction with the burial of deceased soldiers who have died whilst serving:—

  • Battle Dress:—
    • Blouse.
    • Trousers, pair.
  • Underwear.
  • Shirt.
  • Socks.
  • Badges.

The above items will be struck off the individual M.F.C. 800 but will not be brought back to the Unit's ledger charge and again written off. A note should, however, be made on the M.F.C. 800 against these items to the effect that they were buried with the deceased soldier.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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