The Minute Book
Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Soldiers Load; Australia
Topic: Soldiers' Load

The Soldiers Load; Australia

A Review of the Soldier's Equipment Burden, Chris Brady, Derrek Lush and Tom Chapman; Land Operations Division, Defence Science and Technology Organisation, 2011

Content of Load Carriage Ensemble (LCE)

All infantrymen were asked to describe the total number and volume of different items in their LCE. Some of these items were not present during the interview but the soldiers said there was little variation between missions for these items. As is typical, all soldiers had equipment packed for 72 hour operations.

It should be noted that since this data collection was carried out in 2006 some items that were not on SOP lists are now Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) and are issued to soldiers.

2.5.1 Amount of Water

The majority of soldiers carried two litres of water in their webbing (or Camelback™) and eight litres in their packs. There was some variation in this, with some carrying more. The total weight of 10 litres of water is 10 kilograms, plus the weight of the various water storage containers.

2.5.2 Amount of Ammunition

Typically F89 Gunners carried 800 linked rounds, of which 500 was carried on their webbing, the rest given to another soldier to carry or (occasionally) in their packs. Total weight of 800 linked rounds is 10.8 kilograms.

The most common volume of rounds carried by those using the F88 rifle was 210 rounds (seven magazines). A few Section Commanders plus others carried from one to seven additional magazines. All ammunition (except perhaps those carrying large additions) was carried in webbing. Total weight of 210 rounds is 3.5 kilograms.

2.5.3 Amount of Rations

The average amount of rations carried was 3 days' worth. The majority of soldiers broke down their ration packs. Typically only one meal and/or snacks was stored in the soldier's webbing, the rest was in the pack. When the ration packs are broken down some items are normally discarded (Forbes-Ewan, 2001). The items discarded are usually done so because the soldier did not want to eat them, and not specifically because they were considered too heavy. Combat rations typically weighs 1.8 kg per soldier per day when complete. Patrol rations (a.k.a. 'dehyd' rations) typically weigh 1.1 kg per soldier per day when complete.

Note that water must be carried in addition to the patrol rations to re-hydrate them. Total weight for three days of combat rations is 5.4 kilograms.

2.5.4 Issued but not Carried

All soldiers' loads are determined by a unit SOP list. Soldiers in this study were asked if there was any equipment on their SOP list that they regularly did not carry with them, and why. There was only a small amount of kit from the SOP list not packed (Table 6). The bayonet cannot be used by soldiers with the underslung GLA, so they do not carry it with them. Many soldiers do not carry their mess kit, since most rationed food can been prepared and eaten without it. Quite a number of soldiers reported not carrying their issued sleeping bag. If the weather is warm then no cold weather kit was packed. Often no spare uniform is packed if the soldier is to be away for only 72 hours.

2.5.5 Alternative Version of Issued Kit

Soldiers were asked if they replaced GFE with their own personally procured items. Table 7 has a list of all reported non-GFE carried. Many soldiers did not carry the issued sleeping bag because it was considered bulky and heavy. The preferred alternative was the Merlin Softie™ series of sleeping bags, which was considerably smaller and lighter, and reportedly offered the same (if not better) heat insulation.

Some used non-issued versions of the raincoats, though no reason was given for this. Many soldiers also used a Maglite™-brand torch instead of the issued utility torch. The Maglite was supposedly brighter, lighter and smaller than the issued torch. Many soldiers carried a Leatherman™ or some other utility knife. Ka-bar™ knives were often carried also.

2.5.6 Additional Kit Carried

Many infantrymen carried additional equipment; kit that is not on the SOP list. The most common was the bivvy bag, which is a weather-proof outer to the sleeping bag. Camelbacks were also used by the majority of soldiers. Some also carried umbrellas, gas bottles and burners for added comfort when in the bush.

Table 6: List of reported equipment not carried (left), replaced (middle), and in-addition to the SOP list (right)

Issued but not CarriedAlternative Version of GFEAdditional Kit Carried
BayonetCam cream (alt type)Bivvy bag
Cold Weather UniformGun oil bottle (larger)Caribena
Pan Mess KitKnife (combat)Gas bottle & burner
Sleeping BagKnife (utility)Pegs
Spare uniformMozzie RepellentTorch (head light)
Softie sleeping bag (Merlin)Plastic Entrenching Tool

Some items were listed by soldiers as personal equipment but are now (or are soon to be) issued items. These include the Camelback and any additional water bladders, the Silva compass, the large (2 litre) water bottles and Maglite torches.

2.5.7 The Current Load

This report is not aiming to prove there is a soldier load carriage problem. The problem is so prevalent that no further proof is considered necessary; and previous studies have addressed this issue sufficiently (Knapik 2004; Allen & Vanderpeer 2007). Whilst there is no need to exhaustively list measured weights, and since the load distribution varies between Battalions, Platoons, and even soldiers, it will be useful to determine the average current weight for issues discussed in this report.

The weight of the equipment the infantryman must carry often exceeds 50 kg, but this has not always been the case. Knapik et al. (2004) reviewed data on the weights carried by soldiers throughout history. It is clear that the modern dismounted infantryman must carry a weight greater than soldiers in past conflicts. Part of this increased weight is because there is reduced auxiliary transport so the soldier must carry their own equipment. In fact, a key advantage of the dismounted infantry is that they can penetrate where support vehicles can't follow.

Load weight has also increased as the capability of the soldier has increased; the soldier can now do more by utilising new equipment previous generations of soldiers did not have access to. However, it is likely that the equipment burden has now increased to the point where capability is compromised. As Paulson (2006 p.81) notes; 'the weights carried at the moment are incongruent with the notion of manoeuvre warfare'.

Numerous studies have reported the weight carried by soldiers from various countries in different conflicts. The results of this survey are compared to previous studies in Table 7. It is important to acknowledge that the weights carried changes over time as food is consumed, water drunk and ammunition used (especially during training). As such a full load does not remain full for long and weights quoted are often full loads.

Table 7: The Weight (in kg) of Soldier Equipment by survey

Load-outDescriptionDuration wornSOP (2)Land 125 SOP (3)Survey (4)
Light PatrolWebbing Only8 hr24.938.3
Patrol OrderWebbing & Day Pack8-24 hr37.734.748.1
Marching OrderWebbing & Field Pack24-72 hr60.2.9.346.057.0

*averaged over the section
(2) – 2 litres of water for patrol order. 4 litres of Marching order (though 3 days rations and ammo).
(3) – 8 litres of water for marching order. 4 litres for patrol order. 2 litres for light patrol order. From the Land 125-01-02 (MAR 02).
(4) – Includes typical load: Pack webbing and contents. 10 litres water, 3 days rations, front line ammo & weapon Excludes section and platoon level equipment: radios, med kits, batteries, GPS, binoculars & NVG.

In summary, although there is some difference between soldier roles and operations, in general it is likely that 55 kg is typical.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 29 August 2015 10:21 PM EDT
Friday, 18 September 2015

Selfless Commitment
Topic: British Army

Selfless Commitment

Values and Standards of the British Army, January 2008

The British Army is structured and trained for operations, not for the convenience of administration in barracks. On joining the Army soldiers accept a commitment to serve whenever and wherever they are needed, whatever the difficulties or dangers may be. Such commitment imposes certain limitations on individual freedom, and requires a degree of self-sacrifice. Ultimately it may require soldiers to lay down their lives. Implicitly it requires those in positions of authority to discharge in full their moral responsibilities to subordinates. Selfless commitment is reflected in the wording of the Oath of Allegiance which is taken on attestation. In it, soldiers agree to subordinate their own interests to those of the unit, Army and Nation, as represented by the Crown:

"I swear by almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors and that I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully defend her Majesty, her heirs and successors in person, crown and dignity against all enemies and will observe and obey all orders of her Majesty, her heirs and successors and of the generals and officers set over me."

(Those who do not believe in God "Solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm.")

Irrespective of private beliefs, this Oath embodies the context within which the British Army fights and operates. It expresses the loyalty of every soldier to the Sovereign as Head of State. These relationships find expression in the Colours, Standards and other emblems of Regimental and Corps spirit, which derive from the Sovereign. Personal commitment is the foundation of military service. Soldiers must be prepared to serve whenever and wherever required and to do their best at all times. This means putting the needs of the mission and of the team before personal interests.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 17 September 2015

US Army Ration 1830s
Topic: Army Rations

US Army Ration 1830s

A Short History of the US Army Noncommissioned Officer, L.R. Arms

Daily rations during the 1830's included:—

  • beef (1 ¼ lbs) or pork (¾ lbs);
  • flour or bread (18 ounces);
  • whiskey, rum, or other liquor (¼ pint);
  • vinegar (4 quarts per 100 men);
  • soap (4 lbs per 100 men);
  • salt (two quarts per 100 men); and
  • candles (1 ½ lbs per 100 men).

The liquor ration was eliminated in 1832 and replaced with four pounds of coffee and eight pounds of sugar per 100 men.

The lack of vegetables in the daily ration often proved disastrous at frontier posts. During the winter months scurvy struck posts and the only relief was to trade local Indians whiskey for vegetables. This trade, though illegal, saved more than one post from the ravages of scurvy. When coffee replaced whiskey, the Army had little to trade to attain the needed vegetables, as Indians would rarely trade vegetables for coffee. (For prevention of scurvy, beans were introduced into the daily ration in the 1840's.)

Post gardens provided another source of nutrition outside the daily rations. In an effort to lower the cost of sustaining an Army, gardens were used to grow vegetables. Enlisted men planted, hoed, and watered the gardens as fatigue duty. At other posts, in addition to gardens, herds of cattle were maintained. Many commanders and enlisted men disapproved of such duty, regarding it as unmilitary.

Considered by many to be more military, and assisting in supplementing the daily ration, hunting proved popular on the frontier. One commander went so far as to declare that the Army would save a great deal of money and train its troops if soldiers were organized into hunting parties, instead of spending endless hours on fatigue duty.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Qualities of the Leader
Topic: Leadership

Qualities of the Leader

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

Ridicule, sarcasm, and insulting remarks create resentment and should never be employed. Surliness and uncontrolled anger indicate lack of poise and selfcontrol, often concealing inability and lack of knowledge.


A leader is self-confident and commands his subordinates. He is not arrogant, nor does he look down upon subordinates as inferiors lacking in intelligence, in self-respect, or in the desire to do their share. The leader must possess the soldierly qualities of obedience, loyalty, neat8ness, precision, self-control, endurance, courage, and coolness in the face of danger in a sufficiently high degree to be a fitting example to his men. Mutual respect and loyalty are essential in a team.


Successful practical experience gives the leader confidence in himself and inspires it in his men. Intelligence and knowledge derived from the experience of others may serve as substitutes initially, but handling men is an art developed through experience. It is the duty of all leaders to afford their subordinates opportunities to practice leadership, and to encourage suboirdinate leaders to solve their own problems by giving them maximum responsibility for their units, subject only to necessary supervision. Inexperienced leaders may ask the advice of their superiors, experienced subordinates, and other experienced leaders, but they should not depend on others to make their decisions for them. The decisions and the responsibility should be theirs alone.

Relationship With Subordinates.

a.     The leader should adopt a sensible and natural attitude in dealing with his subordinates. It is always a grave mistake for a leader to try to gain popularity by undue familiarity, coddling, or currying favor, because it is an inescapable fact that intimate association between leaders and those they lead tends to destroy discipline and lower prestige. In the interests of good discipline, officers are required to wear a distinctive uniform, to live apart from the men, and to confine their social contacts in the Army to other officers. This age-old distinction prevails in all armies. Enlisted men understand and appreciate the reasons and necessities which prevent undue familiarity with their leaders and have little but contempt for the officer or soldier who, forgetting his own place, deliberately crosses the dividing line reserved for the other. The wise leader will walk the thin line between friendship and familiarity, and at the same time be parent, brother, and father-confessor to his men. It has been said that "a good leader has the patience of Job, the loyalty of Jonathan, and Martha's willingness to serve." However, this is never a one-sided relationship, because experience has shown that if the leader will take care of his men, they'll take care of him.

b.     It is important that a commander keep himself accessible at all times to the men of his unit. Thoughtful consideration must be given to complaints. The man who makes a complaint thinks he has suffered an injustice. If he has, the-fault should be remedied; if not, his faulty impressions should be corrected at once. In this way no grievances, real or imaginary, will be allowed to develop.

Decisiveness, Initiative, Resourcefulness.

a.     The unexpected is always a test of leadership. The ability to grasp the facts in a situation quickly and to initiate prompt intelligent action is invaluable. A clear understanding of the objective to be attained will usually guide a leader to a sound decision.

b.     Decisiveness is of great importance. Indecision, or hasty decisions which must be changed, destroy confidence. Stubborn adherence to faulty decisions creates resentment, while frank admission of error with prompt corrective action inspires respect and confidence.

c.     In some situations, action may be necessary which is beyond the scope of the leader's authority or contrary to his orders. In such circumstances, he reports the situation to his superior with his recommendations, or, when the urgency warrants it, takes action himself and reports his actions to his superior as soon as possible. Soldiers unite quickly behind 'a leader who meets a new and unexpected situation with prompt action.

d.     New situations and absence of means due to enemy action or other cause demand resourcefulness in a leader. Military supply, organization, and training are designed to meet all normally expected situations, but sometimes fail under combat conditions. Inactivity or passive acceptance of an unsatisfactory situation because of lack of normal means or ways of dealing with it are never justified.


Thoughtfulness includes the forethought essential to planning and such qualities in relations with others as courtesy, consideration, sympathy, and understanding.

a.     Proper planning is essential to the success of any mission, whether in training or in combat. The welfare of the men is an important element in all plans, second only to the accomplishment of the mission.

b.     Courtesy is discussed in chapter 3.

c.     A leader's consideration for his men, like the spirit of obedience, is ever present. It reveals itself in 'many little ways, such as letting them be at ease during explanations at drill, insuring that they get hot meals on marches or in combat, taking advantage of lulls to let them rest or sleep, commending work well done, and understanding and discussing with them their points of view and their individual problems.

d.     Sympathy should be intelligent. It should not encourage men to shirk, feel sorry for themselves, or rebel. It should not produce that familiarity which breeds contempt or lack of respect. It should not blind the leader or his men to the realization that orders must be obeyed even when the reasons for them are not understood, that hardships are to be expected and must be endured, and that the impossible may have to be attempted and achieved.

Justice and Impartiality

a.     Everyone resents injustice and favoritism. In assigning duties, recognizing merit, granting privileges, or awarding punishment, the leader must be just and impartial. He must be accessible, willing to listen to and investigate complaints, and prompt in taking corrective action when necessary.

b.     Commendation is more effective than criticism, but indiscriminate praise reduces the value of commendation, and failure to point out faults is unjust. An incompetent subordinate should be removed, but the leader should not condemn him until he has pointed out his errors to him and given him a chance to correct them, unless it is clearly obvious that to do otherwise would threaten the success of a unit's mission.

c.     To accept slipshod performance as satisfactory is to court disaster in battle. Likewise, to accept willing, competent performance without recognizing it with commendation or other reward is a serious neglect that ultimately produces discouragement and destroys that willingness which is an essential element of obedience.

Additional Qualities

a.     There are other positive qualities which create respect. These are honesty, truthfulness, decency, dependability, and sincerity. Possession of these create self-reliance and engender self-respect. Many attributes, such as sincerity, enthusiasm, friendliness, and good humor, are invaluable to a leader; these should be natural and not forced or exaggerated. If not inherent, they can be acquired over a period of time by observation of others and thoughtful application of the results of this observation to one's needs.

b.     Dissolute habits must be avoided and undesirable traits of character must be corrected. Immorality, obscenity, drunkenness, gambling, and continued indebtedness undermine morale fiber and destroy the will as well as being outward indications of self-degradation. Ridicule, sarcasm, and insulting remarks create resentment and should never be employed. Surliness and uncontrolled anger indicate lack of poise and self-control, often concealing inability and lack of knowledge.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 16 September 2015 12:08 AM EDT
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

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