The Minute Book
Saturday, 13 May 2017

US Army Soldier's Handbook (1966)
Topic: US Armed Forces

US Army Soldier's Handbook (1966)

Each Individual in this nation has the duty to contribute as much as he can to the wellbeing of the nation and its people. Military service is one form of such a contribution.

You, An American Soldier

When you entered the Army, you raised your right hand and swore that you would bear true faith and allegiance to the United States of America, and that you would serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies whomsoever. This is a sacred oath token by you and there is a great trust placed in you by the people of America that you honor this oath.

As you look around you will not find a "typical American soldier" in height, weight, color of eyes and hair, family origin, education, wealth, intelligence or similar characteristics. The soldiers you hove met and will meet are from all walks of life and all parts of our country. But all of you have two things in common. first, you are all serving the United States of America and believe in the principles that make it a free country. This not only gives you a common bond with your fellow soldiers but also guarantees you the same chances as the next man to get ahead. This American tradition is cherished in your Army as it is in all phases of American life. Second, the responsibility of all Americans is outstanding in the world today. The spirit of teamwork instilled in you at home, school and church, at work and play, aids in the cooperation needed for you to meet any and all tasks.

The habits of obedience you learned while growing into maturity are a necessary part of Army life. Obey promptly and cheerfully the orders given to you. Obedience and teamwork will make your performance better and your fellow soldier's tasks easier.

Service in the Army is a duty and a privilege. Each Individual in this nation has the duty to contribute as much as he can to the wellbeing of the nation and its people. Military service is one form of such a contribution. From the oldest times It has been considered a privilege to be permitted to bear arms in the defense of one's nation or people. This privilege is afforded only to those who are individuals of good standing and good reputation.

Army History

To write a full history of the United States Army would not be appropriate for this handbook. However, here are some historical highlights that may interest you.

The United States Army has its origin in the colonial militia. On 14 June 1775, the Continental Congress voted to adopt the militia and volunteers, fighting the British around Boston, as the Colonial Army. These were Infantrymen; so the Army is the senior of the services and the Infantry the senior branch of the Army. This Army defeated the British.

Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown on 19 October 1781 ended the last major battle of the Revolution. The formal treaty of peace was signed on 3 September 1783. The Indian wars followed and the Army inherited the job of guarding the frontier against Indian tribes. The Army continued to do this job for a century, a job which coiled for great endurance, skill, bravery and patience.

During the war of 1812-15 our Army again fought the British on American soil. The 30 years of peace that followed actually spanned three other wars. In 1817, the Seminole War; in 1832 the Black Hawk War; and from 1832-42 the second Seminole War.

The War Between the States, 1861-65, Civil War, was a tragic and bitter conflict. Within a year soldiers of both armies were veterans, fighting with a skill rarely surpassed by any country at any time, World War I saw our Army enter the conflict in 1917. Early in the fall of 1918 the Allies began on attack that did not stop until the war was won. American doughboys had a rough sector to take known as the Meuse-Argonne. In this area they showed ability to dish it out, as at the Marne; they had proved they could "take it." Their attack helped force the enemy to ask for on armistice in November 1918.

World War II. In 1918 the American soldiers thought they had helped "to end all wars." On 7 December 1941, we were once again at war. This war was different, even more than in the first war our soldiers fought as individuals; no more did they know the companionship of trench fighting, but fought from individual positions and the name "foxholes" was born. Many battles were fought in all parts of the world. The supreme assault come on 6 June 1944 on the Normandy Peninsula in France and our soldiers began the bitter advance. On 7 May 1945 the war in Europe was over and Japan surrendered on 14 August 1945.

The Korean War was a further test of American fighting ability and as part of the United Nations the American soldier again proved he was a determined fighter who could function under nearly impossible conditions. The conflict ended on 27 July 1953 adding another page of glorious history to the United States Army.

Today, communism is the major threat to our Nation. This threat is the primary reason for the Army ta constantly train men as part of the U.S. fighting force. Your training and eventual performance of duty with a unit is a vital part of this Nation's defense.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 14 April 2017

American Troops in France Will Be "Armed to Teeth"
Topic: US Armed Forces

American Troops in France Will Be "Armed to Teeth"

Infantry Will Have Trench Knives, Machine Guns and Cannon in Equipment

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, Washington, 29 September 1917

American soldiers will literally be "armed to the teeth" when sent into the trenches against the Germans.

In addition to then usual rifles, bayonets and pistols with which the men are now armed, there will be added to the fighting equipment of each regiment 480 trench knives, 40 to each company; 1192 machine guns, 16 to each company, and three one-pound cannon.

Details of the new fighting equipment were given in a statement by Secretary Baker at Washington, D.C., outlining the new army organization for overseas service.

This reorganization increases the ratio of artillery to infantry from 3 to 9, as at present, to 3 to 4. A corresponding increase is made in machine gun strength. In addition, there are sections of sappers and bombers who have important parts to play in the new warfare.

The strength of the new organizations will be:

Division, 27,152; Infantry brigade, 5210; artillery brigade, 5068; infantry company, 256; machine gun company, 378.

Each infantry regiment will have a strength of 103 officers and 3652 men. There will be one headquarters company of 313, three battalions of four rifle companies each totaling 3078, one supply company of 140, one machine gun company of 178, and one medical detachment of 56.

The rifle company has 259 men and six officers. It is composed of a company headquarters with two officers and 18 men, and four platoons. Each platoon has two sections of riflemen of 12 each; one section of bombers and rifle grenadiers of 23 men, and one section of auto riflemen of 11 men and four guns.

Machine Guns

The 178 men of the machine gun company will be armed with 12 heavy machine guns and four spare guns.

The organization of the infantry devision in detail is as follows:

One division headquarters, 164; one machine gun battalion of four companies, 768; two infantry brigades, each composed of two infantry regiments, one machine gun battalion of three companies, 16,420; one field artillery brigade composed of three field artillery regiments, one trench mortar battery, 5068; one field signal battalion, 262; one regiment of engineers, 1666; one train headquarters and military police, 337; one ammunition train, 962; one supply train, 472; one engineer train, 84; one sanitary train composed of four field hospital companies and four ambulance companies, 949—total 27,152.

Each regimental headquarters will consist of seven officers and 294 men. There will be a headquarters platoon of 93, a staff section of 36, an orderlies section of 29, a hand section of 28, a signal platoon of 77, including a telephone sections; a sappers and bombers platoon of 44, a pioneer platoon of 55 for engineer work, and a one-pounder cannon platoon of 33 officers and men.

The transportation equipment to each regiment will be 22 combat wagons, 16 rolling kitchens, 22 baggage and rations wagons, 16 rations carts, 15 water carts, three medical carts, 24 machine gun carts, 59 riding horses, eight riding mules, 332 draft mules, two motorcycles with side cars, one motor car and 42 bicycles.

There will be 14 machine gun companies to the division. Each of the four infantry regiments will have one, each of the two brigades a machine gun battalion of three companies and the division will have a separate machine gun battalion of four companies.

This gives the division a mobile machine gun strength of 10 companies, which can be used as a special needs require, while each regiment still has its own machine gun equipment in one of its component companies. And, in addition, there are 48 sections of auto riflemen, each section carrying four light machine guns.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 30 December 2016 9:30 PM EST
Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Discipline and Respect for the Colors
Topic: US Armed Forces

Discipline and Respect for the Colors

Home Lessons for New Army Men (Lesson No. 21, of 30)

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, Washington, 21 September 1917

"All persons in the military service are required to obey strictly and to execute promptly the lawful orders of their superiors." (Army regulations, paragraph 1.)

Discipline is not merely an obligation imposed upon you; it is a protection to you. Your superiors, from the commanding general down, are just as much bound to respect the regulations of the army as you are; this includes respect for the rights of every soldier.

Discipline is the necessary rule of life in the army and is not in the least inconsistent with your own pride and self-respect as a citizen and a soldier.

Remember, also, that there are certain restrictions upon the relation of officers and men which are a necessary part of army discipline. An officer, even though in private life he may be your warm friend and associate, is expected not to mingle with you or other men in the ranks on terms of familiarity. This is a rule that is often far from agreeable to the officer; but he has no more power to change it than you have. The reason is clear. An officer cannot mingle with the men under him on familiar terms without becoming better acquainted and more friendly with some than with others. He immediately lays himself open to the suspicion of favoritism—a suspicion which tends strongly to undermine respect and authority.

Don't Argue With Officers

Argument has no place in the army. Even favorable comment on the conduct of orders of superior officer is entirely out of place. The duty of officers and men alike is to obey promptly. However, intelligent suggestions properly made are always welcome.

The discipline of the army is just and impersonal. You will be treated with fairness. Your rights will be respected. On your part you must respect the rights and authority conferred upon others.

How to Salute Colors

The American flag carried by a regiment is known as the "colors." It is the symbol of the nation and is treated always with the deepest respect. Another flag is carried which is the symbol of the regiment and is known as the "regimental colors." It is protected with a devotion second only to that felt for the national flag itself.

Thousands of brave men in previous wars have given up their lives to save the colors of their country and their regiment from the enemy's hands. As war is now conducted, it is no longer practicable, as a rule, to carry them into battle and fight under their folds.

Ordinarily the colors when not in use are kept in the office of the colonel or in front of his tent. During the day when the weather permits they are displayed unfurled. At night and during rainy weather they are "cased," which means they are furled and protected by an oilcloth covering.

Officers and men passing an uncased color always honor it by saluting.

Show Respects to Anthem

Similar rules of respect apply to whenever "The Star Spangled Banner" is played. Officers and enlisted men not in formation stand at attention, facing toward the music (except at "retreat," when they face toward the flag). They salute at the first note of the anthem, retaining the position of salute until the last note.

Every citizen of then United States, whether a civilian or a soldier, should give expression of his loyalty and devotion to his country by showing proper marks of respect for the colors and for the national anthem. When in civilian clothes, wearing a hat or cap, the correct thing to do is to remove it and hold it in the right hand opposite the left shoulder while passing an uncased color or during playing of the national anthem. If uncovered, stand at attention.

The coming habit of rising slowly, standing in a slouching attitude, and sometimes even carrying on conversation when the national anthem is played is an indication of gross ignorance or ill breeding. On the other hand, the man who stands silent and at attention is not only showing proper respect and setting an example which will have its effect on others, but also is cultivating in himself the feelings of pride and of patriotism which should belong to every citizen of the country.

It goes without saying that disrespect to the American flag can not be tolerated. If any such instances come to your attention you should report them at once to the proper authorities in order that they may be dealt with in accordance with the law.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 18 December 2016 4:19 PM EST
Monday, 18 July 2016

Soldiers to be Taught New Ways of Warfare (US Army, 1917)
Topic: US Armed Forces

Soldiers to be Taught New Ways of Warfare

Trench Life Will be Lived by Men
Artillery Training is Arduous Branch

The Milwaukee Journal, 14 October 1917
By Arthur D. Howden Smith (Staff Correspondent of The Milwaukee Journal and The New York Evening Post.)

Washington.—The first stage of the training of the men of the national army will not be nearly so interesting as the later stages. This first stage will be devoted largely to making them physically capable of standing the driving routine of real soldier work. To march fifteen and twenty miles a day, with sixty-pound pack, ammunition, and rifle, requires a degree of fitness that few men in civil life possess. You must be hard. Every muscle in your body must be toughened and freed. There is no room for superfluous flesh on a man in hiking condition. It is excess baggage and has to be cast off.

After a few weeks of Swedish drill, of twirling the army Springfield and marching and counter-marching, in close and extended order, the conscript should be prepared for higher instruction. By the time the companies have begun to achieve solidarity in maneuver and can even combine into battalions with some degree of order, the brigadiers will begin holding confidential sessions with the regimental commanders and surveying the countryside around the cantonments for good sites for mimic warfare. By this time, too, delegations of expert British and French exponents of the modern art of trench sighting should be on hand, and the advance-guard of the reserve officers , sent over-seas for instruction close to the fighting front, will be returning to lend the value of their experience to the partially trained men of the national army.

A World Achievement

Just when this time will come nobody can say. The regular officers in charge of training may have ideas of their own, but if they have any they are keeping the knowledge to themselves. And rightly. For the national army is the most ambitious experiment in constructing military forces that any country ever attempted. It presents innumerable problems to which there are no answers in the available textbooks. The general scheme for development of the drafted men will be something like this, however.:

First phase, physical training and elementary military drill.
Second phase, advanced military drill.
Third phase, specialized warfare, as taught abroad.

Naturally, the training will vary at different cantonments, according to the ideas of the commanding officers, climatic conditions, and the adaptability of the men. Also, physical training will continue throughout the entire period of development, but it will not be stressed in the later phases. It might be said that the physical benefit the average man derives from military routine is little short of astounding.

Learning Trench Warfare

Once the drafted men have been welded into coherent units, able to obey promptly and in unison the spoken word of command, they will have ceased to be rookies in the opprobrious sense of the word, and may be called soldiers. Before the present war scrapped pre-existing ideas of military tactics their training in essentials would have just begun. Ahead of them would have stretched a long series of lessons in out-post duty, guard duty, flank and rear-guard duty, and so forth. Trench warfare has simplified all of this, and, if regular army officers are to be believed, it is this simplification which makes possible the intensive training of utterly raw troops in the mass. Their training will embrace instructions in fighting from trenches and in attacking trenches. That sums it up.

A tradition of the American Army that will be adhered to is target practice. Regular army officer hold that one of the secrets of the remarkable success British troops have always had when opposed to the Germans under anything like equal conditions has been the individually better marksmanship of their men.

This war has shown a weird tendency to develop terrible new engines of destruction and to revive the use of primitive weapons. The theory of twenty years ago following the perfection of the magazine rifle and the machine gun, that close-order fighting would be barred has been thrown into the discard. The arme blanche, as the French call it, the cold steel of the Anglo-Saxons, still reigns supreme as close quarters.

Thorough Bayonet Drill

Bayonet-fighting, as developed on the western front, mainly through British initiative, has become almost a new science. The old-time rigmarole of the bayonet manual, with its elaborate parries, guards, cuts, and thrusts, has been almost entirely done away with. In its place has been substituted a murderously simple and effective set of movements. It is horrible, almost terrifying, to the uninitiated. For bayonet-fighting represents a complete relapse to the primitive. Many sensitive, tensely strung men cannot stand it. At the training camps for officers, several men were gien discharges because of the nausea that mastered them at the idea of knife-fighting—which is all the bayonet-fighting is.

The men of the national army will receive thorough instruction in the use of this dreadful little tool. And the instruction will be as lifelike as ingenuity can make it. They will be taught to fight in every position—standing up, face to face; from the side, when caught off guard; thrusting downward, from the lip of a trench; upward, at an enemy climbing the parapet; on the run, as when a counter-attack meets a charge. The training will embrace the use of dummies and trenches and every conceivable kind of terrain. It requires good wind to end a quarter-mile sprint, loaded down with equipment, with enough energy to indulge in a bayonet duel.

Bomb Work Important

Perhaps the most important new tactics brought our during this war center around bomb-fighting. The grenadiers of the eighteenth century were what their name implies—men picked for their height and strength, and each carrying two bags of cast-iron grenades, which they ignited with a slow match and hurled at close quarters at the enemy. There was a grenadier company in each regiment of the old British line. But long before the Peninsular war the name had become almost meaningless. The improvement in field artillery made grenadiers useless, except for siege work. In recent wars grenades have been practically unknown, although the Japanese used some in the siege of Port Arthur.

But the continuous close fighting on the western front, with the establishment of trench warfare, brought the grenade back into high favor again. At first the opposing troops manufactured their own grenades out of food tins. The effectiveness of these improvised weapons proved a revelation, and first the Germans, and then the French and British, undertook the production of several standardized types of hand-bombs. Now the bombers that accompany every attack form the first wave, and it is to them that is entrusted the task of cleaning out garrisons of dugouts and machine-gun nests.

Bombing has developed into a separate department of military science. There are recognized ways of throwing the different bombs, and different types of bombs for different uses. The men of the national army will learn all about them in time. Bomb practice is dangerous, and has cost many lives in Great Britain and Canada.

Work in the Trenches

Instead of the open country maneuvers that used to be employed to accustom troops to actual warfare, the men of the national army will be taught the life of the trenches. On the hillsides and plains close to the training cantonments huge systems of field fortifications will be dug, complete to the last detail, with barbed wire entanglements, artillery and machine gun emplacements, bomb-proofs, dugouts, communication trenches, support trenches, listening posts, everything that the ingenuity of the battling nations has evolved from three years of fighting on a stupendous scale. They will be taught how to enter and leave a trench, how to repel attacks, how to make raids, how to attack by surprise under cover of the night and by day behind the protection of barrage fire.

Of course, the instruction will not be identical for all men. This is an age of military specialization. The artilleryman has not the time to spend on infantry tactics, nor has the bomber leisure to acquire the tricks of the machine gun. It is understood that the new system of regimental organization adapted by our army from the French calls for companies of approximately 250 men. Each of these companies consists of four platoons. One platoon is made up of bombers or grenadiers, two are made up of magazine riflemen, and the fourth is armed with automatic rifles or machine guns. In addition, there is an extra machine gun battalion attached to every regiment and to every brigade and division headquarters. But all of these men will have to learn trench tactics, because all will fight from trenches.

On the other hand men who elect the artillery will receive radically different training after they have emerged from the embryonic stage, where they are taught to stand and walk and the A B C of military ways. At each cantonment there will be a brigade of field artillery as a component part of the tactical division formed there. A field artillery brigade consists of three regiments, two of 3-inch batteries and one of heavier guns, 4.7 or 6-inch generally. When men report they are given the opportunity of selecting the arm they wish to serve in so far as is possible.

Artillery training is probably the biggest of all the training camp problems. The biggest obstacle is equipment. The country was woefully short of field artillery equipment even for the regular army and national guard, when we entered the war.

The men are first taught just what a modern field-piece is. They are shown how to take it apart and assemble it again, and they are drilled until they know every part of it by name and by feel. The mechanism of shells is illustrated practically and demonstrations are given in how and why a shell explodes. They are taught to ride and care for horses and the simpler elements of hippology. Range-finding and the plotting of targets is a much more difficult work, and yet perfectly tangible, once the guiding rules are comprehended. The use of the azimuth, the theory of indirect fire, triangulation and probably, too, the most modern development of all, co-operation between airplane observers and batteries, will form the bulk of the drafted artilleryman's studies. By the time he has finished such a course, he may not be quite ready for the battlefront, but at least he should be able to go to the finishing schools immediately behind the front.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 18 July 2016 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 4 February 2016

Desired Leader Attributes for Joint Force 2020
Topic: US Armed Forces

Desired Leader Attributes for Joint Force 2020

Chairman Joint Chief of Staff - Memorandum for Joint Chiefs of the Military Services; Commanders of the Combatant Commands; Chief, National Guard Bureau; Directors of the Joint Staff Directories, 28 Jun 2013

One of my top priorities for developing Joint Force 2020 (JF2020) is to ensure that joint leader development is reinforced in military training and education programs and policies. … at my direction … the Military Education Coordination Council (MECC) conducted a review of joint education. Its objective was to ensure we are developing agile and adaptive leaders with the requisite values, strategic vision, and critical thinking skills to keep pace with the changing strategic environment. A primary focus of the review was to develop a set of Desired Leader Attributes (DLAs) required for the leaders of JF2020. After reviewing the MECC report's findings and recommendations, I approved a set of DLAs for adoption by the joint community as guideposts for junior officer leader development as we move forward in meeting my intent to institutionalize the essential knowledge, skills, attributes, and behaviors that define our profession.

The six officer DLAs are the abilities to:

(1)     understand the environment and the effect of all instruments of national power,

(2)     anticipate and adapt to surprise and uncertainty,

(3)     recognize change and lead transitions,

(4)     operate on intent through trust, empowerment, and understanding (Mission Command),

(5)     make ethical decisions based on the shared values of the Profession of Arms, and

(6)     think critically and strategically in applying joint warfighting principles and concepts to joint operations.

Martin E. Dempsey
General, U.S. Army

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The United States Marine Corps
Topic: US Armed Forces

The United States Marine Corps

The Noncommissioned Officer and Petty Officer; Backbone of the Armed Forces, 2014

Marines are different. They have their own air arm, and they deploy on land and at sea. They have a hymn, not a song. Marines are different because of their ethos. Chapter 1 of Marine Corps Warfighting Publication 6-11, Leading Marines, is titled "Our Ethos." The introduction to that publication captures the essence of the Marine Corps ethos:

Being a Marine comes from the eagle, globe, and anchor that is tattooed on the soul of every one of us who wears the Marine Corps uniform. … Unlike physical or psychological scars, which over time, tend to heal and fade in intensity, the eagle, globe, and anchor only grow more defined—more intense—the longer you are a Marine. "Once a Marine, always a Marine." (Marine Corps Warfighting Publication 6-11, Leading Marines (Washington, DC: Headquarters United States Marine Corps, 1995))

That tattoo reflects a selfless spirit of being one of the few. Ask any Marine what he or she does, and the answer will be "I'm a Marine." What is most important to a Marine is being a Marine, not what rank or military occupational specialty he or she holds. It is the culture of the Marine Corps that makes it different not only from society as a whole, but also from the other Services. The Marine Corps is determined to be different—in military appearance, obedience to orders, disciplined behavior, adherence to traditions, and most important, the unyielding conviction that the Corps exists to fight. It has a deep appreciation for its rich history and traditions, which instills pride and responsibility in every Marine down to the lowest levels. Older Marines pass the traditions of the Corps to younger ones, ensuring they understand that the successes and sacrifices of the past set the path for the future. Since the first two battalions of Marines were raised by an act of the Continental Congress in 1775, many recruited from Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, the Corps has distinguished itself in every conflict in our nation's history. What follows are some of the more important characteristics that have shaped Marine Corps culture not only in the past, but also today.

Every Marine Is a Rifleman. In fact, every Marine, officer or enlisted, is trained first to be a rifleman before being trained in any other specialty. It is this bedrock premise and the training that goes with it that set all Marines on a common foundation. Leaders are molded with the same training given to those they will lead, building empathy and understanding unattainable in the other Services. Every facet of the Marine Corps exists to support the rifleman, and every Marine understands that.

Taking Care of Our Own. The characteristic that best defines Marines is selflessness—a spirit that places the self-interest of the individual after that of the institution and the team, all working toward a common goal. It is important that the unit succeed, not the individual. It is common to hear Marines speak of their leaders based on how well they take care of subordinates. "Take care of your people" and "take care of each other" are imbued in Marines from their first day in the Corps. Officers and NCOs eat last. They inspect the chow hall by eating in it. They know how their troops live in the barracks because they go there, and in the field they never have more creature comforts than their troops do. The only privilege of rank is that of ensuring that your subordinates are cared for. This culture defines what the Marine Corps is and who Marines are: men and women who exhibit extraordinary leadership and courage, both physical and moral, shaped by their dedication to the institution and each other.

Combined Arms Expeditionary Forces in Readiness. Operationally, there are four generally accepted characteristics that define and describe the Marine Corps. First, although capable of deploying and employing by various means, the Marine specialty is amphibiousness: the Corps comes from the sea, thus Marines think of themselves as "Soldiers of the Sea." Therefore, the Service focuses primarily on the coastal or littoral regions of the world. Second, the Marine Corps trains and operates as a Marine Air-Ground Task Force, a combined-arms, air-ground team, logistically self-sustainable for short periods of time. Third, as a force-in-readiness, the Marine Corps is a national "swing force"—forward deployed and expeditionary by nature—ready to respond rapidly to crises. Fourth, the Marine Corps considers itself a light-to-medium force, packing a quick and lethal punch. Although prepared to operate across the full spectrum of conflict, the Corps is more at home and most effective as a light-to-medium force that can be on scene quickly with enough firepower and sustainability to conduct operations as an "enabling force" until heavier units arrive.

The Marine Corps Is Small. As part of its expeditionary nature, the operating forces of the Marine Corps live on "camps," not forts or bases, and maintain a high tooth-to-tail ratio, relying on the other Services for a large portion of logistics, transportation, education, and combat service support. Many Marines receive specialized training at the other Service schools. There are no Marine doctors, nurses, dentists, field medical corpsmen, or chaplains—all of these are provided by the Navy. The Air Force and Navy get the Marines to the fight, with the Army assisting toward sustainment if Marines are forward deployed for extended periods.

Most Active-duty Marine forces are in the operating forces, with the bulk of those forces in the Fleet Marine Forces. These operating forces provide the combat power that is immediately available to the combatant commanders for employment.

To Marines, expeditionary means more than just getting there quickly. The Marines in the operating forces—most living in a Spartan-like "temporary-residence" mindset when not deployed— are eager members of the combined-arms team. This team is tailored toward a maneuver warfare approach to combat, where power from the sea is projected across the littoral, ideally maximizing the combined effect of its resources at a critical seam of the enemy's defense.

In 1957, the Commandant of the Marine Corps asked Lieutenant General Victor Krulak, "Why does the United States need a Marine Corps?" Five days later, General Krulak replied:

Essentially, as a result of the unfailing conduct of our Corps over the years, they (our nation's citizens) believe three things about Marines. First they believe when trouble comes to our country there will be Marines—somewhere—who, through hard work, have made and kept themselves ready to do something useful about it, and do it at once.

Second, they believe that when the Marines go to war they invariably turn in a performance that is dramatically and decisively successful—not most of the time, but always. Their faith and their convictions in this regard are almost mystical.

The third thing they believe about Marines is that our Corps is downright good for … our country; that the Marines are masters of a form of unfailing alchemy which converts unoriented youths into proud, self-reliant stable citizens—citizens into whose hands the nation's affairs may safely be entrusted.

Krulak concluded:

I believe the burden of all this can be summarized by saying that, while the functions which we discharge must always be done by someone, and while an organization such as ours is the correct one to do it, still, in terms of cold mechanical logic, the United States does not need a Marine Corps. However, for good reasons which completely transcend logic, the United States wants a Marine Corps. Those reasons are strong; they are honest, they are deep rooted and they are above question or criticism. So long as they exist—so long as the people are convinced that we can really do the three things I mentioned—we are going to have a Marine Corps… . And, likewise, should the people ever lose that conviction—as a result of our failure to meet their high—almost spiritual standards—the Marine Corps will then quickly disappear. (Victor H. Krulak, First to Fight: An Inside View of the United States Marine Corps (New York: Pocket Books, 1984))

In 1935, Gunnery Sergeant Walter Holzworth was asked how the Marine Corps came by its reputation as one of the world's greatest fighting formations. He replied, "Well, they started right out telling everybody how great they were. Pretty soon they got to believing it themselves. And they have been busy ever since proving they were right."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 20 August 2015

Topic: US Armed Forces


(Military Occupational Specialty)

Department of the Army, April 1962, [US Army] Infantry, Vol. 52, No. 5, September-October 1962.


He is a patriot, is highly motivated and has integrity.

He has imagination and initiative.

He has a willing spirit and will never give up.

He has normal human fears but stays and fights.

He willingly endures hardship in war and peace.

He understands his job and his weapons.

He is versatile and can do more than one thing well.

He is a team player and, as such, understands the necessity for discipline.

He promptly and willingly assumes the responsibility of leadership.

He places country before self.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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