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Why do armor officers sound like corporate middle managers these days?


Walter_Sobchak
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Today I noticed that a new issue of ARMOR has been released in PDF format.  I love looking through old issues of ARMOR, there are all sorts of interesting articles and letters in those old issues.  For example, here are the article titles from the Nov-Dec 1952 issue:

 

 

MOBILE ANTITANK WEAPONS IN ARMORED WARFARE   By Colonel Welborn G. Dolvin

 

TANKS IN POSITIONAL WARFARE   By Lieutenant Colonel Charles W. Walson

 

LIDDELL HART: ONE VIEW   By Colonel Robert J. lcks
 
THE STORY OF SOVIET ARMOR: ASSAULT GUNS  By Garrett Underhill
 
THE NEW ARMORED DIVISION ORGANIZATION   By Major General Bruce C. Clarke and Brigadier General L. L. Doan
 
HUMAN ENGINEERING-A TOOL FOR ARMOR    By Captain John T. Burke
 
SOME EARLY THOUGHTS ON ARMOR   By Heinz Guderian et al
 
THE ARTILLERYMAN IS THE THING  By Major Eugene V. Brigham
 
 
All in all, a pretty interesting list of articles to anyone that cares about tanks and armor.
 
 
Here is a list of article titles from the latest issue of ARMOR
 
  • Balancing Regionally Aligned Force Requirements with Readiness Requirements   
  •  
  • Preparing for Regionally Aligned Force Deployment: Raider Brigade’s Perspective
  •  
  • Leveraging Sledgehammer Brigade to Build Enduring Partnerships
  •  
  • Theater-Security Cooperation as a Regionally Aligned Force
  •  
  • Armor Branch Reinvigorates Developmental Programs
  •  
  • Arming for Impact: Empowering Cavalry to Enhance Joint Operations
  •  
  • A Professional Warfighter for Any Platform
Holy crap, just the titles of those articles is enough to put someone to sleep.  I have never served in the military.  Do officers really speak like this?  I really have a hard time imaging the words "Leveraging to build enduring partnerships" coming out of the mouth of someone like George Patton or Creighton Abrams.  
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To further elaborate, here is the first sentence from the article "Leveraging Sledgehammer Brigade to Build Enduring Partnerships."

 

Regionally aligned forces (RAF) provide capabilities to combatant commanders with agile, adaptable and focused general-purpose forces that can prevent, shape and win in today’s operational environment by generating Soldiers and organizations that are better trained for specific regions.  (italics are not mine, they are from the author)

 

Seriously, what the fuck does that sentence mean?  It means nothing.  It's just random words and phrases strung together to sound impressive.  Bah, I hate this sort of shit.  On a certain level, it scares me too. The type of person that can come up with a sentence as terrible as the one above probably has zero ability to inspire or lead.  

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To further elaborate, here is the first sentence from the article "Leveraging Sledgehammer Brigade to Build Enduring Partnerships."

 

Seriously, what the fuck does that sentence mean?  It means nothing.  It's just random words and phrases strung together to sound impressive.  Bah, I hate this sort of shit.  On a certain level, it scares me too. The type of person that can come up with a sentence as terrible as the one above probably has zero ability to inspire or lead.  

I had this out with a professor in college. He made us read his own written book as the only course material, and the whole godforsaken thing looked like that. And he'd regularly do the "Why does this class not understand the material?!" speeches. I started reading passages back at him to get him to understand it why it was so confusing (probably in a snotty young kid sort of way because I didn't know any better), because I don't think he'd actually tried to approach the book as anything but the writer.

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Today I noticed that a new issue of ARMOR has been released in PDF format.  I love looking through old issues of ARMOR, there are all sorts of interesting articles and letters in those old issues.  For example, here are the article titles from the Nov-Dec 1952 issue:

 

 

MOBILE ANTITANK WEAPONS IN ARMORED WARFARE   By Colonel Welborn G. Dolvin

 

TANKS IN POSITIONAL WARFARE   By Lieutenant Colonel Charles W. Walson

 

LIDDELL HART: ONE VIEW   By Colonel Robert J. lcks
 
THE STORY OF SOVIET ARMOR: ASSAULT GUNS  By Garrett Underhill
 
THE NEW ARMORED DIVISION ORGANIZATION   By Major General Bruce C. Clarke and Brigadier General L. L. Doan
 
HUMAN ENGINEERING-A TOOL FOR ARMOR    By Captain John T. Burke
 
SOME EARLY THOUGHTS ON ARMOR   By Heinz Guderian et al
 
THE ARTILLERYMAN IS THE THING  By Major Eugene V. Brigham
 
 
All in all, a pretty interesting list of articles to anyone that cares about tanks and armor.
 
 
Here is a list of article titles from the latest issue of ARMOR
 
  • Balancing Regionally Aligned Force Requirements with Readiness Requirements   
  •  
  • Preparing for Regionally Aligned Force Deployment: Raider Brigade’s Perspective
  •  
  • Leveraging Sledgehammer Brigade to Build Enduring Partnerships
  •  
  • Theater-Security Cooperation as a Regionally Aligned Force
  •  
  • Armor Branch Reinvigorates Developmental Programs
  •  
  • Arming for Impact: Empowering Cavalry to Enhance Joint Operations
  •  
  • A Professional Warfighter for Any Platform
Holy crap, just the titles of those articles is enough to put someone to sleep.  I have never served in the military.  Do officers really speak like this?  I really have a hard time imaging the words "Leveraging to build enduring partnerships" coming out of the mouth of someone like George Patton or Creighton Abrams.  

 

 

Thomas E. Ricks  pointed out in his book called 'The Generals' that post Korea, where the army really had some problems, and much of it leadership problems, went 'corporate'. 

Specifically Former CEO of GM, William Whyte wrote a book called 'The Organization Man', a book about the greatness of the American Corporation, and his book and ideas became very big with the Army. With it came the micromanagement the US Army took into Vietnam and is even worse about now, and they left behind relieving senior officers for anything less than a public scandal. 

Edited by Jeeps_Guns_Tanks
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Today I noticed that a new issue of ARMOR has been released in PDF format.  I love looking through old issues of ARMOR, there are all sorts of interesting articles and letters in those old issues.  For example, here are the article titles from the Nov-Dec 1952 issue:

 

 

MOBILE ANTITANK WEAPONS IN ARMORED WARFARE   By Colonel Welborn G. Dolvin

 

TANKS IN POSITIONAL WARFARE   By Lieutenant Colonel Charles W. Walson

 

LIDDELL HART: ONE VIEW   By Colonel Robert J. lcks
 
THE STORY OF SOVIET ARMOR: ASSAULT GUNS  By Garrett Underhill
 
THE NEW ARMORED DIVISION ORGANIZATION   By Major General Bruce C. Clarke and Brigadier General L. L. Doan
 
HUMAN ENGINEERING-A TOOL FOR ARMOR    By Captain John T. Burke
 
SOME EARLY THOUGHTS ON ARMOR   By Heinz Guderian et al
 
THE ARTILLERYMAN IS THE THING  By Major Eugene V. Brigham
 
 
All in all, a pretty interesting list of articles to anyone that cares about tanks and armor.
 
 
Here is a list of article titles from the latest issue of ARMOR
 
  • Balancing Regionally Aligned Force Requirements with Readiness Requirements   
  •  
  • Preparing for Regionally Aligned Force Deployment: Raider Brigade’s Perspective
  •  
  • Leveraging Sledgehammer Brigade to Build Enduring Partnerships
  •  
  • Theater-Security Cooperation as a Regionally Aligned Force
  •  
  • Armor Branch Reinvigorates Developmental Programs
  •  
  • Arming for Impact: Empowering Cavalry to Enhance Joint Operations
  •  
  • A Professional Warfighter for Any Platform
Holy crap, just the titles of those articles is enough to put someone to sleep.  I have never served in the military.  Do officers really speak like this?  I really have a hard time imaging the words "Leveraging to build enduring partnerships" coming out of the mouth of someone like George Patton or Creighton Abrams.  

 

 

it does feel pretty weird going to work with an English armor magazine from 20 years ago

 

Synergy!

 

Thankfully, when im down with the pdf print outs, i can use them to wipe up the blood from my busted ear drums

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To further elaborate, here is the first sentence from the article "Leveraging Sledgehammer Brigade to Build Enduring Partnerships."

 

Seriously, what the fuck does that sentence mean?  It means nothing.  It's just random words and phrases strung together to sound impressive.  Bah, I hate this sort of shit.  On a certain level, it scares me too. The type of person that can come up with a sentence as terrible as the one above probably has zero ability to inspire or lead.  

 

It means that the officer writing it can layer jargon to achieve proper packaging of contradictions allowing maximal buzzword density and the provision of the level of clarity of mutually uncomplimentary definitions (MUD).

 

But no it's an argument for somewhat specializing forces to provide greater capability in the chosen area in both deterrent and warfighting terms.

 

Problem is a regionally specialized force is by definition not adaptable, and if anything the US is overburdened with regions to align to, minor nuances he apparently had no time for around another round of buzzword flashcards.

 

Postscript: Fuck MacNamara.

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It's really too bad, since old issues of ARMOR are really quite good reading.  Hell, they even once published a piece by John Wayne.  At some point in the 1980's it went from being the "Magazine of Mobile Warfare" to being "The Professional Development Bulletin of the Armor Branch."  The change has not been for the better.  

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Or, as an alternate:

 

Regionally aligned forces (RAF) provide capabilities to combatant commanders with agile, adaptable and focused general-purpose forces that can prevent, shape and win in today’s operational environment by generating Soldiers and organizations that are better trained for specific regions.  (italics are not mine, they are from the author)

 

becomes:

 

There's a whole lotta different kinds of bastards out there. We're gonna make sure we've got the right stuff to kill each and every kind of son of a bitch, and we're gonna make sure they know that. And if they know that and they still decide they want war, then they know the tread mark that'll be on their rears.

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Despite protestations to the contrary, America is aligned towards aggressive action against hostile nations and non-state actors. Attacks and damage to national morale will engender a response in order to restore the national feeling of tranquil military superiority. The same psychological tendency that leads to wars being fought to restore a national feeling of pride in military capabilities can also be harnessed to encourage greater morale by giving military personnel in all specialties a feeling of actualization from operational action and success.

 

The psychology of combat troops is contradicted by operational experience and statistics, before combat the soldier routinely overestimates the danger of wounding and death despite even major battles rarely reaching a 2% casualty figure. Therefore, morale is an important component of the capability of combat soldiers to achieve a concrete impact on opposing forces and therefore the battle. The increased combat capability from combat experience happens at different rates for different soldiers, but it is important that each soldier remembers their importance to the overarching plan and the overall force.

 

Training is a vital component of readiness for soldiers, and it helps professional development and the accumulation of experience that starts them closer to the higher levels of combat capacity demonstrated by veterans. Constant vigilance by soldiers as engendered by training allows avoidance of adversity such as ambushes, and prevents the combined arms team from operating below maximum capacity. Operationally, failures of sentries stand out as a prime example of how greater training can prevent major unnecessary losses.

 

The army as a whole is a team that must work together in order to be successful, the importance of the combat actions of soldiers are nearly always overshadowed by the realization of synergies between forces and the mutual multiplicative effects on effectiveness. The high training and readiness levels of American units the world over is a major guarantor that the odds of success are decisively against any opposition they may face.

 

It is essential that every man in the army be reminded that their job is important and must be done. Laxity with only minor effects from one man would be calamitous from thousands. A reminder that every job in the modern military is essential provides esteem-boosting actualization that will ensure any vital tasks can be accomplished quickly and successfully despite adversity or opposing action.

 

A culture of bravery under fire must be created among recruits and the traits that make a successful military professional should be identified and encouraged.

 

Even a task as seemingly insignificant as repairing communications gear under fire may prove crucial in battle, and it is important to empower the troops to actualize their goals and frame their actions in the context of overall success to ensure positive action under fire.

 

Convoy actions are another example of even traditionally non-combat soldiers showing great bravery under fire and the professional pride to ensure successful completion of combat-essential tasks despite great fatigue and operational disorder.

 

It cannot be denied that actively engaged soldiers would prefer a cessation of hostilities, but the fastest route to the end of a conflict is identification, isolation and destruction of the opposite side's center of gravity. By destroying the control structures keeping the opposition organized and able to fight, aggressive action allows a shift to a stance of deterrence and prevents losing strength to long drawn-out conflict and the resulting decline in reenlistment.

 

Aggressive action directed towards opposing forces allows the modern military to leverage its information-centric strengths and position itself inside the opponent's OODA loop, gaining control of the battlefield and preventing the opposition from slowly accumulating damage on our deployed force.
 

Despite fears of untried soldiers, aggressive action and devolution of decisions allow the warfighter to fall back on their training to combat the opposition and maintain effectiveness.

 

It is essential that rather than terrain-focused reactive strategies, continual pressure be exerted on the enemy's center of gravity and forces in the field to prevent effective counterattacks.

 

Because of these factors a high operational tempo must be achieved and maintained, and it is essential that no matter the adversity the serviceperson to continue to perform their responsibilities despite difficulty, opposition action or even, in extremis, wounding.

 

While units require individual identity and other factors to maintain high espirit de corps, secrecy must be maintained to prevent disclosure of capabilities to opposition planning elements. If handled properly, soldiers will be reminded of the capabilities of their unit and that those capabilities will provide a particular difficulty for the opposition.

 

By showing how important a soldier's contribution is to overall victory, morale can be boosted by providing actualization of the personal traits that led to enlistment.

 

 

What did I just do with my life.

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This is definitely the fault of modern academia. So much of the fucking crap we had to read in college was just a cacophonous mess of quotes and citations cut with the most tortured use of five dollar synonyms for basic words. We were always told in my Poli Sci/History classes not to put too much of ourselves out there, yet it was a common criticism that we weren't putting enough "original thought" into our papers because we didn't quote or cite enough authors or papers. It's why I'm not too bothered to finish out my degree, when it's easy enough to put myself into the meals I cook without being forced to pull out a thesaurus and quote and cite Rick Bayless every time I tell someone what a tamale is.

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