“Where is the Case for Co – Ed Ground Combat?”

The Center for Military Readiness published this earlier in the month. I just saw it today, courtesy of the Krampus. I recommend you read the exec summary at the very least. Here’s a little snippet: In the 155 mm Artillery Lift and Carry, a test simulating ordnance stowing, volunteers had to pick up a 95 lb. artillery round and carry it 50 meters in under 2 minutes. Noted the report, “Less than 1% of men, compared to 28.2% of women, could not complete the 155 mm artillery round lift and carry in the allotted time.” If trainees had to “shoulder […]

The Day Our World Stopped Turning

As the junior member of the group I haven’t really reflected on this today.  11 September 2001, I was in the seventh grade.  12 years old, mom almost kept us home, but the college decided they were going to push and she dropped us off at school.  I honestly don’t know if she got much work done that day. As much as my teachers may have wanted it to remain normal, they exacerbated the issue by not playing the news for us that day.  We’d all watched the beginning with the towers smoking, I didn’t see either collapse until that […]

VMI and the Theory of Broken Windows

There exists a theory in the worlds of law enforcement and social control called the Theory of Broken Windows. The theory posits that when one sees visible signs of vandalism, this is evidence that the social order is collapsing or has collapsed as those who would maintain order – the citizens – have fled. The US military has a similar body of thought, but it is a law and this law has existed in the American Army since 1775. “Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Discipline” is the military’s way of describing how one gets Broken Windows. An army that neglects to take corrective action is not […]

VMI Needs to be Left of Bang

What does that mean? It does not mean it needs to control the narrative, but that is an added plus. VMI is out there to teach young ladies and young gentlemen to be leaders in this harsh world. If VMI cannot be left of the bang, how can it teach cadets to be leaders that can analyze situations in a way that they identify solutions and stay a step ahead. That is what being left of bang is: a step ahead. The reason why I said it did not mean to control the narrative was specifically because of what occurred […]

How to Break An Officer-Bump

Young officers are like moldable clay; they take lessons to heart fast.  Some of them will be amazing, most will be good, and then you will have a lot of bad.  It is easy for them to become enraptured by their own image when they’re doing well; it is even easier for them to fall flat on their face.  How do I know this?  I’ve been there.  When a new officer comes into the FORCE/FLEET he needs to be embraced by the battalion and company level organizations he is a part of.  In the Army we tend to have a […]

Rest in Peace, A10 the “Hog”

There are two articles I recommend every ground pounder, Army and Marine Corps read.  The first at the Washington Post is about opposition to the retirement of the A10 “Hog” and the second over at Harper’s touching on the same subject, where the author Andrew Cockburn, who concludes: As I explain in my Harper’s feature, the Air Force’s decision to junk the A-10 while retaining the B-1 and the even more unwieldy B-52 bombers for close air support may seem inexplicable, but it is in reality quite logical. The service owes its independence from the army to its success in […]

Hold up the mirror

Behaviour is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.     – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe   Op-for presented a series of posts featuring toxicity in leadership, corruption in acquisitions, and servicemembers who cheated on their competency examinations. From each of these posts, of which Townie’s is the latest lagniappe, one has to wonder who holds the mirror up for introspection? For an examination of self and a determination of one’s own boundary?   No one put a gun to the head of those servicemembers and told them to lie, to cheat, to steal, and to tolerate the putrefaction of […]

Why VMI Matters, Part 300

The core of VMI are its graduates living honorably, succeeding and failing as their own merits, demerits and as luck permits. The mechanism that raised the bar and distinguishes VMI from the service academies and near-peer educational organizations is VMI’s Honor Code.    Yesterday, 1/3 of America’s Strategic Defense force was exposed as non-combat capable. USAF officials, including senior members of its officer corps approved a blatant lie meant to undermine concerns. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, the primary mechanism for maintaining peace was the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). Apparently the new philosophy is “By Any Means […]

More on the Demise of the “Early Bird”

So, I heard from a few alumni about the Early Bird, and its untimely demise. The first was from COL Steve Warren ’89 himself– yes, that’s him in the article! LOL (89! 89! 89!) Then this, from an active duty Marine Colonel and VMI alumnus: I remember as a 1st Lt, newly assigned to JTF-5, one of my duties was get the Early Bird off the fax machine, a 45 minute affair, photo copy and distro to all the key billet holders before they got to work. (You can do this when you are in Pacific time zones!). I still […]

Interesting Perspective

Colonel (Retired) Pat Lang who publishes Sic Semper Tyrannis and who is a retired Army Special Forces and Intelligences office, he is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute.  This article, which was published on Foreign Affairs about four years ago resonates even today.  I will comment more later on this tendency.