Why has the Army gotten SOFT?

Chevy

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There has been a lot of scrutiny around the Army (as well as other branches) due to recent events and policy changes around the Armed Forces. Often I am told by Vets and other service members that have racked up their fair share of years that this 'New Army" is way to soft and soldiers do not know how good they have it. I have my own personal opinions but I am curious to hear from the Vets and also other Senior NCOs and Officers on how they view this so-called "New Army."
 

Chevy

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Yeah I'm sure until I retire or take that dirt nap I will be told by someone that their time in the military was harder.
 

DA SWO

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It's BS, people will always say it used to be harder.
I still think the current crop has it better then the guys/gals who soldiered on during the Carter and Clinton administrations.
I think the Combat Arms guys are as hard as ever, probably harder and smarter.
The support folks leaving the wire are hard now, they had some glaring issues early on, but (for the most part) those were/are being addressed.
The FOBBITs have become weaker, hopefully that will change.

That said, we will see who is truely dedicated to their Teammates, and who is in it for other reasons.
Mid-level and lower NCO's have never seen a peacetime/do more with less budget, but that will soon change.
The same goes with the Officer Corps, O-4 and below don't know what a Garrison/Peacetime Army is about.
NG and Reserves will do better with a lower ops tempo.

I think the training is better, and probably harder because the VN generation did not have NTC/JRTC as a train up.
I think the 80's leaders are better overall because today's generation has a microscope over their heads, and a jury filled with hind site.

The big question in my mind is will the DoD accept a smaller, harder force; or will be keep size at the expense of readiness. My vote is option 2.
 

KBAR-04

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While things are easier now in some ways, we have the most combat experienced Army that we've had in generations.
 

Chevy

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The big question in my mind is will the DoD accept a smaller, harder force; or will be keep size at the expense of readiness. My vote is option 2.[/quote]


SWOT you hit some key points we do have the luxury of going to NTC and having these fancy simulators that allow us to get as close to combat before going. After being in country for a while it is a bit of an adjustment to return to "garrison life." I think they will try for a smaller more versatile force.
 

goon175

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I think our military is a reflection of our nation at large. America in general has gotten soft, and I think the army is just reflecting that right now. I think our senior leadership realized change needs to happen, I'm just not sure their definition of what needs to change and what mine is are the same thing.
 

AWP

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While things are easier now in some ways, we have the most combat experienced Army that we've had in generations.

I totally agree, but have we learned the right lessons? I don't think we have. Combat tested Infantry, Armor, Artillery, and Aviation units are worthless if their support elements fail. Our guys who kill for a living are some of the finest our country's produced, but their leadership and support elements are lacking IMO. We've convinced ourselves that huge PX'es, Burger King's, "low battle rhythm days," reflective belts, our broken contracting system, etc. are how to fight a war and win. We've raised a generation where everyone is a "warrior" and the expectation is that cold Rip-its and hot Pizza Hut are guaranteed.

In addition to goon's points above, I think we're soft because deep down too many of us WANT to be soft. We're taking the easy wrong over the difficult right.
 

Chevy

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America in general has gotten soft.

I agree, it seems that we as Americans feel as is we are entitled to wealth and success. We complain that other nationalities come to our country and take our jobs. These are the same jobs that many Americans think that they are too good to perform. Nowadays its all about get rich quick, who cares if I do not have a degree Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard and he is rich now. Well yeah lucky for him but not everyone can have a good idea fiary that actually pans out. Bottom line is we have to get back to working and striving for the American Dream and quit taking the east wrong over the difficult right as Freefalling said.
 

Marauder06

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Everyone likes to think that they were in the last "hard" course/school/war/whatever. Our Army is "soft" after ten years of persistent warfare? :hmm: ummmm.... ok.....

There are some aspects of our Army that have been allowed to gradually atrophy over time because there has been a war on. We'll see some course correction on that now that it looks like we'll have some time on our hands. But what is going to happen- and what always happens- is that we will over-correct. You can already see it, in things like the the new(er) PT standards that are coming out. When facing uncertainty, people who lack vision and foresight always fall back on what they are comfortable with. That is almost always something simple and quantifiable, to give the illusion of progress and effectiveness, and is always something squarely inside their comfort zone. Lack of discipline? Surely what is needed is a crackdown on DUIs. Too many suicides? What we REALLY need is more cultural sensitivity training. Chubby troops? Make the run on the PT four miles, screw what fitness professionals and our own study say!

Being "harder" is good, but being "smart" is better, especially in the kinds of warfare we're engaged in now. The return to a peacetime, garrison mindset is extremely difficult for our military and for our nation, I hope that we adopt a "smart" approach instead of the "hard" one it looks like we're heading towards.
 

Chevy

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\When facing uncertainty, people who lack vision and foresight always fall back on what they are comfortable with. That is almost always something simple and quantifiable, to give the illusion of progress and effectiveness, and is always something squarely inside their comfort zone. Lack of discipline? Surely what is needed is a crackdown on DUIs. Too many suicides? What we REALLY need is more cultural sensitivity training. Chubby troops? Make the run on the PT four miles, screw what fitness professionals and our own study say!

Those are some good points. The SMA is trying to implement a four mile run and 12-mile ruck march, I'm just trying to figure out if this a move to truly prepare soldiers for combat fitness or an excuse to help reduce the number of troops in the Army. But thats another subject. The cultural sensitivity training could be beneficial, especially given recent incidents that has also contributed to suicides in country and in garrison as well.
 

DA SWO

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\When facing uncertainty, people who lack vision and foresight always fall back on what they are comfortable with. That is almost always something simple and quantifiable, to give the illusion of progress and effectiveness, and is always something squarely inside their comfort zone. Lack of discipline? Surely what is needed is a crackdown on DUIs. Too many suicides? What we REALLY need is more cultural sensitivity training. Chubby troops? Make the run on the PT four miles, screw what fitness professionals and our own study say!

Those are some good points. The SMA is trying to implement a four mile run and 12-mile ruck march, I'm just trying to figure out if this a move to truly prepare soldiers for combat fitness or an excuse to help reduce the number of troops in the Army. But thats another subject. The cultural sensitivity training could be beneficial, especially given recent incidents that has also contributed to suicides in country and in garrison as well.

4 mile run? WTFO!
12 mile ruck, again WTFO!

What the run/ruck combination will do is eliminate folks who are partially broken, and eliminate them in a way that the Army doesn't have to pay for breaking them.
 

Chevy

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4 mile run? WTFO!
12 mile ruck, again WTFO!


Yeah he pretty much said the broad jump and the shuttle sprint were good exercise but he doesn't think they should be implemented, that's when he came out and said the 4 mile run will test endurance etc etc. Yeah the 12-mile ruck thing got me too. Our leadership just told us to be prepared for some major changes.
 

Etype

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To answer the original question-
1. Our civilian leadership.
2. Military leadership working closely with politicians and becoming part of the group think.
 

Chevy

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1. Our civilian leadership.
2. Military leadership working closely with politicians and becoming part of the group think.[/quote]


Good points.
 

Chevy

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You think things are fucked up now... Shit.... Things REALLY HAVE GONE TO FUCK ALL HELL since we had to turn in our Trapdoor Springfields.... Damn kids... you don't know what hard is......


Lol. Trapdoor Springfields, that thing is quadruple my age.
 

Etype

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Group think is poison. If you were a blind man, you wouldn't be able to differentiate between civilian leadership and a general. They use the same catch phrases, the same talking points, have the same ideas...
 

AWP

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You think things are fucked up now... Shit.... Things REALLY HAVE GONE TO FUCK ALL HELL since we had to turn in our Trapdoor Springfields.... Damn kids... you don't know what hard is......

I know, right? Copper casings that wouldn't extract so you're out there with a pocketknife while the Natives are all "Pew, pew, pew" with their repeating Winchesters.

Simpler times...
 
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