Every soldier a rifleman: although killing the enemy is not their primary mission, combat service support soldiers now face many of the same challenges encountered by their combat arms brethren.The world watched as a visibly shaken Private First Class Patrick Miller
In criminal law, process of formally and systematically questioning a suspect in order to elicit incriminating responses. The process is largely outside the governance of law, though in the U.S. last March after he and the other soldiers in a 507th Maintenance Company convoy lost their way and wandered into a devastating ambush by Iraqi armor and crew-served weapons. When the smoke cleared, nine soldiers from Fort Bliss Fort Bliss, U.S. army post, 1,122,500 acres (454,300 hectares), W Tex., E of El Paso; est. 1849 and named for Col. William Bliss, Gen. Zachary Taylor's adjutant in the Mexican War. Originally strategically located near the only ice-free pass through the Rocky Mts. , Texas, were dead and five were captured.
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. war historian S.L.A. Marshall, only 4 out of 10 World War II veterans fired their weapons at the enemy. In his book, On Killing: The Psychological Costs of Learning to Kill in War and Society, Dave Grossman, a retired lieutenant colonel who is a leading authority on the science of killing in combat, states that failing to fire is a universal problem among combat soldiers. He goes on to observe that human beings have an extreme aversion to killing that can only be overcome by tough, realistic training that conditions soldiers to kill instinctively in combat. This kind of training is provided to the combat arms community. However, I do not believe that enough time or emphasis is devoted to training combat service support (CSS (1) See Cascading Style Sheets.
(2) (Content Scrambling System) The copy protection system applied to DVDs, which uses a 40-bit key to encrypt the movie. ) units and personnel for combat.
As the experience of the 507th Maintenance Company demonstrates, the nature of the modern battlefield puts support soldiers much closer to combat action than ever before. Yet, their training continues to be oriented toward providing logistics support, both in peace and war. Department of Defense transformation efforts and the new operational challenges of the Global War on Terrorism Terrorist acts and the threat of Terrorism have occupied the various law enforcement agencies in the U.S. government for many years. The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, as amended by the usa patriot act demand that CSS units take a fresh look at the balance between training for combat and providing support. The enemy will not distinguish between combat arms and CSS soldiers. In fact, the enemy may be more likely to target CSS soldiers. To be able to provide logistics support, CSS soldiers also must be trained to kill in combat.
A good starting point Noun 1. starting point - earliest limiting point
terminus a quo
commencement, get-go, offset, outset, showtime, starting time, beginning, start, kickoff, first - the time at which something is supposed to begin; "they got an early start"; "she knew from the for the CSS community may be to adopt the Marine Corps foundational metaphor, "Every Marine a rifleman." I recently had the opportunity to employ this concept as the commander of a Special Forces support company, and I would like to share what I learned from the experience.
Warfare Has Changed
The Global War on Terrorism is unlike any war the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. has fought before. According to President George W. Bush, "Our enemy is international terrorists and rogue regimes" who are bent on Adj. 1. bent on - fixed in your purpose; "bent on going to the theater"; "dead set against intervening"; "out to win every event"
bent, dead set, out to inflicting damage to our country on an apocalyptic scale. Adding to this new threat is potential access to weapons of mass destruction Weapons that are capable of a high order of destruction and/or of being used in such a manner as to destroy large numbers of people. Weapons of mass destruction can be high explosives or nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological weapons, but exclude the means of transporting or by these adversaries. Out of necessity, the United States is beginning to change the way it prosecutes war.
Traditional warfare is based on Clausewitzian attrition and maneuver on a linear battlefield. ("Clausewitzian attrition" refers to victory achieved through destruction of the enemy's assets by superior firepower coming from the outside to the inside, a concept offered by Karl Von Clausewitz Noun 1. Karl von Clausewitz - Prussian general and military theorist who proposed a doctrine of total war and war as an extension of diplomacy (1780-1831)
Clausewitz , the 19th-century German military theorist and author of On War.) The United States no longer faces the Cold War-era Soviet Army, but rather an elusive and lethal enemy that does not adhere to the laws of war The two parts of the laws of war (or Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC)): Law concerning acceptable practices while engaged in war, like the Geneva Conventions, is called jus in bello; while law concerning allowable justifications for armed force is called . International terrorists clearly understand the U.S. military's might. They know they cannot defeat the United States in a head-on conventional battle, so they employ asymmetric warfare against soft targets. They are an elusive foe that will not stand and fight; yet, they are capable of horrendous atrocities against the U.S. homeland and, as the 507th Maintenance Company's experience illustrates, against the "logistics tail" of the U.S. military.
In the Global War on Terrorism, the battlefield is often blurred. In the past, the contiguous style of warfare defined the combat zone as extending from the rear battle area forward. CSS units faced combat in this environment, but the linear nature of the battlefield allowed leaders to mitigate risk and exposure of CSS personnel and equipment. Where CSS personnel once were exposed to indirect fire and aerial bombing, they now face the asymmetric tactics of a hostile paramilitary force and irregulars posing as friendly civilians. This means that CSS soldiers are much closer to the brutality of close interpersonal violence, dubbed the "wind of hate" by Dave Grossman. In essence, they face a double challenge. In order to perform their primary support mission, CSS soldiers now have to deal with many of the same challenges that combat arms soldiers face, including overcoming the psychological hardships of killing the enemy in combat.
The Tip of the Spear
CSS soldiers are closer to the fight now for several reasons. Recent linear conflicts such as Operation Iraqi Freedom have revealed the never-before-seen speed of U.S. maneuver forces. U.S. combat forces often elected to bypass Iraqi pockets of resistance in order to sustain the tempo of attack. Maintaining this tempo required logistics units to provide support to combat forces by moving through unsecured and fluid areas of operations. While CSS units faced similar logistics challenges in the past, the much greater speed of today's U.S. conventional land forces makes it tougher for support units to keep pace.
Possibly more ominous are the new threats in noncontiguous warfare. As seen in Operation Enduring Freedom, often there is no forward line of own troops A line that indicates the most forward positions of friendly forces in any kind of military operation at a specific time. The forward line of own troops (FLOT) normally identifies the forward location of covering and screening forces. in asymmetric warfare. Instead, support forces collocate with combat forces in countries such as Afghanistan, Colombia, and the Philippines. If these base camps are attacked, the support forces share the same danger and the same responsibility for base defense as their combat arms brethren.
Combat units often conduct operations outside of their base camps in nonlinear configurations. This means that support units must move through unsecured areas to bring needed support to combat units pressing the fight against the enemy. This new operational environment demands a higher level of combat performance from our CSS personnel than ever before. Do they have the skills they need to succeed and survive in asymmetric war? Considering the content of most collective CSS training programs, they probably do not.
The CSS Leader's Paradox
While serving as a Quartermaster quartermaster
Officer who oversees arrangements for the quartering and movement of troops. The office dates at least to the 15th century in Europe. The French minister of war under Louis XIV created a quartermaster general's department that dotted the countryside with platoon leader and executive officer, I often was frustrated with the limited individual and collective combat skills training available to personnel in my unit. The biggest challenge was finding the time to solicit senior leader support for training while still providing external support to customer units. While my peers in the infantry community were empowered, encouraged, and resourced to conduct tough and realistic combat training at the individual and collective levels, my unit did not have much time for combat training because of the frequent demands on it to provide real-world support. Balancing external support requirements with internal combat training needs is the eternal paradox of the CSS leader. How can the Army overcome this challenge and prepare its CSS warriors for the new asymmetric threats that await them?
The key to overcoming this paradox is leadership. Changing or improving the way CSS operations are conducted begins with transforming the way CSS leaders address the new challenges of the noncontiguous battlefield and the asymmetric threats that accompany them. Only leaders can provide the emphasis and resources--mainly time--to permit the necessary individual and collective training of soldiers to kill in combat. Only leaders can balance daily logistics demands with the need to conduct training. Only leaders can discern and prioritize the tactical training that is relevant to the unit's logistics mission.
A couple of days on the qualification range and in the nuclear-biological-chemical "gas chamber" are not enough. The annual "Cortinian Convoy Ambush" (a fictional scenario used at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, involving the mythical Republic of Cortina cor`ti´na
n. 1. (Biology) a cobwebby remnant of the partial veil which in some mature mushrooms hang from the edges of the cap.
Noun 1. ) is not enough.
The U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility is an austere and often dangerous place. Special Forces detachments operate in very remote areas and face unpredictable asymmetric threats. Our Special Forces support company provided much of their support. Our unit was made up of cooks, mechanics, and quartermasters with many of the same military occupational specialties found in traditional CSS units. However, the area of operations and the threats the company faced were far from traditional.
As a Special Forces support company commander, I was empowered by my battalion commander to lead the support soldiers in my company in an unorthodox, possibly transformational environment. His words to me were, "I know these guys are support soldiers, but they are working in some tough places, and they need to be able to take care of themselves. I need you to get them ready, ... but I don't want any support missions dropped. I'll help you with that." He followed up by helping to balance the support and training requirements of the unit, and he ran interference when necessary to allow the unit to train for a real asymmetric threat.
Train As You Fight
Staying focused on the collective CSS mission-providing support--is critical. However, balancing defense requirements with service and support and movement operations in noncontiguous areas of operations is also critical.
I solicited advice from experienced Special Forces soldiers to help me understand what was needed to prepare CSS soldiers to kill in combat. They suggested training programs that foster the aggressive behavior and warrior mentality that are necessary for killing in combat. I began by sending 20 junior noncommissioned officers (NCOs) for hand-to-hand combat training at the same close combat institute that Special Forces soldiers attend.
The results were phenomenal. Cooks and mechanics showed a level of proficiency that was on par with their Special Forces counterparts. They began to display a sense of pride and a swagger that usually are seen only in the combat arms community.
The training was inexpensive, so we soon had enough trained instructors to run our own program. We held company unarmed combat training twice a week during physical training hours, and it was quite a "smoke session." It was a great physical training regimen, and the soldiers loved the experience.
Next, we built on this individual training foundation with events that addressed organic combat weapons skills. We set up a live-fire combat assault lane that required the soldiers to negotiate a grueling obstacle course and engage targets as they moved through the course. Because most of the weapons training CSS soldiers receive is on flat, known-distance ranges with few individual fire and maneuver opportunities, many of our soldiers could not hit a target less than 15 meters away because of erratic breathing and other aspects of mild fatigue. After the combat assault lane training, the soldiers were much more proficient at engaging targets while moving.
The soldiers then attended advanced marksmanship Marksmanship
(1846–1917) famed sharpshooter in Wild West show. [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 67]
son of Pan, companion to Muses; skilled in archery. [Gk. Myth. training for pistols and crew-served weapons. Most CSS support junior officers and NCOs receive only limited pistol training, and, when they do quality, they are not required to pull the pistol from their holsters to engage targets; they fire from the "ready" position. This falls far short of how a pistol is employed in combat. After a few hours of training, most of the CSS soldiers engaged targets with incredible proficiency.
We also incorporated "simunitions" into our training. Paintball-like marker rounds were fired from M16 assault rifles or M9 pistols with subcaliber sub·cal·i·ber
1. Smaller in caliber than the barrel of the gun from which it was fired. Used of projectiles.
2. Of or relating to such projectiles. bolts. Marker ammunition is available through nonstandard non·stan·dard
1. Varying from or not adhering to the standard: nonstandard lengths of board.
2. ammunition allocation procedures. This training offers an unsurpassed degree of realism and is much more effective than the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System. The sharp sting of the marker ammunition dramatically enhances the participants' operant conditioning operant conditioning
A process of behavior modification in which a subject is encouraged to behave in a desired manner through positive or negative reinforcement, so that the subject comes to associate the pleasure or displeasure of the , which helps them avoid potentially lethal mistakes. The red and blue marker rounds also make it easy to determine friendly and enemy "kills" and fratricide frat·ri·cide
1. The killing of one's brother or sister.
2. One who has killed one's brother or sister.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin "casualties." Simunition training that is conducted while in convoy formations helps soldiers become proficient at dealing with the extreme difficulties of responding to an ambush while mounted.
Bringing It All Together
After the soldiers' individual readiness skills had improved, a collective training event introduced the soldiers to combat requirements they likely would face while performing their logistics support missions. Introducing stress and fatigue into the scenarios gave the soldiers an opportunity to experience many of the physiological responses common on the battlefield.
Soldiers in a Special Forces support company often are collocated with the units they support in remote firebases in Central and South America. To prepare for such a scenario, the soldiers in our company built a firebase fire·base
A military base or site from which heavy fire is directed against the enemy.
Noun 1. firebase - an artillery base to support advancing troops , including trench works and a base defense plan, from the ground up. The unit then set up shop and conducted support operations from the base. To improve their ability to employ fires in support of unit operations, the junior NCOs and officers in the company planned and employed fires ranging from organic mortars and artillery to close air support.
Special Forces units This article is about Special Forces Units. For Paratroop and Parachute Infantry Units, see Paratrooper forces around the world.
This article is about Special Forces Units. For Marine and Naval Infantry Units, see Marine (military)#National Marine units. "attacked" and probed the perimeter throughout the exercise. The soldiers in the support company had to conduct support activities and then stop working long enough to repel an attack using small arms, crew-served weapons, close air support. The culmination of the event was a live-fire exercise that ended with a hand-to-hand fight in the middle of the perimeter.
After the smoke cleared, the soldiers gathered on the bunker for an after-action review. Many of them were in greasy coveralls; others were half dressed because the final event occurred while they were getting a few hours of sleep after coming off their shifts. The cooks smelled of Army chow and gunpowder, a strange combination. But all of them had one thing in common. They had the look of warriors. They had been transformed, and they knew it. They understood that they were capable of fighting and winning, even while they provided support to a Special Forces unit.
One of the challenges of such a collective training event is finding a location to set up a support base camp that allows live fire from within the perimeter. We learned that setting up a "piece" of the base camp was sufficient to meet our training objectives. Special Forces units probed and assessed our perimeter before the live fire, which was invaluable. Their expertise in reconnaissance challenged us and kept us on our toes. At the end of the exercise, they provided excellent feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of our defense system.
"Okay, it sounds like great fun, but what were the results?" "How many support missions did you drop in order to run around playing Ranger?" These were but a few of the questions from skeptical peers and leaders. The reality is that we dropped no support missions in the entire 17-month period of my command. In fact, our company increased its support missions by at least 20 percent. We provided support to three Special Forces companies in at least seven countries simultaneously. Unit morale improved noticeably as the soldiers performed their daily missions at home and abroad. We also maintained an equipment readiness rate that was always well over 90 percent. How? Leadership. My battalion commander understood the threat that the men in the support company faced when they deployed into theater with his Green Berets. He emphasized combat readiness to his support soldiers, and their response was outstanding.
The support company soldiers subsequently accompanied Special Forces teams throughout the U.S. Southern Command, including Colombia, and received only accolades from Special Forces leaders on how technically and tactically proficient they were in the most trying and often hostile circumstances. Every soldier in the company had become a rifleman.
MAJOR DAVID SCOTT MANN IS A COMPANY COMMANDER IN THE 7TH SPECIAL FORCES GROUP (AIRBORNE) AT FORT BRAGG, NORTH CAROLINA
Fort Bragg is a major United States Army installation, in Cumberland and Hoke Counties, North Carolina, U.S. . HE HAS A BACHELOR'S DEGREE IN POLITICAL SCIENCE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL ARKANSAS The University of Central Arkansas is a state-run institution located in the city of Conway, the seat of Faulkner County, north of Little Rock. The school is most respected for its programs in Education, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy. AND A MASTER'S DEGREE IN MILITARY OPERATIONAL ART AND SCIENCE FROM THE AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE The Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) is located at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama and is the United States Air Force's intermediate professional military education (PME) school. . HE IS ALSO A RECENT GRADUATE OF THE JOINT TARGETING SCHOOL AT DAM NECK, VIRGINIA.