From the Editor.
As we proceed with the structure and fielding of the Initial Medium Combat Brigade, we need your input, and not only on the tactics and types of vehicles that will carry us into battle. In this issue of Infantry, you will see articles on the logistical skills we will need to support the new organization. These principles are nothing new, but they apply as much to the new brigade as to the units we train with every day. If we expect our forward deployed units to fully exploit the advantages in maneuverability and firepower that we envision for them, we must establish--and maintain--the sustainment systems needed to support tomorrow's fast-paced operations. We cannot wait until a helicopter goes down or a unit gets cut off to figure out how to reinforce or re-supply them. We must plan--and train--for that now.
The discussion of weapons and ammunition--always a lively subject among infantrymen--has led to improvements and enabled us to outstrip our adversaries for over a century. The infantryman more than anyone deals with realities of his profession. If he can hit and kill or neutralize his adversary with the first shot, we have trained and equipped him as we should. We all know that a soldier's confidence in his rifle is indispensable to the profession of arms, and we build and sustain that confidence by continually improving our weapons and ammunition and refining our training. As we look increasingly toward military operations in built-up areas, we need to look for ways to simplify the problems of ammunition resupply, while demanding increased ballistic performance. Commonality of rifle and machinegun ammunition deserves continued attention, and Mr. Stanley C. Crist's excellent article on the 6mm cartridge offers some insights on this subject.
Officer candidate school (OCS) commissions over 600 officers in all branches annually, and we have included a historical perspective on the OCS program that gave us so much of our junior officer leadership during World War II. The course content in those days was driven to a large extent by the war that was already under way, and today's program of instruction likewise addresses the realities of environments in which graduates will have to serve.
As a member of the Infantry community, you have the experience and expertise that can be of tremendous use to others, and I encourage you to write, e-mail, or call about joining the long list of professional soldiers who have seen their material published in Infantry. Two important things to remember: First, if your article requires a map, please provide one that includes all of the places and terrain features mentioned in your text. A good map is a tremendous aid to the reader, but one that does not include all of the information only frustrates him and causes him to lose interest. Secondly, explain all acronyms. The best solution is to use the commonly understood acronyms found in FM 101-5-1, Operational Terms and Graphics, or in AR 310-50, Authorized Abbreviations, Brevity Codes, and Acronyms. Remember that the reader should be able to understand an article in a single, rapid reading. If he cannot, he will simply ignore the product of so much of your hard work and go on to something else.
In this and in future issues of Infantry, you will not see a whole lot of theoretical monologue on proposals and equipment that will never see the light of day. What you will see is common-sense solutions to the problems of logistics, training, and tactics that our predecessors faced, and that continue to beset us. You will also see an occasional historical piece that illustrates a relevant lesson. The lessons of the past were often learned at enormous cost--in terms of both human life and materiel--and we can ill afford to ignore those lessons. Watch your lane.