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August 31, 2004

Soldiers Must Be Warriors

New AAR (Unclas, of course) from the Sandbox.

This is 4th ID's latest Lessons Learned document coming out of OIF. The first one, covering their actions during the Major Combat Operations phase and right after, is here.

There is some Good Stuff in here, though the cynical among you will go "D-uh, dudes. It was self-evident from the time Moses soldiered..."

For those of you who have been soldiering long enough to remember what it's like not to be in An Army At War, there are some satisfying observations in here. Like this (which some of us trained our soldiers as all along - but was tough in an Army Not At War...:

Soldiers must be Warriors. This does not mean all Soldiers must be infantrymen - a unique core competency.

If the commander of the 507th Maintenance Company and his senior commanders had held this as a core value - we might never have heard of Jessica Lynch, and the Captain commanding might have a Bronze or Silver Star for fighting through the ambush - thus qualifying him for the Presidency on a Democratic Party ticket...

Another good little snippet:

Creating combined arms synergy requires tactical rather than technical solutions.

Amen! Tech should enable, not supplant. Too often weak commanders want it as a crutch, not a tool. Some people, like JD Mays at An Army of One, have been all over the Services for not procuring and developing tech to defeat IEDs. JD is correct - they should, and are. But more important, is how do you adapt and use the tools at your disposal, and invent new ones within the scope of your immediate assets to address the issue while the tech is developed? Too many people sit on their butt waiting on the boffins. Good commanders know that many of the tools and skills are already there - either in the force, or in the history of the force. Take IEDs and counterfire as an example, like this slide shows.

To view the whole thing, click here to go to the album. While in the album, if you click on idividual slides, they will pop-up in an easier to read form. These are jpgs. If you would like it in powerpoint, email me at armorer (at) thedonovan.com and I will send it along.