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April 05, 2005

A little DoD-centric news - and a picture link.

While the troops are still re-enlisting (though not in the numbers we need), things are still looking tough on the initial enlistment front, resulting in new recruitment TTPs (tactics, techniques, procedures) that have some cyring foul (the Usual Suspects).

Meanwhile - others want to make it even more difficult to "meet mission" in recruiter parlance. Or open up a can of worms that will be more vitriolic than the Terri Schiavo brou-ha-ha. The Armorer's official position is still - we don't need no steenking badges Draft!

After all the negative publicity about the Stryker last week - a *user* speaks up for the vehicle. I have to tread a careful line here, given what I do - but my take is that no system developed has ever been perfect. Period. And very few have performed all the way to spec during their combat debuts. And systems produced under wartime pressure tend to have even greater teething problems... but the pressure of operations also dramtically focusses everybody and shortens the feedback look immensely. In other words - yeah, it ain't perfect, it never was going to be - and the issue is, are we ignoring the problems. I say no, we aren't, in aggregate, though I'm sure there are people out there with pet peeves who can point out how things are going the way *they* think they should. And may be right - but we have to take a holistic look at the whole thing... and then keep 'em (the decision makers) uncomfortable!

And again I say to you few out there who still think this generation is a bunch of whimps - nope.

This is hard on the Maupins and I hope they get their wish, I really do - but the fact that they are the only family in this war, along with Scott Speicher's family from the Gulf War to be in this position is a vast improvement over previous conflicts.

Zarqawi's repeated attempts to break his homeboys out of Abu Ghraib indicates to me he's got a recruiting problem.

I'm still thinking BG Karpinski is dealing with this badly, but given the legal maneuverings and political overtones, perhaps she has little choice. I like to think if something like that had happened on my watch - after I had done my bit to make sure my subordinates who failed paid an appropriate price, I'd have then taken my lumps and retired to nurse my shame. Sorry General, no sympathy here in Castle Argghhhh! (speaking only for the Armorer - I'll leave the Instapilot and Rotorhead to speak as they wish).

If you have access to the Early Bird - read Ralph Peter's AFJ piece. If you don't understand the above - never mind. If you are behind a .gov or .mil firewall or have AKO access and don't know how to get to the Early Bird (DoD's news clipping service) - drop me a line. Army retirees - you can't get there through the public portal, but you can via AKO. Other services - you probably can through your service's equivalent web portal.

That oughta cover it for today!

I was wrong. We needa gun pic. So here, the Castle's Armorer Training Cut-aways of SMLE rifles - and the Headsman's Axe, and the Hammer of Correction (aka Big Cluebat).