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June 23, 2006

Meet Corporal Joshua Dale.

This war's Sgt. Curtis G. Culin.

Every war brings out innovations and innovators. Some good, many bad. And the regular procurement systems can't ever really keep up. And truth be told, if it can be made in the field from local materials, the troops will probably get a "good enough" solution in place a lot faster than the "system" will - just because the system is built to over-engineer just about everything. For good reasons and bad. The troop solutions may not be great long-term solutions, and will damage or degrade things over time that weren't really built to do what the troops adapt them to do... but that's a bean-counter problem if your life is on the line. Which means the bean counters have to devise a better solution quick - because the troops aren't going to wait. And good field leaders won't make them.

Meet an innovator. Who on his own came up with an idea that had been done before.

Cpl. Joshua W. Dale, a 23-year-old section leader with Company A, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment brought his ideas to life by inventing a breaching bumper for a humvee in his mobile assault platoon. The breaching bumper is mounted on the front of the humvee and resembles a large arrowhead made of thick steel. The bumper is used to do one thing - tear through anything that gets in the humvee's way. The bumper, which allows humvees greater flexibility when assaulting the enemy during raids and cordon-and-knock operations, is an alternative to using explosives to destroy barriers and walls. Dale is from Silver Street, S.C. (Photo by Cpl. Antonio Rosas)


Cpl. Joshua W. Dale, a 23-year-old section leader with Company A, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment brought his ideas to life by inventing a breaching bumper for a humvee in his mobile assault platoon. The breaching bumper is mounted on the front of the humvee and resembles a large arrowhead made of thick steel. The bumper is used to do one thing - tear through anything that gets in the humvee's way. The bumper, which allows humvees greater flexibility when assaulting the enemy during raids and cordon-and-knock operations, is an alternative to using explosives to destroy barriers and walls. Dale is from Silver Street, S.C. (Photo by Cpl. Antonio Rosas)

A more thorough discussion (but still readable) of Culin's cutter is available from Steve Zaloga.