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On newspeak and newthink.

Snerk. JTG, the "Non-Line-of-Sight" moniker came from... Fort Leavenworth. Along with other silliness, such as UEx, UEy, and UA.

In a comment on yesterday's H&I Fires post JTG said:

Non-Line-of-Sight? Is that like, you know, Indirect Fire, which everybody has been doing for, oh, about a hundred years?

Shooting over hills? Pointing the sights one way and the gun, another? Estimating windage when shooting a BB gun?

They sure picked an unfortunate Marketing Name for that.

Gravity does affect trajectories. That is a very silly name, unless and until they do ome 'splainin.

This was in response to my whinging about just how darn ugly the NLOS-C is. Heh. Dusty, the A10 jock, snarked it - but I'll say this for the A10 - it's pugly. The NLOS-C is spugly. One is pugnaciously ugly, a good thing, the other is spud-ugly, which is not awe-inspiring. The NLOS-C may be a good gun (right now it's pretty much a self-propelled M777 made out of legos) and do it's job, but, well, not even a mother could love it. So, as is his wont when confronted by something bright and shiny, JTG fixates on that which no one else does, the acronym, the label.

Well, JTG, NLOS-C, and a lot of other acronyms, are wrapped up in guidance given to a buncha Colonels and Generals set to navel-gazing regarding the Revolution in Military Affairs, and Secretary Rumsfeld's enrapturement with same. I'm not a general fan of the Secretary - but on the issue of making the services get off of top-dead-center on roles, missions, and organization I think he did a good thing.

He wanted newthink. This required newspeak. [yes, that's on purpose]

This was so that the great minds who were rethinking warfare as a part of the Revolution in Military Affairs would not be unwittingly bounded and blinkered by outdated thought-modes and mental constructs, such as "artillery," "division," "corps," and "brigade." Mind you, TPM Barnett and that blithering gasbag Bill Lind will tell you little to nothing has changed. Especially Lind who is blinded by his BDS.

Ergo, the we wouldn't have no silly old-form thinking of the type that would have the Division Artillery of the 29th Division, 5th (US) Corps, landing their 105mm howitzers at Normandy, oh no, not that at all. That simply wouldn't do.

Rather, the NLOS-Cs of the Fires Unit of Action belonging to the 29th Unit of Employment (x) would be landing in the Vth Unit of Employment (y) area of responsibility, and would get their ammunition resupply from the Sustainment Unit of Action belonging to the 29th Unit of Employment (x). They might also get some support in road building, should they need it, from the Maneuver Enhancement Unit of Action belonging to the Vth Unit of Employment (y). Additionally, the NLOS-Cs organic to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Units of Action of the 29th Unit of Employment (x) would land in support of their Unit of Action's Combined Arms Battalions.

No. Seriously. I mean it.

And for a while there, the brainiacs were saying the the UE and UA monikers were going to survive, and become the new terminology. It was usually at that point I would be unable to contain myself any longer and a snort would escape, followed by "There is simply no way the terminology is going to survive when the command-select Colonels and Generals start assuming command of the units built under the new structure and were going to have to tell people, "Yep, I commanded the 1st UA, 3rd UE(x) as a part of V UE(y) in the March Upcountry. Yeah, right." Now, the new structure *is* being implemented, of that have no doubt - the conversions to the brigade-centric structure is years along and happening right now.

Anyway, I was argued with on that nomenclature issue, earnestly. I won.

Mind you - I don't know how well it worked as a tactic for getting people to think outside of ingrained structures, but I know it was a painful process trying to keep up with the latest terminology changes (heh, talk about Politically Correct speech codes) that had earned someone their latest Legion of Merit...

*Yes, I did edit it for clarity, about 6 hours after it was published. It looked good when I hit publish. It didn't look so good when I read it on the site.


I don't know how well it worked as a tactic for getting people to think outside of ingrained structures... Seems to me the *old* terminology fit quite nicely into the RMAs initiated by Napoleon, Gustavus Adolphus, Rommel, et alii. And I seem to remember that the only people who didn't laugh themselves silly over UA, Ux and Uy were the originators...
Regarding that "non line of sight" thingee... does having that then assume that the army is still dielfing direct fire (line of sight) artillery? Seems to me to sort of defeat the purpose of support fires when the battery will be within small arms range of it's intended target.... As to the newspeak... lets just carry it to it's logical conclusions, shall we? SHOT= single human operator terminated KILL= kinetic impact laid low RIFLE= ranged infantry formed lead expender WATER= work and training electrolyte restorer You get the drift. I pray there is a special hell for the dolks who come up with these monikers, and and even more horrible fate for those who allow them to continue to do it. besides the special hell for PP rangers, and the worse jell for the creator of PP. TTFN,
Nother Large Overweight Shot-Catapult. [Geez -- I can't believe I beat JMH to that one. Uhhhh -- he's not sick or anything, is he?]
Oldthinkers unbellyfeel Ingsoc.
Actually, Bill - that sounds more like Murray.
I've been out for a decade now and I'm still trying to get my family to understand the differnce between a regiment and a brigade.
Why, that's *obvious*... Brigades are combined arms, Regiments aren't. Oops. Damn Cav. And those Airborne bubbas, too. Feh. 8^ )
A Brigade has a Sergeant-Major. A Regiment has a Sar'n-Majah.
With a swagger-stick.
Notional Land Operational Specimen- Compound Cheers
Brigade: BSM Regiment: RSM Squadron: "Sar't- Maju" Never called the BSM or RSM "Sergeant-Major". Massive Double-plus Ungood. At Anytime. Cheers
When P.J. O'Rourke was covering Desert Storm from Kuwait, he discussed the Army's fascination with acronyms and double-talk. His favorite: a nut (for a bolt) was a "hexaform rotatable surface compression unit." (from Give War a Chance)
Feh, as a Marine NCO, I rated a 'swagger stick' and a sabre too! Though not the coolio Officers Mameluke sword type sticky, slashy thingy...
I'm glad I'm not the only one who wondered about that! I did think it was odd, but thought there must be some new wrinkle. Nope. Just a dumb name. And, 100 years is way too short. More like thousands, with ancient siege engines, trebuchets, and all those things. Not to mention firing thousands of arrows over city walls, and from behind hills, tree-lines, etc. They had black powder mortars way back when. Ain't too much new under the sun.
How about BUG, or BUMF? The first one is Big Ugly Gun.
The second is... Bum Fodder, or toilet paper, from around 1890 Brit usage, usually applied to pointless paperwork. Except that true bumf *isn't* pointless. At least not if you're the one doing the laundry.
One of my AF counterparts is doing C&GS by correspondence. He's now at "Joint Operations: Logistics" and finding the concepts of Reinforced Battalions, Augmented Regiments and Brigade Combat Teams a bit confusing. I told him he was lucky they weren't making him study the RMA verbage. As soon as I got to Unit of Employment and explained that there were *no set numbers* for a UE, he started giggling. "Dude, just give me the numbers. How many of what and how far." I think I discovered the real reason nobody talks UE and UA and Ux-y-z anymore. The logisticians all laughed themselves to death.