previous post next post  


...and got the t-Shirt. I've been at the breech, at the trail, and the guy beside the guidon-bearer. And in the 1st Armored Division Artillery, too. Of course, it was bigger then, and we owned our guns and rocket launchers, but hey, things change.

We also had the 105mm salute guns...

14540787760_c935a38a99_o.jpg Re-flagging of 1st Armored Division, Division Artillery The Salute Battery of 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment render honors to presiding general officer Maj. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland during the re-flagging of 212th Fires Brigade to 1 AD DIVARTY ceremony July 23, 2014 at the 1 AD parade field at Fort Bliss, Texas.


Why the rename? And, what is the difference since you were in 1st Tanks and now as far as structure and "ownership" of equipment? Inquiring minds and all that. Reader's Digest version, if you will.
Why rename?

Attend Gaius Petronius Arbiter, circa AD27: "We trained hard, but it seemed every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralization."

 In the 00's, when we went to a "brigade-centric" Army, we shit-canned over half the artillery, disbanded the Division Artillerys, giving the DS battalions directly to the brigades as a part of their establishment, and leaving the Divisons with no force artillery headquarters, nor any artillery of their own.  Those needs would be met by the now drastically reduced Corps Artillery Brigades, renamed "Fires Brigades" because we "wanted to break old habits of thought."

Now, in the old days, we simply would have accomplished that by "organizing for combat."  For example, my father's corps artillery 105mm battalion in Vietnam spent virtually its entire tour under three commanders in a Direct Support mission in support of the 1st Infantry Division - while still "owned" by the Corps artillery (thus relieving the Division of the need to handle maintenance, supply, personnel, etc, while still getting the use of the tubes.  But if the tactical situation had ever required it, the battalion could have been chopped to other people as needed.

Under the old DIVARTY concept, artillery is never in reserve, and when a brigade went into reserve, its DS battalion got a new mission of Reinforcring or General Support, which allowed the Division to use the guns (cognizant of future missions of the brigade).  But the greatest loss was that of a Force Artillery planning and C2 headquarters (though I think the elimination of the guns was a mistake, but I wasn't asked.).

Turns out people agreed with me on the Force FA HQ bit, since that is essentially what has been re-established.  The DIVARTY has no guns of it's own, they still belong to the brigades, but there is at least an artillery-focused C2 element taking a broader, and deeper, look at the role of fires in the division's AO.

And what Dennis said.  Change is the illusion of progress.







Change is the bugbear of small minds that want to look like great minds. War usually shows who the small minds are and ruthlessly humiliates them. Alas, that also means a good many men will die in the process.

Leave a comment