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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 9/13/2010 3:21:03 AM EST
I'm currently attending a Professional Military Educational (PME) course with 15 other officers. Out of the bunch, only 3 of us are combat arms (Field Artillery, Infantry, and SF). The rest are all CS/CSS types.

Wow. What a difference.

The MI dudes, all graduates of NDIC, think that the combat arms exist to provide them with information. I have never met more conceited, mightier-than-thou types as these MI cats.

The Medical Service people have absolutely no understanding of the profession of arms. They've spent their entire careers in sanitized facilities, and it shows. They have no ability to make military decisions.

The Signal guy is just an idiot. Speaks as if he's been an operator, but the extent of his tactical experience has been as a Sigo at CSTC-A on Bagram AF.

Despite the fact that the Army has been involved in persistent conflict over the last decade, I am absolutely astounded at the tunnel vision exhibited by these officers.

No offense intended for any CS/CSS types on this website...just this crop of people are evidently worthless.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 3:22:44 AM EST
Quit speaking in acronyms so us lowly civilians can understand you.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 3:25:03 AM EST
Specialists generally are only good in their own limited field. But when they work together as they're supposed to, the total product
is an effective force.

Those guys may be useless in combat, but if they're feeding you info on where the enemy is and patching up your ass when you get a
bullet hole in it, and keeping your troops well supplied and equipped, then you should certainly have good reason to be glad that they're there.


CJ
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 3:25:42 AM EST
Originally Posted By happycynic:
Quit speaking in acronyms so us lowly civilians can understand you.


Sorry...

CS= Combat Support
CSS = Combat Service Support
NDIC = National Defense Intelligence Course
MI = Military Intelligence
CSTC-A = Coalition Security Transition Command - Afghanistan
Sigo = Signal Officer
SF = Special Forces
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 3:28:07 AM EST
Originally Posted By cmjohnson:

Those guys may be useless in combat, but if they're feeding you info on where the enemy is and patching up your ass when you get a
bullet hole in it, and keeping your troops well supplied and equipped, then you should certainly have good reason to be glad that they're there.


CJ


That's just it...the MI types in this course think that it's the combat arms that should be providing them information.

I've met quite a few great CS/CSS officers, it's just that these particular officers have limited conceptual understanding.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 3:31:06 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/13/2010 3:37:40 AM EST by R_Fury]
Originally Posted By Squatch:
I'm currently attending a Professional Military Educational (PME) course with 15 other officers. Out of the bunch, only 3 of us are combat arms (Field Artillery, Infantry, and SF). The rest are all CS/CSS types.

Wow. What a difference.

The MI dudes, all graduates of NDIC, think that the combat arms exist to provide them with information. I have never met more conceited, mightier-than-thou types as these MI cats.

The Medical Service people have absolutely no understanding of the profession of arms. They've spent their entire careers in sanitized facilities, and it shows. They have no ability to make military decisions.

The Signal guy is just an idiot. Speaks as if he's been an operator, but the extent of his tactical experience has been as a Sigo at CSTC-A on Bagram AF.

Despite the fact that the Army has been involved in persistent conflict over the last decade, I am absolutely astounded at the tunnel vision exhibited by these officers.

No offense intended for any CS/CSS types on this website...just this crop of people are evidently worthless.


Easy there killer. Maybe times have changed? It has been 7 years since I have donned the uniform.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 3:39:27 AM EST
As a lowly enlisted man who just fixed airplanes for a living, think about what you're saying. The support guys you're talking about aren't supposed to be a pool of Rambos from which you can draw keenly trained killing machines at will. They have their jobs, you have yours. It never ceased to amaze me how grunts liked to talk about how nasty we "air wingers" were, but they sure did love to radio in that CAS.

Don't get me wrong––the grunts definitely had their stuff wired tighter, but it was required for their job. Technical knowledge was required for ours. When grunts started shooting enemies, they were very good at killing them. When things got hairy, they called in air, and they were also very good at killing enemies. It all works together. You're the tip of the spear, and you should be proud of it. Just remember that the tip doesn't do nearly as much good without the rest of the weapon.

Link Posted: 9/13/2010 3:44:04 AM EST
Originally Posted By Mastadon:
As a lowly enlisted man who just fixed airplanes for a living, think about what you're saying. The support guys you're talking about aren't supposed to be a pool of Rambos from which you can draw keenly trained killing machines at will. They have their jobs, you have yours. It never ceased to amaze me how grunts liked to talk about how nasty we "air wingers" were, but they sure did love to radio in that CAS.

Don't get me wrong––the grunts definitely had their stuff wired tighter, but it was required for their job. Technical knowledge was required for ours. When grunts started shooting enemies, they were very good at killing them. When things got hairy, they called in air, and they were also very good at killing enemies. It all works together. You're the tip of the spear, and you should be proud of it. Just remember that the tip doesn't do nearly as much good without the rest of the weapon.


Or to put it another way.

The tip of spear is not as effective if it's not getting the shaft from the rear.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 3:45:21 AM EST
Originally Posted By Jarhead08:
Originally Posted By Mastadon:
As a lowly enlisted man who just fixed airplanes for a living, think about what you're saying. The support guys you're talking about aren't supposed to be a pool of Rambos from which you can draw keenly trained killing machines at will. They have their jobs, you have yours. It never ceased to amaze me how grunts liked to talk about how nasty we "air wingers" were, but they sure did love to radio in that CAS.

Don't get me wrong––the grunts definitely had their stuff wired tighter, but it was required for their job. Technical knowledge was required for ours. When grunts started shooting enemies, they were very good at killing them. When things got hairy, they called in air, and they were also very good at killing enemies. It all works together. You're the tip of the spear, and you should be proud of it. Just remember that the tip doesn't do nearly as much good without the rest of the weapon.


Or to put it another way.

The tip of spear is not as effective if it's not getting the shaft from the rear.


Exactly.

Link Posted: 9/13/2010 3:53:47 AM EST
Originally Posted By Mastadon:
As a lowly enlisted man who just fixed airplanes for a living, think about what you're saying. The support guys you're talking about aren't supposed to be a pool of Rambos from which you can draw keenly trained killing machines at will. They have their jobs, you have yours. It never ceased to amaze me how grunts liked to talk about how nasty we "air wingers" were, but they sure did love to radio in that CAS.

Don't get me wrong––the grunts definitely had their stuff wired tighter, but it was required for their job. Technical knowledge was required for ours. When grunts started shooting enemies, they were very good at killing them. When things got hairy, they called in air, and they were also very good at killing enemies. It all works together. You're the tip of the spear, and you should be proud of it. Just remember that the tip doesn't do nearly as much good without the rest of the weapon.



Very well said. It was not my intention to besmirch the good work of support types, Lord knows that good support is the difference between success and failure of anything.

However, and maybe it's just the luck of the draw, but the guys in this class seem to have been picked out of a cadre of officers who have completely eschewed the principles of military leadership and adopted bloated institutional precepts. In other words, while they may be good at their individual jobs, they do not exhibit many traits that one would expect of military leaders. They just seem out of touch with the realities of the contemporary operational environment. I suppose that could be a result of spending a considerable amount of their careers in the National Capital Region, but it's still a bit disconcerting.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 3:57:08 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/13/2010 4:01:17 AM EST by DnPRK]
Sorry killer, but the battlespace is changing. Assymetric warfare is our weakness.

During the Cold War it was relatively easy to identify targets –– Soviet mechanized divisions are kinda difficult to hide when they are coming at you. You "shooters" could kill them as quickly as they were IDed. And that holds true today –– you can quickly kill a target once it is IDed. The problem is IDing targets –– it isn't something we are good at in an assymetric environment (akin to picking flyshit out of pepper).

That is the dilemma the MI guys are faced with, picking flyshit out of pepper. One potential solution is to make every "shooter" a sensor first. And by fusing sensor data from as many sources as possible, you get a near-real time picture of the battlespace. That NRT picture can allow you to operate inside the adversary's OODA loop. USAF is in the process of converting to become more sensor centric and less weapons centric specifically to rectify the shortfall in IDing targets in an asymmetric warfare battlespace. USA was headed in that direction too, before canceling FCS.

Like it or not, massively networked information will be the future of warfare. And the MI guys are the tip of that spear.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 4:10:06 AM EST
I've got MOSs, experiences and deployments in all three areas- combat arms, combat support and combat service support now. I can say that the main difference I see now is more generational than anything. The background our military folks have and the education they are getting, especially BEFORE they enter the service, is simply much different than that in years past. The end product we get in many cases (not all, fortunately) is simply a product of that mentality and that process, and it is seriously degraded from what it should be. Most of the Captains Career Courses that don't have tests or evaluations or rankings, for example- other than a class vote to pick the Honor Graduate. That is simply insane, yet that is how we are training and advancing our leaders.

Take a person who spends the first 22 years of his life being told that any answer he gives is right, every performance he gives is worthy of a trophy and there are no wrong answers. Dump that person into the military and what sort of leader do you think they will be, especially when some of their military experiences continue this foolishness?
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 4:13:59 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/13/2010 4:15:55 AM EST by Mastadon]
Originally Posted By Squatch:
Originally Posted By Mastadon:
As a lowly enlisted man who just fixed airplanes for a living, think about what you're saying. The support guys you're talking about aren't supposed to be a pool of Rambos from which you can draw keenly trained killing machines at will. They have their jobs, you have yours. It never ceased to amaze me how grunts liked to talk about how nasty we "air wingers" were, but they sure did love to radio in that CAS.

Don't get me wrong––the grunts definitely had their stuff wired tighter, but it was required for their job. Technical knowledge was required for ours. When grunts started shooting enemies, they were very good at killing them. When things got hairy, they called in air, and they were also very good at killing enemies. It all works together. You're the tip of the spear, and you should be proud of it. Just remember that the tip doesn't do nearly as much good without the rest of the weapon.



Very well said. It was not my intention to besmirch the good work of support types, Lord knows that good support is the difference between success and failure of anything.

However, and maybe it's just the luck of the draw, but the guys in this class seem to have been picked out of a cadre of officers who have completely eschewed the principles of military leadership and adopted bloated institutional precepts. In other words, while they may be good at their individual jobs, they do not exhibit many traits that one would expect of military leaders. They just seem out of touch with the realities of the contemporary operational environment. I suppose that could be a result of spending a considerable amount of their careers in the National Capital Region, but it's still a bit disconcerting.


Point taken, and it's a good one. Hell, I remember brushes with that bloated institutional culture. While we in the wing didn't have to be as tightly wound as the infantry, we certainly had a "hands on" mission to complete. If planes didn't fly, bad things happened. Operational tempo was consistently strong and often in downright overdrive. Still, there were times when we had to bang our heads against supply types in order to get the parts we needed to make mission. They weren't at all concerned with whether or not we could fly the beans to the guys who lived in holes, but rather with whether or not the appropriate forms had been properly executed in triplicate. While they were just doing their job, and properly accounting for all the stuff that they managed was important, it was frustrating to deal with in the midst of trying to get engines turning to make mission.

Also, I'll definitely agree with the overall theme of your OP––the difference in cultures between combat arms and support MOSes. On the one hand, I remember a staff sergeant who once said as we were walking out to a plane on the line, "Discipline? How much discipline does it take to fix a plane?" While true, that wasn't a very leaderly thing to say in front of junior enlisted (which I was when he said it). On the other hand, you had the grunts talking about the air wingers and their lack of discipline. They were also correct (as evidenced by the aforementioned staff NCO), but weren't thinking about the big picture. Military culture is far different from civilian culture, and within the military there are further cultural differences between the various job fields. I'm sure some liberal arts propeller head could have a field day with it.

ETA: Oh yeah, while I say all that in the present tense, I've been out since the mid-90s, so my knowledge is pretty dated.
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