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Posted: 1/7/2005 8:09:02 PM EDT
The unit that showed up to replace us here in iraq are from the Boston Mass. area. A senior NCO told me they are not allowed to train with bolt carrier assemblies in there M16s unless they go to the range at the nearest military installation. Now how do they train guardsman for war if they can't even practice carrying their rifles with the safety on?

after listening to him for awhile, I started to get pissed. The amount of training they aren't allowed to do to standard is amazing. Why would anyone serve in a unit that has so little trust for it's soldiers?

This ain't a flame against the soldiers themselves but against their F'd up leadership.

And therir leaders have balls enough to stand in front of congress and say they are prepared for combat as well as active duty soldiers! WTF?
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:12:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER:
The unit that showed up to replace us here in iraq are from the Boston Mass. area. A senior NCO told me they are not allowed to train with bolt carrier assemblies in there M16s unless they go to the range at the nearest military installation. Now how do they train guardsman for war if they can't even practice carrying their rifles with the safety on?

after listening to him for awhile, I started to get pissed. The amount of training they aren't allowed to do to standard is amazing. Why would anyone serve in a unit that has so little trust for it's soldiers?

This ain't a flame against the soldiers themselves but against their F'd up leadership.

And therir leaders have balls enough to stand in front of congress and say they are prepared for combat as well as active duty soldiers! WTF?



I wonder if it has anything to do with the unit being from Boston? We have no such strictures . . . but we also do not do much weapons training outside of military training centers.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:14:31 PM EDT
Must be a Mass. thing (?)

Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:18:12 PM EDT
I also wonder if it isn't a Mass thing. I suggested he recommend his soldiers buy an AR15 and train with it as much as possible at a local shooting range. He gave me the run down on what it takes to buy a rifle in Mass and DAMN it sounds near impossible to own firearms in Mass.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:18:29 PM EDT
As the son of a retired National Guard NCO, let me say this: Even as a Kid i knew the National Guard lacked everything they need!!! It's the national Guards lot in life to have nothing they need!!!
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:20:33 PM EDT
Well about thier secound time back they will be well trained no?


Bob
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:22:41 PM EDT
It is amazing how unprepared some units are. My unit(I MEF TSG) had an Army reserve refueler company(319th POL) attached to us during the Iraq invasion. Seeing them operate in Iraq was like watching a monkey fuck a football. They were not trained in any patrolling or counter ambush techniques, and had an annoying habit of bailing out of their trucks and hiding when they were shot at. I doubt that they were bad soldiers, just completly untrained and unprepared for war.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:26:41 PM EDT
Oh great. Lookin' forward to this.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:27:46 PM EDT
Just because one MA unit is screwed in their heads doesn't mean the rest of us are. My arty unit has done counter ambush, convoy ops, and we can do pretty much anything we want with out rifles as long as there's no ammo around.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 1:03:24 AM EDT
I got the impression from the NCO I talked too that his chain of command doesn't seem to concerned about training. He said the thought never crossed their minds to start training on the skills other units from OIF I said the needed or used in Iraq. The S2 (Intel) guys never even tracked the lessons learned from other deployed units.

I find it difficult to watch these guardsman struggle over here with issues they should have been prepared for prior to deploying.

Some of their soldiers on advance party, detained a guy who looked liked he was pacing off the chow hall. After they stopped the individual, they did not know what to do and one soldier said he was worried about legal action against him if he was too aggressive. The soldier was afraid to act for fear of charges being brought against him? I knew this would happen after they started charging soldiers with murder during combat operations.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 3:50:23 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 4:04:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2005 4:06:42 AM EDT by AR15fan]
When my Dad was in the Michigan Nat Gaurd guys would wear hair nets rather than cut their hair. They would carry cans of beer in their gas mask pouches and hope nobody used tear gas during the FTX, its was all one big joke. one weekend a month and two weeks a year of getting drunk at Camp Grayling.

One of my best friends in in the Michigan National Guard now, currently in Iraq, and it's the same shit. Guys dont show up for drill, or they show up with their off road rig and poach deer and off road all weekend at Fort Custer. Go to Germany every summer for 2 weeks to screw hookers. No real training getting done.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 4:14:55 AM EDT
Sad.

I just hope a bunch of these guys don't die because they were never given proper training. It isn't their fault, because they just do as they are told. But damnit, whoever the CO of that unit is needs to be sent packing.

Folks, the days of the national guard not deploying overseas are OVER! So why in the hell would unit commanders not get their men ready? This is a complete and total clusterfuck.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 4:24:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
When my Dad was in the Michigan Nat Gaurd guys would wear hair nets rather than cut their hair. They would carry cans of beer in their gas mask pouches and hope nobody used tear gas during the FTX, its was all one big joke. one weekend a month and two weeks a year of getting drunk at Camp Grayling.

One of my best friends in in the Michigan National Guard now, currently in Iraq, and it's the same shit. Guys dont show up for drill, or they show up with their off road rig and poach deer and off road all weekend at Fort Custer. Go to Germany every summer for 2 weeks to screw hookers. No real training getting done.



Dude, I was in the Michigan Guard. We got drunk every drill, took two or three hours to go to the strip club or hooters for lunch, and then clean edour masks or rifles for an hour and knocked off work.

When we went to Germany for a year to do LE patrol it was interesting to say the least.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 4:29:01 AM EDT
Let me also say that I really, really, really hope this unit in question is not one of the ARNG's new "enhanced brigades". Those are supposed to be the best and most ready the guard has to offer.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 4:43:55 AM EDT
I was active duty (4 years) and try 1 in the Mass Guard. (back before Desert storm)
We where allowed to train with our M-16's until some dumb ass E-2 stole a truck (another unit near bosten not ours) and 2 M-16's and went back to the hood to show off the Machine guns. (IN the City OF Boston)
well said numb nuts fired the M-16 on a street corner and got busted. After that we only saw the M-16's
in FTX or quals. I was also advised I could not have a K-BAR on my web gear as it made me look like a
soldier. WTF? I informed the officer that We WHERE Soldiers and should Look and act as such.

The training in my unit was top notch, we had a good NCO corps (all ex active duty like me) But the O's where all Guard fairies. and it showed. there was an institutional bias against former active duty personel.
(Ei we couldn't be picked for soldier of the month etc as we had an "Unfair advantage"

My old unit is in good shape now, (fully manned, when I was there we where 1/2 strenght)
and the training seems up to par. My son is in the unit now (will be once he is done training.)
the mass guard has a pre-basic where they take raw recuits and run them through basic Mil skills and PT
before Basic and AIT. To me that is a GOOD program.

There are problems with mass guard for sure. Alot of the troops are in just for collage and that was a problem back when I was in it. (they thought that the training was supposed to be like a collage course where they could questions the army wide methods and often totally derailed the instructers if allowed.)
They where usally the dirt bags also. (booze and drugs.) I had reported this to my Plt sargent
and it was not acted on. (IN my unit on 2 week FTX pukes where skating and not going to the range as they where high or drunk)

I have made it a point of not BSing my kid and making Sure he knows all training is important and can
save his life if he learns it as instructed.

Now alot of what I have said here backs up your observations, but The guard training was often better than my active duty training when I was in. But I wasn't in a line unit then. (support puke. )
(MI)

To get AR-15 here in mass requires alot but can be done.

And the Mass guard policy is not right on this matter. I am sad they have still clung to that. Time to start calling my reps here in mass and writing.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 4:48:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
Let me also say that I really, really, really hope this unit in question is not one of the ARNG's new "enhanced brigades". Those are supposed to be the best and most ready the guard has to offer.



Yeah, I don't know that Oregon has especially "High-Speed" 'Guard units but I haven't the kind of things some here are talking about. The training schedule is usually so crammed full for a week-end that they have sandwiches brought in or throw MRE's at us. I've heard stories about the way things were in the 70's (The beer in the pro-mask carriers and people talking lawn furniture to the field) but I've been in three units here in OR (2/162INF, 1249th ENG BN and the 3/116th Cav') since '97 and I haven't seen it.

'course, those units are either just back from a deployment, deployed or getting ready to deploy about half the time so maybe that has something to do with it.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 4:58:02 AM EDT
I was in the NG in Texas from 97-98. We were kinda lacking in the training dept. but most of it was from a lack of money. Being a former Marine I thought they could have done better in a few ways, but they did try and the CO was a shooting fanatic. We sure as hell didn't get drunk while on duty and they even made us PT. The biggest fault I could find was that there were far too many of the older guys who had profiles and didn't run with us.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:25:01 AM EDT
I knew some guys that were in the Mass. 26 ID they were wearing Presidential Unit Citations. At some point their unit performed as heros under enemy fire. It's to bad that the new troops arn't getting the training they need.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 9:41:52 AM EDT
What kills me is they have better equipment than us active guys have. They ahve the MICH helmets, desert camo IBA new M4 Carbines. But I did see a SPC walking around with an M14. I asked how long he trained with it, and he said he got it right before they left Kuwait. Somewhere is an NCO that let this kid bring an untried and untrained with weapon into a combat zone. I'm not even sure he qualified with it.

The guy who showed up to replace me bought a Tasco T168, 6X scope. He mounted it on his weapon last month and has yet to zero or qualify with it. He doesn't even have a BUIS. He leaves his carry handle in his room. 2 days ago, we were standing outside the perimeter about 10 feet from the local village, with a weapon and scope he hasn't zero'd or qualified with. He did stand behind everyone else but damn. And he just don't get it.

Everytime something stupid comes out of the mouths of his officers, he just says "Yes Sir" without even trying to get the officers to do the right thing or fight for the soldiers.

You should seen how pissed he got when he got his new desert IBA dirty from spilled fuel. You'd of thought I f*ucked his wife.

I foresee a high body count (NG) in OIF III.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 11:57:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2005 12:04:08 PM EDT by bull_8]

Originally Posted By TANGOCHASER:
The unit that showed up to replace us here in iraq are from the Boston Mass. area. A senior NCO told me they are not allowed to train with bolt carrier assemblies in there M16s unless they go to the range at the nearest military installation. Now how do they train guardsman for war if they can't even practice carrying their rifles with the safety on?

after listening to him for awhile, I started to get pissed. The amount of training they aren't allowed to do to standard is amazing. Why would anyone serve in a unit that has so little trust for it's soldiers?

This ain't a flame against the soldiers themselves but against their F'd up leadership.

And therir leaders have balls enough to stand in front of congress and say they are prepared for combat as well as active duty soldiers! WTF?



I've got one up on you.... The unit I was supposed to go to Afghanistan with was faking weapons qualifications on the M249 SAW and M240's. I know because they told me I qualified during the night fire even though I had no night vision scope and not to mention I had the barrel elevated pretty damn high that there was no way in hell that I hit any targets, yet they say I hit 11 out of 11 during the night fire.

Then when I asked about going to the range to requal properly they told me I had qualified. I then asked them to see the computer printout from the range and they said they didnt have it. I saw the handwritten sheet showing everyone's qual scores and made a copy of it. After I hurt my knee during the trainup they took me off the SAW and replaced me with another soldier. I saw the qual sheet again a week later and my name was crossed off but next to my score they put my replacements name.

Honestly it was from then on that I had absolutely no faith in my unit. I went to Behavioral Health on Ft Bragg and told the head of Psychology that there was no way in hell that I would go overseas with them and that I wanted out of the National Guard. This wouldve been my 5th deployment and I'll be damned if I was getting sent with a unit that pulls bullshit like that. I was discharged Honorably from the National Guard in July of 2004.

Now I want an honest answer to this question: Did I over-react? I'm currently in the process of trying to go back on active duty. I figure if I'm gonna get sent overseas to the sandbox then I will do it with a unit that doesnt halfstep through weapons qualifications, especially the SAW and M240

Oh I also forgot to mention that when the unit was nominated for the deployment we had 254 soldiers in what shouldve been a 570 soldier infantry battalion. It took the state raping 2 other infantry battalions to bring ours up to full strength just for the mobilization train up. Gotta love the way the guard fucks with numbers. We had soldiers that were / still are AWOL holding squad leader and team leader slots on the unit manning reports for the battalion
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 12:07:58 PM EDT
my buddy Joey was in the louisiana national gaurd and before he got deployed they did 3 months of intensive training at Ft Hood. they took it seriously
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 12:12:36 PM EDT
I was in the 76th SIB recently, and I can tell you that it was a whole 'nother ball game from the 38th ID. We had new weapons, good training, and yes, we even ran PT. It was not the Guard I remember from the early 90s.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 12:27:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By QuietShootr:
I was in the 76th SIB recently, and I can tell you that it was a whole 'nother ball game from the 38th ID. We had new weapons, good training, and yes, we even ran PT. It was not the Guard I remember from the early 90s.



+2 for Indiana. My Exp in LRS Det 15st Inf (A) was very good. Had the Combat Infantry Company Streamer. This was Pre Just Cause and GWI.

The Current 38th ID CSM was a TL, Ops NCO and Det NCO in the det. He is also a 101st in Vietnam Vet.

Link Posted: 1/8/2005 12:35:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2005 12:37:49 PM EDT by mk1iii]
This weekend is a drill weekend for me. I had to come to work tonight for a few hours is the only reason I'm able to type this right now. I'll be back at 5:30 am to do it over again.

We spent all morning and part of the afternoon in the rain practicing dismounted patrols and action on contact in ambush/sniper situations. We train hard and take it very seriously. There's some cluster fuck'ish moments but show me a unit anywhere that doesn't.

BTW- All enhanced NG units have been deployed at least once if not many more times than that. The regular NG is now getting called to the dance floor. One unit from my state has just shipped to their train-up prior to their big game and many more line units will follow soon behind.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 12:36:12 PM EDT
+3 for CA most of the guys were Active and combat vets. I like it alot of knowlegdge and experience but they are older and IMHO less likely to do stupid reckless stuff.

plus its a little more laid back.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 12:49:19 PM EDT
Agreed. Any unit training deficiencies should rest soley on the shoulders of the unit commander. I doubt the SNCOs in the unit are worth a damn either but ultimately it all goes back to the commander.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 12:54:19 PM EDT
i've heard of both types on units being deployed - ready and clueless.

some of my frieneds are in the NC Nat'nl guard - mechanized infantry. they deployed without their Abrams. only unarmored HumVees.

they are no slouches and made it back in one piece. also, i saw some nice pics of Oregon Nat'nl guard soldiers in some action posted here. there are good units and bad - its a leadership probelm for sure.
even if you area short materials, you can still train and maintain your skills and readiness. part of the Mass. guards problem may be years of boys growing up in a state where gun owners are treated as criminals and they are raised and taught in a liberal mecca. naturally such an environment produces officers who are only interested in college benefits, numbers on paper and getting to play the role of an officer and a gentleman. makes all the good soldiers - enlisted, NCOs and COs - look bad because the system as a whole suffers.
i hope they pull themselves together before its too late.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 1:33:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2005 1:34:35 PM EDT by centermass181]
I dont really think you guys can slim this down to a Mass thing at all, I deployed for SFOR 10 a few years back, 01-02, with a company from Cambridge MA, 1 from way out in western MA, and 1 from CT. We were all part of the 29th ID, all 11b, blah blah....we all Volunteered, as we were on active duty during 9/11, and the folks I trained with and served with in Bosnia were far and above better troops than I ever encountered on Active duty. The unit from Mississippi NG that we were attached to was the most undisciplined bunch of yokels Id ever seen, with a few exceptions of course.

My point is dont narrow it down to a state, as much as I hate this one, its the leadership. You need NCOs with patches on both shouders, and troops that take this seriously.

PS, I own 3 ARs, and it wasnt that tough.

Dan


Also, I know that one of the FA units that just went over from MA had some SERIOUS private fundraising going on for the latest and greatest from Ranger Joes.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 1:37:34 PM EDT
Seing as how the NG is such a cross section of society, you're bound to get all types of people in. In my unit, you can tell who in for enjoyment, and who's in for the college money. You should have seen the faces on the school guys when we got an alert notification. Anyhow, all I can say, is that I'm more than willing to go to Iraqistan with my men.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 2:08:25 PM EDT
I spent less then a year in the National Guard before I got sick of it and went active. Its a cross section of experienced soldiers with extensive active duty experience ( the FEW in most units) and those there for college money or hopes of retiring with a guaranteed state pension. Some very good people but the state National Guard units are largely driven by POLITICS. Its a Good Ole Boy club (in many states) - and now lives are on the line because some desk jockeys ( state level and Pentagon) spent their entire career setting up units for FAILURE. Few recruiters TELL recruits what they are joining. No one used to take the Guard seriously - most of the Guard itself didnt take it seriously. I spent some time in a Guard unit who randomly selected snipers on the basis of how they shot or if they used to be in a Ranger unit. Very random - and oh here's your M24!!

I ended up going active duty and did three years in 1st Armored Division - which had its own specific problems. Most of my Army time was spent under Klinton so priorities were naturally f##ked and everything was focused around peacekeeping - that bullshit has hurt our entire Armed Forces. Much of the blame lies on the Klinton Administration. Some of it can be blamed on the lower levels too. Do you know how much money has been spent on stupid shit related to powerpoint supplies and other administrative crap that wasnt necessary? I'm pretty certain that my battalion, while in Kosovo, wasted at least a couple million dollars on junk to "look good". All bullshit. Things like functional weapons magazines never were a priority. The majority of the military wasnt ready for Iraq or Afghanistan because Klinton tried to turn our troops into HIS silly faggot vison of the military. Klinton should be publicly tried for the shit he did to our country. But so should the Generals and Admirals who lied their ass off saying we are 100 percent GTG - when we werent.............Or the units who blew their budget on junk over all those years instead of valid equipment. A GSA government credit card can be deadly. The active Army in Germany had its fair share of bullshit. The only training that it did was related primarily to peacekeeping - Bosnia, Kosovo, and Macedonia.

I'm Coast Guard now - I retain a lot of respect for the soldiers serving in the Army. There are some awesome Commands out their - but the overall organization is still plagued by serious internal problems. Some of them I feel can be directly attributed to Bill Clintons profound lack of leadership in destroying our country for eight years. Other issues come down to NCO and Officers NOT doing their job - or those at the highest levels. I worked with a lot of good NCO's and Officers - but it wasnt a warfighting Army I served in. I'm sure its becoming that now - at least I hope and pray it is learning some lessons. And hopefully the Generals are on the front line - not doing the normal routine sitting in an Air conditioned HMMV or flying around in a Blackhawk PRETENDING they know the situation on the ground.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 2:11:37 PM EDT
I just spent a week shooting alongside two Marine officers who were deeply involved in the program to put soldiers on our southern border, and a Border Patrol suervisor who commanded or supervised many of these patrols. The conclusion? The Rangers and Marines had their shit together. The NG guys.......well the BP officer in charge carried their magazines and handed them out if they got shot at. Not very well trained.

Just what I heard, don't shoot the messenger.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 2:25:25 PM EDT
I cannot comment on the Army guard but the line between Active Duty and Guard Air Force units is blurred and in the case of my wing, non-existent. The new "Blended Wing" idea being implemented lets day-to-day operations be dealt with by active duty and any deployments be supplemented by Guard personnel. Doing this allows resources to the traditional guardsmen for training that would otherwise be unavailable. And if this goes as well as it has been, that could be an idea that the Army could adopt.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 2:33:48 PM EDT
Well we where at my sons (and my old Unit) and I addressed these concerns with the unit.
The comanding officer (Cpt), is a West pointer top of his class has his CIB (OIF1 I believe) many of the ncos
Have thier CIB's also (retreads from 11b I guess if they have them) and I asked about the shitbird issues I had when I was there. They will take an NCO to task and relieve him for not doing his job, (we had ALOT of problems with this when I was there) and the unit has a squared away training NCO (also Combat vet)
who id very serious about his job. He wanted me to reup too. I would but with the Ti in my spine they won't take me anyway. (L5-SI fusion) I am feeling better about my boy being there.
They do alot of Mout and general "real" training and none of the BS I saw.
Hardly any ragbags there at all. (Only saw one older private e1 who was not squared away)

I think It is time for me to train the Boy on an M1A when he gets back from basic just in case.
He has been shooting since he was 5, and with AR's for the last 5 years. Good shot with Irons and with his vision should be alot better with optics.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 2:34:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2005 2:38:34 PM EDT by J_Smith]

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
I just spent a week shooting alongside two Marine officers who were deeply involved in the program to put soldiers on our southern border, and a Border Patrol suervisor who commanded or supervised many of these patrols. The conclusion? The Rangers and Marines had their shit together. The NG guys.......well the BP officer in charge carried their magazines and handed them out if they got shot at. Not very well trained.

Just what I heard, don't shoot the messenger.



No surprise at all........I've seen active duty soldiers who can't clear a weapon without firing in the clearing barrel because they weren't trained on how to properly clear an M16........an M16 with an empty chamber resulting in a negligent discharge. While in Kosovo, a soldier from our brigade shot and killed an Albanian boy as he was clearing his M249.....Obviously, you don't clear an open bolt machine gun with live rounds in the feed tray by pulling the trigger. But he was unqualified, and his command insisted he carry the weapon because they had to have x-number of SAW gunners. Great - but they substituted REAL training to make sure that quotas were filled. The Army Rangers, Army SF. and the entire Marine Corp impresses me. A lot of line units in the Army have their sh#t together too - but there are many units in the Guard, Reserve, and even Active who have poor leadership. Some really good units - but its luck of the draw. Ultimately, there aren't bad soldiers - only bad leaders. Good solid leadership from the Army Chief of Staff on down to the newest 2nd Lieutenant or Corporal would correct a lot of problems. That and changing a lot of the stupid policies implemented under Klinton. For one, stop the dog and pony shows - millions of US military dollars have been wasted on lame attempts to impress superiors........ Kissing ass doesnt win wars.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 2:40:12 PM EDT
So if a foreign nation invades they will hit MA, CA and NY caused they are neutered
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 1:28:57 AM EDT
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