Sounds good on paper

| September 14, 2023

General Randy George, our Acting (thanks to SEN. Tuberville) Army Chief of Staff and SGMA Michael Weimer have a united message for the service: If it doesn’t make you more lethal, ditch it.

If there are things on your training schedule that are not making you more lethal or more cohesive where you’re taking care of your teammates, then you need to have a discussion about taking that off the schedule and not doing it,” George said.

The four areas cover a wide range but offer specific signals as to how, and where, the new chief plans to lead the Army over the next four years.

Those four areas include warfighting, continuous transformation, strengthening the profession and delivering ready combat formations.

As part of the warfighting focus, the pair said they want to reduce the non-combat preparation work for even low-level commanders. George noted it shouldn’t take three or more weeks for a company commander to inventory their gear.

But the general isn’t tossing it all on the lower ranks. He pointed to industry and commercial models, noting that a Walmart staff can inventory their entire store overnight. He expects to develop “passive inventory systems” to aid commanders with that task.

I recall an IG inspection only taking a few days at most. Have to admit, the prep took a lot longer, especially borrowing that deuce-and-a-half we were missing from the unit next door and changing its bumper numbers to match (and then again repainting the numbers afterwards back to the originals. That unit did that for YEARS – when they were deactivated, it turned out that particular original truck never existed in the first place… but it did for the IG.)

In the same remarks, George held up a tablet saying that a unit commander, his or her staff and subordinates should all be able to view the common operating picture on the same device.

He recalled deploying with a command and control cell that carried 19 pelican cases and took nearly 15 vehicles to move around the battlespace.

“We can’t operate like that on the battlefield,” George said.

Part of improving training and buying more time will be on the higher echelon units to take the burden off the lower-level commanders, George said.

One example George provided included the division warfighter exercises. These are complex, multi-echelon unit events. The general sees these types of events as building a collective, virtual or simulated, trainer so the larger units, such as brigades and divisions, can practice their work without having to line up all the subordinate units.

They are talking a good game, maybe. Knowing that some of the social justice goals are wrapped up in buzzwords like “continuous transformation” or the spinoffs to “taking care of your teammates” makes me more than a little suspicious. But I’ll happily support the efforts to let our guys kill folks and break sh*t better, especially if they concurrently try to dial back on the above-mentioned SJ work and misusing our folks as touchy-feelie goodwill ambassadors in hot zones.
H/t to Jeff LPH.

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Slow Joe

I did warfighter for the last three years. It is three one-week CPX (command post exercise) in preparation, and then a two-week WFX (warfighter exercise)
A pain in the ass, but important to do.
Our allocation of combat value and resupply capabilities for the opposing force was ridiculous high, compared to what we know now about a certain military in Eastern Europe. But then, you want to train harder than it will be in real life.


Sure. It will totally be the same thing lining up all the units digitally. It isn’t like shit happens in real life.

The only thing the digital stuff is good for is exercising command and staff orders processes and plans down to the platoon level. It doesn’t do a great job of it because everything is low stress but it is a handy walk through to see where people are at.

Yes a Brigade TOC has a lot of stuff. It also has a lot of people and in theory performs a lot of functions. The real question is; Does it all have to be in one spot making a huge target? No and it never did. Now that drones are a for real threat that old model has to go by the wayside.

So they want to make inventory easier by doing it digital? I believe it was Jeb Stuart who coined the phrase “Don’t expect what you don’t inspect”. But we had to forget all about Stuart because he was evil. He would be tickled. Let’s also not forget the easier we make it for the easier we make it for hackers.

Focusing on lethality is a great idea. But let’s not forget certain things. Like dress uniform inspections are an opportunity for NCOs to show that they can lead soldiers and have them conform to the standard. It’s not about looking pretty. A 12 mile ruck march won’t increase the lethality of an MLRS unit diddly but will show you who will break down under trying physical circumstances, provide leadership a chance to lead and even show the level of esprit of the soldiers. You want to be lethal? Build great NCOs and junior leaders. It’s the truth and the way.


Focus on lethality, but don’t lose the basics. The uniform inspection is a good way to evaluate a Soldier’s discipline and military appearance, as well as a way to gauge the overall morale of the unit. Rewarding Soldiers with the classic Payday Activities (uniform inspection followed by time off to handle personal affairs) can be motivating. Foot marches, obstacle courses, and so on do not necessarily benefit a mechanized unit, nor do they increase the effectiveness of a Finance unit, but they help to see who has the drive and physical capability to endure and can build team cohesiveness.

One thing I, unlike a lot of other Infantrymen, thought was a good idea was the Expert Soldier Badge. I still wish I’d have submitted something back in the day, because around 2010-2011 I’d spend hours discussing such a badge with my 91C (AC Tech) Battle Buddy while on recruiting. One 3.5-hour trip to Fort Polk saw us discuss this the entire way. They adopted it down to the design we came up with. Maybe he had a hand in it…

Anyway, it’s a “useless” badge, although it’s not. Any Soldier besides an 11-series can earn one, and it lets others know that you’ve gone above and beyond. I rarely saw one while I was in, but if I saw a Paralegal, Cook, or Crew Chief wearing one, I’d have nothing but respect. We all have our jobs, which require proficiency to increase overall combat effectiveness. While the aforementioned MOS’ shouldn’t have to, I like the thought that there are some who step outside of their comfort zone to master basic combat tasks.

“Build great NCOs and junior leaders. It’s the truth and the way.”

Finally, this. Junior leaders are the future of the force. I watched a few of my former subordinates eclipse me in rank and position before I retired. Some might be petty and jealous, but I’m just glad to have played a small role in their success.


Very early on i was taught that the successes of your soldiers are your successes. I went out of the way to write up the good they did. It made it easier to give them little attaboys when they again did well.

All my joes went above and beyond me as i had no interest in being a Sergeant. And now 22 years later. I’m friends with most of them still.

USMC Steve

That sounds promising, but if the current regime finds out about it they are going to both be gone. None of that non-woke and non libtarded stuff will be allowed in our armed forces you know.


More lethal?

Except keep pronouns, trans surgeries, affirmative action promotions, hate whitey training, lower standards for chicks,…..etc.

jeff LPH 3 63-66

Now that’s what I call lethal for the “New” Military wokesters. This shit can’t get any better.


“General” Pinkley thinks they’re pretty, but he is curious as to whether or not they can fight.

We’ll see. No battle plan survives after the 1st contact with your enemy.

Old tanker

Electronically connected means electronically vulnerable. There really ain’t no such thing as a totally secure over the air connection. They all can be jammed if nothing else. Interception is another risk.

Used to be, the most complicated electronic gizmo was the wired phone and central operator.


Old tanker,

I’ve been saying this since the late 1990s, 25 years now (huh!),
when hardwired WAN (wide area networks)
were being switched over to internet access.

Long before “wireless”.

Not only for military,
but for industry, including manufacturing processes,
business, banking, all things government, and the power grid.

Back then, last century,
not over the open air except for microwave,
but open to interception nonetheless.

It’s why the US military had large and expensive crypto equipments and systems in place, for teletype, data, and voice, for almost half a century.


If it’s easier for you to access and use, it’s easier for the bad guys to access and use too. Increased versatility equals increased vulnerability.


We did inventory at my store a few months ago. It was the first one since I started there, and we came in at 0330, with a third-party inventory team. The difference between a retail inventory and a military change-of-command inventory is that each item in retail has a unique UPC. Bass Pro Shops probably doesn’t have the variety of SKUs that Walmart does, but my store is over 160k sq/ft, and while the inventory takes maybe 12 hours, the previous week is spent putting up inventory slips and ensuring the UPCs are readable. Army equipment includes Components of End Item (COEI) Basic Issue Items (BII) and Additional Authorized Items (AAI), which is where the real pain lies. I don’t think AAI is as important, but if that Armorer’s tool kit is missing a punch, the Contact Truck is short one 5/32nd Snap-On wrench, or the M2 Bradley has a damaged seat cover, a smart incoming commander will refuse to sign for it. I heard of one incident in 3ID where a commander was on the hook for a few million dollars in missing equipment.

The Warfighter Exercises are an experience. A lot of practice finally got us down under 12 hours jumping TOC. Our BDE TOC included the large DRASH, medium ones for S2, SCIF, S6, and the ALOC (S1/S4), sleeping tents for the Commander and CSM, and conference room tent, plus a few LMTVs and HMMWVs to transport that, along with two CONEXs full of TOC equipment and flooring requiring Palletized Load System HEMMTS.


I was personally present at a company change of command that took a couple months due to inventory discrepancies. It wasn’t just a missing stack of mess gear, either. The outgoing CO got thumped. Expensively.


Anyone who was in for a while saw horror shows for COCI. The worst I ever saw was when two maintenance companies in a brigade changed hands at the same time and the new Brigade Commander was a stickler. Nearly $1M in hand tools were missing.

The brigade commander somehow convinced the CG to buy it all. They backed up a Sears semi and for a few months filled tool boxes out of it.


I had a company commander get so far down into the weeds that he measured the screwdrivers in the TK-101 and TK-105 toolsets. Started demanding reports of survey because some were too short, and therefore weren’t the proper tool, therefore, missing. Got his ass handed to him by the BN commander, who pointed out that the NSN was engraved into the handle by the manufacturer, it matched the hand receipt, and the world wouldn’t end if a 4 inch #2 phillips was closer to 3 3/4. THAT is why inventories take weeks instead of days.

Prior Service

Having been through 2 Company change of command inventories as PL, 1 as HHC XO, and 6 as the incoming or outgoing commander and probably about 85 cyclics, I agree that some of “us” are stupid needle-dicks on inventories. What causes more problems, though, are officers that don’t know what they are doing, commanders who say weak crap like “nobody will ever have to buy anything while I’m in command”, CDRs/supply sergeants who let the shortage annexes lapse and don’t do cyclics, and platoons that don’t pull all the crap out for the first inventory—meaning the incoming never has accountability, I’ve found that quickly doing a couple (justifiable) statements of charge on very inexpensive things ultimately always improved the quality of my layouts and reduced overall loss big time. By reinforcing the appearance I was going to hammer people, AND putting in real systems, AND busting my butt (e.g. personally tearing camouflage nets out of German deer stands on Graf so I wouldn’t have to charge Soldiers) I didn’t really have to hammer them—while protecting myself and government property. I also used my ability to do a commander’s write off to actually protect Soldiers who were doing the right thing, but still lost stuff. Particularly with my HHC, property management problems were my biggest headache. My incoming change of command was delayed a month because my predecessor didn’t fix anything I told him about until I dropped the dime in the brigade commander’s office. (Only after the BN S4 and XO didn’t do anything either.) and it to


You’re preaching to the choir, sir! There are things to be a dick about on inventories, and things that can attributed to variances in the supply system. Officers that don’t know what they’re doing coupled with indifferent supply Sergeants can create nightmares. I used to have a section of TRC-170 communication systems, the hand receipts were huge, and in no logical order. Around my 10th year in the Army, cussing the hand receipts, a very wise supply Sergeant says “This is bullshit, we need to put this in order”. SSG D says “We can do that?” CO (one of the best I ever had) basically locked us in supply, wouldn’t let us out till it was fixed. We reduced inventory time from 4 days to 1. All because we didn’t know we could improve the system. Why didn’t all the previous supply types know this? They just printed it off ULLS and accepted it as is.

Prior Service

when I signed for my HHC, I wound up getting everything fixed first but one AM radio. I had one part of the AN/GRC213 and built the rest over time. Had to sign a statement of charges on myself for a non-expendable Rucksack shelf but I finished it.


“a smart incoming commander will refuse to sign for it.”

Perhaps, but is he willing or able to spend the time to do a thorough personal inventory? Or put up with the perhaps career-ending or long-term shit he will no doubt get from his subordinates, peers, and superiors? Particularly if it turns out the official inventory documents turn out to contain “inaccuracies”?

Green Thumb

All talk.

And the SMA looks fucking ancient.

Prior Service

True story: The ancient SMA actually enlisted 7 years after I did, and I’m still on active duty. Signed, Father Time


Don’t understand the inventory thing. I did a change of command inventory for a Combat Support Company (Scouts, Mortars, AT, Redeye, GSR) in a week. At the end of the week the PLs were signed for their stuff, then the PSGs, then the Squad Leaders. Then did my 10% inventories each month. When I turned over command, it was still all there and it took a week. Oh yeah, that included not only the war fighting stuff for a mech unit, but all the furniture and bedding.


One problem at echelons above the company level is that there’s so much stuff, strewn throughout the battalion, brigade, or higher command. A regular company commander has his or her organic company equipment, sub-hand receipted to the platoons and so on down. Having been a battalion HHC Armorer, and later a Brigade HHC Platoon Sergeant and Alternate Armorer, it’s a pain tracking down who sub-hand receipted what, and why the Intel folks in the BSTB have something that belongs to BDE S2. At battalion and brigade level, a Captain signs for stuff that’s used by people who outrank them and who sometimes just treat property frivolously. You’ve got the Headquarters Company, but also the respective HQ itself, who get protective over “their” property.

That said, I don’t even want to know how they work inventories (I doubt they do) in Headquarters Company, US Army (HQ, USA) and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, US Army Garrison (HHC, USAG) look like. Both fall under HQ BN USA: Headquarters Battalion U.S. Army :: Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. It was bad enough trying to clear, given the fact that I was assigned to MDW but HHC, USAG.


“thanks to SEN. Tuberville”
And to the Democrat pols that love abortions.
Did you know That the Senate Majority Leader could call for vote on these appointments one at a time? So there is a path, they just choose not to use it. “Well that would take too much time” – is there anyone here that thinks that anything coming out of the Senate is worth a crap now a days? Or would even get passed while the Republicans hold the house? Yes, I dare say they have the time. It’s not like they have been doing the job of the legislature for a long time.


It’s a talking point, that the dems think they can use in the next election.

Wrench Turner

“… that particular original truck never existed in the first place …”

Sounds a lot like the offog device from the short story, “Allamagoosa” by Eric Frank Russell

It gives me a chuckle every time I come across it in an anthology. It should be on every military required reading list, along with “Superiority” by Arthur C. Clarke.