Saturday, October 28, 2023

In Defense Of US Marines.

I seldom comment on issues of basic combat training, such as fire drills (in Russian--Ognevaya Podgotovka, same as in English) and handling of standard issue arms. I am not fanatic of all kinds of handguns and rifles, but I have more than enough experience in handling anything from any AK series to some hand guns--I do have my Ruger. And I stumbled on this video today:

Two things immediately: 

1. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the fact that these guys ARE training. That is the point of training, isn't it--to identify mistakes, correct them and then train the correct way. Obviously, video captured marines making all kinds of mistakes, but then again--these are BASIC skills which are easily addressed through training within one-two one hour exercise training this element, including live fire at the range. Maybe the video was shot precisely for this purpose--to show mistakes and correct them? I am 100% positive that USMC combat teams know how to handle AR-15s. It is an EASILY addressed problem. Of course, Kalashnikovs of all calibers have a very different from AR-15 kinematics, e.g. you can easily cock any AK by... foot, especially if you are laying down. But I see no problem in getting guys, who may not even be "first line", learning how to reload. 

2. Another matter, of course, is marching. In Russia it is called Stroevaya Podgotovka which means literally Formation Drills. While this type of activity is always mocked in Russian Armed Forces, it has a significant impact on the unit's cohesion. Yes, in this respect US Armed Forces do not train it the way Russians do, including famous parade step "minting", like this:

And this one comes from centuries long tradition of linear tactics formations, where uniformity of the step (marching) was playing a huge role in both cohesion and combat stability of the unit (formation). Recall this:   
United States has a very limited experience in linear tactics of 17th-19th century fighting gigantic and not battles like Europeans did, in the times when linear formation marching had a very serious tactical sense in terms of density of fire and in terms of morale. Russian fought like this for many centuries, so, naturally, this tradition of marching remains very strong, and rightly so, and from the first day of boot in any unit young soldiers, sailors and military academies cadets will be drilled in this marching until "they stop shitting home-made pies". After that it comes naturally--hence magnificent marching at the Red Square (and elsewhere) May 9th Parades. Including properly trained US Army formation. Not step "minting" but surely synchronous and nice looking:

US has a very different experience with such marching, but then again: if the video shows ineptitude in marching, let me tell you--good drill sergeant, a few days and the unit will march like a single entity. US Armed Forces problem, of course, including marines, is not in some video showing novice skills. The problem is deeper and it is on a tactical level, but most importantly--operationally and strategically. That is not the level of average grunts, that is military-political level whose rot dripped down and made US Armed Forces problems way more profound than some basic military skills easily addressed by good junior officer and his NCOs, believe me--I know, been there, done that, including handling of live firearms, grenades et al. After all, all graduates of Soviet/Russian naval academies have their official second specialty as Naval Infantry (Marines) tactical unit commanders. Unless your ass was eaten by bedbugs in barracks in Separate Naval Infantry Brigade in Kazachya (near Sevastopol) you could never be called a naval officer. That is why shitload of naval officers fought (including my classmates) in both Chechnya Wars, Georgia and elsewhere, commanding ground troops.  

So, like it or not, what is shown in this video is mostly propaganda, albeit as any propaganda it concentrates, in this case, on negative and embellishes it. If anything, Chinese Armed Forces have special unit of these girls who primarily are trained for marching--you can easily find the video of them going through grueling marching training. They ARE NOT combat unit and their ONLY task is to project unity and power of China. So, comparing them to randomly walking marines is not appropriate. Again, READ my lips--those problems are relatively easily addressed, by the end of the normal boot they will disappear. Ability to shoot well, use of the whole issue of infantry weapons and fighting as a unit is another matter, of course. I would be concerned with this, which is utter disgrace under any circumstances and the US military did it by itself:

But then again, US Armed Forces are merely partial manifestation of a systemic crisis which afflicted the whole country, which entered a full zombie mode and nobody knows if it is coming out of it, not yet anyway. This, not the fact that guys are learning to reload AR-15, is by far more important issue, including strategic and operational ineptness of Pentagon's top brass which for the first time has been shown how the real war looks like and how you handle it.

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