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General_Magician
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Basic training has changed a lot these days to make the soldier more combat effective in the real world and in real combat situations. Plus the PT test is harder now and more in tune with what might be required in combat. Our armed forces have become more combat hardened and smarter since all these wars kicked off.

The military itself has changed a lot since most of the forum members have been (though we do have a few Iraq and Afghan vets here but from what I know, not many) in. It seems a lot of people are unaware just how much the military has changed since these wars kicked off (which I guess it's not surprising given that according to the Iraq and Afghan Vets of America that about 1% of the American population carries the burden of national defense or something to that effect).
"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby." -unknown

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MagicSanta
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Some of us are combat vets other than Iraq or Afghanistan and when I went to boot torture was still allowed. I do admit today is tougher PT, that is an assumption as I never did an obsticle course holding hands with a team mate while chanting

This is my rifle,
Peace is Islam,
This is for fighting,
The other should be respected

General, when stress cards are gone tell us how tough it is now.
General_Magician
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On 2012-07-24 21:08, MagicSanta wrote:
Some of us are combat vets other than Iraq or Afghanistan and when I went to boot torture was still allowed. I do admit today is tougher PT, that is an assumption as I never did an obsticle course holding hands with a team mate while chanting

This is my rifle,
Peace is Islam,
This is for fighting,
The other should be respected

General, when stress cards are gone tell us how tough it is now.


I don't know anything about stress cards though I heard about them. I never had stress cards going through basic. What I will tell you is that it's a good idea to treat your troops well if you are a leader or a fellow soldier, because those are the guys who are watching your back and their is a wild west factor in a combat zone (assuming you are a combat vet you already know that). Believe me when I tell you that the armed forces are much more combat hardened than before these wars started. It inevitably happens when you start losing a lot of guys.

Basic training also isn't about blindly following orders like it used to be (discipline is important but blindly following orders is not smart either and doesn't work too well in real combat, but again, their is discpline and then blindly following orders). You have to be discplined, but you can't be a robot either and you have to be smart. You got to fight smarter. Hand to hand combat has also gotten better.

A lot of today's enemies have developed methods to circumvent superior firepower and technology, so in the end, no amount of firepower or technology is a substitute for tactical proficiency. Being tactically proficient is a big factor in whether you make it home alive or you come home in a coffin.

Some of our enemies like to flee in the face of overwhelming firepower and then double back and catch us by surprise and engage in hand to hand. That way, we can't bring our superior firepower to bear without killing our own troops. So being good at good old fashioned hand to hand, face to face and very personal combat is a must. Make em pay a price for daring to engage in hand to hand combat. I am speaking from the perspective of a light infantryman.

Ultimately, in the end, wars are decided by the man, the light infantryman. Not by machines or overwhelming firepower. I think in the past our armed forces were too machine depedent, but now I think we have become much more tactically proficient and much less machine dependent. Much better at the use of deception and surprise. Hopefully, these lessons get passed down to the new generation of soldiers and continue to be passed down, that way future generations won't have to learn the hard way (which the hard way usually means putting soldiers into a coffin to be sent back home to their family after they have been KIAed in combat). Unfortunately, a lot of lessons are learned the hard way and a lot of mistakes are put into a coffin when it comes to the profession of soldiering.
"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby." -unknown

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MagicSanta
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Of course they are more combat hardened. Between 1975 and 1980 it got very soft, happens after every war. In the early 80s the number of experienced junior ranked personel was pretty much nil....except for some of us. I happened to be in the right place at the right time when a war started and we were ordered to stay there. From that point on those of us who were suddenly experienced got sent to evey hot spot. Now a lot more go to hot spots while a lot more hang out as far from battle as I am now.

So do you check your *&$)*& gig line or not?
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I disagree that the PT tests are more difficult. While the actual skills being required in the PT tests are becoming more relevant to what the Airman, Sailor, Marine, Grunt have to do, there are WAY too many ways to get waivers to get out of them. the body fat exams are laughable, twice yearly PT tests should be done (in my opinion) at least quarterly. I've seen enough guys/girls when I was in (Desert Storm and Iraq vet here)and now just getting out, and the physicality of 80% of them is pretty sad. The only ones that take pride in PT are the grunts and the Marines, and it shows.
Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile...can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, "I served in the United States Navy." J.F.K.
General_Magician
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On 2012-07-24 22:31, MagicSanta wrote:
Of course they are more combat hardened. Between 1975 and 1980 it got very soft, happens after every war. In the early 80s the number of experienced junior ranked personel was pretty much nil....except for some of us. I happened to be in the right place at the right time when a war started and we were ordered to stay there. From that point on those of us who were suddenly experienced got sent to evey hot spot. Now a lot more go to hot spots while a lot more hang out as far from battle as I am now.

So do you check your *&$)*& gig line or not?


Yeah, I still check my gig line LOL! I miss the cameraderie and brotherhood of an infantry unit but man, I have to be honest, I don't think I ever want to go through that **** again! Combat is no fun and really sucks! It's not like the video game Call of Duty or what you see in a Hollywood movie, that's for sure. Combat is no video game or Hollywood movie. Everything you do is a matter of life and death, safety and ruin. Another thing I learned, is that some medals and awards just aren't worth it. But that's my personal perspective and for me, I am just glad to simply be alive and that's the best award I can have, just to be alive.
"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby." -unknown

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MagicSanta
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I know, I was I. Beirut and it was exhausting and stressfull, non stop.

Since you are our first regular infantryman tell us, did you all want female infantrywomen leading the charge next to you?
General_Magician
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On 2012-07-24 23:02, MagicSanta wrote:
I know, I was I. Beirut and it was exhausting and stressfull, non stop.

Since you are our first regular infantryman tell us, did you all want female infantrywomen leading the charge next to you?


Women can kill just as quick as any man. I think women in the very least can make good snipers. However, in terms of going hand to hand, face to face in combat with the enemy I am a little wary. Part of the job of the infantryman is to get up close and personal with the enemy and go hand to hand with him if necessary. Some women can kick ass if they train hard enough. I believe in equal opportunity and so long as the woman can hold her own and is a Betty bad ass in hand to hand combat, I will be willing to go to war with her. But she'll have to prove herself too.

I had one officer (she was not an infantry officer) before I made it to my infantry FOB who I think would have done well in combat, but then again, you never know how people are going to react until the **** hits the fan (some people who you are think are bad ass really don't measure up when the **** hits the fan and the **** bags that you think really are unsquared away, turn into bad ass combat troops when the **** hits the fan). You got some women who are really brave and bad ass and then you got some guys who will freak out when the **** hits the fan (and vice versa).

All in all, I think women should be allowed in infantry roles, BUT they get no special priveleges AND no special treatment. I am also wary of how women can effect unit cohesion, because you know how it can be sometimes when women and men mix together (and how drama can harm unit cohesion). On the same token, I want to give women a fair shake, but women will have to prove themselves if they are ever allowed in the infantry. That's just a fact and reality women must accept if they are ever allowed in the infantry and also want to serve in the infantry.

In the infantry it is vitally important that each infantryman views his fellow infantryman as family and is prepared to die for his fellow infantryman without second thought. Women must be held to the high standards of any guy who is infantry and if they don't measure up then they can't be infantrymen. My opinion is probably not popular with other infantrymen and most infantry will probably disagree with me. But I think if a woman can hold her own and kick ass in a real world combat situation and she wants to fight and die for her country, then she should be given a fair shake and permitted to do so. But again, I know that if women are ever allowed in the infantry, the integration is not going to be easy at all but I think it can be done over time.

But infantry are family and infantry are prepared to fight and die for one another and women must understand this aspect of the infantry. They must also be ready to fight and defeat the enemy in close up, personal, face to face, hand to hand combat. That's the reality of infantry. I know their are some women in martial arts who are bad ass, but if a woman is going to be infantry she must meet the same standards as any man and be ready to die for her fellow infantryman without second thought and also kill the enemy in up close personal combat.

I know the Vietnamese used women in combat during the Vietnam War and from what I read (and I am way too young to have ever served in Vietnam) was that enemy women soldiers/Viet Cong had a fierce reputation among US combat troops in Vietnam. I read about how Charles Hathcock shot and killed an enemy woman soldier/Viet Cong who was torturing our soldiers by breaking their fingers slowly and gradually. She was a war criminal. But women should not be under-estimated.
"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby." -unknown

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MagicSanta
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There, I consider the case closed. We had comments from squids, jarheads, and even guys who really were not in the military (air force). Our one army guy was a ranger but ni infantry. I like you general. You ain't one of those Ft Stewart wuzzies.
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Four years in the Civil Air Patrol was good enough for me. And thirty years later I still check my gig line like you guys. Good habits die hard.

Do they still use the term LPC?
Bob
General_Magician
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On 2012-07-24 23:38, MagicSanta wrote:
There, I consider the case closed. We had comments from squids, jarheads, and even guys who really were not in the military (air force). Our one army guy was a ranger but ni infantry. I like you general. You ain't one of those Ft Stewart wuzzies.


Well, I was never a ranger (I assume you are not referring to me when you were talking about this one army guy who was a ranger), but I was assigned to an infantry unit in Afghanistan and used as an infantryman (actually, my MOS was not 11B but 19K which is Armor Crewman). However, in Afghanistan, they didn't have any tanks and there was no need for tankers. We needed light infantrymen in Afghanistan, so they just threw me in with an infantry unit where I was used as such.

Dogs also proved very useful in combat. The Afghans treated dogs like **** and some of the dogs would come to our FOBs because we treated them better than the local Afghans. Sucide bombers were a problem getting onto some of the FOBs and blowing themselves up in our chowhalls (killing and injuring some of our troops), however, at one FOB it was a dog that detected one of the sucide bombers and barked and growled at him. He panicked and accidentally blew himself up outside the FOB without killing anybody but himself because he got scared of the dog. Man's best friend.

I just recently got a dog myself and he is part of the family. Love my dog! Dogs are awesome! The dog that saved lives that day was also brought home here to the US from Afghanistan by our fellow soldiers and he has a good home with the soldier's life he saved that day. That soldier was not part of my company, but was part of my brigade and they had him on the news when his dog that saved his life arrived from Afghanistan to the US.
"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby." -unknown

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MagicSanta
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There you go. The general thinks ugly women are good in combat and even scare the enemy.

I don't know what an LPC is.
General_Magician
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On 2012-07-25 00:48, MagicSanta wrote:
There you go. The general thinks ugly women are good in combat and even scare the enemy.

I don't know what an LPC is.


LOL! I don't know what an LPC is either. Anyway, if you and I were serving in combat together I would jump on a gernade for you without second thought. I hope you would do the same for me! Nice talking with you Magic! I hope you are doing well these days!
"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby." -unknown

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MagicSanta
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Hey brother, wouldn't even be s second thought. I'd through you on the granade and put you in for a bronze star and I would pet tour dog. Ibwould jump on the grenade myself but then who would write up for your medal. The dog, I would name him Splat after you, would even present the medal to youbfamily.
General_Magician
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On 2012-07-25 01:50, MagicSanta wrote:
Hey brother, wouldn't even be s second thought. I'd through you on the granade and put you in for a bronze star and I would pet tour dog. Ibwould jump on the grenade myself but then who would write up for your medal. The dog, I would name him Splat after you, would even present the medal to youbfamily.


WOW! You sure you been in combat? Do you always treat veterans or your fellow soldiers like this? In my unit, we became real brothers and were ready to lay our lives down for each other. Sufferring brought us together. If you ain't ready to jump on a gernade for your fellow soldiers, don't get on that plane. There were times I could have been killed at any time, but my buddies depended on me to do my part and they were willing to do the same for me. You sound like a civilian or somebody who served in the military but never served in combat, or at least, not for a length of time. You should know that soldiers always fight for each other first in combat.

Are you American? Or from a foreign country? I thought you were American. I am trying to figure out if you are American or the enemy here. I think I misjudged you. You don't sound like any of my fellow vets. Your best bet to get home alive in combat is your willingness to die for your brothers. My buddies died so that others may live but they didn't die for folks like you. When you take that oath, if you ain't prepared to die for your country, then you don't have any business wearing the uniform. That's part of the deal when you take the oath. You took an oath. You solemnly swore.

Listening to you talk like that, I would advise you not to get on the plane into the wild west territory of combat. If you ain't ready to fight and possibly die for your fellow soldiers and risk your life for them, don't get on that plane. You'll just get yourself and other people into a mess. When you take that oath, you might required to die. That's just the reality. Afghanistan isn't Bieruit. Don't put on the uniform in an infantry unit and get on a plane talking like that because it might be you that goes home in a coffin with a silver star with your fellow soldiers explaining to your family that you died heroically fighting the enemy but was unfortunately cut down by enemy fire.
"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby." -unknown

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General_Magician
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Never a guarantee you going to make it home alive when you get on that plane. You become a better soldier when you accept the reality and the fact that you could die carrying out your duties. Don't matter who you are there is never a guarantee you are going to make it home alive. Soldiers always fight and die for each other first before anything else.
"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby." -unknown

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MagicSanta
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You have no idea what I wouldn't or wouldn't do because I hav atood my ground and neither of us has jumped on a grenade. Get a sense of humor grunt. We nevr left people behind and back the the bullets were just as real only we we're not allowedto fire back. In fact our grunts were not allowed to smoke sshould it be_hotographed.so I may toss youn and your dog on the grenade to save your pals.
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On 2012-07-25 03:02, MagicSanta wrote:
You have no idea what I wouldn't or wouldn't do because I hav atood my ground and neither of us has jumped on a grenade. Get a sense of humor grunt. We nevr left people behind and back the the bullets were just as real only we we're not allowedto fire back. In fact our grunts were not allowed to smoke sshould it be_hotographed.so I may toss youn and your dog on the grenade to save your pals.


I got a sense of humor but some jokes are in bad taste. Learn to develop good taste in your humor and jokes. Thank god we never had to jump on a gernade. But there are some folks in these recent wars who have had to.
"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby." -unknown

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MagicSanta
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Two of wm, both got the MOH.
General_Magician
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Well, for me Magic Santa. I remember being scared out of my wits and how the first deaths really hurt and tore me up. I was just a cherry. After a while, I became numb to it all. But the war left it's mark. I still got a big hole in my heart. Tears me up to see such good folks die. It tears a hole in my heart. Tears my heart out of my chest. Brings a tear to my eye. Really does. It hurts at times. VA has me on medication and the medicaiton helps out tremendously. However, even with the meds at times, the pain resurfaces every now and again. Hurts pretty bad to see such good lives put into coffins wrapped in an American flag. My throat gets really right and a tear comes to my eye thinking about it. That's what war stands for waste and regret. How have you been doing MS? Are things going well for you?
"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby." -unknown

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