That said, back in November Ricks posted this article to his blog, his lead being that the 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Stryker) was reamed in an Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) collection report for its performance at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) in October 2012.
The original CALL document is worth a glimpse for the unsurprising conclusion that 2CR's conventional warfighting skills have...shall we say, slipped a trifle in the past decade they've spent chasing raggedy-assed muj around the less-paved parts of southwest Asia?
- Priorities of work for occupying a position are not established or adhered to.
- Sleeping areas established prior to preparation of fighting positions.
- Vehicles, fighting positions, CP’s, and tents not camouflaged.
- Field sanitation standards not enforced, Soldiers defecating randomly on top of the ground in unit positions.
- Lack of uniform and personal hygiene standards.
- A lack of small unit leadership and on the spot corrections.
Read the CALL document; trust me, things get worse at the higher levels. It sounds like resupply, troop discipline, planning and training, medevac, commo, and TOC operations were fucked up like a football bat. These guys sound completely ate up, and if you read the whole thing it sounds like the 2ACR is a really effed-up unit.
But what it's NOT?
What if the problem with the higher-level tasks isn't the unit but, rather, what it's been training to do and doing for the past decade.
Here's the commander of the JMRC as quoted by Ricks:
"...the actions reflective of Soldiers who have operated in a COIN only environment over the past several years, and a training environment designed to challenge leaders at multiple levels."Emphasis mine.
OK. I'm willing to cut these guys some slack on the higher-level tasks. I can well understand that going from being coiffed and blow-dried in a FOB for a 12-month rotation in Afghanistan to having to figure out how to work a jump TOC, and retrans sites, and ambulance transfer points doesn't happen overnight.
But, c'mon; stuff like priorities of work? Camo? Laying out the fartsacks before digging ranger graves? Casually shitting all over your positions like a herd of cows?
That ain't rocket science. That's a bunch of goddamn sergeants not doing their fucking jobs.
You've all heard me lament the damage done to my branch, the Field Artillery, by these pestiferous little wars we've been enjoying over the past ten years. Now this little bit of bad news makes me wonder - what ELSE the Army has been doing to itself while the Nation has been out Shopping for Victory and Supporting the Troops?
Shitting at random inside your own positions, boys?