Small Wars Journal

US Army

What is Wrong with the New Army Combat Fitness Test and Why it is Important to Fix it Now

The ACFT is a bold step in the right direction but doesn’t go far enough in the areas of pragmatism and its use as a cultural node for the US Army. This event ties each of us in uniform together and serves to showcase that each of us deserve to be standing shoulder to shoulder with the rest. It is important that we use the lessons learned in the last decade plus of conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq to better prepare ourselves for the next war. If we do not, then we risk being in the same position as the Army was in when we entered the war in Korea with Task Force Smith.

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Green Berets: Rebuilding the Guerrilla Leader Identity

Direct Action and Unconventional Warfare - one is in the movies, and the other is in the history books. Perhaps oversimplified, the differences between these two mission sets are at the heart of the Green Beret’s identity crisis. Both are clearly doctrinal Special Forces missions, but one dominates our cultural zeitgeist, while the other is relegated to a few weeks in the Q course and knowing glances at Semi-Annual Training Briefs.

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Heavy Infantry in the Order of Battle SWJED Wed, 02/06/2019 - 1:00pm
Heavy Infantry are the answer to the looming possibility of combat in megacities. America does not have any dedicated IBCTs or Divisions for urban combat, but if these were to be raised, Heavy Infantry would form the core. Armored divisions might also benefit from the addition of heavy IBCTs. The current model for all-purpose infantry is extremely useful for training, but specialized heavy-light infantry enable greater tactical flexibility, both when mounted and dismounted. For a global power fighting in every terrain and climate, flexibility is the indispensable core.
Why the American Army Should Increase its Warrant Officers SWJED Mon, 02/04/2019 - 1:58am
Warrant officers exist primarily for highly-specialized, technical roles in the US Military. As the Army modernizes, however, their role ought to increase beyond simple numeric expansion. Enhancing the role of warrant officers at the expense of commissioned officers will cement America’s existing advantages and improve our leadership hierarchy and command system.

What I Have Learned With Bullets

I was cleaning out my accumulated files and I came across a series of notes regarding officers and leadership accumulated through the years. Having commanded four rifle companies, three Airborne/Ranger battalions and two Airborne/Ranger brigades, several in combat between 1965 and 1993, I saw a lot, did a lot and tried to remember. This article is for those who wish the knowledge, hopefully without the pain.

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The Need for Clear Language in Ready Medical Force Requirements

Unlike the other branches in the Army, the Army Medical Department (AMEDD) hasn’t had clear tasks requirements for officers since the 1990s. It is unknown why AMEDD stopped the practice that was universal to the rest of the Army. This has left the AMEDD in an awkward situation of not being able to clearly define, measure, track, communicate, and estimate the cost of the critical Ready Medical skills that are required on the modern battlefield.

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Civil Affairs and Civil Society: Harnessing the Latent Power of Social Bonds

Civil Affairs and Joint doctrine allude to civil society’s important role within the OE. However, the concept receives only a few cursory mentions, including: defeating threats to it, mitigating vulnerabilities to it, and reintroducing former combatants into it. Civil society is addressed in neither practical nor theoretical terms. This lack of attention carries over into Civil Affairs Operations and civil-military operations.

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Afghan-Born Soldier Returns Home to be Advisor with the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade SWJED Thu, 11/08/2018 - 11:23am
Now based at the New Kabul Compound in the middle of the country's capital city, SGT Zabi Abraham is one of the most impactful advisors within the brigade's 5th Battalion. Often, he is at the battalion commander's side, translating conversations between him and senior Afghan leaders.