Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Train-up Week Day Three

In the morning we did some classroom review of the laws of war regarding captured enemies, combatives and how to clear a building.  In the afternoon we did land navigation.  All photos are available on their own Picasa album since the other album would have been too large for the capacity of Picasa albums once I added today's photos

While in the classroom one of my squad members applied sunscreen to his hands in face.  He then put the tube in his cargo pockets, which I thought might not be a good idea.  However, when the lesson ended, I forgot to suggest to him that cargo pockets are bad places for tubes of sunscreen when one is about to learn and practice how to take down an individual.  Needless to say, when he got up following someone else and I taking him to the ground, his cargo pocket had sunscreen oozing out (See right).  We had some enlisted Marines, the real experts since they're so much more badass than the Army, showing us how it's done as well.  We then did both squad action and platoon action take down of buildings.  The cadre played opfor while we took turns in different roles such as prisoner detail and casualty collection point.  It was a good primer for some of the more detail exercises planned for tomorrow. 

After lunch we did land nav, first in the classroom and then in the woods.  The classroom portion reminded me of the week spent manually geoplotting in sub school.  Not only can a computer do such calculations more quickly and accurately, but dong fifth grade math problems annoys me.  I still remember in first and second grade when our math skills were so limited that 7+6 had to appear more than once in order to fill up the page.  I knew that 7+6=13 the first time, so why am I being asked again?  We didn't do how to fix one's position because for the Army that is considered advanced even though in the Navy we do it as often as every three minutes on the ship to ensure we don't run in to the rocks.  Although it must be pointed out that all too often ships have difficulty with it.  Once outside it was more enjoyable since my partner and I were getting to tromp through the woods looking for orange stakes with lucky charms printed on them.  ENS J spotted each marker better than an eagle would have.  He also had his own compass, which, although simpler than the Army compasses, proved more more user friendly.  I bet it was cheaper too. 

Once we were done we had to wait for all groups to finish.  Our platoon commander, 2LT B, was a bit late, which seemed strange.  He finally appeared and explained that he was late because he had perfect opportunity to steal Third Platoon's guidon that was left unattended adjacent to the wood line while they pranced in the fields.  We proudly added it to ours as you can see here. 

We then did some more platoon tactical movement followed by 2LT B showing us some good chokes from the Modern Army Combatives Program

I had to delete some rugby photos from the fall since, even though I
upgraded storage to 40GB at $75 a year, google takes up to 24hrs to
process the storage.  I also figured out the problem I get with my camera sometimes.  Since it's so old the shutter gets stuck.  I have to switch the lens and body to manual, click a photo and then it's fine.  As you can tell from my photos, I'm not the best photographer.  Some of the photos from the building came out really dark since I only have the puny flash built into the camera. 

I'd really like to commend the USUHS leaders who are promoting us to blog about our experiences.  It's, of course, a potential double edged sword, but as Victor Davis Hanson, Karl Popper (whom I haven't read) and George Soros would argue, it's the openness that makes us stronger.  As Abu Muqawama covered yesterday, the media, which now encompasses far more than just a few reporters, cannot be controlled.  However, it can be embraced and shaped.

The trouble leaders can sometimes have with openness, in the end, only serves to harm them by preventing them from seeing their true position.  By violently preventing protests in Iran, the Supreme Leader, only fails himself in that he does not know the true lack of strength on which he retains his position.  From Xenophon to today the Persians seem to have the same issues.  Let's hope, as Emmanuel Todd would suggest, that their next revolution will see them finally adopt the tenets of western civilization that served the Ten Thousand so well. 

It's interested that Abu Muqawama then today covered the product of the opposite public relations mentality to maximum openness, propaganda.  It is so laughable because it is so far from what the people actually think and feel.

The views expressed here are those of mine only, and are not to be
construed as those of the Department of the Navy or Department of