Firing Line: Conversation Week #3 October 2016
a. AUSA News – “What is the biggest challenge to soldier readiness?
At AUSA’s 2016 Annual Meeting and Exposition, senior Army noncommissioned officers discussed three obstacles to soldier readiness: personnel issues, medical fitness, and training time.
b. AUSA Five Things – “U.S. dominance is slipping.”
AUSA Five Things: A Weekly Tip Sheet for AUSA Members, dated October 17, 2016: “U.S Run of Dominance Threatened.”
“The U.S. Army’s dominance over any potential adversary may be coming to an end, warns Gen. David Perkins, Training and Doctrine Command commanding officer, because new and often inexpensive technology makes it possible to counter or avoid American advantages. Unmanned vehicles, especially aerial vehicles, and cyberwarfare are examples of threats that have potentially reduced U.S. advantages, Perkins said.
What to watch: Perkins advocates the U.S. continue to make its own technological advances but to also work on new warfighting strategies that counter or avoid drone swarms or offensive cyber operations by surprising the enemy with an unexpected assault. The multidomain battlefield concept that would have all the services and allies working together in unconventional ways—like using Army artillery to attack targets at sea—is a way to keep ahead in a complex world.”
c. Book Program– “Ninety percent of soldiering is mental – the other half is physical.”
“Baseball great Yogi Berra was known for sharing wisdom that crossed the boundaries of human endeavors. One of my favorites is: “Ninety percent of baseball is mental---the other half, is physical.” Soldiering can be viewed the same way. Attitude is everything in life, and a unit’s attitude, morale, along with discipline, and training, hold it together. It is easy to measure physical prowess. Muscles show better than flab, and runners and athletes always seem to gravitate to the front of the parade. You don’t however, find lots of shot putters hanging over planners’ tables, nuclear code charts, medical test slides, missile circuitry boards, photo imagery, and starring in a lot of the brainier aspects of the profession. Not all soldiers wear boots, and mud though sacred to some, is not always a mission requirement. The requirements for soldiers are clear. All the brothers and sisters must be valiant, virtuous, fit, and brainy enough to do the job. Ninety percent of soldiering is mental-----the other half is physical.”
Roger Cirillo, PhD
Lieutenant Colonel, US Army, Retired
Book Program Director
d. Veterans & Retirees – “What is Arlington National Cemetery’s future?”
“Currently, only one percent of those eligible choose to be buried or inurned at Arlington, with the rest being interred at the VA’s 134 national cemeteries or in state veterans cemeteries or elsewhere. Even so, based on its current pace, Arlington will run out of space sometime between the years 2050 and 2070, a timeframe that takes into consideration the 90,000 current available spaces, the 27,000 additional spaces from its millennium project, and the 45,000 to 50,000 spaces to be gained from a southern expansion into where the Navy Annex once stood.
The question the Arlington advisory committee is pondering is whether changes could or should be made to eligibility requirements to extend the cemetery’s lifespan. Right now, all active-duty deaths are eligible, as well as military retirees, those with qualifying medals, and those with honorable discharges. Should restrictions be put in place to keep Arlington open longer or keep the rules as they are recognizing that Arlington as it currently will need to be closed for burials and an alternate ‘Arlington will need to be found?’”
THIS WEEK'S POLL QUESTION:
(To Vote: Scroll down to the footer of the page)
Should social media be a tool for Army leaders?
o Not sure