FROM FRAGGERS TO FIGHTERS. 21 APR 2016
An article on the evolution of the U.S. Army, from Vietnam to now.
DRAFTEES CONSCRIPTED TO FIGHT AN UNPOPULAR WAR KILLED THEIR LEADERS. During the unpopular Vietnam War, the term “fragging” was invented in the U.S. army to describe what was usually an M26 fragmentation grenade thrown at an officer. Occasionally, other ranks were attacked or other weapons used. If a mutineer were serious, an M18 Claymore did serious work. Neither West Point academy during officer training, nor the officer corp in Vietnam address the fragging issue or the underlying issues. At one point, when morale was at its lowest in May, 1971, the Army brass were forced to quit issuing frag grenades & to do a countrywide search of enlisted men’s quarters for spare weapons. Other improvisations were for officer’s to negotiate orders with enlisted men. In the case of a major in Vietnam (who was later one of my calculus instructors at USMA West Point), to save him from his hostile unit, when he scratched his knee shaving, they gave him a purple heart & sent him home. One source said 86 were killed 714 wounded during the war, another said 99 were killed, 900 wounded.
CAUSES TO THE FRAGGING MURDERS. Things that exacerbated the fragging problem: (1) poor unit cohesion (the sense of being a family—a close unit) due to the constant turnover of personnel. Officers averaged less than 6 months at a combat job. Some NCO’s had been forced to return to the army & did not have their heart in things. (2) ML King’s assassination, (3) the desire by the men to get drugs & prostitutes against regs… In units near avenues of supply, the problem was nearly universal…in some combat units deep in country, there was no problem as the men depended on each other in combat. (Of course, many felt that the drugs did not degrade their performances.) (4) An unwillingness to die for a senseless war. (5) Deficient leadership. (6) Fragging was rarely prosecuted, & in the 10 times that a man was convicted of murder, the prison terms averaged 9 years.
CHANGES. The Army switched to a volunteer army (after the Vietnam War) which was to be highly trained & skilled. They began a psych test at West Point, to make a final determination if a man was suitable psychologically to be an officer, and some were culled out due to the test. They switched over to building unit cohesion, so units posting to Iraqi combat were often 9 months together in the USA with roles frozen before shipping overseas. They rotated entire units in & out, rather than individuals. (And of course they stepped up the t.b.m.c. for their super soldiers—their elite specialists.) They introduced many new concepts & new technology to provide great amounts of accurate battlefield info to eliminate the “fog of war” that has dogged soldiers in past wars. Upgraded weapons in highly skilled hands make the soldiers more lethal, for instance, a .50 caliber sniper rifle that disassembles into a back pack & comes w/ a sound suppressor that doesn’t degrade bullet performance. For air support of the ground, the U.S. has two absolute winners: the AC-130 Spectre gunship & the A-10 Warthog. Both have amazing firepower that dominate the battlefield. On the ground, the troops have the sophisticated Spider XM7 munitions which can be triggered by a mouse, & automatically deactivated in 30 days. So the loyalty, dedication and morale of American troops is high. They will obey orders. (Except for a new cause for fragging….Moslem soldiers in the U.S. Army!)
A PROBLEM NOT MENTIONED. The fact that Islamic soldiers in the U.S. have done some notable cases of high level fragging is not going to be characterized as such by our govt. or military. In 2009, after an Moslem U.S. army major Nidal Hasan killed 30 (incl. 6 officers/non-cons) & wounded 30 at Ft. Hood, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared, “We object to—and do not believe—that anti-Muslim sentiment should emanate from this … This was an individual who does not, obviously, represent the Muslim faith.” So our politicians know Islam better than the Moslems??? Nidal Hisan, an army major, described himself as a “Soldier of Allah” and wrote about how American democracy & Islam were fundamentally & irreconcilably in conflict. Another high level fragging attempt, which was done just before the Iraqi invasion in 2003, by a Moslem U.S. army Sergeant Hasan Karim Akbar was an attempt to kill a commanding general. On March 23, 2003, in Kuwait, he threw four hand grenades into 3 tents where fellow members of the 101st Airborne Division were sleeping; then opened fire with his rifle when the personnel ran to take cover. Army Capt. Christopher S. Seifert & Air Force Major Gregory L. Stone were killed, & 14 other soldiers were wounded by shrapnel. On 21 April 2005 Akbar was found guilty in a court martial of 2 counts of premeditated murder & 3 counts of attempted premeditated murder & was sentenced to death on 28 April. When 2 serious similar Islamic shootings like this occur, I think our govt. is in denial to say there is not a problem. In a similar case, Chris Kyle, the American Navy SEAL sniper made famous was killed in the USA by a marine vet Eddie Routh, but the news media did not want to report that Routh was Moslem!
FINAL THOUGHTS. A new series of army maneuvers—this year’s equivalents to JADE HELM will have U.S. solders practicing arresting Americans & turning them over to foreign troops. I have listened to many claim that American soldiers won’t fire on Americans. That is utterly ridiculous. American officers take an oath, and are highly loyal to their orders. A weeding process has helped eliminate those that might have scruples stronger than orders. The American army is a professional army that will follow orders, and has the equipment to complete its mission. Many of these same people have moved from the military into police units. And our police units have been militarized & given military equipment. The only disloyal element I detect is the Islamic part, that our govt. is denial about. Moslem terrorists are not “Moslems”, but rather “extremists” in the politically correct imaginary world of the Obama administration.
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